Fact-checking Palin

Here is a site that keeps track of all of the rumors being spread about Sarah Palin, just about all of which are vicious lies. The list has 71 entries, and I suspect it will keep growing.

Here is a possibly more authoritative site, the non-partisan FactCheck.org, which also vindicates Palin. Yes, Republicans also twist the truth and unfairly accuse their opponents sometimes, and FactCheck calls them on it, though none of those entries go as far as the anti-Palin entries do. But this is a good site to bookmark and to check throughout the campaign.

Here is a more detailed refutation of the biggest one some people are currently trying.

Bearing false witness like this is just evil.

Certain questions, of course, are valid paths of inquiry. Consider the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Democrats are saying she supported it before she opposed it. I don’t doubt that. Local and state officials are always trying to get federal money. At the end of the day, though, she did kill the project, so as to use the federal highway funds for more worthy projects. But here is the kicker: As Glenn Beck reported last night, both Barack Obama and Joe Biden VOTED FOR the Bridge to Nowhere. They even voted against a counter-proposal to take that money and give it to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in order to build that bridge! John McCain, of course, consistent foe of wasteful spending, fought it tooth and nail.

Do the Democrats really want to get in a war of campaign ads about earmarks?

The Democrats seem to be in a panic, which leads to ineptitude. Turning Sarah Palin’s pit-bull with lipstick joke into that other joke about how a pig with lipstick is still a pig? Do they not realize how this is going to go over among ordinary women who are deserting the Democrats to the Sarah Palin banner in droves?

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  • Carl Vehse

    I saw the video of Obama’s comment about lipstick on a pig, and in its context he was referring to the McCain-Palin campaign and was not a personal comment about Sarah Palin hserself.

    However, Freerepublic has noted that Obama’s comment, “John McCain says he’s about change too. Exce- and and so I guess his whole angle is – watch out, George Bush – except for economic policy, healthcare policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy, and Karl-Rove-style politics, we’re really gonna shake things up in Washington”, was not an off-the-cuff remark, but was taken from a Tom Toles cartoon in the September 5 Washington Post.

    Joe Biden’s experience must be rubbing off on Barry.

  • I prefer this Sarah Palin Facts site. 🙂

  • I think that Obama’s comment did not intentionally refer to Palin, but his audience thought it did, and it does have that, “Oh, did he just say that?” effect. It was clumsy at best.

  • I listened to a larger clip of the speech and it doesn’t appear to me that Obama was even thinking about Sarah Palin when he made the remark about the pig wearing lipstick. This tendency in media today to take one word or phrase out of context, twist it and run with the lie is very disturbing. I also find my teens coming home with strange snippets of information on various candidates and they think I’m the pin ready to pop their fun of gossip that has not been fact-checked.

    However, one concern that comes to mind when I consider this incident is whether Barack Obama is capable of considering his speech carefully. Since lipstick was a strong theme of Sarah Palin during and following her acceptance speech, it was extremely ill-advised of Barack Obama to use the lipstick on a pig analogy. And, yes, I realize that George W. Bush also didn’t always do that well either.

  • Carl Vehse

    A Scrappleface article, “After Obama Jab, Pig Lipstick Sales Surge” reports:

    (2008-09-10) — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s growing popularity has spawned a booming cottage industry in Palin-esque items from hockey jerseys to her distinctive frameless eyeglasses. Now, an allegedly off-hand remark by Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama has sparked a run on another product, clearing the shelves of pig lipstick at farm stores across the nation…

    “The combination of Sen. Obama’s ability to mesmerize a crowd, and Gov. Palin’s endearing personality almost-instantaneously revived a once-moribund market in domestic animal beauty products.

    “We’ve been flooded with calls from retailers,” said an unnamed Haybelline spokesman. “All of the lipstick in our Passionate Pigment line is just gone, and stores are dangerously low on stocks of other products like mascara, blush and our classic sparkling snoutliner.”

    “The Haybelline source said the “the timing couldn’t be better” because the firm is about to launch a complete line of beauty products for use on wild animals, slain by hunters, which appear in trophy photos.”

  • WebMonk

    I’m thinking that it was more of a comment about the pig-ness of McCain. The lipstick is still lipstick whether it’s on Pamela Anderson or on a pig, so I can’t see how it’s a slam aimed at Palin.

    Like Theresa K, when I read the larger speech, I can’t see that it’s particularly talking bad about Palin. McCain, or at least his campaign, is the pig in the analogy, and Palin is the thing that is trying to make the pig look good.

    Bunch of excitement over nothing.

  • I tend to think Obama knew what he was saying. I know that isn’t the best construction. It is my gut. And it doesn’t really matter where he put it in the speech, he knew it would get a laugh out of his people. But if he placed it carefully he could say he didn’t mean it as a dig at Palin. But if he didn’t mean it as a dig on her, he should not have said it. He should have had the presence of mind to know that it would be taken that way. I just tend to think he is to smart to make that mistake unintentionally.

  • My take; when you replace the role of God and the church with human government, those who object become not just “wrong,” but rather “heretics.” And as such, a certain portion of the “new priesthood” are going to engage in an “Inquisition,” where any stick serves to beat one’s enemy.

  • Hmm. One wonders why nobody performed the same rumor-tracking service for Obama. Is this a concern for truth and proper discourse, or merely partisan? That said, I’d rather that people would focus on the issues here, as the Obama campaign has (and as have most liberal blogs that I read).

    Bror, I think your interpretation (@8) is unfortunate and uncharitable. The “lipstick on a pig” bit is rather old, and has also been used by McCain himself. The only reason people associate it with Palin is because of that joke from her speech, which, as far as I can tell, was the most memorable part. Not sure what that says about her speech, though.

    Anyhow, while it’s interesting to note that Obama and Biden voted for that pork, that is not (unfortunately) out of character for them.

