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David Poland

By David Poland

If You're Right, Why Lie?

On May 18, in Pendelton, Ore., Obama said that “strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries. That’s what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That’s what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That’s what Nixon did with Mao. I mean, think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela — these countries are tiny, compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet, we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, ‘We’re going to wipe you off the planet.’
“And ultimately, that direct engagement led to a series of measures that helped prevent nuclear war, and over time, allowed the kind of opening that brought down the Berlin Wall,” Obama continued. “Now, that has to be the kind of approach that we take. You know, Iran, they spend one-one hundredth of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn’t stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have, to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn’t mean we agree with them on everything. We might not compromise on any issues, but at least we should find out other areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that has caused us so many problems around the world.”

And this morning… the elementary school playground stuff continues…
To: Interested Parties
From: Brian Rogers, Deputy Communications Director
Date: August 27, 2008
Re: Proper Attire For The Temple Of Obama (“The Barackopolis”)
Today, workers at Invesco Field are putting the final touches on the newest wonder of the modern political world — The Temple of Obama (“The Barackopolis”). It is upon this pulpit that Barack Obama will tomorrow night address thousands of screaming, adoring fans.
There may be some confusion among the press about the venue and appropriate dress code for Barack Obama’s big speech. To help out, we wanted to provide the following tips on appropriate attire. The toga may have gone out of style centuries ago, but after Obama’s temple speech tomorrow night, they’re sure to be flying off the racks.

The memo – here in pdf – goes on to suggest methods of dress. It ends with a twist that defines McCain’s campaign as well as any.
At the Temple of Obama, reporters are expected to observe a level of decency and decorum demanded by the import of the moment and the presence of The One. No “Animal House” behavior permitted. Specifically, no “Toga” chants.
Watch Here For Examples Of Inappropriate Conduct

The “here” is this YouTube link… which demans the question be asked… how out of touch and literally old do you have to be to not recall that in Animal House, the Deltas, not Dean (John Mc) Wormer and the uptight idiots at the Omega House we the heroes?
But more importantly, is this the kind of thinking anyone should be allowed to bring into the White House? The Dems are having a big event, so mock it, not on substance, but on style? Try to suck the air out of the closing night by dangling your VP selection in front of the media for 48 hours? Keep making lies up to fill your ads and then become reduced to the fear tactic of showing bombs going off on a loop while repeating electioneering attacks from the defeated candidates?

Of course, John McCain sent his wife to Georgia, so we understand the depth of his diplomacy, right?
Believing Repubican dogma is one thing… being a scallywag and a liar is quite another. John McCain’s behavior makes it clearer than ever that he is not fit to be in this office… unless this kind of stuff is what you think America should be all about. “America: Soccer Hooligan To The Wold! Vote McCain!”

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44 Responses to “If You're Right, Why Lie?”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    Time to stop the hand wringing (Woe is me! The GOP are lying and we can’t do anything about it!) and cowboy up. Go after McCain on his age. He a doddering decrepit man. This is no country for old men. Hit hard and often.

  2. mysteryperfecta says:

    There’s clearly opposing philosophies of what type of diplomacy to employ with these “tiny”, relatively non-threatening countries like Iran. Obama would give a presidential face-to-face, McCain (and historical precedent) doesn’t jib with this approach. Regardless of which approach is more valid, making an equivilancy argument between relations with a nuclear world power like the former Soviet Union and Iran is not apples-to-apples.
    As for the jabs at Obama’s “Barakopolis”– it’s a lark. Lighten up.

  3. Wrecktum says:

    No, it’s not a lark. It’s a talking point. Tim Pawlenty on Fox News this morning:
    “It looks like they are getting ready for the emperor to arrive.
    The facade is metaphor for production purposes, but there

  4. mysteryperfecta says:

    Yes, its one of 1000 talking points. Both campaigns will throw anything against the wall to see what sticks. I understand that the “Barackopolis” is part of a larger (and fertile) effort to create an impression of Obama, but so is the “McCain has ??? number of houses” ad. Both campaigns are giving these attacks too much credence.

  5. movielocke says:

    hmm, Roman Columns? like the ones Bush had behind him at his 2004 convention speech?

  6. frankbooth says:

    When is the Forrestal disaster going to come into play? It’s possible the Obama people are saving it for September or October.
    Is it unfair or in poor taste to mention this incident? Maybe. But if McCain were a Democrat, there would already be an entire “nonfiction” book devoted to the subject (written by Jerome Corsi, of course) sitting atop the NYT bestseller list via the usual bulk-order tactics. And after the Swift boat business and the purple band-aids, anything goes. The goal is to cast doubt, regardless of the truthfulness of the accusations.
    I sincerely hope the Dems don’t plan to play by Marquess of Queensbury rules this time around. They need to dress up in a bat suit and beat the living shit out of Clayface. (Or is he killer Croc?)

