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What Voters Need to Know

It is still possible that momentum in the presidential race could shift. McCain still has a chance to win, but a lot will have to go McCain's way and the odds are definitely long at this point. It is still doable though. This campaign has been extremely volatile and a surprise or two could still shake things up.

McCain is getting a lot of criticism for "going negative" at this point in the race. Think about it though -- who doesn't know what McCain will do if elected? His life has been an open book. He is a Republican who is conservative on many issues like abortion and national defense, but "squishy" on others like immigration. But regardless of whether you agree with his positions, there is rarely ever any doubt what they are. He has shown his ability to lead and has exposed all his shortcomings for the world to see. He has demonstrated time and time again the ability to cross the aisle to compromise to get things done. If there is anything voters don't know about McCain at this point it is probably something that has nothing to do with what kind of president he would make.

By stark contrast, Barack Obama is a big question mark. He is young, with little experience in the U.S. Senate (especially considering he spent the past two years campaigning) and with no record of leadership to speak of. He does have a very liberal voting record, but that is not getting much attention from those in the media or even the McCain campaign. He has voted for higher taxes consistently, but now says he will cut them. He has made many other promises with little more to back them up than his word. He has had questionable associations that he now says didn't exist, although the facts indicate otherwise. He has hidden almost half of his campaign contributions behind a wall of secrecy and has shown a great intolerance of any criticism. And on and on. The media who wanted George Bush to show some "curiosity" for the past eight years, has shown absolutely none when it comes to all the questions surrounding Barack Obama's past activities or the current activity of his campaign. Since the media will not do their jobs, it is left to John McCain to ask these questions and to alert voters to the troubling aspects of Obama's record, his associates, and his past and to explain to voters why those things are important to consider when choosing a president.

I am convinced that if voters knew anything about the Obama record and background beyond the illusion of the "Obama" brand, he would not be leading in the polls. The media is not going to turn on a dime and change the course they have been on the past two years and start reporting anything negative about Obama. Unfortunately that leaves it to John McCain to do.

Tomorrow night in the debate McCain needs to find enough time to explain the reasons he has to "go negative." He has been open about who he is, his record and what he would do as president. Obama has not been open about who he is or his past record and has only made pie in the sky promises about what he would do as President. Since the media will not ask any questions or point out the inconsistencies in what Obama says vs. what he does, it is up to McCain to do.

I hope that tomorrow night in the debate, and in upcoming television ads and interviews and any other communication with voters, McCain will make sure voters know the following (listed in no particular order):

1. Obama's liberal voting record -- particularly on taxes and on issues like partial birth abortion. He is the most liberal candidate for president ever. Period. His votes are on record so this is one of those things that is easily verified and not a matter of subjective opinion.

2. Obama's rhetoric vs. his record -- particularly on taxes, but also on matters such as transparency and corruption. He has a history of voting for higher taxes which is inconsistent with his current rhetoric and promises, his campaign is hiding who their donors are and he has a past of associating with corrupt characters and organizations. This is at odds with his mantra of HOPE and CHANGE.

3. Obama's judgment on Freddie/Fannie and sub-prime mortgages. There is a clear record. Obama was wrong and John McCain was right. Just saying it will not convince voters because Obama is trying to claim he is the one who warned everyone of the coming meltdown. John McCain has to lay out the facts so that voters can see who is to blame for the crisis. When even Bill Clinton is on record saying Democrats in congress thwarted efforts to prevent the crisis, McCain should be able to easily make this case.

4. Obama's socialist plan to redistribute wealth through his tax policy. I don't think the average voter realizes that it is impossible to give tax cuts to 95 percent because there are not that many people who pay income tax. When you explain that what will happen is those who don't currently pay income tax will get a check (funded with their tax dollars), I think most will be surprised -- and not in a good way. When voters understand that many of those "rich" people who will be taxed at a higher rate are small businessmen who provide jobs, and that some people will lose jobs as a result of the tax hike, the Obama tax plan doesn' t sound like such a good idea. Obama's critics have claimed from day one that the plan is a redistribution of wealth, but few dreamed Obama would ever admit that. His comment to a plumber this week about spreading the wealth around was a very helpful admission that voters should be made aware of.