    The reason that the Obama campaign is hammering this so much is because Palin is now attempting to present herself, like John McCain, as a reformer, as one opposed to earmarks. Her record in no way backs this up. As a mayor and governor, what did she do to stop earmarks from flowing into Alaska? Nothing that I can tell. What did she do to bring home the bacon? Plenty. And like Veith points out, that’s not surprising, because that’s how you win votes at those levels.

    But now that she’s campaigning at the national level, she’s presenting herself as a pork-busting “maverick”, since her campaign now perceives that’s the best way to win votes, and it’s laughable. She only killed the bridge project after Congress had removed the earmark and the project had been (rightly) ridiculed everywhere.

    The question is: is she truly anti-pork? Is she truly a reforming “maverick”? Or is she taking whatever stance she needs to in the particular office she’s running for? As to the last question, in light of the earmarks evidence, it doesn’t look good.

  • E. Malley

    It’s shameful to see how Dr. Veith has over time turned this blog into little more than a mindless cheerleader for all things Republican. I’ve lost all respect for the man.

  • Nemo

    So, after much hesitation, I’ve decided to toss this into the ring.

    Can a Christian support a female in a civil leadership position? See Doug Phillips for the centerpiece of the argument in the negative.

    (Disclaimer: I do not agree with, endorse, or advocate these conclusions on Doug’s site. Rather, I am posting this for the sake of discussion.)

  • Nemo

    The link didn’t work. Here it is.


  • Susan aka organshoes

    E. Malley:
    You obviously don’t understand the nature of blogging, being that blogs are inherently devoted to the blog owner’s personal proclivities.
    This isn’t a newspaper or a network after all, where the betrayal of personal bias is out of bounds.
    What can Dr. Veith do to earn the return of your respect? Pretend he doesn’t believe in anything?

  • WebMonk

    E. Malley – you’re one of the Anon posters that just showed up in the last couple weeks, so you haven’t been around long enough to know what Veith typically posts about politics. I don’t think there’s been any major political discussion on here since he moved to this new site.

    Nemo, as to Doug Phillips, I realize that this isn’t a “rebuttal” of his position, but he has been so far outside of what I think is Biblical on so many issues that I’ve stopped taking him seriously. It’s almost to the point that if he’s against it then I’m for it. That’s an overstatement, and I realize he is trying to promote what he thinks is a Biblical approach to life and I admire his dedication and energy, but there are some fundamental areas where he starts to diverge from the Bible. By the time he gets out to talking about women in the workplace/army/leadership I can’t see how it’s useful to deal with him on the particular topic. It’s like trying to kill an octopus by snipping of its tentacles one inch at a time. Maybe eventually you’ll get to the core and start really affecting things, but until then you’re trying to catch some long, regenerating, wiggly things to snip off the ends while getting ink all over everything.

    Hmmm, actually that analogy might work for a lot of arguments.

  • tODD
    I’m not debating that it was an old saying. I’ve used it for that matter who cares. But given the context of this campaign it is hard to conclude that he didn’t use it purposefully. The only other explanation as that he was to stupid to see that it would be interpreted that way, or to blind to see it in the speech that was handed to him. I believe tha later would be the more uncharitable explanation. I don’t think Barack is stupid, or that blind, especially in the uses of rhetoric in which he excels. Foreign policy is another matter, I sometimes wonder if he really believes what he says on the campaign trail. I guarantee if he effected it we would be worse off.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I thought the fact check site Veith pointed us to today was non-partisan and has called conservatives out for spreading lies about Obama and Biden, too. Is this not true, tODD? Seems as fairly even as a subjective Republican ought to be to me (though I guess I’m not even sure if Veith is a registered Republican). I appreciate this sort of site so I can wade through the garbage tossed around by both sides to make at least a decision based on truth in November.

  • Anon The First

    Huh. I’m going to go with the solar physicists, oceanographers and the Old Farmer’s Almanac on this one; we are heading into a cooling, possibly a severe one, if the very strange lack of sunspots continues throwing us into another Dalton or even Maunder Minimum.

    As to respecting Dr. Veith in this matter, consider that it is still true that “no murderer has eternal life in him.” Unless someone is promoting a third party, there is no other option. For supporting the party of the culture of death is no option for any Christian. Individual policies not related to the culture of death, perhaps, but the whole ticket? No, not an option – “for no murderer has eternal life in him.”

  • Anon The First

    That was weird, the original first paragraph of the above was:

    The official Democrat Party website had the pig in lipstick comment up complete with a picture of a toy pig with Palinesque glasses and hair BEFORE B. H. Obama’s supposed slip of the tongue. They are self-destructing, much like the Amalekites of old – or we can hope and pray.

  • E. Malley (@11): “Mindless”? Please. Does Veith’s blog reflect his own conservative/Republican bias? Sure. Do my comments reflect my own liberal/Democratic bias? Sure. Okay then, we appear to be communicating properly. What’s the issue? Veith’s blog is remarkably fair given his bias. If you have something you want to say about a particular entry or statement, that’s what the comments are for. Join the discussion! But don’t just pout on the sidelines and take “mindless” potshots.

    Nemo (@12), I personally won’t wade into that beyond pointing out that, a year or so ago, when it seemed possible that Hillary could be the Dem’s candidate, many in my WELS congregation spoke quite firmly about how they could not vote for a woman (based on 1 Tim. 2:12, which they held to be about more than worship, in contrast to the NIV heading). I have yet to ask them if their attitude still holds for the Republican ticket.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 10: FactCheck.org is nonpartisan and checks rumors about both campaigns. The other site is a partisan site. So the question is, why hasn’t a Democratic partisan taken up the cause to check the rumors about Obama and report on them?

    There were two reasons why the “lipstick/pig” comments raised eyebrows. First, the crowd roared when he made the comments, as if it understood exactly what he was insinuating. Second, he combined that metaphor with an “old fish/paper” metaphor which some took as applying to McCain.