  7. frankbooth says:

    And then there are these guys:
    Total nutball of course, just like he was in ’04. But for some reason he was taken seriously by the press back then.
    “…Sampley says Fox News producers haven’t invited him on to bash McCain the way he bashed Kerry.” Funny how that works.

  8. Cadavra says:

    Funny how the self-described “Party of Lincoln” doesn’t recognize the Lincoln Memorial–it was chosen to underscore the fact that tonight is the 45th anniversary of MLK’s historic speech there.

  9. storymark says:

    It makes sense that so many righties have decided the Dems view Obama as a messiah figure – even though I’ve yet to meet any that actually think that way – because so many of them thought Dubya had a mandate from Heaven.

  10. storymark says:

    It makes sense that so many righties have decided the Dems view Obama as a messiah figure – even though I’ve yet to meet any that actually think that way – because so many of them thought Dubya had a mandate from Heaven.

  11. storymark says:

    Opps, sorry for the double.

  12. Jeremy B says:

    “When is the Forrestal disaster going to come into play? It’s possible the Obama people are saving it for September or October.”
    What was the title of this thread? “If you’re right, why lie?”
    There’s no need to SwiftBoat McCain. There’s enough true stuff to hammer him with that there’s no need to make up stuff.

  13. mutinyco says:

    Interesting accusations being made by Putin right now.
    Reminds me of ’04, when bin Laden appeared just before the election, and the GOP played it like he was trying to affect the outcome in Kerry’s favor — when, in fact, it was the exact opposite.
    So, how close till the election before he appears this time? Then, of course, the press will be saying Osama and Obama during the same news cycle ad nauseam, doing the GOP’s work for it.

  14. mutinyco says:

    Oh, and how many people think McCain is planning to announce his VP pick while Obama takes the stage, in an attempt to create a news distraction?…

  15. christian says:

    After last night, I still feel the GOP will go down this year. But I’m an optimist.

  16. JVD says:

    What’s most disappointing about this campaign is the acceptance of Rove’s tactics by the McCain camp, which itself was a victim of in 2000. The truth doesn’t matter, only the allegation. The burden of proof isn’t on the accuser but on the accused. Throw as much mud as you can and see what sticks. Turn strengths into weaknesses. It’s disgusting…
    Like you, Christian, I’m an optimist. What is giving me hope is that McCain’s camp is only working 50 percent of Rove’s successful strategy. The Bush campaign was driven largely by voter registration and targeting specific districts for maximum electoral results. McCain has no ground game. The Obama campaign, aided in part by a long primary, has a serious ground operation in every state. Fingers crossed that it will make a difference in Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.

  17. Monco says:

    When Obama says his health care plan doesn’t cover illegal immigrants, that is a lie. When liberals say that Bush wants to tap your phones without qualifying it by saying it was only for calls going out of the U.S., that’s a lie. Obama wants to have a national healthcare plan and reform a bankrupt social securtiy without raising middle class taxes, that is a lie.
    I’ve noticed that DP only posts on politics when he gets scared that Obama might lose. He thought Clinton might steal the nomination so he posted non stop bashing Clinton. Now Obama is getting no bounce in the polls even when a generic Democrat vs Republican ticket has the Dems up by 10 points. He should be up by 10 points. He’s not so Dave is scared again and his posts reflect it.

  18. IOIOIOI says:

    You have to be sucking a glass dick to believe these polls. Polling this year is covered by one ethnic group showing their TRUE COLOURS when they are on the phone with TWO POLLING orginization. This thing is already over. Don’t think so lame nick name boy, that Prince Phillip should gaffle? Go back to 1996. Thank you, play again some other time, and realize that Obama could never tax the lower income brackets as well as scumbag Deuce and the Douche part are currently doing.

  19. hepwa says:

    Look, Monco, if you go to Obama’s website, you will read what he really wants to do about health care, about middle class taxes and social security.
    Picking a talking point and calling it a lie is disingenuous at best and outright disgusting at its core. But then, that sums up the conservative mindset in this country.
    You have been wholly brainwashed by the right and it makes me sad, but all the more determined to spread the word that change is coming and despite your willful ignorance, Barack Obama wants to be your President, too.
    He wants to make life better for you and your family, no matter how ugly your rhetoric or twisted your point of view.
    And, finally, check out today’s Gallup tracking poll — Obama is up a healthy 6 points.

  20. Blackcloud says:

    I feel a mass suicide coming on this blog if Obama loses.