5. Obama's judgment on Iraq and complete lack of understanding of foreign policy and national security issues. On Iraq and the surge Obama was dead wrong. Not only was he dead wrong, but he refuses to this day to admit he was wrong to vote against the surge. How can we choose as commander in chief a man who not only voted against funding for the troops, but would have brought them home in defeat two years ago if he had his way? John McCain was right. He stuck his neck out when it mattered and went against many in his party and he was proven right. Obama played politics (at least that is what Joe Biden said) and he was dead wrong.

Obama not only was wrong about Iraq, but he was calling publicly for quick troop withdrawals and at the same time, behind the scenes. was trying to pressure the Iraqis to delay negotiations on troop withdrawal. This is a huge deal, whether the media thinks so or not. Believe me, if John McCain was calling for quick withdrawal of troops and at the same time was working behind the scenes to undermine the current president and convince Iraqis to delay troop withdrawals this would be a big story. Most in the general public have never heard about this at all. McCain needs to tell this story.

Not only his attempt to derail negotiations for troop withdrawals from Iraq, but some of his comments about the behavior of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan should have disqualified him from consideration as commander-in-chief, but since most in the media share his opinion of the US military, they are not going to be telling that story.

For those who think the success in Iraq removes that as an issue (not realizing what the example would mean for future conflicts), they should be able to at least understand the danger of Obama's statement that he would meet the leader of Iran without preconditions. He lied and said Henry Kissenger agreed with him on that issue in the first debate. He not only claimed Kissenger agreed with him, but made a big point of it saying "guess what" even your advisor Kissenger agrees with me. Kissenger issued a very clear statement following the debate that Obama was dead wrong. If he wasn't lying about it, then Obama was just plain clueless about the difference between Kissenger's position and his and that is even scarier. Mysteriously the "fact checkers" were not all over this after the debate, even though Kissenger issued his statement as soon as it ended. Imagine if Sarah Palin had made such a grand "guess what" gesture and was shown immediately following the debate to have been dead wrong.

6. Obama's past (and current) associations. This is getting a lot of media attention lately, but only in a "McCain is going negative" way, rather than a "let's get to the bottom of the allegations and report the facts to the people" kind of way. Not only the Ayers and Wright associations, but also Rezko, Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines, ACORN, etc. need to be called to voters' attention, especially important is explaining the implications of each on possible future policy. Is someone who considered Jeremiah Wright a great mentor the best person to lead on the issue of tolerance? Is the person who chose Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines as campaign advisors the person who should be leading the nation out of the current sub-prime mortgage mess?

7. Obama's truthfulness. Obama has demonstrated in the past few weeks that when he is confronted with information that could harm him he chooses to just deny it. He has been caught in several doozies, including his various stories about his relationship with Ayers and ACORN, but also on some policy matters as well. He cannot be trusted to tell the truth and since all of his promises are based only on his word (many times at odds with his past voting record) they should be disregarded as unreliable at best.

8. Obama's efforts to silence opposition. These have not been done by Obama himself, but have been done on his behalf by high profile supporters and people in his own campaign and he has done nothing to stop them.

9. Massive attempts at voter fraud are currently underway. Voters need to be aware that ACORN and others are conducting activities that endanger a fair and free election and the close association between Obama and ACORN needs to be made clear. How Obama is getting away with claiming he is not associated with ACORN is beyond me. The man gave $800,000 to an ACORN organization to "get out the vote." What about that is hard for even the Obama -lovingest media to get their minds wrapped around? And to the McCain people -- why am I not seeing that in a campaign ad about every five seconds?

