It can be difficult to pick which one of Republican presidential candidate John McCain's television ads against Barack Obama contains the most lies and distortions, but I wrote about one yesterday that I think comes close. It's been running in key states for about a month and pulls out the full Karl Rove playbook to make people think that Obama has no regard for America's troops and veterans and that John McCain should be their hero.
In part one yesterday, we used McCain's own Senate voting record to blow away his claim that he has "always supported our troops." Today we look at the rest of what is truly an amazing feat: so much deception in one short ad.
Distortion: "He [Obama] voted against funding our troops."
Is it true in the most absolute sense when considering one vote? Yes, Obama did indeed vote against H.R. 2206. The reason was that it was yet another blank check for George W. Bush in Iraq. Obama and 13 other Democratic senators were holding out for a bill that would fund the troops and eventually bring them home to their families.
There's a big difference between that and what McCain's ad implies -- especially considering all the troop-related legislation cited in part one of this report that Obama voted for and that McCain voted against.
The bottom line is that in his time in the Senate, it is Obama who has "always supported the troops" -- including the biggest support of all in trying to extricate them from the Iraq disaster -- while McCain consistently gives troops, veterans and their families nothing but lip service and lies.
Distortion: "Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan."
Obama sits on four Senate committees and two of them could practically involve a "hearing on Afghanistan" -- the Foreign Relations and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees. The problem with this? Obama is not the chairman of either of those committees. Obama can recommend a hearing or ask for one -- and McCain has no way of knowing if he has or has not -- but it's the chair who calls committee hearings. Oddly enough, Joe Lieberman is chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, so I suppose it's McCain's friend Joe who hasn't had any such hearings.
Now, Obama is chairman of the Homeland Security European Affairs Subcommittee, but that group is kind of focused on, well, Europe.
Outright Lie: Barack Obama did not visit troops while in Germany because the military would not allow him to bring cameras into the hospital.
This has already been debunked in so many places nobody even remotely believes it any longer. But I'll let Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, who was with Obama in Germany and who says this nonsense is "...literally not true," handle this:
So there you have it. Between what I described yesterday and today, one tiny ad with enough lies and distortions to fill an hour-long soap opera -- except this isn't a soap opera, it's your country and your life.
No wonder the focus of the 2008 presidential race is now turning to how John McCain simply can't seem to tell the truth.