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Political campaigns no place for lies

September 29, 2008
by Dick Quaday, columnist
With only six weeks left until the presidential election, the campaigners are getting down to serious politicking. One cannot turn on any television station without getting into serious and sometimes frivolous charges and counter-charges running back and forth, with both major parties trying to counter yesterday’s muck-raking. One short broadcast I really enjoy comes on WCCO TV with Pat Kessler, who is not affiliated with any political party, telling it like it really is — picking out all the truths, half truths, and out-right lies, which have come out on TV in the last few days. Both major political parties stretch and bend the truth, trying to gain a step by getting voters aroused over some inadvertent statement made by a candidate in a weak moment, that can be twisted to mean something which was not actually said.

I do hope that neither major political party comes out right on the tail end of the campaign, with a bunch of outright lies such as the Swiftboat advertisement in the last election emanating from a Texas billionaire and which could have believers of the ad change their votes at the last minute, when it was too late for the opposition to retaliate. If such a money driven falsehood should happen again, I hope some system can be changed, with a late deadline, on such crookedness. It doesn’t seem to matter what the laws or rules are, some character like Karl Rove will find a way to bend them. We all expect broadcasters like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh to be ultraconservative, so pay no attention to their ranting and raving anymore. They are well paid for their opinions and it is their job to stir up all the trouble they can, and influence the election, if they can. More power to them!

What good does it do to start presidential election campaigns two years before the election? Candidate McCain has upset the whole campaign applecart, with his choice of vice presidential candidate. More power to him! A great many people, after hearing political baloney for two years already, have simply tuned out all mention of politics and elections until election day. John McCain did a masterful stroke of wisdom by reviving his flagging campaign with a fresh, good-looking woman governor of one of our largest states, Alaska, whom no one in the lower states, where the voters are thickest, had ever heard of. The move, at least temporarily, turned attention away from Barack Obama.

It will be very interesting to see what Mr. Obama can come up with to counter the move. I only hope that John McCain’s move with his vice presidential selection was his own idea and not following orders from the big oil companies who are pouring a lot of money into this election campaign for the Presidency, so we will again not have a veto-proof Congress. It becomes very hard for an opposition Congress to enact necessary legislation, if the president is of a different political party and can stop possibly good legislation with his veto pen. We have had too much of that in the last few years, right here in Minnesota. I see that the six-conservatives in our legislature, who voted to override Governor Pawlenty’s veto on gas tax and infrastructure, have been stripped of their chairmanships because they didn’t vote their party line. Two of them chose not to run after the demotion. One ran as an independent and three are running without party endorsement.

The passing of this particular bill was much more important to Minnesota than voting a strict party line. This brand of political censure, no matter which party engineers it, is bad for our voting population. Roads need to be built, fixed and maintained, regardless of political affiliation. Party affiliation does not build or maintain bridges needed by the voting public. The party discriminating against necessary bills should receive the censure, and be voted out, forthwith, whichever party it is. There has been far too much squabbling here in our state over party affiliation, while necessary business is postponed, or some other necessary program is robbed of it’s financial support.

I hope our Governor will spend as much time straightening out our budget mess for the next two years, as he has chasing all over the country campaigning for John McCain and a possible vice presidential nomination, which he didn’t get. Apparently, he wasn’t the person to stir up Mr. McCain’s flagging campaign.

Danke Schön,

Dick
 
 

 

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