  21. Blackcloud says:

    So that means if there’s nothing in those files Stanley Kurtz was looking at, there’s no need for the Obama campaign to resort to thug tactics to silence him, right David? Or does this shoe only fit the right foot?

  22. mysteryperfecta says:

    “I feel a mass suicide coming on this blog if Obama loses.”
    They’re already drinking the Flavor-Aid; although it’s a mindf*ck, it apparently isn’t lethal. 😉

  23. mutinyco says:

    Pawlenty has the charisma of a turnip.

  24. David Poland says:

    You know how you are on the wrong side? When you have to claim that everyone on the other side of the argument is insane, deity obsessed or drinking Flavor-aid.
    What is equally fascinating about those taking the anti-Obama side on these threads – and notice it is almost always anti-Obama and not pro-McCain – is that they can’t seem to admit just how embarrassing it is that the Republican Party has been reduced not just to spin, but to outright deception.
    I know that at leats 40% of this country agrees decisively more with McCain’s politics than Obama’s. And no matter how much I disagree, I honor their right to have a differing opinion.
    And indeed, there is 40% that is just as unshakable on the other side.
    That 20% in the middle has clearly decided the last few elections.
    Both sides spin. Both side distort to their advantage. I have had more fights in the last 8 years about my belief that 2000 was not stolen, pointing out that Bush improved his margin amongst voters who people thought would be against him in 2004, and not feeling Bush is the Worst President Ever. I still resist spin about the witch hunt of clinton, since he did it, so there really can be no witch hunt (becuase the “witches” did not do it or anything).
    But lies are lies. Scummy behavior is scummy behavior. And this is the measure of a man. It was for Bush. It was for Clinton. It was for Reagan. And it is this year…. sadly for McCain.

  25. Blackcloud says:

    “You know how you are on the wrong side? When you have to claim that everyone on the other side of the argument is insane, deity obsessed or drinking Flavor-aid.”
    Obama’s statement at the 2004 DNC that it was wrong of both sides to indulge in this behavior was what propelled him to national prominence. He needs to return to that now. He needs to reclaim what he was, and what he can be. Obama has made himself the candidate of the future. His chief task is to remind Americans not to fear it. Convincing Americans to fear the future is something the Republicans were, regrettably, quite successful at the last few years. If there’s anything to turn against them now, that’s it.
    On the more general point, I think much of the anti-Obama stuff is more against his supporters than against him personally. “I don’t really mind [insert franchise name here], it’s the fans I can’t stand.” Hence the subtext of the “temple” ridicule, and the cult of personality theme fostered by the GOP: he’s a false deity, but that’s more the fault of his stupid, deluded, naive followers who can’t–or worse, refuse to–see it. There is of course stuff against him personally (crypto-Muslim, hates America, black, Rev. Wright, etc.), but I think the narratives are distinct, though they overlap a lot.
    “. . . and not feeling Bush is the Worst President Ever.”
    James Buchanan has that title locked up until the Second Coming.

  26. IOIOIOI says:

    McCain has not been clean for 20 years. Let’s stop acting like he has been, and embrace his shadiness.
    Let’s also embrace that if you are not down with Obama. You really think we are not better than the last eight years. You must love the energy policies, the torture, the removal of Habeas Corpus, the domestic spying, the taxes, and do I have to go on?
    You really have to be looking at it from the other side to think we do not need a fresh start. I mean, really, it’s not like we are the leaders of the free world or anything.

  27. Blackcloud says:

    “You must love . . . the torture, the removal of Habeas Corpus, the domestic spying . . . and do I have to go on?”
    IO, the way those things have been ignored in Denver, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Dems loved them.

  28. IOIOIOI says:

    Cloudy: I am calling BULLSHIT. Jamesin a three-way tie with Bush, Andrew Johnson (my pick for the worst ever), and himself.

  29. IOIOIOI says:

    Cloudie: you are simply taking the position of a teacher, and we all know what they say about teachers. So please spare with what they should or should not be doing in Denver. When we all know that Hillary and William needed their palms to be greased above all else. It does not make it right, but it also does not change how most of America ignores those things.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    I am a 56-year-old white guy, and I am a child of the South. Tonight, I am astonished and amazed and grateful — and proud of my country. But, I confess, I also find myself thinking: Well, it’s about damn time. Why has it taken so long?

  31. IOIOIOI says:

    Joe: we just had to have Michael Jordan, hip-hop, Tiger Woods, King James, Black Mamba, and Will Smith do what they have done to open the hearts and minds. While the creators of 24 drove it home. DAVID PALMER WILL BE AVENGED!

