Candidates hit back hard, fast against online attacks

Candidates hit back hard, fast against online attacks:

Philip J. Berg illustrates how hard it is to quash rumors once they spread.

The Philadelphia-area lawyer, who filed the suit against Obama’s candidacy, is aware that the Web site FactCheck.org has examined Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate and ruled it kosher.

But he doesn’t believe it.

“FactCheck.org is owned by Annenberg of Chicago, where Obama sat on the board,” the lawyer said, dismissing the Web site’s verdict.

FactCheck.org describes itself as a “nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters.” It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

19 Comments

Comment #1

Walter and Leonore Annenberg were big-time supporters of Ronald Reagan. They supposedly even spent New Year’s together on more than one occasion. I’ve never heard anyone describe them as liberal or radical, yet a board their foundation supported is now being described by some as a kind of terrorist sleeper cell and by this goofball as some kind of biased political group.

What’s up with that?  Has the Annenberg Foundation been co-opted by the left or were the Annenberg’s secretly Marxists all of those years they were writing checks to the Republican party?

Comment #2

Look, when a candidate thinks it’s OK to stab newborn children in the skull with scissors, I don’t need to see a birth certificate to know whether or not he’s qualified for the job.

Comment #3

Mike once again disqualifies himself from any meaningful discussion with a completely knee-jerk (and untrue) statement.

Wow. No wonder the political discourse in our country is completely soured with people like you running around and making comments like that.

You don’t even deserve a reasonable response, since you’ve proven you have no reason yourself.

Comment #5

Sorry, I just can’t let this go…

Not only is Mike’s statement completely offensive and blatantly untrue (the understatement of the year, btw), but it’s just about the most vile insinuation I’ve heard in a long long time.

(I’m grudgingly ignoring the fact that disagreeing with him gives his comment a sliver of credence, that it does not deserve.)

Comment #6

@almostcool/Aaron: Which part(s) of Mike’s statement are offensive/untrue/vile?

Comment #7

Obama is the “most extreme pro-abortion candidate to have ever run on a major party ticket” (source) and is opposed to any ban, state or federal, on partial birth abortions (source).  Partial birth abortion involves delivering the baby to the point where everything except the baby’s head is outside of the mother’s body, at which point surgical scissors are inserted into the baby’s skull (source).  The scissors are then expanded to make a hole in the child’s head large enough for a suction catheter to be inserted to evacuate the “skull contents” (source).  The baby is alert throughout the procedure, including an awareness of pain (source) and is fully alive until the doctor stabs it in the skull (source).

So, in my judgment, anyone whose moral judgment leads him to believe that this barbaric practice is something the government should protect and defend is completely unfit for office.  This position is based on biological and medical facts, and commonly accepted beliefs about the morality of killing other humans.  If you don’t think killing other humans is wrong, then I would add that you are unfit to scold me for my comment above.

So, once again you all yell at me about how offensive, unreasonable, and wrong I am without introducing even the slightest thread of logic, rationality, or argumentation.  You tell me… who’s the irrational one here?

Comment #8

By the way, Jason, sorry for hijacking your comments.

I meant for my statement to be about how I go about deciding whether a candidate is qualified for office or not.  I agree that there are way too many people going around believing this rumor or that, but abortion is an issue on which both candidates have been very clear, from their own mouths, about their position.

But, again, I’m the one being unreasonable when I make a decision based on a candidate’s position on an issue…

Comment #9

Despite what any editorial you may dig up from the far reaches of some obscure right-wing Christian-based research institute may say, the fact of the matter is Barack Obama supports bans on partial birth abortion.  The only reason he hasn’t supported specific legislation on this in the past has been when that legislation didn’t include a provision to protect the health of the mother, and he only abstained from voting “yes” in these instances in an effort to further mold that legislation to include said provisions, because he couldn’t, in good conscience, support legislation that didn’t.

“On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I’ve said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn’t have that.” —Barack Obama

That’s the problem with this stuff, when people only see these issues in histrionic black and white, scissors in baby’s skulls, fetuses on the sides of trucks, all or nothing… never noting or considering the nuance and honest details of these complicated situations.

