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McCain Ad Echoes Smear Emails

[digg-reddit-me]Is it just me, or is it a bit eerie how closely McCain’s ad (just released today) mirrors the Obama smear email that started going around a few days ago – based on it’s earliest posting on the internet?

Breakdown of the Ad

It starts with the “Celebrity” attack that worked so well a few weeks ago.

This time, the image of the Obama crowds with blue banners morphs into old white men with a red Capitol Building in the background. The image is reminiscent of Communist propaganda posters of the 1940s or 1950s. Over this image, and the text appears – “Old ideas” while the narrator intones: “Old ideas masquerading as change.” This is the same charge a co-worker of mine made more crudely, and the right-wing talk radio bloviators make repeatedly day after day – Obama is just the same old liberal ideas packaged with a brown face and nice words.

Next in the ad, the actual claims come:

“Obama and his liberal allies promise higher taxes on your income.”

Not true if you’re making less than $250,000 a year. In fact, if you make less than $111,000 Obama promises higher tax cuts than McCain does – because he believe the middle class has been hurting in the Bush economy. Obama is actually promising higher tax cuts for 90% of Americans than McCain is – so McCain’s ad is deliberately misleading those 90%. McCain has made this claim in several of his ads before – and continues to despite it’s inaccuracy.

“Your life savings.”

Even less true than the claim above. Obama does not plan on changing the law to further tax life savings – but he does propose this measure to encourage individuals and families to save:

Obama will ensure savings incentives are fair to all workers by creating a generous savings match for low and middle-income Americans. His plan will match 50 percent of the first $1,000 of savings for families that earn less than $75,000.

“Your electric bill.”

Partially true for both McCain and Obama. This ad again directly echoes the smear email by saving that Obama plans on taxing your “electric bill”.  The only “tax” that this could be referring to is the “cap-and-trade system” proposed by both McCain and Obama which would impose a cost on businesses’ carbon emissions. Although neither McCain nor Obama call these costs “taxes” they can reasonably be called that. Further, Obama, though not McCain, plans to offset any potential increase in costs for consumers with a refund from a windfall profits tax.

“They oppose offshore drilling.”

False. Obama does not oppose offshore drilling – but he does not believe the small amount of oil we have in those few protected areas off of our coasts will significantly effect either gas prices or our dependence on foreign oil. As he has been saying for over a month, he is open to offshore drilling – but only as part of a package that tackles the real issues. Since the 1970s, McCain and other Congresspeople have been saying that we need to end our reliance on foreign oil – and they have done nothing to accomplish that. Obama believes we need to create incentives and push for federal funding in concert with market forces to establish a green energy industry in America. This is the only solution that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. “Drill, baby, drill” is a chant for morons.

“It’s not change. It’s more of the same. Obama and his liberal allies: Not Ready to Lead.”

The final claim is obviously meant to echo the Democratic attacks on McCain – pointing out that he supported Bush more than 90% of the time, professed his fealty to Bush on all “transcendent issues”, and advocates doubling down on Bush’s disasterous economic and foreign policies. McCain is charging that Obama does not offer anything new – which is a hard charge to rebut because while Obama claims that McCain and Bush have similar economic and foreign policies – a position that can be checked – McCain is not specifically linking Obama to anyone. What is true is that Obama is supporting an emerging Democratic consensus on a number of issues – a consensus that has only gradually emerged as the Bush administration exacerbated long-term trends that are destabilizing the country. In addition, Obama’s campaign does have some new ideas – with Samantha Power, Lawrence Lessig, and Cass Sunstein acting as key advisors to the campaign, and influencing his foreign and economic policies.

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