    That said, I would be more than willing to agree that he most likely was not labeling Palin a pig and McCain an old fish. Would that our liberal friends, though, would have been as charitable about George Allen’s “macaca” comment in the 2006 VA senate campaign, which was almost certainly equally innocent, instead of amplifying it to ruin his career. Similarly, Trent Lott was made to retire for innocent comments he made at Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party. A little charity would have been a good thing there too. This thing works both ways, and the Democrats have a history of seizing on verbal gaffes to ruin political campaigns (recalling “potatoe” and Dan Quayle as I write this), with a lot of assistance from the media.

    The one good thing for the Obama/Biden campaign is that Obama’s gaffe overshadowed Biden’s gaffe yesterday, when he invited a wheelchair-bound former state senator at a rally to “stand up”. Of course, no-one is paying any attention to Biden anyway.

  • Don S

    E. Malley, I asked you the other day to share with us your faith background, and you ignored the request. I have come to the conclusion that you are a troll.

  • WebMonk

    tODD – right on about the flip-flop on voting for a woman when some conservatives are given the choice between Hillary and Palin. It’s a minority who has that particular hang up, but as soon as Palin came on the ticket, that minority suddenly got a lot smaller.

    I will give kukos to DP for that at least – he hasn’t let his political leanings towards Palin to change his mind about women in “positions of authority”. Steadfastness of character can be one of those really good things; too bad his is misguided.

  • Don S

    Regarding a female in a civil leadership position, let’s start with Deborah in Judges 4 and 5 and work our way forward to a number of other godly women governmental leaders in the Bible. Not an issue at all.

  • tODD, I think the reason nobody came up with such a service for Obama is that quite frankly, while there were goofy allegations, it simply wasn’t 70+ in the course of a week. They could be, and were, dismissed as they came up.

    If this were happening on my side of the aisle, I would be very disappointed and angry, to put it mildly.

  • Bror (@16), “But given the context of this campaign it is hard to conclude that he didn’t use it purposefully.” Several other commenters here (not to mention many others elsewhere) do not share your difficulty. “The only other explanation …” No, that’s really not the only other explanation — it’s a false choice.

    Bryan (@17), oh sure, the fact-check sites out there have kept track of some of the larger lies about Obama that have bubbled to the surface. I was referring more to Veith’s first link, the one with 71 entries so far. It goes beyond the fact-checked Palin lies/rumors and off into the weeds, rebutting rumors I — and I imagine most here as well — had never heard. Sure, there’s a blog somewhere where some nutball is saying something horrible. That makes the list of 71. Has anyone compiled such a list for Obama? Or is this just a partisan attempt to make the left — and only the left — look a certain way?

    Anon (@19), care to offer proof?

  • WebMonk

    Don S. #24 – oh, you won’t get far with GP using Deborah. It was only because Israel was being so apostate that they were being shamed with a female judge. Jael was honored among the women “in the tents”. Miriam was smacked down when she tried to take power. etc, etc, etc.

  • WebMonk

    Sorry, that should have been “DP”, not “GP”. Short for Doug Phillips.

    Legal disclaimer – Any use of initials should not be taken as a mark of disrespect toward those being initialed.

  • Don (@21), fair enough as to your first paragraph. My main point is that the list of 71 goes off into the weeds, and I think there’s limited value in chronicling all the stupid things that are done on the internet, especially if it is then somehow argued that the list accurately represents Democrats.

    As for past verbal gaffes, I generally agree, though the “macaca” thing would have been embarassing even without the apparent racial reference (and it seems more than a bit odd how he just happened to mumble a made-up term at a dark-skinned fellow that is also a term used by French-speaking colonialists to refer to African natives, given that Allen’s mom is of French Tunisian descent), given that he said “welcome to America” to the dark-skinned, but American, fellow. Also, it is hard to argue that Quayle’s campaign was “ruin[ed]”. He won.

    Don (@24), it’s difficult to read Deborah’s story and not see it as a chastisement of the men in Israel who refused to lead. Probably not the best place to start.

    Bike (@25), you said “If this were happening on my side of the aisle, I would be very disappointed and angry, to put it mildly.” It has happened — right here on this blog! Have you said anything? Or did you not read those comments?

  • I posted this before, but I’ll add it again:

    “…there may indeed be times when a Christian may come to the conclusion that a woman running for the office of president may be the best available choice. We may decide to vote for that candidate even though we would know that in a perfect world it would be otherwise. Often, it may be a judgment on the men of a nation that no well-qualified men step forward to lead.

    Perhaps it may also help us to consider that even among God’s Old Testament people, there was a time that he raised up a woman to lead Israel. In Judges 4-5 we see God using Deborah to help lead Israel against a nation that was oppressing God’s people.

    Yet before we make too much of that bit of Israelite history, we must remember that the book of Judges hardly holds before us an ideal part of Israel’s history. In fact, the book of Judges reveals Israel often at its worst. What is more, Deborah’s own words clearly indicate that things were not as they should have been in Israel. She vainly struggles to get Barak to take the lead of the armies of Israel without her by his side (see Judges 4:9).”

  • WebMonk

    LOL! I had forgotten that the guy who Deborah had to chivvy along was named Barak! Totally meaningless, but I laughed at the coincidence of phonetics.

  • Don S

    Webmonk @ 27: Yes, I confess that I did not originally go to the link to read DP’s piece, because the idea that women are blanketly prohibited from civil leadership is preposterous to me on its face. DP seems to be reading a lot more into the Judges account than I have in my Bible, which doesn’t discuss the origins of Deborah’s judgeship at all. However, the account does indicate that she was clearly blessed in her role, and that she was in apparent fellowship with the Lord.

    It is instructive that there are NO examples of women priests in the OT, but there are examples of several women in civil leadership who are in communion with God. The NT passages cited by DP are historically interpreted as applying to the pastorate and other spiritual leadership positions. I have already posted on my concerns regarding “season of life” issues related to Palin deciding she was in a position to take on this challenge now, with several children and a baby at home, but these are issues that are personal to each family and not really for others to judge.

