The truth isn't a smear

Lately, I have been reading words like "right wing smear" in a context that frankly adds little value other than a misuse of a phrase.

As used here, it would render the phrase "rightwing smear" practically useless because it doesn't take into account veracity, misdirection or prejudice due to the weight of the issue being raised versus actual impact. And fo the two others- I would say with misdirection you need to be able to prove its a misdirection and of the prejudice it can't merely be a matter of your candidate looks bad, but instead its meant to make ALL DEMOCRATS look bad. Ethics in DC is  real issue. It doesn't matter if the GOP is worse here. It matters that we are trying to convince  the public that we aren't just marginally better, but actually better so they will vote for us for a generation.

Often times enough the logic, or lack there of, goes something like this: Rush Limbaugh says X. Because Rush Limbaugh is a vile rightwing nutzoid it's clear he's using X as a smear about ALL DEMOCRATS.  X however actually is true of Democrat Z. Democrat P uses that bit of truthful of information to differentiate himself from Democrat Z by saying I am not like Democrat Z. The argument here goes "well Democrat P is engaging in a right wing smear." Or worse yet, he's saying something against ALL DEMOCRATS.

Uh- no. The veracity of information isn't determined by whether Rush used that information or not. It certainly can not be off bounds or else we are limited in our conversations to those things that are  relevant and also never having ever been uttered by the right. See, the truth isn't a smear. You may not  want to hear that, but it isn't. It may have come from the rightwinger, but that's no excuse to pretend its a smear merely because of that reason. If that were true, then we aren't reality based at all.

More below

I am, of course, referring here to the claim that by Edwards saying that some Democrats are corporate, that's a rightwing smear against all Democrats. The logic is ulimately flawed on its face. One can not take SOME to mean ALL. Its just logically flawed as an argument.

Now, there are those I imagine who will argue, but what's the difference between Obama saying Democrats should accept religion and this. Why is his statemnet a smear against all Democrats, and not this?

Well, the most obvious problem with the statement is that he creates an amorphous group of Democrats to which he attributes something that is false and ultimately untestable. We can't know which Democrats to which he is referring unless he tells us, and more problematically, it really is a false conservative frame of the left and Democratic leadership- that they are anti people of faith that is not sustainable as true by actually examining the facts.

The same can not be said of the influence of money on politics. There is a subset of Democrats who do indeed take money from corporate interests. They are easily indentified through the FEC, lobbying etc. There is indeed an even smaller subset that have done reprehnsible things due the influence of corporate interest (and no I am not referring to Clinton. I am referring to Jefferson from LA).

I can, of course, refer to Biden and his vote on the bankruptcy bill. I can not remember the exact year, but you know the one- where basically it doesn't even allow for escape valves like medical costs. The point is that this subset is definable, and therefore the claim of smear against all Democrats is false on its face. Its also false as to Democrat Z because if Democrat Z is indeed engaging in the activities of which Edwards is referring, then its not a smear to bring it up for the purpose of actual rather than made up differentiation. The difference beween the right and left here is that the later isn't using it against ALL DEMOCRATS. It maybe against your Democrat, but thats not really of any significance other than you want to misuse a term that you know has emotional impact. It is really  just being used in this case to shut down uncomfortable truth. That's not what the right does. They don't care about truth.

In the law, they say that the truth is a defense to libel or slander. If you want to claim someone is making something up, fine- that's all good. but to claim a smear merely because the rightwingers used it, is going further than the word should go without ultimately losing meaning with the audience here, and more importantly the  American public.

Oh, sure, it can work for a while, but even they eventually realize when they are being hoodwinked, and calling all disagreement with your candidate that starts with the right that is actually proveable a rightwing smear is false on its face. The key element for those of you who would want to misuse my point here is that it must be proveable as to the specific person in question or involve an identifiable subset. Not inuendo, not guilt by narrative, but actually something that one can prove.

Update [2007-8-29 9:51:57 by bruh21]: I want to make this clear. This isn't about Clinton. The Clinton supporters often will do this. If Clinton is mentioned in as a side note in anyway, they turn the diary into a Clinton only diary. They did that in another diary in which I made it very clear that I was referencing ALL discourse regarding ALL candidates. Here the discussion isn't about the lincoln bedroom. But because you are busily trying to circle the wagon and defend your candidate, factual assertion becomes impossible. Are you disputing the factual assertion that donor's stayed at the WH? If so, that's fine. But, if not, then you are indeed not responding to my point about factual assertion. This actually came up in quite a different context from another angle from someone with a bone to pick about Edwards stance of trade. I didn't actually know anything about the subject enough to respond so I said as much rather than circle the wagons. The bigger point was this posters insistence that the term 'corporate Democrat" alone is a smeart. Not the Lincoln bedroom. Not any specific reference to Clinton, but the mere discussion of the influence of corporate and money interests on the party. Do you agree with this? That big corporations and money do not have an undue influence in politics? this is what is my concern about this slippery slope in politics? both the part where we start denying facts and the part where we can't figure out solutions because of candidates we support. If you want to understand my rule of thumb about how I look at facts like this- here's how it goes: If the facts are clear, and there is no issue with knowing intent, etc, and if it were someone from the GOP would I react the same way or differently to the exact same facts? My view, and you may not share this view is: I am partisan about my values, not the facts.

Tags: Candidates, differences, horserace, issues, Politics (all tags)

Comments

82 Comments

Re: The truth isn't a smear

Very well stated.

by Rooktoven 2007-08-28 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I concur.

by BlueDiamond 2007-08-28 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Thank you - I posted today an article that was carried by the WSJ...which leans conservative, but does not run wrong stories, just biased.  And all I heard back was Right Wing Smear.  I have been on this site long enough for people to know I'm not a right winger, yet this is still what they throw at you?

Before I post anything I can pretty much tell what is going to be thrown at me afterword, because they all track the same pattern.  What happened to MyDD enhancing the conversation, exploring the data, and questioning members of our party as well as the others.

In case people havn't noticed it is our (Democratic) Congress not bringing us out of Iraq, it is our Congress who authorized.  It is our Congress that fails to pass meaningfull ethics reform.  It is our Congress who is doing nothing that isn't just symbolic with the enviroment.  John Edwards is right we do need more than just a change of party in DC - we need a change in politics.  And a lot of people need to wake up and realize our Presidential frontrunner doesn't offer this change - deliberatly.  Several posters have lost any objectivity and now are nearly single minded with the campaign they are supporting in 2008 - I have been critical of Obama (whom I'm supporting) several times... because I realize our problems are bigger than just one race.

You are not going to convince anybody on Mydd to change their vote!  Especially by attacking them.  Making issues apparent and holding our officials and candidates responsable for their actions is one thing, but degrading other people on this site serves no other purpose than to inflate your own ego.  

Look at yourselves (I'm not talking to everyone here but several) you spend all day on Mydd attacking one another day after day after freaking day.  What good are you doing?  What has your life come too?  Christopher Lasch and Richard Sennett wrote about this in the 1980s with their work on Narcissism.  You think your doing good, you think that your using your time well, but really you are just biding time edifying yourself.  Your candidate doesn't care how well you come back to some attack on Mydd, you do your campaign no good, bickering on Mydd only provides the illusion of involvement.  And worshiping a candidate to such a degree that you turn a blind eye to anything they do is wrong (This is the same thought that got us into Iraq)  question, question, question - if anything that, and organization, are where blogs are most successful.  Wake up people, Wake up!

Care about your issues, compare the campaigns on issues.  Care about the state of our party and it's valvues.  Care about Ethics, and Health Care, and the War - don't just care about what your candidate says about it.  Question them, challange them, because I guarentee whomever the nominee is they will fall short of our ideal.

by CardBoard 2007-08-28 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

That's exactly my view. I don't make excuses for Edwards whom i do support. Of his war vote, I say he fucked up. When someone else wrote in a nother diary (the one that precipitated this diary) that he was weak on trade, I said I would have to look it up. When David Mixner said that Edwards is fighting the media, my response was that you can't fight the media because a campaign must find ways to use the media to win in a Presidential race. When Big Tent Democrat wrote that Edwards needed to include more about the GOP in his speeches- I said that's probably true. My point? that my candidate doesn't wallk on water. He fucks up just let they all do. We need to be able to admit that. To hold their feet to the fire. When people say I Just don't 'trust' Edwards, my thought is you shouldn't trust any of them. They are politicians. Their job is to lead, but our job is to make sure they are leading in the right direction. That means as you have said on ethics, foreign policy, healthcare, etc. one should have one's own views that aren't based on whom one is supporting. One shouldn't expected that candidate to perfectly mirror those beliefs, and when one thinks they veer to far, it's important to remain honest enough so as to make sure that you voice your concern and not merely parrot what you think the company line is.  I believe all of this. Why? Because we just went through 7 years of a blind followers and a cult like leader. Not interested in repeating that on the Democratic side- not with Edwards, Not with anyone.

by bruh21 2007-08-28 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

By the way, although I disagreed with the article as I thought it was trying to attribute something to the Clinton's that I didn't think they should, the arguments against your post was silly. It amount to we have covered this before although the article had just come out today. It's like peo are so busy defending they aren't even thinking about their argument sand whether they make sense.

by bruh21 2007-08-28 07:21PM | 0 recs
not yet

remember who owns the WSJ now....

by kevin22262 2007-08-28 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I posted today an article that was carried by the WSJ...which leans conservative, but does not run wrong stories, just biased.  And all I heard back was Right Wing Smear.

Did you post the additional part that the WSJ left out of their right wing smear? The part where the Paw family's attorney had been talking to the Journal and offered to show them documentation of the Paw family's signficant net worth, more than plenty to cover their own political contributions thank you very much. And, the lawyer asking the writer and her editor if the paper were more interested in publishing the story or the truth and being told all they cared about was publishing the story.

It was a hit-job story by a right wing paper and YOU promoted it.

by hwc 2007-08-28 10:10PM | 0 recs
LA Times has more

Not a pretty picture. If Hsu has real problems I hope Obama and Clinton get clear of him quickly. Though if CA could not find him then a campaign's donor background checks probably wouldn't turn anything up either.

by souvarine 2007-08-28 10:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Yeas actually I did, and I pointed out that Obama and others had already recieved money as well.

