If you ever wondered how it was possible that we could possibly have this close an election when the vast majority of the American people highly disapprove of the job George W. Bush has done, yet there is still a disconnect with John McCain supporters that his would be a third Bush term, look no further than what passes for political debate on this morning's Face the Nation. My head is still hurting from the stupidity of it.
Still playing to the media narrative that the selection of Sarah Palin should somehow bring women to the McCain camp, they bring on four female proxies--Kay Bailey Hutchinson and former Mass Gov. Jane Swift for McCain, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and FL Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Obama--to frame the debate as Obama vs. Palin. Strange that. All this time, I thought it was John McCain running for the office. You know, the same guy that calls his wife an unforgivable slur and laughs at Hillary Clinton being referred to as a b*tch, and now the Republicans saying they're going to call out sexism when they see it? Maybe my silly little female head got confused.
And when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz throws down the gauntlet on all the GOP distractions and says that the truth matters and Gov. Swift opts to spin this into an inane deflection of whether Palin was actually in Iraq, wasting close to four minutes of airtime. Wasserman Schultz holds her ground, pointing out that these embellishments to her record just show what a lightweight Palin truly is, but it's host Bob Schieffer that has to side with the Republicans by pointing out that Palin's actions 'have been alleged' to be less than her claim, but it's up to the voters to decide "the truth."
Um, Bob, isn't that supposed to be your function? To help the voters know the truth from the spin?
Transcripts below the fold
NAPOLITANO: I have to say that one of the disappointmenting things about this campaign has been John McCain's ad, which now have been soundly criticized even by non-partisan groups as being sorely misleading, taking comments out of context, all the things that in the past, the old John McCain used to criticize. We're now seeing the rejuvenated Karl Rove-based John McCain and we see it every day and these kinds of advertisements that really don't assist voters in making the key decisions that's facing them right now, which is who should be the next President of the United States? A man who is standing with Bush 90+% of the time, who has not supported in 26 years in the Senate equal pay and other issues affecting women. Should he be the President or should it be Barack Obama, who has stood for all of these issues?
SCHIEFFER: Gov. Swift?
SWIFT: Well, first of all, let me just say that I think that the Democrats and many folks are just outraged that John McCain would actually call them on their words that are inappropriate about Sarah Palin and we do need to step up and say, "listen, when you say things that have nothing to do with her position on issues and with her record as Governor of Alaska, we are going to call you on it. And if that's painful, I'm sorry, but I do think that the point is we are trying to determine whether or not we are going to elect John McCain and Sarah Palin, proven ability to change Washington, to bring reform to Washington, or are we going to elect Barack Obama, who on the bill that we're talking about sides with the trial lawyers, one of the most pwerful special interests in Washington.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: On the bill that we're talking about, Governor, on the bill that we're talking about, John McCain was the deciding vote to defeat the bill in the Senate and Barack Obama voted for it. When it comes to putting up or shutting up... [crosstalk]
SWIFT: Which is why the trial lawyers are giving more money to Barack Obama.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: When it comes to...who is for equal pay and proved it and who's against it, John McCain voted no and was the deciding vote. Barack Obama voted yes. And you know what? At the end of the day, Governor, the truth matters. I'm a mom, you're a mom. We both have twins. I raise my kids and I'm sure Sarah Palin raised her kids to tell the truth and that the truth is important. But when she lies about the fact that she says she went to Iraq and she didn't, when she says that ...when she repeatedly...[crosstalk]
SWIFT: She did not lie about saying she went to Iraq.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: She did. She didn't go to Iraq. She went to Ireland...
SWIFT: She visited the troops, the general in charge...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: She went to Ireland on a refueling stop...She did not go into Iraq. And the campaign said she did.
SWIFT: The general in charge said that they went to Kuwait and they went across the border. They went into Iraq to visit troops...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: But they didn't. They were not in Iraq.
SWIFT: That's what the general says...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: She's outside North America. She's been to Kuwait at the border and she stopped over in Ireland on a refueling stop. But the truth matters, and she's going to get called on the truth. So is John McCain for the entire campaign, because in this country we have to make sure that we move in a new direction. The American people are tired of the culture of corruption that has hung over the Capitol for far too long under Republican control. We do not need more of the same.
SWIFT: Well first of all, John McCain has [crosstalk]
SCHIEFFER: Let me interrupt for a moment, to clarify, because this just came up overnight, what Congresswoman Schultz is talking about. Last night the Obama campaign put out a report that says that Sarah Palin did not go to Iraq as she has stated to visit the Alaskan National Guard troops, but that she stopped at a border crossing with Kuwait and that she did not get more than a quarter of a mile inside Iraq. So that is the charge. You're saying, Gov. Swift, that that's overblown?
SWIFT: Yeah, I think it is overblown. The truth is she went to Kuwait to visit the troops who were going to be fighting in Iraq. She was accompanied by a general who will say they traveled into Iraq and if it has been misreported, but to say that she is lying, in all due respect to Congresswoman Schultz, is not appropriate. She is not lying.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: They said she went to Iraq and she didn't go to Iraq...
SWIFT: She was in Iraq; the general will tell you...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ...I mean, it's pretty black and white.
SWIFT: ...that they traveled into Iraq.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, what the general said is that she never ventured beyond the border crossing. That's what they said. And that's the bottom line...the truth matters
SCHIEFFER: All right, I'm just going to call time here and let people make up their own minds on this.