    I’m pretty conservative theologically, but to read the Scriptures as forbidding women from civil leadership positions strikes me as a major and unjustified reach.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 29: I’m just sayin’, if you want the benefit of the doubt for your candidate, you need to reciprocate. Palin used the “lipstick” example in her convention speech just last week (“what’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom? — lipstick!”) and Obama’s usage of it in a disparaging way yesterday was at least as suspicious, in light of that, as Allen’s usage of “macaca”. If you live by the sword, you can also die by the sword. Hopefully, the Democrats will learn a lesson out of this.

    As for Quayle, Bush may have won the election in ’88, but it’s hard to argue that his career wasn’t ruined by the “potatoe” gaffe, and its endless regurgitation in the media.

    As for Deborah, I posted more on her above. I don’t disagree that her elevation to judge may have been a chastisement to Israel, but so what? The fact is, she was made a leader and she prospered and was blessed in the role. The priesthood was similarly devoid of godly male leadership at times, but at no time did the Lord raise up a woman priest in the O.T. So, there is clearly a distinction between civil leadership and the pastorate, and I don’t think it is our role to search the Scriptures for implications of what others shouldn’t be doing and telling them they can’t do those things or can’t vote for people who do those things. If it’s in black and white (women in the pastorate, for example), that’s a different matter.

  • Nemo


    I believe Anon (@19) was referring to this http://www.democrats.org/page/community/post/elizabethberry/Cgsq

  • Anon The First

    tDDD, see what a little google will do for you? http://www.democrats.org/page/community/post/elizabethberry/Cgsq
    Now, I really don’t intend for you to tie up my time with your saducee-like rhetorical tricks.

    Were you ever for Hillary Clinton? Or did you reject her because she’s a woman? If not, then aren’t you just being trollish?

    Webmonk, it isn’t mere phonetics. Barack is an incorrect transliteration of either Barakh which means both blessing and curse, or Baraq, the horse Mohammed was supposed to have ridden to paradise on. Considering that his father was a Kenyan Islamist politician, it could be either. Iran is favoring the Baraq version in their support for his candidacy.

    Don S, I also don’t recall Scriptures forbidding women in civil leadership. I do recall it saying that such a country was under a curse. Pragmatically we have two choices, and a third of a protest vote for a third party. Between those choices, it is heartening to see a much more normal, non-lawyer person who is plainly pro-life put in line to be VP.

  • Nemo (@34), boy, if that’s a “picture of a toy pig with Palinesque glasses and hair” then I’d consider it a smear to call those glasses “Palinesque”! 🙂 (And where’s the “hair”?) If anything, the pearls remind me more of Barbara Bush (but only from a fashion standpoint, promise!).

  • tODD,
    So what are the other choices? I would like to know.

  • WebMonk

    AtF, don’t you have any reading comprehension!?! I was referring to the phonetic coincidence that “Barak” (a Hebrew involved in the current theologizing about women in leadership) looks and sounds like “Barack” (who is also involved with women in leadership).

    Are you really working for Obama by trying to be so ridiculously against him that you’re hoping to drive people toward him? Reverse psychology and all that? That’s what it seems.

  • tODD, no, we have not seen close to seventy false accusations made against BHO or other Democratic leaders on this site. Yes, there have been isolated accusations, and they were largely dealt with by other commenters–very often commenters with largely the same political views.

    See the difference here? You asked why a clearinghouse has not been set up to correct false accusations against Obama, and I made the reason very clear; Obama’s detractors are not coming up with and publicizing several dozen false accusations per week.

    You set up a clearinghouse when the accusations are so prolific as to be a huge embarassment to those making them. In this case, it’s the left side of the aisle with diarrhea of the lying mouth, not the right.

    And if you read carefully, you will see me (hopefully gently) correcting people on the right when I visit. Again, huge difference here, and it really ought to frighten well-meaning people on the left. Camille Paglia has a great piece on this very topic in Salon.

  • Don (@33), again, I said (@29), “as for past verbal gaffes, I generally agree.” I don’t, however, agree, that it’s an all-or-nothing proposition. Not all verbal gaffes are created equal, and we should judge them individually. I could see how Trent Lott didn’t intend what his opponents heard; I couldn’t say the same for George Allen. As for Quayle, if it were only the “potatoe” thing, I might agree. It was a lot more than that which made him sound silly. The guy was not made for public speaking. Just my opinion, mind.

    Anon (@35), “I really don’t intend for you to tie up my time with your saducee-like rhetorical tricks.” Um, okay. Then why do you keep responding to me? It’s not my fault you’re wasting your time on my crafty Jedi mind tricks.

    “Were you ever for Hillary Clinton?” If you used “a little Google” on this site, you might have discovered I was against her before I was against her, and no, not “because she’s a woman”. Mainly because of her position on the Iraq War and subsequent defense thereof, but also because I really hate political dynasties (hmm, that reminds me of someone else 🙂 ).
    Am I being “trollish”? Well, you’ve certainly done your best in your short time here to paint me as such. Do trolls usually get mentioned numerous times for discussion by a blog’s author? Do they get linked to in blogrolls? Do their parents meet the blog’s author? Or are you confusing being a “troll” with merely disagreeing with you? Good grief.

    Bror (@38), the two choices you gave were that Obama either (a) “use[d] it [the word “lipstick”] purposefully” or that (b) “he was too stupid to see that it would be interpreted that way [as a smear against Palin” or (c) “or too blind to see it in the speech that was handed to him”. Now, if it was a beloved family member of yours who had said Obama’s line about lipstick on a pig, are those really the only three options you’d consider? Really? How about (d) Obama wasn’t thinking about Palin’s joke when he wrote that line or approved that speech?

  • tODD,
    Doesn’t D fall under B or C?

  • The Jones

    If Obama were smart, he would reply to the McCain criticism with:

    “No I will not apologize for that comment. I was not calling Palin a pig. I was calling YOU a pig, John McCain. Sarah Palin is the lipstick! Just because you put a fresh face on failed Bush policies, it doesn’t mean that they’re anything different.”