  32. Nicol D says:

    “Keep making lies up to fill…”
    If you do have a problem with lying, how can you condone the lying Obama, Biden and Pelosi have done to Christian and Catholic communties in order to get their vote? As a Catholic commenter on this blog, how can you have no problem with Biden and Pelosi’s blatant lies to Catholic voters who the Democrats have been hemorrhaging
    for two elections now when they used to be their base?
    Forget every other point about Barack Obama. Forget foreign policy, economy, terrorism eveything else. You – know – he is exploiting religon unlike any presidential candidate in our lifetime. There is not a genuine religious bone in his body. His not Christian, he is not Muslim, he is secular liberal humanist through and through. He only claims to be Christian so that he can shore up his base in the African American community and get those votes the Democrats have been losing for years.
    Anyone who has even the most basic tenets of religious education knows he sees Christians as just another demo he must get and he is exploiting it full tilt…as have Biden…as have Pelosi.
    How can this not bother you at all if he you really believe he is to be a uniter?
    Again, let’s be honest, if Obama was really a practicing Christian, the majority of his supporters would be vomiting at the sight of him as a president. I am only mentioning this because Obama is making religion a real point in this election, not because I want to keep bringing it up.

  33. frankbooth says:

    Hose off, eh?

  34. L.B. says:

    That about says it all, frank. Nice job.

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol D: Do most of us a favor — Stay the hell out of our country. Really. And I promise: I’ll never say a word about the politics in your country.

  36. Pat H. says:

    You can always tell when Nicol has struck a nerve because you get sputtering retorts like the one above from Joe Leydon of the prestigious University of Houston.

  37. christian says:

    “You – know – he is exploiting religon unlike any presidential candidate in our lifetime. There is not a genuine religious bone in his body. His not Christian, he is not Muslim, he is secular liberal humanist through and through.”
    This line is so staggering in its ignorance and assumption that I’m tempted to believe it’s from a parody of a Bush supporter.
    Obama has exploited religion more than George Bush? Or Ronald Reagan? Did Obama mention he was chosen by God to do battle with enemies? No, that was Bush. A genuinely phony “born again” Christian who executed the mentally ill and ripped off grandmothers and dropped bombs on civilians (over 60 dead kids this week in Afghanistan. Oops! Sorry!) and called the Iraq war a “crusade” ad nauseum.
    I would trust Obama as a Christian long before I would trust Bush as one — the proof is reality.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    Pat H.: You’re not worth a witty retort. Just fuck you and the horse you rode in on, OK? And when you’re not such a pussy that you have the nerve to sign your real name, I’ll take you seriously, OK? I mean, Christ Almighty, even an asshole like JeffMcM doesn’t slink that low. As IO might say: Don’t play the game if you don’t give your name.
    In fact, I’m going to lay down a new rule of engagement here: Anyone who doesn’t sign their real name in a post directed to me — consider yourself a pussy. OK? A goddamn worthless coward who’s probably still sucking (or wishing he could suck) on his mother’s teat, OK? Jesus, as bad as I get on David’s ass sometime, and as bad as he gives back to me, we both respect each other because we’re not hiding behind aliases. Grow up, kids. You want to respond to me, sign your name. Otherwise, kiss my white, male, heterosexual, Irish Catholic ass.

  39. Nicol D says:

    I would answer your questions…but they are above my pay grade.
    You want me to stay the hell out of your country? Is this the sort of unity and tolerance you believe Obama is selling? Just asking.
    And you know what…you are welcome in my country anytime and feel free to discuss the politics of my country anytime. It really doesn’t bother me at all.

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: The 2008 Democratic Party platform (approved by Obama, naturally) states: “We believe we must also be willing to consider using military force in circumstances beyond self defense in order to provide for the common security that underpins global stability…” So, you see, there’s a limit even to Obama’s tolerance.

  41. Nicol D says:

    That is one of the most bizarre responses to something I have written that I have ever read.
    And trust me, my view of liberal “tolerance” is that it is one of the most limited things on the planet.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, I think it would be more fair for all of us to say, instead, that we would like you to stay in Canada until such a time as you can have an open, non-posturing, intellectually honest conversation about these subjects.

  43. christian says:

    Well, for the record, I don’t think being intimate with a country’s political landscape is prerequisite for entry. Smacks a little to much of “love it or leave it.” One can learn by osmosis. I would suggest Nicol partake.

  44. IOIOIOI says:

    Wow. Mr. Leydon dropped a bomb on Nicol. I swear. It’s Canadian Bacon all over again! SPARE THE ICE ROAD TRUCKERS! WE NEED THEM! THEIR SHOW ROCKS, AND THEY HELL FIND UNTAPPED RESOURCES!

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon