This years election has spin on both sides of the aisle. Each side seems to be attempting to see who can twist the facts more than the other. It certainly makes the job of determining who to vote for difficult or confusing for the American people. But, that is just how campaigns are run in Americam, so we need to stay on our toes and read between the lines to find the truth.
One piece of spin that I would like to talk about is a statement that I keep hearing from the Obama camp.
“John McCain voted with George Bush more than 90% of the time.”
This sounds really bad doesn’t it? 90%, that is a huge number. That is where we focus, and it makes us think ‘Oh, McCain is just another George Bush.’ And that is bad. Conservatives see that as bad, and so do Liberals. It makes anyone hearing it or reading it give second thoughts about McCain. It is a very concise and clever phrase that is being utilized on a daily basis due to its effectiveness.
But wait! What do we know about the federal government? Isn’t there a legislative branch that votes with each other or against each other? Is George Bush a senator or a congressman? I don’t believe he is. So, how is McCain voting with George Bush? It is simple. No senator votes with the President. So, they must be meaning that George Bush signed 90% of the bills that John McCain also supported. But, hasn’t George Bush signed nearly every bill that has come across his desk? The answer to that is, Yes. George Bush has signed nearly everything that he could possibly sign. So, this 90% number is meaningless. In fact, it is true that nearly every senator these past eight years could be said to have voted ‘with George Bush 80-90% of the time’ under this understanding. This includes Barack Obama.
I love how simple things can be spun to incite a specific response in the listener, and this is one of the craftiest I have seen this year.