  • Don S

    tODD @ 40: a one-time verbal gaffe by an exhausted candidate should be judged individually, but charitably. His/her apology, should a genuine one be offered, should be accepted graciously. If the candidate’s later actions belie the apology, or support the notion that the gaffe was indicative of the candidate’s character, then the appropriate conclusions may be drawn.

    There is no question in my mind that Quayle, Allen, and Lott were treated unfairly, by both the Democrats and the press. Similarly, Obama is being treated unfairly now, in my opinion (though he has not yet offered any sort of apology for the effect of the statement, if unintentional, on those who heard it, to my knowledge). I personally cannot be too upset by this injustice, however, because the Democrats deserve to feel the frustration this sort of thing has, given their propensity to exploit Republican gaffes in the past. As I said, hopefully, this will lead both parties to respond more maturely in the future.

    Bror @ 41: I think D does fall under B or C. Moreover, I think that, even if Obama didn’t understand the implication he was making by his ill-chosen metaphor, there were those on his staff who did. And it was obvious that the audience did.

  • The Jones

    Ah, darnit Webmonk @7, you beat me to it.

  • Nemo

    Nemo (@34), boy, if that’s a “picture of a toy pig with Palinesque glasses and hair” then I’d consider it a smear to call those glasses “Palinesque”!… tODD @ 36

    I’m inclined to agree with you, and was underwhelmed when I finally saw it (I should have stated that when I posted the link).

    Regarding the comment, it looks like—at least from Obama’s standpoint—that it was not directed at Palin personally (rather, in context, it was against Bush, with McCain/Palin being the lipstick). That said, it appears as if the audience saw it as a shot at Palin. He should have used a little more sense and not used the analogy. The entire phrase, however, needs to be removed from his vocabulary if he ever expects to conduct negotiations with Islamic countries…

  • Hmm. Lost in all this ridiculous hand-waving (aside from the issues, but it probably was never going to be about the issues, was it?*) is that Palin compared herself to a “pit bull”. No one thinks pit bulls are attractive, per se — at least, I don’t think I would have won my wife’s heart over by saying, “Honey, you remind me of a pit bull.” And yet, if an Obama statement can be made to seem to refer to Palin as a pig, people go … well, hog-wild. Oh, the pettiness! Oh, her delicate, pit-bull-like ears! Of course, Obama didn’t say that, but still, let’s also rightly condemn her referring to herself as a “pit bull”. (Kidding.)

    Bror (@41), are you really arguing that everyone should take into account every way that everything they’ve said could possibly be taken wrong (by uncharitable people), or else they’re either “stupid” or “blind”? What a great rule. I can feel the love. Are your sermons posted online? I’d like to take offense at them now to see how “stupid” or “blind” you’ve been, with your blessing. Or perhaps it’s still a false choice?

    *And yet no doubt some here think one of the media’s many problems is its incessant focus on the trivial over the substantive. And yet look what gets discussed here. Hmm.

  • “crafty Jedi mind tricks” ROTFLOL!!! Boy, did I need to hear that! That’s what I used on my teens: crafty Jedi mind tricks.

  • By the way, has anyone actually read over the list of 71 rumors

    about Palin, of which Veith said “just about all of which are

    vicious lies”? That’s hardly true.

    First, there aren’t even 71 entries. Some rumors take up

    numerous ones (e.g. AIP membership: #15-16, trooper thing:

    #31-34, librarian firing: #40-43, intelligent design: #48-49,

    vetting: #60,62).

    Of the rest, it’s far from true that they’re lies, much less

    “vicious lies”.

    Some of them aren’t even claims at all. That strikes out 22 and


    I’m going to ignore most of the ones that are unsourced, since

    there is no proof that people are spreading such rumors, other

    than that site itself (or other pro-Palin sites). That strikes

    out 4, 9, 11, 13, 17, 24, 26, 29, 30, 35, 36, 42, 44, 46, 50,

    66, and 70.

    Of the remaining ones, many the site admits to being true. Since

    we are looking for the ones that are “vicious lies”, we must

    necessarily strike out 5, 6, 7, 21, 25 (hadn’t heard that one!),

    28, 39, 48, 49, 51 (also new to me; the Feds claim, of course,

    that it was never “legal” in Alaska), 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57,

    58, 61, 63, 64, 67, 69.

    That still leaves plenty, of course, but I’m already over half


    For 1, 2, and 3, it’s not clear what the rumor is, and, except

    for 1, there’s no source to tell us. As for 1, it’s pretty clear

    that’s a gaffe, not a rumor. It’s not clear what the rumor is in

    14, either (also unsourced), but if it’s the existence of

    Photoshopped bikini images, those appear to be the work of

    pro-Palin people, not rumormongers.

    For 18, the source he links to does not claim she’s

    anti-Semitic. This is just the Buchanan thing again. The source

    quoted in 19 doesn’t appear to be serious. The “two weeks” claim

    in 20 comes from a Republican, a former McCain strategist.

    45 either is true, or, if someone is claiming otherwise,

    unsourced. 47 is clearly made by a conservative who is joking.

    59, as written, is actually wrong, since she didn’t turn down

    the earmark money, but repurposed it. Not a lie, anyhow.

    As for 23, it’s not clear what she believed about the Iraq War

    from that statement. 31-34 all refer to the trooper brouhaha,

    and since that’s still in court, I don’t think there’s a

    definitive answer yet. For 37, I’m not sure I know which source

    to trust, but it appears to depend on how you consider increases

    or decreases. In 65, there are several claims, some of which we

    can’t know the answer to.

    That leaves, as candidates for “vicious lies”, the following: 8,

    10, 15, 27, 38, 40, 60, 68, and 71. Down to 13% of the original


    Of those, 15 may be a lie, but it’s certainly understandable, since her husband was an AIP member, and she taped a video for the AIP convention.

    The list doesn’t seem so big now. I wonder if I could come up with 9 or so vicious lies that have been spread about Obama.

  • Sorry about the formatting (@48).

  • Bryan Lindemood

    O yeah?! Well it feels like 72! 🙂
    Did you do all that work yourself, tODD? Amazing!