by CardBoard 2007-08-29 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I remember you saying that also,a nd being ignored.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Ironically the person who is now attacking you for not including all the facts wrote a diary attacking Obama on Sunday leaving out critical information. When he was told that he was leaving out the nature of the bill to which Obama had cooperated with a Republican- a progressive cause for openning up the government to public scrutiny- he said that it didn't matter. So in a instance where you did leave out critical information. you included it. In instance where he knew he didn't, he did not. You can make your own judgement about how much weight to place on what that poster says.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Actually, it was Hsu's attorney that was speaking on behalf of the Paws.  The Paws have not returned any calls to the WSJ's to date.  Let's be honest, if this were a Republican fund-raiser, we would be demanding answers.  How likely is it that a mail carrier earning less than $50,000 a year and livinng in a home clearly worth less than $200,000 crowded with at least 6 adults manage to contribute more than $200,000 in campaign donations?  If Democrats want to herald themselves as the Party of ethics, we can not engage in the selective moral outrage that we bash Republicans for.  If it's proven that Hsu, a wanted felon as reported today in the LA Times, has been funneling money to the Clinton campaign or others, it is NOT an indictment against Hillary Clinton.  She could simply return the money and the matter would be closed.  But please do stop faking the moral outrage.

by Dee 2007-08-29 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I agree with that. One can not make an attribution about Clinton from this, but clearly is something untoward was happening with donating money it needs to be given back.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 08:36AM | 0 recs
Obama campaign praises Norman Hsu

The Obama campaign is praising Hsu:

"Forget the politics -- Norman is widely regarded as decent, and enormously generous," says Orin Kramer, a hedge-fund manager who is a chief fund-raiser for Barack Obama, the Illinois senator who is Mrs. Clinton's strongest rival for the party's presidential nomination.

I would expect the Obama and Clinton campaigns to look closely at these donations, but they should not react rashly to what may be a Chinese witch hunt. Democratic candidates have an obligation to defend their supporters when they are unfairly attacked.

by souvarine 2007-08-29 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama campaign praises Norman Hsu

He is a donor to Obama, not the campaign manager... Wolfson is the one who defended for the Clinton camp.  And, this isn't racist today it came out the Hsu is a felon - you are trying to hide behind race, which is racists in its self.  There is a major wrong happening here.  Obama and Clinton need to give everything the Hsu, that Paws, and any money bundled by Hsu back.

by CardBoard 2007-08-29 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama campaign praises Norman Hsu

Come on, "Chinese witch hunt"?!  As much as I hate the term "playing race card," you just laid the whole damn deck on the table!

by Dee 2007-08-29 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama campaign praises Norman Hsu

souvarine,

Can you please try researching a little better?  The source quote in the WSJ was:

"Forget the politics -- Norman is widely regarded as decent, and enormously generous," says Orin Kramer, a hedge-fund manager who is a chief fund-raiser for Barack Obama, the Illinois senator who is Mrs. Clinton's strongest rival for the party's presidential nomination.

by Satya 2007-08-29 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

The WSJ newsreporters and their editorial staff do not get along. That explains why they have good news articles but atrocious opinion columns.

by Pravin 2007-08-29 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

There's no truth in "renting the lincoln bedroom" that you wholeheartedly defended

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-28 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Right. Look, I am not interested in your fantasy, okay? The question presented, without your spin, is whether Presidents should allow donors to stay in the White House. I know you don't get this, but let's try this again. I don't think they should. I don't care the amount it occurs at. I don't care that the right used this to try to smear all Democrats. What's relevant in terms of the specific question I asked- is whether its a practice I agree with.

And looking at it ethically, the answer is no. In ethics, the idea is not only to do what are with the bounds of the rules but to prevent even the perception of ethical violations from occuring.

Essentially what you are really saying is "well but they didn't let them stay there for the reasons of them being a donor." my response back is they shouldn't have let them stay there period because of the perception it creates. They are our representative doing the people's business. There is no excuse for what they did with that in mind.

Let me just in closing that no  one- including Clinton's most ardent supporters pretend that they didn't let donors stay in the WH. You are to my mind the only one to argue that. When I have pushed her supporters to provide me proof that the events, not the rightwing ust of the events, didn't occur. They will often argue "but it wasn't as bad as the GOP' said or that it was overblown. That may be true.  I don't care. The real issue is that I want a clear line between what is acceptable behavior and whats not because of all the issues that we really do have in government with regard to corporate money.

This is my last attempt to reach out to you to explain my position on this. If you still feel the need to pretend that what I am saying is somehow a lie just because you can't handle the truth. That's your shit. Not mine.

by bruh21 2007-08-28 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

no one denied that donors stayed in the WH -

the only thing they denied was that it was rented.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-28 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

its very simple, i figured a lawyer would be able to sort through the pertinent facts and the allegations and see the differences (they arent complex) between what the wingnuts labeled as renting and what actually happened.

No one on this site denied that donors stayed at the whitehouse, thats a fact you added, without any logical explanation. When did anyone EVER say donors didnt stay at the whitehouse? When you interject you're own facts, you come out with some bizarre basis to back up your argument.

But you made all these assumptions simply because the people who called you out on it were Clinton supporters. If you did that while at work, i would think it would be considered bad lawyering.

The smear, again we have to go into this becaucse you obviously didnt read what everyone was telling you in the last thread where this came up, has to do with the word rent(ing). Thats the smear, that doesnt represent the truth, thats right wing noise machine bullshit, and Edwards took the bait.

i've said it once, i'll say it again, if Edwards wants to perpetuate this lincoln bedroom renting bullshit, let him, it just makes him lose some of his credibility.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-28 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

one last thing -

what everyone took issue with was Edwards use of the lincoln bedroom smear - the clinton supporters and even an edwards supporter. You came back saying its the truth, and thats what everyone was arguing with you about. Go back and read the thread.

You couldnt accept the truth that it was right wing smear because you are such an ardent Edwards supporter.