10. The lack of checks and balances in an Obama presidency. If Obama wins the entire government would be controlled by Obama-Pelosi-Reid. It is possible that Republicans in the Senate would lose enough seats to give Democrats a filibuster proof majority. Obama would also likely appoint two or three Supreme Court justices. They would be very liberal because Democrat contol of the Senate would allow Obama to choose pretty much anyone he wanted -- no matter how extreme. Obama has no record of reaching across the aisle and compromising and he would not have any need to do so with his party controlling the government. Obama could enact policy as liberal as his voting record, and would have little incentive to even honor any of the promises he has made in the current campaign. Americans typically like divided government. I doubt many, except the political junkies, have given a lot of thought to the possiblity of what might be in store for them if liberal Democrats control all branches of government. The Employee Free Choice Act including card check would surely be passed allowing unions greater power to intimidate workers by taking away the secret ballot process. Other legislation that has been blocked by Republicans would said through a liberal Congress with a liberal President ready to sign.

I realize this is a long list, but many of these are points that would be easily made in a 30 or 60 second television ad and likewise could be made in the debate. Most of these points have been made by McCain at one point or another and some have even been reported by the news media. My point is that these are all things many in the general public (who are not political junkies like those who read this blog) have little or no knowledge of. Many have heard something about some of the items or names listed above, but most do not have even the basic facts surrounding them, much less an understanding of why these things are so important to consider in determining who should be president. I will be keeping count tomorrow night of how many of the items on my list are mentioned and how many of the points are successfully made. Even if McCain makes these and other important points, they will need to be made over and over again over the next three weeks to make any difference. Even then, it might take some intervening event to change the course of this election.

Update: Regarding item 9 above, there has been a lot in the media lately about ACORN abuses, but in most reports (except those on Fox) there was NO mention of the Democrats or Obama campaign connection. That is no longer the case:

Via Ace:


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Comments (23)

He is the most liberal c... (Below threshold)

He is the most liberal candidate for president ever. Period.

Wrong. Dodd, Harkin, and Biden are ranked as more liberal.

His votes are on record so this is one of those things that is easily verified and not a matter of subjective opinion.

Yes it is. But apparently that doesn't stop some from lying about it.

Wrong. Dodd, Harkin, and... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Wrong. Dodd, Harkin, and Biden are ranked as more liberal.

None of whom have ever been the party candidate for President.

Obama will destroy this nat... (Below threshold)

Obama will destroy this nation -- i predict civil war, with persecution of the right being the norm.....

"William Timmons, the Wa... (Below threshold)

"William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime."
"The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government."

That's from politicalwire.com, and that's f'n scary.

But let's go point to point through your post, from the perspective of a more independent voter:

1. Liberal voting record: Sen. Obama has spent his Senate career under the Bush administration. If voting against President Bush establishes a liberal voting record, Sen. Obama wins.

2. Obama's rhetoric vs. his record Sen. Obama has never tried to hid the fact that he will raise taxes on individuals earning over $250k a year. Is that you? Is that me? Is that the average voter? John McCain thinks over $5 million a year is rich.

3. Fannie/Freddie It's not a secret that Sen. Obama got a lot of campaign money in his senetorial bid, not this year, from Fannie and Freddie. It should not also be a secret that he urgently sent letters to the Sec. of the Treasury and others warning about the sub-prime crisis. (Check politifact.com)

4. Obama's plan to redistribute wealth through his tax policy.
You might have a bit of a point here, but with this whole Wall Street Bailout crap, this issue has become a redistribution of wealth from the taxpayer to the mega-rich. Not sure you're gonna get much play there.

5. Judgment on Iraq Sen. Obama has repeatedly said, probably hundreds of times, "this war should have never been authorized, and should have never been waged." I don't know how clearer you can get. His stance on the surge is beyond moot. Ask your local independent voter.

6. Obama's past and current associations. The Ayers thing isn't paying off like the McCain camp thought it was going to. I mean seriously everyone, especially politicians, meet some f'd up people in their various activities. Talk to McCain about the Keating 5. I bet most voters could tell you something about the Keating 5 than could Bill Ayers.

7 and 8: That's all just ridiculous opinion, and I'm not going to justify it.