    It would sure be refreshing if we could have a more national debate about the merits and shortcomings of each parties platforms on governmental policy (except that these issues are largely vacuous – and similar in practice – in both parties).

    Was it Michael yesterday who suggested we at least listen to some the ideas of Ron Paul? Paul actually has strongly held positions on governmental policy.

  • Joe

    tODD – I won’t condemn Palin for calling herself a pit bull. The context was obviously a reference to the positive characteristics of that animal (i.e tenacity, strength etc.). So the comparison you tried to draw flops.

    But on the larger topic, I have to say that I think the reaction to the Obama statement is a bit much. The real point for me is that he screwed up the delivery of one of my favorite lines.

  • Joe (@51), I said (@46) I was kidding. This whole lipstick thing is ridiculous, and way more a symptom of our ailing political discourse than it is indicative of problems with one party’s candidates.

    And yeah, Bryan (@50), that’s my work. I have no life. 🙂

  • Carl Vehse

    With all of the complaints against Obama about his choosing the “lipstick on a pig” phrase, one should recall the complaints within his own party against Barry for his choosing Biden as his VP running mate.

    One of the more prominent people pointing out that she-who-shall-not-be-named might have been “frankly… a better pick” is… Barry’s VP running mate.

  • Don S

    That “lipstick thing” that is so frustrating tODD is symbolic of what happens when you let Barack speak without a teleprompter. My suggestion is not to let that happen again. And we are still waiting for tODD to acknowledge that the “macaca thing” was equally “a symptom of our ailing political discourse”.

    As Carl Vehse posted, not only did Mr. Biden advise a man in a wheelchair to “stand up” yesterday, today he advised the country that Obama would have been better off picking Hillary. So, any chance that the Obama campaign panics sufficiently to pull a “Torricelli” and change out the VP candidate? And would anyone notice if they did (in other words, does anyone really remember that Biden is the current VP candidate)?

  • Don (@54), I already responded to that (@40) thing you’re waiting for, just not in the way you want.

    Anyhow, to people who make these things out to be of importance in the realm of politics, ultimately you will get your wish, and you will get the politicians you deserve.

  • fw


    There are lies, and there are “vicious lies”.

    your posts would be better if you would maybe avoid the adjectives here. lies are about facts, they are or they are not. vicious is a matter of opínion.

    I consider the recent McCain add lying and saying that obama supported sex ed for kindergardeners a vicious lie for example.

    the issues of the bridge to nowhere and whether or not palin tried to censor and control her town librarian and library books is something that should be investigated. there will be lies and misrepresentations, but I don´t see them in the category of “vicious.”

    now palin is supposed to be given deference. hmmm. if her, then ALL politicians should be given a certain amount of deference as our government. I agree. but here too, there is a certain wierdness….

  • Anon The First

    By the way, there is serious reason to question the non-partisan status of FactCheck.org, which is owned by the radical left-wing group The Annenberg Foundation, which also funded Baraq Obama aka Indonesian citizen Barry Soetero, and the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers who launched the former’s political career.

  • Anon The First: I’m generally quite ok with outlandish statements, but I think you are making statements bordering on racism and xenophobia. These undermine your debating stance seriously, and I would encourage you to stop doing it. Lets try and be more mature, please?

  • Don S

    tODD @ 55: Yes, I know you did, but in light of your later comments I figured you had reconsidered. So, apparently, it’s only Republicans “who make these things out to be of importance in the realm of politics”. When Democrats do it, in the mind of tODD, it’s perfectly reasonable.

  • Anon The First

    Scylding, I am not making racist or xenophobic statements. It is the typical tactic of the Left to stop discussion by throwing those charges around. Stop it. And everything I said there is publically-verifiable fact. Try Google.

  • Anon (@57), if the Annenberg Foundation is a “radical left-wing group”, why did Cheney cite them as a source of truth in the 2004 vice presidential debates? Is Cheney also a radical left-winger? Back up your assertion. Alternatively, demonstrate what at FactCheck.org is wrong. As it is, you sound like you’re tossing out a source because you don’t like what it says (let’s see, first the media, then “trolls” like me, then …).

    Also, are you attempting to defeat us non-Republicans by causing our brains to explode due to cognitive dissonance? (That might actually work.) Seriously, are you raising “serious question[s]” on one hand, and then spreading lies on the other? Do you think winning points for Republicans is more important than the truth?

    If you’re going to make outlandish claims, at least back them up with a citation. (Though try and make sure the citation actually supports your claim, unlike the “Palinesque” glasses thing.)

  • “Baraq Obama aka Indonesian citizen Barry Soetero” There is something like telling the truth in a highly suggestive manner. You are not fooling anybody here (I hope). Frankly, your suggestions on the repentance of those involved in abortion, whilst making suggestive xenophobic and racist remarks, rings hollow. I’m normally very tolerant of all kinds of views, but you are damaging the Body of Christ here by your antics. Stop it.

    Nobody expect us to agree, and I respect people on both sides of the debate here. But immaturity is certainly not helpful.

  • Don (@59), one more time … much of the political mud flung by both sides is stupid and harmful to our country. If you will read what I wrote, you will see that I have pointed this out on both sides.

    That said, I am not decrying all political attacks — some of them actually are relevant and based on proper readings of a candidate’s words or actions. Surely you agree. But surely you will also understand that different people will come to different conclusions about which attacks are relevant and which are stupid distractions from the real issues. That said, I have a hard time believing anyone truly thinks this “lipstick” nonsense is important in choosing the next President. Maybe you disagree.

    As for George Allen, I think that there are too many coincidences, as it were, in his “macaca” story to believe that it doesn’t tell us something about who he is as a person. You disagree. Fine. But don’t make me out to say something I clearly haven’t. Just disagree with me on the particulars.

    Anon (@60), do you think that any rebuke must necessarily be an attack on your free speech by the left? Or are you ever wrong?