The fact that you are still arguing that Truth isnt smear is quite hypocritical when you tried to defend the fact that Edwards comment wasnt smear, but was in fact, true.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-28 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

right- look believe what you want to believe. i am done arguing some of you because its pure belief. i could no more argue with it than i could trying to convince a christian not to believe in God. frankly at this point i dont even want to bother because others do get my point - and thats my approach by the way- not to listen to partisans with an axe to grind, but those who do not, to see if they get my point. your problem is that i am not reading what you say in a vacuum. so you are wasting your time trying to convince me, and your fellow Clinton supporters as well, that what I am saying is somehow not what I mean to day. In fact the only one here who is even remotely reasonable admits what is patently obviuos- that I am not approaching this as a partisan. But thats the only way you see things, and I am not going to fight your faith anymore. Feel free to post as many posts as you want. I am going to ignore them along this thread.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear
yeah yeah yeah, if you are smearing the Clintons because Hillary is kicking the ass of your candidate and you are doing it with shit Sean Hannity and O'falafel spouted on a daily basis, you are being a cynical ass because it's easy.  Please don't tell me you give a shit because I don't believe it.  You are just grasping at anything to hit her with.
It's a right wing smear.  I'll remember that when I am looking for something to hit your candidate with.  I have a whole list of shit on Edwards and Obama supplied by hate radio and idiot pundits.
by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-08-28 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

how about you speak for what you believe in without telling me what i believe in?

by bruh21 2007-08-29 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

once again Obama took money as well - can you not get over the 08 race - our issues are bigger than our candidates

by CardBoard 2007-08-29 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

So, let's take your candidate John Edwards. I doubt you can find a single friend or family member of John Edwards or parent of a friend of his children who has not donated to his campaign. Are you saying that neither John's friends nor any of his kids friends can visit them at home, should he win the Presidency? Uncle Joe can't come by? Cate's friends can't visit because they all contributed but Jack's friend Tommy can because his parents are Republican and didn't contribute?

Friends and family are the first place a candidate raises money from. One of the big two papers did an audit of Clinton White House overnights, the vast majority were friends of Chelsea's. Many of the rest were long time Clinton friends or family from Arkansas. Nearly all of them (or their parents) contributed to the Clinton campaign. They do have to live there, ya know.

Don't fall for the Republican's games and pretend it is about "ethics" or truth.

by souvarine 2007-08-28 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

actually if those events happen- where they are major donors- then  they shouldn't be staying at the WH because of perception.  ethics includes perception.  These are not a "Republican" ethical consideration. They are an application of ethical rules that I generally believe in. That Presidential leadership must try as best as possible  to keep their ethics above board without the perception of inpropriety. That's my basic idea.  I know mistakes will happen or that people will do things not knowing their full consequence etc, but where they do know, then its up to them as quickly as possible to not create the perception of inpropriety. They certainly should not be extolling it as virtue, saying the other guy does it or denouncing someone asking them about the ethics of the behavior.  Thats a clear ethical standard, and it doesn't change with the candidate or person.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

And by the way, the last line that you wrote is so ironic, that I can't believe you wrote it. Think about what you wrote.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I know...my concern comes out of my time in DC working in fundraising and lobbying.  I will call out any campaign where I think wrongs are taking place.  Everyone in politics should have some experience seeing how legislation is made, because it is sickening, all of our candidates have sold out to some degree for campaign donations.  We try to place laws to curtail it, and they find ways around it - some more flamboyently than others.

While the WSJ does single out Clinton It is fairly obvious that something odd is taking place, which the campaign, the Paws, and Mr. Hsu ought to explain - if not for any reason other than to clear the record and not lead the illusion that something odd may be taking place... Why any candidate would openly fight transparency in fundraising is beyond me, unless they have something to hide.

by CardBoard 2007-08-29 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I replied to the wrong thread - should go downstream

by CardBoard 2007-08-29 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I agree with the overall point of this diary. I've long pointed out that calling something a right wing talking point does not prove the argument wrong. No party has a monopoly on good ideas or the truth. Just like a broken clock is right twice a day, Republicans do make valid points sometimes even if we disagree with them. Oh my God shocking I know

However I think you overlook context, intention, and the application of words. The "beauty" and purpose of political rhetoric is that spinning a fact is not lying about a fact it's just framing facts in a context that helps you or harms your opponent.

For example, when the Bush adminstration was notorious for claiming that a certain economic index had increased (employment, GDP,etc). This statement in a vaccum is troop. Fewer people were unemployed, the GDP had grown,etc,etc. However taken within the bigger picture we realize that while unemployment rates dropped by 1% compared to the year before the unemployment rates during the course of the Bush administration had actually increased by 5%. Meaning that the net amount of people unemployed during his presidency had actually risen

Another example of "truth" misrepresenting reality is when certain contextual frames are created to give a certain impression.

by world dictator 2007-08-28 11:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

All of which I try to enscapsulate as best I can with the argument over misdirection and prejudice. Neither are here. I stated a simple question: should either Democrats or Republicans be so influenced as they are by corporate interest and to a larger degree money?

Saying we re better than they are isn't addressing the root question. This isn't about a candidate, really. It's about the issue.  I am not even saying it has to situation where there is no influence. Just the degree of influence needs to decrease. Clearly symbolic issues - leading  by example- is one of those no brainers to me.

And by the way, unlike ideas which are by their definitions abstractions the truth I am referring to here is factually did X or Y occur. The truth of an idea isn't as easily defineable.

If X or Y occur, one can certainly argue undue prejudice or misdirection, but what I was getting was because I suspect the  poster shares my values, they had to argue as they did- that somehow I was lying or that there are no Democrats in our leadership who are overly influenced by corporate interests or that the very mentioning of the subject is a right wing smear, etc.

But I am a functionalist. I believe that these things operate best when they do what they are suppose to do. Businesses make money. Govt ensures fairness etc. When conflicts happen, it's up to the govt to promote fairness. I returned to my basic principles. I don't change my principles depending on the candidate I support. If I see a clear situation where a leader went  outside of my principles- I say "thats a fuck up." I will probably still support them, but I will do so without pretending they didn't fuck up. Thats what I am trying to get at here. i don't want discussion in which we got to deny facts in order to support candidates.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 05:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

This is seperating the discussion into two points. The first is about being a realist. I don't disagree with you there from what I can read. But I'd also think, and excuse me if i missed you acknowleding this, that being real should prevent you from denying the fact that Edward's and Obama is influenced by big business or they will be as president if not for the simple fact that they'll have to deal with them.

Back to the rhetorical point. I think you're asking the question in good faith but my point still stands. Even asking a question, considering context and rhetoric can be leading. For example if I said "Is it appropriate for politicians to be anti gay publically and while engaging in the homosexual life privately? " That question in a vaccum does not imply any specfic person. However given the current events and placed within political context clearly the question is connected to Larry Craig. And given the frame that the question emits "hypocrisy" even asking the question in that manner makes us think ill of him. In comparision if the question was "Does the media have the right to interfere in the private life of a politician". The question gets after the same point but is framed in a negative light and then a positive light.

by world dictator 2007-08-29 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I generally agree with what you re saying to a degree, but the problem is that there is no clear line such that one can do that.

Therefore, I often err on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion of discourse since we are talking public discourse rather than a court room. Your example by the way doesn't exactly fit your main point- that there  is no clear dividing line since the example you give has a pretty clear ethical line, "one should practice what they preach." but the overarching point is indeed accurate about prejudicial effect and misdirection. That's why I tried to include it as a concern.

My issue here is where emotion for a candidate drives all debates over any rational discussion of facts.

People keep saying it was the particular phrase now when they are being challneged about the facts, but I've got a good memory, and I can also pull up prior comments by some of the very same posters along this thread that wasn't about the phrase, but instead the particulars of my concern- letting donors stay at the WH and its symbolism for ethics in govt.

This isn't the first time this issue of donors at the WH has been discussed. Frankly its nothing more than a symbol of the greater issue I have of ethics in government. I had this discussion well before Edwards brought it up,a nd I did not use the phrase rent the lincoln bed room. I said donors staying at the WH. I was told that I was lying. How dare I engage in a rightwing smear because I brought it up. In other words, we are supposed to pretend it didnt happen at all. Not how I said it.

They still denied the factual reality that they did let the donors stay at the WH. So, it's interesting to now read its the particular phrase. They don't seem to remember from day to day what they are writing.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

by the way- at the time I kept asking because I couldn't quite remember whether I was factually right for someone to provide me with actual facts showing that intitial reports were wrong. Instead, I got blog posts about how its not as bad as it appears.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 07:39AM | 0 recs
The Truth Is

Someone connected with Edwards' fundraising has been indicted for Fraud.

I wouldn't post a Diary on that cause that would be a smear.

The issue is far more complex that described above, and everyone (why even including me on bad days) is devoutly hypocritical about what stands for truth and what does not!

by Edgar08 2007-08-29 12:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The Truth Is

Oh please , someone did post that

by bruh21 2007-08-29 04:49AM | 0 recs
I Know

And it was a smear when it was Posted.

by Edgar08 2007-08-30 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Truth -- friends and donors stayed at the Lincoln bedroom

Smear -- Clinton "rented" the Lincoln bedroom

by glenpb1 2007-08-29 01:26AM | 0 recs
truth

hillary clinton wasn't mentioned...

by TarHeel 2007-08-29 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: truth

To make it clearer

Truth -- presidents (including Clinton)invited fiends and donors to stay at Lincoln bedroom

Smear -- presidents (including Clinton) "rented" Lincoln bedroom

Given that only Clinton was previosuly accused of "renting" the Lincoln bedroom, this can be considered a smear of Clinton.

or another way of looking at it

All presidents (including Clinton) who invited guest to the stay at the Lincoln bedroom are being smeared.

If there is proof that there was an actual president that really rented the Lincoln bedroom then it is this not a smear

by glenpb1 2007-08-29 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: truth

whats interesting is how peo are now parsing it. when this came up before, and i used the phrase donors stay at white house, the retort by some of other posters along this thread was that i was lying. this was like over a month or so ago. but i remember it because i was being called a liar over and over although i kept asking for proof that the events in question didn't actually happen as reported. in other words rebuttal reporting or facts to show that donors didn't stay at the WH. this is what this diary is about, but peo want to try to reduce it to a single phrase. interesting, but nothing to do with the ethical question i raised.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

truth- Edwards was talkingabout both the GOP and Democrats who did this. More truth, many of you trying to break it down like you do- as I said really aren't denying the facts. You just don't like what the facts say about your candidate. This isn' some fundraiser working for  them. This isn't some third party. It's them. So what are you left with? pretending its not a mistake. Here's the deal- this how one tests objectivty. if you can not admit on a clear issue of which you believe something- I don't know maybe you don't, but if you do- this is where yo utest whether you are serious about about wha tyou believe. I don't think donors should be staying at the WH regardless of who is the President or who is doing it. It's really that simply, and therefore I don't have to go through all the contortions you are doing. I don't even have to know which President is doing it. Because i am following my principles. I await your spin.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 04:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

NO- Edwards was talking about the practice of having donors stay in the WH and said it shouldnt happen.

HE did that effectively - BUT he also threw in a RW smear by using renting, which is NOT true.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-29 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

this blurring the lines is astonishing

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-29 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

you are picking out a single phrase as blurring the lines? clearly the overall principle wasn't as important to you as that line. of ot were up wouldn't be fixating on the line. Look like with the other people on this blog, I am simply probably going to start ignoring you as not objective enough during the primary to have an honest discussion of issues.  what's interesting is that he never mentions clinton, but because he mentions the lincoln bedroom that allows the guilty mind to wonder to clinton.  guilty in the sense that you know your candidate has issues in this area, and rather than dealing with that you spend much of your time along my thread first calling me a liar again, then claiming but its the particular word choice. its all bullshit. they did let major donors stay at the WH, and it s practice I don't think that eithe rthe GOP or Democrats should be involved. Period. Your spinning it is irrelevant to that basic principle.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

We took issue with that line, not with the rest of message, when we said that that specific line was a republican attack you went in full spin mode and lied that we were attacking the central notion of his speech instead of simply that line.

We always talked about that word choice dispite your frantic attempt to make it about the central message. It was you who was changing our points to fit your denials. Many a times when clinton said something similar I have faulted her choice of words to convey a message. You were incapable to do so. You made it a big deal by denying the attack line was one at all. You did exactly what you accuse other people of doing. spinning.

by Ernst 2007-08-29 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

exactly my point, your point, and everyone else's point who spoke about using right wing smear

by sepulvedaj3 2007-08-29 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

this isn't the first time we have had this conversation. it occured before edwards uttered that line. do you remember? i do. in it i discussed my issue with this very topic. i never mentioned rent the lincoln bedroom. i said donors in the WH. Guess what the response was by the clinton supporters? that i was lying. it seems this is a game of moving targets. i go from being called a liar, but when you cant argue the facts now i am a hypocrite- or maybe just maybe the real issue is that you are so blinded that you aren't reading what i am writing in the first place?

by bruh21 2007-08-29 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

My god, You really are full of "spin" aren't you? You are trying yet again to shift out under your responsibility. Link to me where I said that Clinton didn't have donors over? This isn't about what you said a month ago and which other supporter said what, this is about what you said a week ago to me. I got Bleep all to do with the rest of the Clinton supporters.

A week ago Edwards did mention the lincoln bedroom 3 people reacted, you claimed that all of them were wrong. While we 3 weren't.

Every time you are called on your double standards you blame the other guy. No it's not you who made a mistake, it's always everybody else who is blinded and spinning and lying. Bull. It's you who can't deal with facts nor with the fact that I'm as far removed from a partisan as can be. I don't spin, I don't lie. Look into my comment history and you'll see plenty of times where I faulted my candidate.

I would be very careful or maybe just maybe the real issue is that you are so blinded that you aren't reading what i am writing in the first place? Because your track record with that is abysmal.

The simple fact is that people said the the diary how we felt about Edwards recycling of a very specific GOP attack line and you started responding to us about that line wasn't an attack at all because it was all true. When explained what that line was about 10 times you still managed to spin it as if we were saying that Clinton didn't donors in the WH. We bleeping told you dozens of times that that wasn't the issue that we were talking about a specific line. And now you try again to avoid it by going back a month and saying but but they said it then!!

What the bleep has that to do with your comments a week ago where you called me a liar for saying that The lincoln bedroom is not for rent was a baseless republican smear only ever used for attacking the Clinton not for having donors over, but for renting out that room as if it was a motel?

You kept going on about how we couldn't claim that Clinton didn't have donors over, and that that made the Republican attack perfectly true!!! But nobody made that claim. In fact everybody admitted that without problem! We just claimed that there was no quid pro quo were you could actually rent the bedroom! But you went on and on about something nobody claimed in that tread. you avoided the issues, you were blinded by partisanship and you spun a false GOP attack line into having a whole different meaning that it had.

So when you posted this diary you became a hypocrite as you did everything that you condemn in this diary.

Have some self respect and don't bother posting anything that ends with "spin" in the last line. seeing your own history It 's just farcical.

by Ernst 2007-08-29 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

good luck.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I hope you can now realize that the truth about Edwards bridging the gap between the two elections, as written in the NYT and AP pieces, was not a smear but simply a presentation of the facts.  The accusations of right-wing smear which was leveled at the article because of areas left out of the scope of the article seems to be exactly the type of thing you are now objecting to.  

by Piuma 2007-08-29 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

The article denounced by GOP, Democrats and others alike moved from facts- what he did- to speculation about weighing what were Edwards motivation- politics or legitimate belief in  his cause? The denouciation was in the speculation about weighing without proof. It relied on inuendo and the audience's own emotional bent to convince one of which was his motivation.

The central problem with the article is that it created a false choice between two possible motivations,and then choose one without providing evidence of why one weighed more than the other.   Not that it could be both at the same time,b ut which the article itself decided without facts he weighed. That was always the question. That somehow because there is politics involved that he didn't also have as his goal to address poverty.

There is no such ambiguity here.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear


 You are really a hypocrite. the reason why the Lincoln bedroom is brought up is because you did twist the facts there you lied and insulted instead of being truthful. You deliberately misquoted people, you reframed their point to fit your preconceived notions. You failed to engage the points we made in favor of maintaining your partisan blindness.  You did the very same thing you are condemning here. You really are quite brazen about all this. And now you try to pass it off as if the rest that was unreasonable. Nothing is as terrible as a closed mind pretending to be open.

You have lost all respect from me. You are intellectual and factual dishonest.

by Ernst 2007-08-29 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Hopefully by reading the above diverse comments you've learned the lesson that you cannot be the sole judge of what truth is. It's always a bit dodgy when someone sets themselves up as the "decider" of  the definition of truth.

Just face it, truth, especially in a democracy, is about interpretations. Through a process of argument, reason and persuasion the reader may or may not decide to buy your interpretation. You can't hold anyone hostage to your "truth" by merely stating what is true as a starting point. Its something Republicans lately have a hard time grasping in this 2.0 democracy where there are many interpretations and no one truth.

by superetendar 2007-08-29 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

it teaches me that people hold on to beliefs. by your definition of facts if someone believes int he easter bunny that should teach me a valueable lesson too. it does, but not quite the one apparently it teaches you.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

No he's saying that you're simply not that good about recognizing the truth and that plenty of times it is you who keeps telling everybody that they have to except the fact that the easter bunny is real.

You are simply not that good with facts as you think you are.

by Ernst 2007-08-29 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

and yet others who aren't clinton supporters get it. when faced with a choice between multiple peo getting a point, and a subset of peo with an axe to grind not getting my point- I am going to go with those who dont have an axe to grind.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

Yeah right, I didn't have bleeping axe to grind until you kept calling me a liar over and over and over. Just because my analysis of the facts dared to differ from yours.

You've been the only one ever to call me a liar here, the only one to insult me, so yeah, when you asked in your previous diary about if it was still worth coming here, you fit right into the category that lowers the discourse. I can have polite intelligent discussion with everybody no matter who they support or who they are. I'm able to listen to them and stay polite, give my opinion and respect theirs. But not with you, and apparently I'm not alone. So ask yourself sparky why is it that so many people have an axe to grind?

And why with you?

As you said... good luck with that.    

by Ernst 2007-08-29 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I am not going to allow you and other Clintonites to hijack my diary anymore. You can post as many times as you feel like,b ut playing into your denial isn't really fruitful as an exchange. Good luck.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

You're projecting and ignoring everything of substance that you can't respond to.

Denial? Doctor, Heal thy self!

by Ernst 2007-08-29 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I could care less about who rents or is invited to the Lincoln Bedroom. It's no big deal in the big scheme of things. Even if he "rented", so what. It's only a room. It's just more of the bragging rights access that come with fundraisers already. SO I am not outraged by this issue even if it were true.

And pointing it out is not a right wing smear. If Clintonites want to counter the right wing smear, then spend some energy attacking Bush's cronies occupying positions of power everywhere despite their lack of qualifications. Instead, democrats spend their time denying the obvious. My problem is with lobbyists themselves and the influence they have on policy.

Oh, as far as using right wing frames, the Clintonites are the worst at this kind of shit. At least we use facts. Clintonites use perceptions such as Dems are weak on terror or referring to any anti war person as the "Far Left" which is not only a mischaracterization, but also does double duty in slandering the real far left.

by Pravin 2007-08-29 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I only care about in terms of symbolism, and more importantly what's being lost under the expected swarm of Clintonite denial is the greater thrust of the diary- a discussion of corporate influence and the power of money in politics. The precipitated the diary as I mentioned was a discussion in which one poster was claiming that saying corporate Democrat is a smear as well. With that poster, I realized we are in danger of veering off into some never never land where Democrats can't be influenced by money and lobbying influence, but apparently the GOP can. Hence, why I say the truth isn't a smear. The truth part is that there are Democrats influenced by money. The Clinton point was a side point about how in other ways I ve seen the decline in the ability to discuss actual facts.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

By the way, My post was a little sloppy and may be confusing in tone. My post was a generic response to everyone in this thread.

by Pravin 2007-08-29 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

By the way- I subscribe to everything you say in your post. Only wanted to once again explain my position.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I love the irony of this thread.  Using a figure of speech to say that some have rented the Lincoln room seems like good use of language to editorialize about an ethical lapse.  I doubt that anyone thought that a contract was drawn up and signed but we all knew what was meant.  Giving a donation and being invited to stay in the Lincoln room and renting the Lincoln room are closely enough linked that to most rational people this is an appropriate use of language more so than hyperbole.  This, in fact, sounds very much like something that Molly Ivans would have said.

Now calling a cleaver turn of phrase a smear, isn't that itself a smear?  Except it is far less cleaver.

Also, wasn't part of the issue in this diary misdirection?  This rehashing of an old argument seems to be providing a good example.  There is no problem with rehashing old arguments, but, in this case, it looks to be an effort at redirecting attention from those who are self-conscious about the practices of those they support.  More apologetics for the influence of money in our party.  I would hate to over generalize but those arguments do seem to be coming primarily from one corner.

by Hugh Stearns 2007-08-29 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I liked Molly I because she was always fond of telling the truth.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:20AM | 0 recs
one corner

Gee, I wonder why that is? Why would the Republicans spend so much time smearing this guy Bill Clinton? And what could possibly be wrong with repeating their arguments? It's a mystery!

Any Democrat who can't defend the last Democratic President has no hope of winning support from Democrats. And Molly Ivins, while often critical, never repeated right-wing smears. Try reading her sometime, you might learn something about how to fight for Democrats.

by souvarine 2007-08-29 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

clinton isn't the trust of this diary. that you fixate on one small point in a larger point being made says a lot.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 09:36AM | 0 recs
money in politics

If you want to discuss the influence of money in politics then you should have some familiarity with the facts and you should at least try to be honest about it.