9. ACORN "why am I not seeing that in a campaign ad about every five seconds?" Probably because there are way too many damning photos of John McCain palling around with ACORN. (Check Wizbangblue)

10. Now we finally get to my favorite: "The lack of checks and balances in an Obama presidency." Oh brother, talk to me about 2001-2006 if you want to talk about that Republican train wreck. President Obama will put 3 liberals on the Supreme Court in his first term. Mark my happy words.

In closing, to have any hope, McCain needs to win a HUGE number of the independent vote. I know you guys in the base love your girl Sarah, but when weirdos start screaming out "terrorist" "He's an Arab" and "KILL HIM" at McCain/Palin rallies, you ain't winning over any independents.

Thanks for your time.

I doubt many, except the... (Below threshold)

I doubt many, except the political junkies, have given a lot of thought to the possiblity of what might be in store for them if liberal Democrats control all branches of government.

Maybe America hasn't given a lot of "thought to" that, but America "has seen" what an outright majority of conservite Republicans has done.

If voting against Presi... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

If voting against President Bush establishes a liberal voting record, Sen. Obama wins.
That is just stupid, especially since Bush has not exactly been very conservative in office. I guess voting for infanticide is not liberal since Bush is against it. Great logic there.

"urgently sent letters"... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

"urgently sent letters"

Ha! That's gonna make for one heck of a president. Let me urgently send some letters -- there that should solve that problem. McCain sponsored legislation which Dems thwarted. Obama was in the Senate, well, kinda anyway, and could have sponsored legislation himself if he really thought there was a problem. By the time Obama urgently sent his letters it was about too late anyway.

As lame as those first "arguments" were I don't know if I will bother with responding to the rest, but some here might want to.

The Ayers thing isn't pa... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

The Ayers thing isn't paying off like the McCain camp thought it was going to. I mean seriously everyone, especially politicians, meet some f'd up people in their various activities. Talk to McCain about the Keating 5. I bet most voters could tell you something about the Keating 5 than could Bill Ayers.

Sorry, but couldn't resist one last one. Whether or not anyone thinks that being friends with, and political allies with, a confessed terrorist is a problem is up to them. I just think they deserve to know the truth so they can decide for themselves, and the truth is not what Obama has given them about his relationship with Ayers. If McCain were friends with Timothy McVeigh or Eric Rudolph (who bombed abortion clinics) and launched his political career from their living rooms I have a feeling those on the left would find it an important issue about judgment. If he lied about the relationship, even more so. How is Ayers any different than McVeigh or Rudolph, except that beat the rap?

As for Keating, not only was McCain cleared in that matter, but he has been open about it, not trying to hide it. If you have such a problem with Keating I guess it must really bother you that another member of the Keating Five, John Glenn, was out campaigning for Obama the very week the Obama campaign was criticizing McCain for Keating.

Ryan, are you "challenged" ... (Below threshold)

Ryan, are you "challenged" or just not able to debate.

Yeah, when some comic showed a picture of Cheney with the caption "assasinate" you lefties just laughed and laughed. Save your faux outrage for people who can't think. ww

What voters also need to kn... (Below threshold)

What voters also need to know:

Michelle Admits Obama is an Indonesian citizen

"This is a very interesting turn of events. The American man Dr Corsi was recently reported to have been arrested in Kenya because there was fear that he might reveal information on Obama when he wanted to hold a press conference in Nairobi.

The question now is why he was arrested and who ordered his arrest. Was Obama's hand in this in any way? We will never know the truth but what is clear is that Dr Corsi was seen as a threat while in Kenya.

When API asked Mrs Obama to comment on why Dr Corsi was arrested by the Kenyan government and whether she thought Kenya's Prime Minister Mr Raila Odinga was involved in Dr Corsi's arrest, she got irritated and and simply told API not to dig that which will support evil people who are out to stop her husband from getting the presidency.

When asked who she was referring to as the evil people, she stated that she was not going to elaborate much on that but that many conservative white people and even some African Americans were against her husband, but that this group of blacks were simply doing so because of envy.

