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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-11-03 18:53
Subject: [politics] Scared of the next presidency
Security: Public
Tags:politics

From this poll analysis by CBS:

A majority of McCain voters - 56 percent - are “scared” of the prospect of an Obama presidency, while 45 percent of Obama voters are scared of a McCain presidency.

Let’s consider this. Evidence for an Obama presidency being scary? Lies and innuendo by the McCain campaign and their surrogates concerning the legitimacy of Obama’s citizenship, the African and Islamic associations of his unusual name, his childhood growing up overseas, the possibility of him being a crypto-Muslim (and simultaneously a disciple of Christian preacher Jeremiah Wright) or a terrorist or a socialist, that he might raise taxes (a so-called tax increase which would lower taxes for 95% of Americans) and their whisper-meme of “do you really know him”? That One being a man whose entire adult life is in the public record, an extensive legislative history which is decidedly centrist, and whose childhood is perfectly well documented. (As opposed to, say, a certain other candidate who spent five and half years out of the public view, subject to potentially endless psychological reprogramming.)

Evidence for a McCain presidency being scary? His 95% voting record in support of the Bush administration’s disastrously unpopular and failed policies, his stated support for a century of endless war in Iraq, his health plan which would put many people (including me personally) permanently outside the healthcare umbrella, his widely demonstrated nonexistent grasp of the economy, the leadership and insightful thinking displayed in his choice of Palin as a running mate, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseam.

So one group of voters is afraid of Obama for reasons of directly counterfactual rumor spread by McCain and his people, the other group is afraid of McCain for reasons of flatly factual statements and actions by McCain himself. Yet these are presented as balanced positions. That’s false equivalency in a nutshell, courtesy of Your Liberal Media and the right wing echo chamber.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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Michael Curry
User: mcurry
Date: 2008-11-04 02:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There are few things that drive me more crazy than the media's penchant for trying to achieve some illusion of balance by using false equivalancy.
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sbennettwealer
User: sbennettwealer
Date: 2008-11-04 02:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have to snicker when I hear McCain supporters getting all melodramatic about how much they fear for our country should Obama get elected. Hello?!?! You aren't scared RIGHT NOW? If the current state of this country doesn't frighten the piss out of you, then you're not living in reality - and who brought us to this scary state? The Republicans. The way I see it, things can only get better once those con artists are out of power.
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2008-11-04 03:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Um... most people, even Obama supporters, might be scared of the prospect of another Presidential assassination.
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paulcarp: pic#67230600
User: paulcarp
Date: 2008-11-04 03:45 (UTC)
Subject: Oh come on
Keyword:pic#67230600
Only 1 in 10 US Presidents gets fatally shot. And it only happens about once every 45 years. You're just fear-mongering.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-11-04 04:04 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Oh come on
Given all the crazies in this country, that is a worry...don't want Obama being this generation's JFK (or RFK) in ALL respects.
But in which case, the prospect of President Biden seems to me a heckuva lot less "scary" than President Palin
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2008-11-04 13:22 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Oh come on
The actual probability of an event has little to do with the degree of fear it inspires.

Still, I think there may be a few confounding factors you might have overlooked... like the fact that there have already been two (albeit not very good) attempts.
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paulcarp: pic#67230600
User: paulcarp
Date: 2008-11-04 13:59 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Oh come on
Keyword:pic#67230600
The actual probability of an event has little to do with the degree of fear it inspires.

I agree with this statement.
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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2008-11-04 07:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
Which is part of the problem with such dumb-ass polls - the questions are often so wide and vague. I don't even know what "scared of a McCain presidency" means - it's ambiguous.

Scared that McCain will become president, i.e. an assessment of probability? I'm only somewhat scared (mostly because of fears of voter complacency among Obama supporters and fears of election fraud again).

Scared that a McCain presidency would be bad, assuming McCain is elected? I'm extremely scared. It's amazing to me, but McCain makes Bush look relatively competent and reasonable to me now.

Which does the poll question mean?
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jeffsoesbe: yeff yahoo avatar
User: jeffsoesbe
Date: 2008-11-04 07:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:yeff yahoo avatar
It's the same thing as innuendo and fear presented by the McCain campaign being picked up, repeated, and "investigated" by the networks, thus giving it a form of legitimacy it never deserved.

The ability of the GOP to use the media to help frame the terms of a discussion still amazes me.

And, as a note, it's not "crypto-Muslim or terrorist or socialist", it's crypto-Muslim *and* terrorist *and* socialist. *And* elitist *and* redistributionist *and* inexperienced.

Where does he find the time, while running a campaign and being a Senator? Frankly, I'm impressed.

- yeff
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Brennan M. O'Keefe
User: harmfulguy
Date: 2008-11-04 17:18 (UTC)
Subject: Bedwettery
I'm pretty sure that this same "majority of McCain voters" puts a significant portion of their time and energy into making up things to be afraid of.
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2008-11-04 21:03 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Bedwettery
I'm waiting for the Black Uprising myself--the one where every African-American country rises up once Obama is inaugurated to take revenge for all the bad stuff that whites did to them over the years.

(Unfortunately, I've heard people say that around this area, Southwest Virginia. Personally, if McCain wins, I'll be in the front lines of the White Uprising.)

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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2008-11-04 21:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Remember the Good Old Days when conservative talk show hosts--and I know they did this because I considered myself conservative at the time and listened to them regularly--got mad at Democrats calling George Herbert Walker Bush by his full name?

"They just want to make him sound elitist!" Rush Limbaugh cried numerous times during the 1992 election. "He doesn't use his full name that way!"

Kind of like Barack Hussein Obama doesn't either, but that doesn't seem to bother certain folks on the right-wing side.
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