The Democratic candidate and party will spend more than half a billion dollars on the 2008 Presidential election. You claim that a "subset" of candidates take money from what you call corporate interests, by which you apparently mean individual employees of corporations as identified in the employer line of the FEC reports. But the fact is that any presidential nominee will raise much of the 2008 money from corporate interests. In other words ALL DEMOCRATS are "corporate Democrats" by your definition.

Each of our candidates have a solid record on campaign finance reform. For instance brownsox at DK points out that Clinton:

voted for Hollings' constitutional amendment to overturn Buckley v. Valeo, voted for Wellstone's bill to eliminate the 527 loophole, voted for Kerry and Bingaman's bills to increase public matching funds, voted to close the soft-money loophole in 2002, and voted for Jack Reed's amendment to strengthen FEC enforcement.

The fact is that the only way to address what appear to be your concerns about the influence of money on politics would be full public financing of campaigns.

If you had researched the issue and were making a case for public financing then I might think you were serious about your concern. But you did not, and you don't even mention it in this diary or in your comments. You talk about smears that you think are true, and you attempt to defend Rush Limbaugh (a vocal opponent of public financing of campaigns). When people attempt to show you that your specific examples of the influence of money (symbolic issues, as you say), like renting the Lincoln bedroom, are false smears, you move the goalposts to donors staying in the Lincoln bedroom. When people point out that your rule would prevent Elizabeth Anania (Elizabeth Edwards' mother and a major donor) from visiting her grandchildren in the White House you move the goalposts again and say this is not about the Lincoln bedroom.

If you don't engage in the larger issue of public financing, and you won't engage in the specifics of the influence of money in politics, then what is this diary other than an attempt to sneak Clinton smears into the conversation?

by souvarine 2007-08-29 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

So the only way to be a "good" Democrat is through blind allegiance?

by Dee 2007-08-29 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

Not too much offense here Souvarine but you are flailing.  I have read Molly and I drank beer with her.  She was in fact quite critical of a great deal about the Democratic Party.  This does not mean that she did not also support it loyally.  She was part of a great tradition of Texas Progressives that include such people as John Henry Faulk,  Jim Hightower, Ronnie Earle and, some would say, Ann Richards.  Ronnie Earle, the Travis County DA who prosecuted Tom Delay, is a great example of what we are talking about.  While often accused of being a partisan Democrat, the man has indicted more Democrats, including himself, than Republicans.  Do you suppose that there are no corrupt Democrats? And do you suppose that failing to be critical of our party is going to make it strong?  

by Hugh Stearns 2007-08-29 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

As I said, Ivins (you might want to learn to spell her name, since you are so familiar with her) was critical of Democrats. You have given me no examples here of her repeating right-wing smears like "renting the Lincoln bedroom".

You're lucky to have met her. She usually called them as she saw them, she didn't repeat lies, and she didn't fall for Republican smears.

by souvarine 2007-08-29 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

what lie have we repeated in this diary? point to one. just one and i will conceed the point. you confuse what you do not want to hear with lying. it's not. that'st he point of this diary. the person i was talkng to you yesterday kept saying there is no such thing as corporate democrat and that was a smear about the whole party. in other words, blinders.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

Where did I say you repeated a lie? I was pointing out to Hugh that Molly Ivins would not say Clinton was "renting the Lincoln room" because it was a false right-wing smear.

I would like to know what the point of this diary is, if it is to discuss the influence of money in politics then maybe you could respond to my post above. If it is to claim that calling fellow Democratic presidential candidates "corporate" or saying "the Lincoln bedroom is not for rent" are not smears but "the truth" then you have no leg to stand on.

by souvarine 2007-08-29 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

how about reading the diary to get the point of the diary rather than picking out one part, as many of your fellow supporters did, and running with that part.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: one corner

Anne Richards was a personal hero of mine, and yes, the thing that needs to be remembered is that the rules have to apply to all of us or else it's just rhectoric.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

I am ashamed of myself for being lured in by such addle brained drivel, but people like you just piss me off. I'm happy that you can make yourself feel superior because of my unedited spelling on a blog.  

Unfortunately, you will have to eat your smug self-righteous words on the rest of this.

Molly Ivins
January 20 2006

I WILL NOT SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT

AUSTIN, Texas --- I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

I very strongly encourage you to read the rest of the article http://freepress.org/columns/display/1/2 006/1304
 

by Hugh Stearns 2007-08-29 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

It is not a bad column, I read it when she published it. I agree with a lot of what she says, notice that she says almost exactly what I replied to bruh21 with above:

go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this.

She knew what the deal was with money in politics, she didn't pretend that banning donors from the White House would make a whit of difference. She did not include a single right-wing smear in that column. I disagree with her about Clinton, she is the candidate who is most aggressively taking the fight to the Republicans. If Ivins were alive I think she would appreciate that.

by souvarine 2007-08-29 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The truth isn't a smear

aThe difference isn't that her statements aren't a moving target. If you had bothered to say well it's true, but here's how i see why its not as important, etc that's one thing. that's not what peo have been saying since way before edwards mentioned the subject. instead they said that i was lying and that the donor incident did not happen. more importantly ironically if you bothered to read the diary for more than what you think of as offensive to clinton, you will note my point isn't at all about clinton. blind loyalty will get you everytime.

by bruh21 2007-08-29 11:52AM | 0 recs

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