Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Shame On You"

Obama's NAFTA mailer:


Obama's Health Care plan mailer:


It is widely known that mailers are one-sided, lacking context, and sometimes even outright distortive or untrue. Sen. Obama's mailers indeed lack context, but there are no falsehoods proclaimed in them, as for instance analysed here and here.

Here's from a mailer from Sen. Clinton (link):

Obama "voted for Dick Cheney's energy bill that gives huge tax breaks to oil companies".

He "wants to raise Social Security taxes by a trillion dollars"

Obama has "no plan" for a moratorium on foreclosures.

All of these statements are distortions or lacking context too. The first statement is untrue for instance since the bill resulted in a net tax increase for oil companies, and subsidies for environmentally-friendly buildings and vehicles, and funding for research. The second is a distortion, since it deals about a "good option" Sen. Obama mentioned, about employing pay roll taxation on incomes above 97,500$, only 6,5% of all incomes. And he never went on record to actually wanting to carry out this idea. And third, Sen. Clinton's mailer leaves out the fact that Sen. Obama has a different plan to alleviate troubled home owners.

So this confirms again that all mailers are not entirely, or sometimes far from, true.

These mailers date from the beginning of February, and Sen. Clinton's staff was already being on file to having responded to these mailers, comparing them to the "Harry and Louise" ad in 1994 meant to oppose HillaryCare, or even worse, "outrageous as having Nazis march through Skokie, Illinois."

This last statement was given by an unpaid health care adviser, and was retracted, but along with Sen. Clinton's remarks today, it shows the emotion Sen. Clinton and her campaign have about this topic. While it is justified and perhaps a virtue to be so involved with some of your own positions on the issues, such display of moral and political superiority ("Every Democrat should be outraged", "That's what I expect from you"), comparisons to Karl Rove and dare I say, blatant hypocrisy, really are uncalled for, especially if you know that her campaign has sent out similar, if not worse, mailers.

It hurts her own campaign, it unfairly accuses Sen. Obama, and, well, makes everyone really uncomfortable.


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