Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin's Incompetence Revealed... Now Put the Focus on McCain.

There was a time not long ago (two weeks, actually) that I still believed that John McCain was a good and honorable man. He seemed to be above rolling in the mud and sleaze of a dirty political campaign. Unfortunately I can no longer credit McCain with such intentions. His stated approval of an ad that deliberately lied about Obama's stance on sex education in our schools was absolutely reprehensible. One wonders whether he puts the same amount of time into the approval of his ad campaign as he does into the vetting of potential running mates. Or has he completely given himself over to crass and cynical politics aimed at convincing people to vote against his opponent, rather than for him?

While such strategies are common for the GOP, McCain has always prided himself on being somehow "different". In fact he was one of the only Republican politicians to decry the low-ball slime demonstrated by the Swift-Boating of John Kerry in 2004. Unfortunately it appears that giving in to his comrades is more important than principle. After all, as one of my Republican acquaintances said- "Hey, you can't change things if you don't win". Still a fitting response would be to point out that running the executive department entails a series of invitations and temptations to abandon your values. I find it a bit sad to see McCain jump the gun merely to achieve more political power.

Why have his policies on immigration, torture, tax cuts for the rich, offshore drilling, windfall profits taxes, gay rights, defense cuts, lipstick remarks, etc. changed so radically over the last two years? Why has he met (in 2008) with the same sort of Christian Right leaders that he called (in 2000) "agents of intolerance"? Why did he risk the future security and prosperity of our nation by choosing a running mate with NO national or international experience, extreme social conservative values, and a penchant for lying? And why does he continue to trumpet those lies even after learning the truth? If he genuinely doesn't know the reality of Palin's record of pursuing earmarks, of her support for the "Bridge to Nowhere", of her fealty to oil companies, and her almost total ignorance of foreign affairs- then we MUST question his fitness for the presidency.

Instead of continuing to accept the "received wisdom" that McCain is a man committed to integrity, the voting populace needs to face the possibility that this experienced politician is merely a purveyor of half-truths and obfuscation. John McCain stood on a stage in Minneapolis and warned that "change" was coming to Washington. Ostensibly he is referring to the same nation's capitol that we refer to as "D.C.". It's the one that featured a scandal that exposed Republican lobbying corruption and sent Jack Abramoff to prison, and Tom Delay back to Texas. We're talking about the GOP-the party that McCain is now the nominal leader of. How is John McCain going to clean the place up after employing more lobbyists on his campaign staff than any other 2008 presidential candidate?

Like many other opponents of McCain's candidacy, I cringe at the the thought that Sarah Palin will be so close to the Oval Office (especially after her embarrassing interview with Charlie Gibson this past week). She is frankly incompetent. But we really need to redirect the light of truth back on the actual GOP nominee for president. If nothing else, the Palin selection reflects on his poor judgment as a leader. Yet still the message is patently clear, whether or not the worst nightmares of the anti-McCain/Palin contingent come true. McCain has called for "change" after voting 95% of the time with Bush in 2007 and 100% of the time in 2008. And I agree with him- we cannot afford another four years of the Bush play book. Obama/Biden must prevail.

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24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a few thoughts on your post, but just one question for now. This is the second time you've claimed how similar McCain's and Bush's voting records are. In the current post, you say he voted 100% with Bush in 2008. Now, why I could easily access McCain's votes in the Senate, where do I access the votes of Bush? Just how many things did he vote on? Does he cast some kind of secret ballot on each vote so we can see who voted the same as him, and who didn't? Just curious. Please post or link me to McCain's votes and the President's votes on each vote taken...I'd like to verify the 100% claim. Or, are you taking someone's word on this one...if so, whose? Thanks.
jg

4:21 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

JG,

I'm not sure whether you are genuinely confused by this, or just trying to make a political point, so I'll assume the latter.

When someone claims that a congressman "voted with" or "against" the president, what they mean is that the legislator either voted according to the stated political positions of the president, or against them. It is a common term used and accepted on both sides of the aisle.

As you may (or may not) be aware, the president advises the legislature on his support or opposition to proposed legislation. His stances on the issues are not kept secret.