    And the burden of proof is on you, anyhow, when you make claims. I’ve “tried Google” on at least one of your claims, and come up with nothing besides right-wing blogs circulating rumors. Perhaps in your mind, this constitutes proof (after all, yesterday, you thought that picture of a pig with lipstick had “Palinesque” glasses and “hair”, when it clearly did not). But then the issue isn’t one of Googling, it’s one of understanding what a reputable source is.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 63: There was absolutely nothing before or since that one-off “macaca” reference that at all justified the charge that George Allen is a racist. Nothing. He promptly apologized for the remark, stated vehemently that he was not a racist, and meant nothing by it. But, in your mind, it’s over — too many “coincidences” — he’s a racist, based on that one incident. You decry the Bill Ayres associations, the Jeremiah Wright associations, the “lipstick” incident, as being petty issues that distract from the “issues”. But then you say that in the case of Allen, ignore the issues, it’s “macaca” all the way.

    Look, you have every right to believe what you want and to evaluate the facts any way you want in a political campaign. But don’t go all preachy about this “lipstick nonsense” unless you’re willing to call it out on both sides, and fairly.

  • Don S

    Here’s an extract from an article published on the Politico website today, by David Frum, that enlightens the issue of the lipstick incident:

    The English courts of equity used to say: Those seeking equity must come with clean hands. That is the Obama campaign’s problem with the lipstick story. After hyping allegations that the Clintons used racially charged language against him, Barack Obama is poorly placed to complain when the McCain camp plays the same trick with gender.

    Mobilization through the inflammation of imaginary grievances is an ugly trait of modern American politics. It will only stop when it stops all around. So long as media ground rules make such mobilization profitable for Democrats, it is inevitable that Republicans will follow suit.

  • fw

    The McCain campaign seems to be now at a very low point ethically…


  • Don (@64), I honestly have nothing more to say about the “macaca” incident. We disagree. The end.

    “Unless [I’m] willing to call it out on both sides”? Look, in this very thread I said I could see the Trent Lott thing was overblown. And though I said there was more than the “potatoe” thing that made Quayle look “silly”, I never defended it as important — it, too, was an example of gaffes distracting from the actual issues. And I don’t think you can fairly say I haven’t called “both sides” on things unless you simply haven’t kept up with what I’ve said on this blog. I have decried the spurious lies that’ve been spread against Palin.

  • fw
  • Don S

    Frank, I think you’ve gotten all the mileage you are going to get out of this issue — you have definitely posted it everywhere. It’s like you have never seen an (allegedly) misleading campaign ad before! Good grief.

  • Don (@69), one wonders if you’re even bothering to follow the several links FW has posted. He posted two over on “Advice for Democrats” (@36 and @65 over there), and one here (@68). None of them were the same link, and none of them refer to the same thing. FW has pointed to FactCheck.org’s refuting two different McCain ads.

    And your response is, what, everybody does it? That’s the change that the Maverick(tm) is going to bring to Washington (never mind how long he’s been there)?

    Besides, the sex-ed ad is as vicious as anything that’s been leveled at Palin, but it’s made by McCain’s own campaign — not some idiot on the internet, not someone in the media, but McCain’s campaign! John McCain approved that message. Criminy.

  • Don S

    Wow, tODD @ 69, you have sure gotten thin-skinned all of a sudden. Is Frank going to start linking to every post on FactCheck.org regarding misleading campaign ads? That’s several a week apparently, from my review of the site, and they appear to be pretty evenly divided between both camps. There’s nothing particularly “vicious” about the sex-ed ad. FactCheck.org makes a big deal about the kindergarten instruction as not being “explicit”, but the ad says “comprehensive”, not “explicit”. Otherwise, it’s a run of the mill misleading ad, apparently. No different than the other ads vetted on the site, against both sides.

    I wish this kind of stuff wouldn’t happen in campaigns, but it does and it will. As long as voters respond to these stupid 30 second ads, and refuse to engage in substantive political discourse, this is what we are going to continue to be afflicted with. Would that it weren’t so, but to suddenly find this site and decide that McCain is some kind of horrible dishonest politician of a sort never before encountered is just ridiculous. Scroll back through the site archives, and see just how many ads are fisked from both campaigns, and it’s all over similar things (misrepresentations, leaving out key facts, etc.). Also, sometimes the fisking seems to be pretty lame. Like accusing McCain of implying that the sex-ed was “explicit”, when actually the ad used the term “comprehensive”, which was straight out of the bill. Or accusing him of “cherry picking” media quotes. Duh! In a 30 second ad no less. Or accusing him of leaving out other “accomplishments”. Like……co-sponsoring legislation so that illegal immigrants in IL could get in-state college tuition rates. Well, gosh, how vicious of McCain. I’m sure Barack would like that “accomplishment” to get around. Maybe we need a FactCheck–Factcheck.org site to vet FactCheck’s vetting!

    Frank, are you going to start posting about all the Democratic unfair ads as well, or is this a Republican-only thing?

    Let’s move on, folks.

  • Don S

    That should be tODD @ 70.

  • Don S

    Frank (FW) has so far forgotten to post anything on Obama’s latest sleazy ad (I’m sure it’s merely an oversight), so let me bring it up. The ad is titled “Still” and you can view it here: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/samgrahamfelsen/gG53SH

    A key claim of the article is that McCain STILL can’t use a computer or use email. However, what it doesn’t disclose is that because of his war injuries, HE CAN’T USE A KEYBOARD!. See Boston Globe, March 4, 2000, “McCain Character Loyal to a Fault” by Mary Leonard. Key graf:

    “McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain’s encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He’s an avid fan – Ted Williams is his hero – but he can’t raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball”

    Now, that ad is VICIOUS, tODD. And, do you think that’s good politics? It seems to me that the Obama campaign, finally under the strain of headwinds, is imploding. Don’t you think they should have investigated why McCain doesn’t use a computer before running a demeaning ad like that?

  • Don (@73), I’ll admit that I cringed when I saw that ad, but not for the reasons you’ve cited.

