Michael Scherer’s not happy with Barack Obama:
The second Obama ad is even more egregious in misleading people about McCain’s positions. The ad says McCain “voted against tax incentives for alternative energy–against ethanol, against fuel cells, against hybrids, against electric cars, against wind and solar, against geothermal.” Then the ad says McCain wants to give $4 billion in tax breaks to oil companies. This is all a nifty bit of misdirection. The oil company tax breaks the ad refers to are a corporate tax cut McCain favors, which would apply to almost all profitable companies, not just oil companies–including those companies that work on wind, solar and biofuels.
And McCain does support specific tax incentives for alternatives to oil. In fact, he has a habit of mentioning his plan to promote alternative energy with tax incentives and subsidies at nearly every campaign stop. The McCain policy prescription is, on the whole, not as generous, or costly to taxpayers, as the plan advanced by Obama. But you can read all about it here.
I think you see right here why the McCain campaign’s strategy of lying all the time is so clever. For a while, the press lets you get away with it. And then if they can be roused from their slumbers they decide “aha! now we’re going to get serious about fact-checking!” So serious that perfectly accurate claims become lies. On the campaign trail, John McCain makes himself out to be someone who supports a robust alternative energy program. Barack Obama, seeking to debunk that image, has an ad that critiques McCain’s record of voting “against tax incentives for alternative energy–against ethanol, against fuel cells, against hybrids, against electric cars, against wind and solar, against geothermal.” The charge, that McCain’s rhetoric on this score doesn’t match his record, is, as Scherer concedes, true. But Scherer deems it misleading on the grounds that it . . . fails to account that McCain’s rhetoric is at odds with his record!
I guess next time Barack Obama says John McCain would be a bad president, we’ll have to call Obama a liar on the grounds that, in fact, McCain says McCain would be a good president.