On Farakhan and his ministry, Mrs Obama told API that it was unfortunate that Mr Farakhan came out the way he did supporting her husband openly before the elections was over. That was not wholehearted support but one that was calculated to convince the American people that my husband will support the growth of muslim faith if he became the president, adding "even if my husband was able to prove that he is not a Muslim, he will not be believed by those who have come out strongly to destroy his chances of being the next President. Do real people expect someone to deny a religion when 80 percent of his relatives are Muslims?; Mrs Obama asked."

Probably a pretty solid lin... (Below threshold)

Probably a pretty solid line of attack, tried-and-true, right down to the "Eeeeek! Liberal! Ew! Ew!" stuff (Because, as we know, loads more people support straight or watered-down liberal ideology than call themselves liberals). Probably more solid than what he'll actually do.


Nobody but McCain voters gives a damn about the 'associations' angle, as evidenced by the polls. All this stuff is on the table, and using it looks like a desperate flail.

Sen. Obama would shove the surge attack down Sen. McCain's throat, if he was foolish enough to try it again. Obama will effectively say, "Oh, and we were greeted as liberators, weren't we John?" And McCain will look like a horse's ass.

Either candidate for the past few weeks of the campaign would make a very poor pinocchio. Factcheck.org regularly eviscerates them both for taking wild flights of fancy (although some more wild than others). Sen. McCain and his running mate Gov. "Thanks but no thanks, Obama said our soldiers are just air-raiding Afghani Villages" Palin will be laughed out of the room if they try to call Sen. Obama the liar.

About it for now, I guess.

Hmmm. Can't really find an... (Below threshold)

Hmmm. Can't really find any facts or past experience to support your interesting fantasy, Parthenon.

Ryan puts forth a more closely and coherently constructed argument, or at least more wordy. But still subject to some flights of fancy and assumptions stated as fact. For example: without Googling or research, do you think anyone at WBB can rattle off the Keating 5, their indicted offenses, and who the victims were? I mean, they were a terrorist organization on the FBI's most wanted list and they did kill people, right? That's the kind of stuff you'd remember, I think.

Sheesh. Gotta cite yer sour... (Below threshold)

Sheesh. Gotta cite yer sources like Louis Brandeis with this crowd.

LOL, well that puts me in s... (Below threshold)

LOL, well that puts me in strange company indeed.

Here's something else folks need to know. The incident is not my concern as much as the points made in the comment section. This is why I don't have a NOBAMA sticker on my car.


I, unlike the libbies here,... (Below threshold)

I, unlike the libbies here, remember the war with Iraq. I remember the parties in the street. The citizens taking their shoes and beating Saddam poster with them. Then the insurgents came in and then the Baath loyalists got their hands on weapons. Then the INSURGENCY started. You nit wits on the left can have your alternative universe, but not the facts. They are what they are. ww

Indeed they are, Willie, an... (Below threshold)

Indeed they are, Willie, and they are unfriendly to your position. Some were ecstatic Saddam was gone; with that, we have no quarrel. Others were outright furious (primarily Sunnis - surprise!) that a western army had boots on their soil, to the point of claiming that the coalition was 'walking over their heart,' and that they would resist the occupation until death. Throw into that total de-baathification (another way to say 'baath party member' in Iraq was of course 'anyone who could run the infrastructure') and the firing (but failure to disarm) of the entire army, voila! Insurgency! The Iraqi people are as complex as any other, in spite of the Fox News version suggesting otherwise.

Hi everyone!Discre... (Below threshold)
Membery Author Profile Page:

Hi everyone!

Discredited Republican voter-suppression expert Ken Blackwell has gone on TV lately with some wild accusations against Barack about a non-existent connection with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also known as ACORN.

The accusations have no basis in fact.

The truth is that Barack was never a community organizer or trainer for ACORN, and he was never employed by ACORN in any other capacity. ACORN was not part of the historic voter registration drive that Barack led.

Get more information and help spread the truth about Barack Obama:


Together we can make sure these deceitful and false attacks don't affect this election.

Thanks for your help.

None of whom have ever b... (Below threshold)

None of whom have ever been the party candidate for President.

They've never been the candidate. But they've been "candidates", as Lorie said.

I didn't realize anyone wou... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

I didn't realize anyone would think I meant anyone who ever decided to run for President. I was referring to the candidates that are nominated by the two major parties, you know, whose names appear on the ballot on election day. No Jesse Jacksons or David Dukes, just those who were the candidates whose names were on the ballot on election day. I guess by the looser definition, I could argue that my friend Richie was a candidate because he asked some of his friends to write his name in and they did -- he isn't as liberal as Obama either though. I think most people knew what I meant, but from now on I guess I will be more specific for those who didn't.

Some have been refuted well... (Below threshold)

Some have been refuted well already (many by Ryan), some are pointless to refute because they contain no cited examples of anything (i.e., 7 & 8)

3. John McCain signed on as a co-sponsor of that bill (May 2006) nearly a year after the last action on it (July 2005). That bill would have basically restricted Fannie/Freddie's owning individual mortgages in favor of securitized mortgages. The purported purpose of this was to eliminate *INTEREST RATE* risk in favor of *CREDIT* risk. The issues facing most of the banks and financial institutions right now are from CREDIT RISK, not interest rate risk. That bill would likely only have exacerbated and accelerated the decline to the crisis we find ourselves in now.

5. JOHN MCCAIN ALSO VOTED AGAINST FUNDING THE TROOPS! He voted that way in a different version of the same bill which Obama voted against. Obama was overwhelmingly right about Iraq as a whole, we shouldn't have been in there in the first place, the Iraqi government has had plenty of time for their troops to "stand up" so ours can "stand down."

And will someone, somewhere please define for me "winning in Iraq"? I'm not trying to be facetious, I keep hearing we can't come home until we win. But no one who says that has ever said what they define as victory. Wasn't the "Mission Accomplished" back when Bush got to dress up like a pilot and stand on that nifty aircraft carrier with the giant banner behind him and say those words?

6. I suppose Rev. Hagee is a better voice for tolerance? What with his comment of "The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West... a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ."

As for your comparison of Ayers to McVeigh and Rudolph...Ayers (while I'm not defending the rightness of his actions) didn't harm anyone. They damaged property, sure. And their actions were not in any way acceptable as a form of protest, but they didn't kill people. And while McCain's campaign may not have been launch by vitriolic anti-abortionists, consider this...McCain appeared at a fund-raiser for the Oregon Citizens Alliance where the other speaker, Marilyn Shannon (then vice-chairwoman of the OR Republican party and delegate this year for McCain at the RNC), said "I'm not related to Shelly Shannon, but I think she's a fine lady." Shelley Shannon, for those who don't remember the name, was convicted of attempted murder after repeatedly shooting a doctor at an abortion clinic and also convicted of 30 assorted charges stemming from 9 fires set at abortion clinics in 4 different states.

9. Registration fraud and voter fraud are two different issues. ACORN is required by law to submit ALL applications they get in, even obvious fakes/duplicates. They even went so far as to submit in two separate envelopes the ones they thought were suspicious.

I didn't realize anyone ... (Below threshold)

I didn't realize anyone would think I meant anyone who ever decided to run for President.

I concede the misinterpretation may be mine. At least you've stopped falsely calling him the most liberal Senator, so I should give you credit for that.

McCain killed his chances w... (Below threshold)

McCain killed his chances when he selected Palin. The independents are not going to take a chance that she gets anywhere close to the presidency.

I have been beating the div... (Below threshold)
mw Author Profile Page:

I have been beating the divided government drum for two years on my blog. I voted for John Kerry to get divided government in 2004 and lost. I supported a straight Dem ticket in 2006 to get divided government and won. This year I will vote to re-elect divided government by supporting John McCain.

This scholarly article from a Constitutional lawyer puts more than a little academic cred behind the divided government thesis. The only way to re-elect Divided Government in 2008, is elect John McCain for President. It is the right thing to do.






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