In asking me to link to the "President's votes" on each issue, I think you are being disingenuous. But again, perhaps I'm mistaken, and if so I apologize
and refer you to FactCheck.org- a website referenced by each party during the presidential campaign. McCain has publicly cited this source this year in an attempt to prove his legitimacy on a stated claim (just in case you think it's "biased").

HERE'S the link.

If you feel that this somehow doesn't speak to your intended point, please let me know why.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

jg,

As far as the "100% in 2008", I can't access Congressional Quarterly without a password (and neither can you) but I have seen sources that ostensibly do, because they have made the claim, and have not been disputed. Naturally they state 100% in 2008 "so far", as 2008 is still not completed.

But given the fact that (as I demonstrated) the 2007 number I cited was correct, do you maintain that these sources are lying about 2008?

(links to follow)

5:16 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Source 1

Note that the site cites Congressional Quarterly.

Source 2

Note the mention of Congressional Quarterly again.

Source 3

Again... Congressional Quarterly, with the added bonus of comparisons from previous years that back up my contention that McCain has fundamentally changed, and is increasingly legislating in lock step with Bush and the GOP.

Now you might be tempted to claim that Congressional Quarterly is unreliable, or unqualified to make such statements... but the onus would be on you to make that case.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your links have not answered my question, which was asked out of curiosity.

Here is the statement from the link:

"CQ's Presidential Support studies try to determine how often a legislator votes in line with the President's position:

CQ tries to determine what the president personally, as distinct from other administration officials, does and does not want in the way of legislative action. This is done by analyzing his messages to Congress, news conference remarks and other public statements and documents."

My question was not, as you've assumed, "disingenuous" to make a political point. It was, rather, of how any official votes versus party line and the president's "vote" or position are counted. As you know, I enjoy studies and how statistics are used and misused.

As your links did not show, though perhaps you've researched it further, is how "they" measure what the President's stated position is. That is, is it a subjective determination or does the President issue some kind of position paper on a vote?

The study does indicate that the times McCain did vote with Bush's stated position did in fact significantly increase of the past several years, which does give an implication that he has been a lesser "Maverick" since starting his campaign.

The links also do not indicate how many of the total votes cast counted in the study. That is, hypothetically, there could have been 200 votes cast in the Senate last year, but CQ has only determined the President's clear position on 30 of them. I don't know the numbers, so I clearly made those up as an example. Also, we don't know how many times McCain or Obama would have voted for or against a stated position of Bush in the myriad of vots they missed while on the campaign trail.

I just thought it raised an interesting question as to how the 100% or any other percentage is determined. As I read the blurbs, tit seems to be substantially subjective.
jg

10:51 AM  
Anonymous john morris said...

You really fail to understand the nature of the problem. Let's assume for a moment that all of the "facts" on here are true (many of them are) and McCain and Palin are somewhat less than fully trustworthy etc... We then are left with basically, 4 candidates with extensive records of lying, plagiarism or conveniently evolving positions.

This doesn't tell someone why one should vote for Obama. He has simply failed to close the sale.

The Democrats once again have placed on the ticket a very extreme leftist on the incorrect assumption that the high Bush disapproval ratings automatically meant that people liked and trusted them.

The central fraud is trying to spin almost all the problems in the world on Bush's presidency. Iraq was a peaceful, wonderful country until we brought war to it and all the massive government debt/ deficit issues are the result of Bush's war policies.The people who bought into this are already in the Obama camp.I just don't think this is flying past a lot of the public which seems to understand that the huge whole we are in was the result of the actions of both parties over a long period.

This is Obama's problem. When he attacks Palin's lack of experience, people think about his and when he accuses McCain of flip flops, the issue starts to bounce onto him.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

John,

I don't "fail to understand the nature of the problem" at all. I've identified the McCain campaign's basic lack of honesty and integrity. That's the problem.

On the other hand, I likely fail to understand what YOUR problem is. I'll freely admit I have no idea why you are voting for McCain. What exactly is he going to do as president to address your biggest concerns? You did notice that the post was about McCain? I assume you did because you noted that I didn't explain why someone should vote for Obama- as that was not the purpose of the post. I outlined why it's a bad idea to vote for McCain

Contrary to your claim, you have yet to document Obama's "record of lying and plagiarism. Please link to that if I missed it.

How is Obama a "very extreme leftist", rather than the garden variety of leftist you accuse many politicians and individuals of being? That's merely empty rhetoric.

I don't see where anyone is blaming
"almost all the problems in the world on Bush's presidency." I don't know where you get your news and opinions from, and I'm not responsible for those sources.

However it is true that the vast majority of Americans either consider the Bush Presidency to have been ineffective or outright poor. So it's no stretch of the imagination to think that people want a president who will be substantially different from him. Unfortunately for McCain supporters (such as yourself), he's simply not a substantial change. And that's based upon his voting record and his stated positions during this campaign.

And it's crass dishonesty to suggest that anyone believes that "Iraq was a peaceful, wonderful country until we brought war to it". That's simply delusional thinking or more empty rhetoric on your part.

Unfortunately you appear to lack the qualities of mental distinction that would inhibit you from making simplistic generalizations about the diverse range of people who are supporting Obama. That's certainly not my problem.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Well, my assumptions about your post were formed by these questions:

"(1) Now, why I could easily access McCain's votes in the Senate, where do I access the votes of Bush? (2) Just how many things did he vote on? (3) Does he cast some kind of secret ballot on each vote so we can see who voted the same as him, and who didn't?"

Am I really expected to believe that you were unsure whether or not the president casts "some kind of secret ballot"? That's a hard one to swallow. I'm crediting it to sarcasm.

Aside from the questions I quoted above, the only other one you asked involved my sources. That was clearly answered. Do you dispute that?

So now I'll rephrase my answers to address the literal sense of your questions, as that is what you are implying I should have done.

(1). You don't access a record of Bush's votes, but rather you can check out Congressional Quarterly (if you have a password) for an assessment of how Bush stood on the issues voted upon. That was clear from my link.

(2). As most citizens with a rudimentary understanding of American Government understand, the president does not vote in Congress. Sorry, I considered this assumed knowledge. But if you were being sincere, then please accept my apologies.

(3). No, as far as I believe there is no "secret ballot". That's why we rely on unbiased professionals like Congressional Quarterly to do that research for us. They are the recognized experts, regardless of what side of the aisle you are on. I thought that was clear as well.

That covers all the questions included in your original comment.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Now as far as the concerns in your follow-up (wherein you incorrectly accused me of not answering your original questions), here are my thoughts.

Contrary to your claim, you didn't ask me how the president's positions were determined in order to match them against legislator votes. Refer to the above post. I think it's obvious why I can't answer that- I don't work for Congressional Quarterly. Nor do I have a password that might help me access and consider their methodology.

As far as how these folks determine the president's positions, I think the answer is clearly included in the quote from your own post-

"This is done by analyzing his messages to Congress, news conference remarks and other public statements and documents."

As far as how a congressman would have voted had they been present, I have a hard time crediting intentions. All we can do is take their word, I guess. I suppose that CQ would consider that type of speculation too subjective, but I can't speak to that issue with any authority.

I also believe that there is an unavoidable element of subjectivity in the methodology of the Congressional Quarterly. I have to think it's minimized as much as possible. But as it is, they are THE recognized authority, and accepted and cited by both parties. So my use of it as a source (by way of others' citations) was legitimate and appropriate.

Now that you have all of that information, how does it affect the way that you think about McCain? I think I was clear about my position.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading through all your answers and attempts at explanations...this is the one that hit on the point I was making"

"I also believe that there is an unavoidable element of subjectivity in the methodology of the Congressional Quarterly."

I truly did not know who assessed how closely congressional votes and presidential positions were aligned. Now I do.

Of course, I'll try not to be too offended by your comment:
"(2). As most citizens with a rudimentary understanding of American Government understand, the president does not vote in Congress. Sorry, I considered this assumed knowledge. But if you were being sincere, then please accept my apologies.", as I know that you know that is was indeed sarcasm (which you in turn returned).

Thanks for the enlightenment on the subject, though I'm still not convinced re the objectivity. Facts are facts, and this process falls into the realm of conjecture. Perhaps when you cite that a candidate agrees with the president 100% of the time, you might qualify that with a citation, so that one would know that only some votes are counted, and it's a subjective judgement.

Let's say that Obama voted with his party's line 97% of the time...what does that say? (Other than what I might assume to be an obvious reply from you). Not withstanding a 3% differential, I'm not convinced, and likely never could be, that Democrats are right 97% of the time, and Republicans wrong 100% of the time...or vice-versa for that matter.
jg

8:25 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

JG,

From Dictionary.com:

dis·in·gen·u·ous
lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere: Her excuse was rather disingenuous.

Were your original questions "disingenuous"?

If your original point was that you believed that whatever methodology used to make the comparison was "subjective", then I could have directly addressed that concern.

As it is, we are talking about a degree of "subjectivity" that is (assumedly) deliberately minimized, and a source that no one has accused of being biased. If you can find a credible source that contradicts this premise, and claims that the CQ IS biased, or that any subjectivity in its methodology throws its findings into question- then by all means, post it.

If you can't, then you should accept the premise that the CQ's conclusions are accurate... unless for some reason you simply don't want to believe what the information suggests about McCain.

The fact is that "voting with the president" is not synonymous with "voting with the party", according to the CQ. If it were, then maybe you'd have a point about party loyalty and assumed mutual exclusivity.

Why would you ask me to draw a conclusion (as in your last paragraph) based upon a premise that you are drawing out of thin air? Once again, no one made any claims about "voting with the party".

You are also making the assumption that they excluded certain votes that McCain actually made. What evidence do you have for that belief?

Your comment suggests that you believe that the President's agenda regarding proposed legislation is kept secret, or somehow obscured. I find this highly unlikely. As nominal "leader of the party", the president regularly communicates his preferences... and I doubt that Bush's positions were so nuanced that the Congressional Quarterly couldn't make the vast majority of their judgments accurately with a minimal statistical margin of error. But of course, I'm not a statistician.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

JG,

Since I'm really not invested in "winning an argument" about this issue... let me suggest considering these questions:

1. If you don't believe that McCain's voting alignment with George W. Bush contradicts his claim that he is a "maverick", and is going to "bring change to Washington", then what message does it suggest to you?

2. If you don't believe that McCain's voting record is a true indicator of how he will approach the presidency, then what is a better indicator?

3. If you don't think that Congressional Quarterly is the best source we have for determining McCain's voting alignment with George Bush, then can you suggest a better one?

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also am not invested in winning an argument, though obviously neither of us is shying away from the attempt. I raised a question(s) mostly out of curiosity, after you made a claim that appeared to be based on fact (i.e.; not source-cited or qualified as subjective conjecture). You've responded to the question, cited your source, and tried to convince me that CQ is the best subjective source. I don't disagree with that one bit.

My followup was simply to say that, based on the stated methodology, it remains subjective. You have admitted that I was correct in that point. As someone who enjoys statistics, I would have liked knowing just what portion of total votes are concluded to be in or out of step with the president. Note that I say total votes, in that I'd like to see what number (or portion) are such as to be undetermined.

As for reference to the party alignment versus that with a president, I don't believe I stated it to be one and the same. I was simply using that alternative to state an opinion, and perhaps mine alone. That is, anyone who votes their party line anything close to 100% is probably just voting their party line, and certainly could be questioned whether they should be considered an instrument of change. Admittedly, I might be talking of "change" in a different context than you. I'm talking about change in the sense of willingness to cross party lines is an indicator. I'd like to see more independence. As I stated, I refuse to believe that one party is always right and the other wrong, and have some difficulty believing others that do as well.

I would think you might agree that a measure of being a "Maverick" would be the number of times a candidate did not vote with his party (a majority thereof). That would be an analysis and conclusion one could say is factual, and could count every vote taken, not just those where an position is determined subjectively (your word as well).
jg

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merge,

Though I have clearly made the point(s) I was going for, in your last two posts you have asked a myriad of questions. I'll keep my responses/answers short.

"If you can find a credible source that contradicts this premise, and claims that the CQ IS biased, or that any subjectivity in its methodology throws its findings into question- then by all means, post it."

First, I wasn't aware where you were getting your information from. For one who is often picky about a writer citing their source of information, I would have thought you might have done the same. Second, after you stated it was from CQ, did I once imply that they were biased in any way? I don't think so. My stating that their methodology was subjective (as you also said) is a long long way from implying bias. No, I do not think nor do I think I said they were biased. Therefore, no followup necessary.

"If you can't, then you should accept the premise that the CQ's conclusions are accurate... unless for some reason you simply don't want to believe what the information suggests about McCain."

If I can't accept that they are not biased, then I must accept that their conclusions are accurate? Note: here I'm assuming you mean the normal (first) definition of "bias". Are you serious? That's a big leap in logic for a statistician. Perhaps their "n' is too small. In any case, I'm not really questioning their "conclusion", which is stated as a fact in your post. I was questioning how their conclusion was reached.

"The fact is that "voting with the president" is not synonymous with "voting with the party", according to the CQ. If it were, then maybe you'd have a point about party loyalty and assumed mutual exclusivity."

I don't believe I ever equated the two. Of course they are not synonymous. I looked at the CQ information (which you directed me to), and drew an opinion based on percentages stated there.

"Why would you ask me to draw a conclusion (as in your last paragraph) based upon a premise that you are drawing out of thin air? Once again, no one made any claims about "voting with the party"."

To the latter, I made a claim about voting with the party. (Of course, I understand that by "no one", you meant you alone). I don't believe it to be out of line with the context of your post to add voting with one's party to voting with a president, as a measure of being a "maverick", or an instrument of change.

"1. If you don't believe that McCain's voting alignment with George W. Bush contradicts his claim that he is a "maverick", and is going to "bring change to Washington", then what message does it suggest to you?"

Yes, I do think it contradicts his claim. Is that enough? Once again, I was questioning how and by whom the voting alignment was determined.

"2. If you don't believe that McCain's voting record is a true indicator of how he will approach the presidency, then what is a better indicator?"

I wish I had an answer...but if I did, it would be too subjective. :-)

"3. If you don't think that Congressional Quarterly is the best source we have for determining McCain's voting alignment with George Bush, then can you suggest a better one."

No, I cannot...had you cited CQ in the first place, all this might have been avoided. It gets frustrating listening to claims based on bias and innuendos and information stated on a blog and then repeated as fact (no, not yours) and plain old stretching the truth. Yes, I can give examples. No, let's not go there. That was not the topic of the blog.
jg

7:50 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

JG,

First off, I'd like to express my appreciation that you made a comprehensive effort to address the specific questions and points in my comments. I also try to make that effort, and feel obliged to give credit and extend respect to others who do so.

I'm still unclear about whether we disagree about the nature of "subjectivity" in discussions of politics. While it is true that I wrote "I also believe that there is an unavoidable element of subjectivity in the methodology of the Congressional Quarterly", I want to point out that EVERY source for political information is "subjective", but they are not equally so. I believe that we could arrange all available sources on a spectrum of "subjectivity" and locate any specific source on this spectrum, relative to others.

Congressional Quarterly, in my opinion, would be an outlier on the "minimal subectivity" end of the spectrum. As stated previously, this is why neither political party accuses it of bias (unlike virtually any other source we could name).

You've said before that "facts are facts". I don't think the current state of politics suggests such a conclusion. If we can't agree that comparisons of voting records are the most telling indicators of a politician's commitment to issues... and if we can't agree on a common source with which to assess those comparisons- then how can we come to the conclusion that there are indeed "facts" that are "facts"? I'm at a loss to suggest an alternative.

There's been a lot of words exchanged between us about this specific issue, and I could be completely wrong in suspecting that we are still at odds on the issue of "subjectivity". If so, I apologize for belaboring the point.

As far as "voting with party", I would be interested in examining such data, but I did not look at that type of information before I wrote my post. I think we'd probably run into more difficulty with "subjectivity" in that case, as it is easier to determine the positions (or voting record) of a single politician, and compare it to another, then it is to comapre an individual against a "political party". Who would determine what the position of a party is on any specific issue? Would we take the average of all the stances of all registered members, or stick to just national politicians? For example- is a "pro-life" stance on abortion the official position of the Republican Party, and to what degree? If someone rejects the idea that we should outlaw abortions in cases where a woman is impregnated in an incestuous encounter or rape, does that mean they are not following the party-line? I believe that this is a virtually impossible comparison to make because of issues regarding "subjectivity".

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, now that that's done...
Actually, you might be surprised to learn that CQ's analysis of party-line voting is not subjective at all, as defined by the way it's measured. In that sense, it might be a better indicator of who in congress are "mavericks" and independent thinkers.

I think the following, extracted from a New York Times article, talks clearly about CQ's analysis of lockstep party-line voting:

"There are those who will scoff that putting “Democrats” and “party discipline” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. And over the first three months of the Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, much of the media has tended to focus on issues on which Democratic leaders have had to labor to forge a consensus — especially on how and when to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

Yet an early Congressional Quarterly study of House members’ voting records suggests that party unity is far more the rule than the exception.

According to an unofficial analysis of House votes performed by CQPolitics.com senior reporter Greg Giroux, the average “party unity” score of the 233 House Democrats is 98 percent so far.

CQ’s party unity calculations are based on the percentage of times each lawmaker votes with most members of his or her own party against most members of the opposing party.

Eighty House Democrats — more than one-third of the total — have 100 percent party unity scores, meaning they have not sided with the Republicans on a single party unity vote thus far. This grouping includes Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who votes only occasionally, and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland.

Another 47 House Democrats have joined Republicans on a party unity vote just once.

Among the 233 House Democrats, the lowest overall party unity score in this year’s first quarter was registered by Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor (81 percent), long considered among the most conservative and contrarian members of the Democratic caucus.

Yet Taylor’s party unity score on the Democratic side was nonetheless higher than that of 25 House Republicans across the aisle. This is largely because of those sizable minorities of Republicans who have joined all or most Democrats on some major votes. For example, 82 Republicans voted for the minimum wage increase and 68 Republicans joined all Democrats in voting for legislation to implement the homeland security recommendations of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The lowest party unity score among House Republicans was registered by Walter Jones of North Carolina (66.4 percent), who has gained some national prominence as one of the most severe GOP critics of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq."
jg

2:37 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

OK, you went to all that trouble, and seemed to deliberately omit McCain's party unity score for 2007 and 2008. Remember the topic of the thread?

Anyway... you said you had a "few thoughts" on the original post. Would you like to discuss any of them?

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"OK, you went to all that trouble, and seemed to deliberately omit McCain's party unity score for 2007 and 2008."

First, it wasn't much trouble..a simple Google search lead me to the report of the study.

Second, I didn't deliberately (or accidently for that matter) omit McCain's party unity score for either year, as in fact, it wasn't stated in the New York Times report (written by a CQ staffer). Also, it was the only such report on a study that came up in my search.

Here's the link to the entire article, so you can verify I didn't omit anything that could be construed as biased or one-sided:

http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/04/02/cq_2503.html

You seem to have a pre-disposition to wanting to find fault where none in fact lies.
jg

5:03 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

C'mon... I "have a pre-disposition to wanting to find fault where none in fact lies"?

Because I figured you were working up to a point about McCain in a thread about John McCain? That's not that brutal of an accusation, really.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

OK... so we've established that you think it's somehow inappropriate to suggest that McCain is not a "maverick" because it's reported (by Congressional Quarterly)that he voted with Bush's positions 95% of the time in 2007 and 100% in 2008. You have tried to make the point that the methodology is "subjective", and therefore invalid.

Say I accept your position, and we let it go? What are we actually allowed to look at in order to compare him to Bush? What is a less subjective criterion?

Really it seems that McCain/Palin critics aren't allowed to make any arguments at all without being accused of being "sexist", "socialist", "scandal-mongering", "hateful", "desperate", or "biased". (Please note that this is a general observation and that I am not specifically referring to your tactics- other than your specific objections in this thread. I don't want to be accused of "finding fault where there is none".)

Is anything about John McCain "fair game"? Let me know what "objective criteria" are acceptable.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe you have missed the context of my question from the beginning. Bottom line, you stated something as if it were in fact, a fact, without quoting a source, and I simply questioned you where you got the information. All the rest was an extension of that question turned into a debate.

As to McCain being or not being a maverick when it comes to voting with the president on the vast majority of issues, I did not not disputed that, nor would I. He is, after all, a Republican.

If I advanced the position that Obama has shown no desire or ability to work with the other side, as he has voted with the Democrats 100% of the time (per CQ)...oh, never mind. Bottom line...I am not impressed with anyone (note..anyone) who in their political career has voted 100% in step with their party's position. Once again, I cannot fathom that one party has a total monopoly on being on the right side of an issue.
jg

8:25 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Yes. And I think you are missing (or at least not acknowledging) the context of my answer- the statistics I mentioned regarding McCain's alignment with George Bush are as "factual" as any available on the topic. I'm obviously not going to cite every source for every claim I make on my blog, as that would be too time-consuming and unnecessary- due to the opportunity anyone has in challenging the legitimacy of the claim. It's not like I ignored your request to provide my source.

The shift you are making to "party unity" statistics is a distraction... especially since we don't have the data available to make the comparisons. You conflated the party and president in your last comment when you wrote...

"As to McCain being or not being a maverick when it comes to voting with the president on the vast majority of issues, I did not not disputed that, nor would I. He is, after all, a Republican."

Did President Bush advocate positions 100% in line with the Republican platform in 2007 and 2008? If you have proof that he did, then your point is valid- John McCain would have voted 100% along party lines.

Bottom Line: Is John McCain a "maverick"? Does his recent voting record suggest that his stated commitment to "change" is a lie? If his central campaign message is a lie, then why would you vote for him?

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, now this is getting boring.

"Did President Bush advocate positions 100% in line with the Republican platform in 2007 and 2008? If you have proof that he did, then your point is valid- John McCain would have voted 100% along party lines."

When did I ever mention a Republican platform? I made a point that McCain voted 100% along party lines? I don't think so. What I in fact did was cite the CQ report, which talked about undisputed "facts". How many times a Congressman votes with the majority of his party (as reported and defined by the study I cited and linked) is not subjective, it is indeed factual. To your point of how many times he voted with the President's position, although which claim to be as "factual" as possible, you earlier you stated it was indeed subjective as I pointed out. Define "as factual as possible"..that one's new to me. Why do you keep obfuscating what both you and I said by trying to change it retroactively?

If you can't accept it, just ignore it...done.
jg

10:21 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Q: "When did I ever mention a Republican platform?"

A: When did I say you did? I asked you a question after pointing out that you were conflating party with president. You are the one that introduced party into this discussion. Here are some quotes from your comments, available for anyone to review in this thread:


1:"I am not impressed with anyone (note..anyone) who in their political career has voted 100% in step with their party's position."

2: "As to McCain being or not being a maverick when it comes to voting with the president on the vast majority of issues, I did not not disputed that, nor would I. He is, after all, a Republican."

3: "Not withstanding a 3% differential, I'm not convinced, and likely never could be, that Democrats are right 97% of the time, and Republicans wrong 100% of the time...or vice-versa for that matter."

4: "I made a claim about voting with the party. (Of course, I understand that by "no one", you meant you alone). I don't believe it to be out of line with the context of your post to add voting with one's party to voting with a president, as a measure of being a "maverick", or an instrument of change."


What am I changing "retroactively"?

What is it I "can't accept"? I'm happy to put aside the conflation of party and president. Right.. done... move on...

Your request: "Define "as factual as possible"..that one's new to me." Should I assume sarcasm or disingenuous-ness here? I have no idea.

factual= of, or relating to facts. So "factual as possible"- adhering to the facts as closely as possible, given available information.

Votes are facts. That the president has stated positions that the CQ can determine with a minimum of "subjectivity" is a fact. Otherwise no one would use it as a source. Certainly both sides wouldn't be employing it. Thus, "as factual as possible". Or, if you'd rather- "as factual as anything EVER gets in politics" That's been my argument as long as you have questioned it. Don't misrepresent what I have written as if I had conceded that point.

Who's "accepting" or "ignoring" anything? I'm not even sure what you are talking about at this point.

Once again- my original post was about a specific issue. All of this has been a distraction from the issue.

Bottom Line: Is John McCain a "maverick"? Does his recent voting record suggest that his stated commitment to "change" is a lie? If his central campaign message is a lie, then why would you vote for him?

10:59 PM  

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