    Now I don’t know, Don, if you think I’m capable of fair judgment in these matters, or if you think I’m blinded by my politics, but let me say first that I really am going to try and be fair in discussing this, and not merely try to win points for “my side” (which isn’t as much my side as everyone here seems to think it is, but that’s a different story).

    That said, I’m sorry, but your outrage is misplaced. The Obama ad clearly cites the sources of its claim (specifically, a 7/13/08 Politico piece and a 7/13/08 New York Times article). If you search for those articles, you’ll find, well, here’s an intact excerpt from the New York Times article “McCain’s Conservative Model? Roosevelt (Theodore, That Is)”:

    He said, ruefully, that he had not mastered how to use the Internet and relied on his wife and aides like Mark Salter, a senior adviser, and Brooke Buchanan, his press secretary, to get him online to read newspapers (though he prefers reading those the old-fashioned way) and political Web sites and blogs.

    “They go on for me,” he said. “I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need.”

    Asked which blogs he read, he said: “Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously. Everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics.”

    At that point, Mrs. McCain, who had been intensely engaged with her BlackBerry, looked up and chastised her husband. “Meghan’s blog!” she said, reminding him of their daughter’s blog on his campaign Web site. “Meghan’s blog,” he said sheepishly.

    As he answered questions, sipping a cup of coffee with his tie tight around his neck, his aides stared down at their BlackBerries.

    As they tapped, Mr. McCain said he did not use a BlackBerry, though he regularly reads messages on those of his aides. “I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail,” Mr. McCain said.

    The Politico piece largely covers the same ground, including the same quotes, but if you want to read it, the title is “John McCain goes online”.

    Now, I don’t know, eight years later, if McCain still can’t use a keyboard. Maybe he’s had therapy — it’s a long time. But you’d think that he’d mention it along with that discussion.

    But no. Instead, he merely says, “I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself,” and “I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail.” No mention of a disability, just copping to being a bit behind the times.
    So is Obama’s ad “vicious”? In a word, no. It’s not attacking McCain for his disabilities.

    But I said I cringed when I saw it. Why? Because I don’t care if McCain uses the Internet or not. I’m fairly certain he knows how to use the technology he needs to, and I’m also certain that he surrounds himself with people who are more than knowledgeable about such things — look at his 2000 campaign, for goodness’ sake! This ad is a good example of petty arguments. Not vicious, but certainly petty.

    I get the point that the ad is trying to make — that McCain is a long-time Washington insider who’s out of touch in all sorts of ways, the important ones being his acknowledging problems with the economy (I believe he’s finally started acknowledging this more, though — the ad cites a rather old article) and his tax-cuts-solve-everything approach.

    That said, I still maintain that McCain’s recent ads are far more despicable in terms of misleading/lying about Obama’s positions (claiming teaching kids to beware sexual predators equals sex ed for kindergarteners; claiming that Obama wants to raise taxes on everyone, when it’s quite the opposite, and McCain’s tax plan is what offers nothing to most households in terms of tax relief; claiming that Palin is opposed to earmarks and opposed that bridge in Alaska; etc.).

  • Don S

    Well, tODD, no one will ever accuse you of not being able to use a computer! 🙂

    To respond to your comment, I think you are a partisan, just as I am a partisan (probably we are both more partisan concerning our respective political philosophies than political parties), so there is always the risk that our judgment will be clouded by our partisanship in these matters. However, you are certainly clear minded and intelligent about things political, and you have the capability to be fair, in my opinion.

    I’m not outraged, and you know why I posted on this ad. I thought the whole thing about misleading ads was silly, and it is something that has been recently generated on the left in an attempt to thwart the recent momentum McCain has gained because of: 1) the Palin pick, and 2) the Biden pick. Frank was picking up lefty blog outrage on the education ad and passing it onto this blog, seemingly on every thread, and I thought it was desperate.

    So, isn’t the Obama ad even worse, if they were basing it on the NYT or Politico pieces? Those articles clearly indicate that he does use the Internet, he just doesn’t do it himself. His aids or his wife call it up and he reads it.

    Moreover, there was another article (Forbes 5/29/00) which discussed McCain’s computer literacy back in 2000. Here’s a quote:

    ‘This Internet-driven decentralization meant that the McCain campaign could organize down to a virtually block-by-block level for little cost. It allowed a thin organization to compete against the heavily financed and well-organized Bush machine, and it gave McCain campaign dollars an estimated 4-to-1 advantage over Bush greenbacks.
    McCain himself was convinced early on that the Internet had to play a critical role in the campaign. Time and again it allowed him to leverage his money and his organization. “In the Virginia primary,’ McCain told me, ‘we needed a lot of petitions signed to get on the ballot. We had the form available to download off the Internet and got 17,000 signatures with very little trouble.’
    Ultimately, McCain realized he couldn’t go the distance, but the message was clear to any political organization with hopes for the future. His Web team had played the Internet like a Stradivari. . . .
    In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate’s savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. ‘She’s a whiz on the keyboard, and I’m so laborious,’ McCain admits. ”

    So, it is quite clear, in aggregate, that Obama’s allegations in his latest ad are false and misleading, and intended to convey the impression that McCain is an old fud who will never be able to handle the rigors of the presidency.

    “Despicable”? That’s a little heated, isn’t it? You guys are reading a lot into that ad that simply isn’t there, as I pointed out yesterday. The rest of the stuff you cite is simply politics. “Raising taxes on everyone” refers to Obama’s intention to let the Bush tax cuts expire after 2010, which means the lowest tax rate goes back up. So that claim is correct. Obama has since said he would adjust for that, but who knows? Obama says McCain is going to cut taxes for everyone, and (unfortunately) that is not true either. The earmarks and bridge issue — give me a break. Despicable? Were you born yesterday? Politics is hardball, and political ads are 30 seconds long and full of nuance. On both sides. Palin did oppose the bridge (Obama never did, by the way, as he is an earmarker, through and through). McCain is a mighty earmark warrior, and Palin says she is on board. Good for her! I hope more politicians join the cause.