Nuance in ‘08.

Comment #10

@Mike: If I didn’t want people to “hijack” the comments, I wouldn’t have commenting enabled.

And FWIW, I don’t consider it to be hijacking when people have passionate, “vigorous” (to quote the most recent debate) discussion and still end up disagreeing with one another when all is said done—so long as that doesn’t spill over into cheap shots and other asshat-like behavior.

Comment #11

FWIW, given Obama’s track record, it is difficult to know whether we can take him at his word whenever he tries to explain why he came down on the (sometimes extreme) pro-choice (to the point of pro-abortion) side of a vote.

For example, Obama has claimed repeatedly that he voted against a bill to protect “born alive infants” because it lacked a certain phrase or clause that had appeared in similar legislation at the federal level.  But in fact, he voted against a version of that bill which did have that phrase or clause.  So he either has a terrible memory, or he is flat-out lying.  Either way, he’s not telling us what his reasons really were.  Details here (speaking of FactCheck.org!).

So I, for one, take anything Obama has to say about abortion—and his reasons for voting the way he does on that issue—with a healthy helping of salt.

Comment #12

why would someone want to ban late term abortions?  what’s the difference?  the 7 month developed fetus has rights but the 5 month one doesn’t?  or is killing it just yuckier maybe.

Comment #13

Well, it’s just that kind of reasoning that leads people like Obama to reject support for infants after they have survived abortion attempts.  Five minutes before leaving the womb, five minutes after leaving the womb, what’s the difference?

But to answer your question, the major reason for banning late-term abortions boils down to something like this:  If legal death begins at brain death, then legal life should begin at brain life.  The zygote, blastula, and embryo (at least in its early stages) have no brain activity.  But the fetus does, at least in the third trimester.  What is more, with modern medicine, fetuses can survive if they are born at pretty much any point during the third trimester.

So the third-trimester fetus is, quite definitely, a different kind of creature than a first-trimester fetus or even a second-trimester fetus, in the same way that a baby is a different kind of creature from, say, a teenager.  And just as we have laws forbidding certain activities and the selling of certain substances to minors—activities and substances that we gladly permit to adults—so, too, it makes sense to treat third-trimester fetuses differently from first- and second-trimester fetuses.  In some cases, different stages of development do call for different rules.

Comment #14

Actually Peter, the reason he rejected the law to support infants after survived abortion attempts is because the law already says the doctor would have to.  Why make two laws to cover the same issue?

Comment #15

That wasn’t the reason Obama gave, at least not at the time.  But I suppose he may have turned to other reasons now that his original reason has been exposed for what it is.

As for “why make two laws”, the link I provided quotes a group as saying that the existing law is “loophole-ridden”.  I have no idea whether that is true or not, but that would be their reason, at least.

Comment #16

@Peter: I think this article by Robert George, a Princeton ethicist, touches on what you referred to.

FWIW, I’m curious as to how Aaron, almostcool, or any other Obama supporters here would respond to the examples of Obama’s “pro-abortion” stance that George brings up.

Comment #17

An interesting post from Doug Wilson yesterday, showing BHO’s birth cert next to another one from the same time and same island:
With All the Cherries

FWIW, this isn’t an issue of beliefs, political leaning, or whatever else.  The Constitution says what it says, and either Obama was born in the U.S. or he wasn’t.  Either he is ineligible for the office, or he isn’t.  Sounds like the courts might get to make this determination…

Comment #18

@Mike: I don’t know if the courts need to be involved in this any more than they already have been.

On June 13, 2008,  Obama’s campaign finally released a copy,  while launching a fact-check Web site of its own, Fightthesmears.com. The site is a direct response to allegations about Obama that won’t go away: He’s Muslim. He took the oath of office on a Koran. He refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance. PolitiFact has researched all of these accusations and none of them are true.

When the birth certificate arrived from the Obama campaign it confirmed his name as the other documents already showed it. Still, we took an extra step: We e-mailed it to the Hawaii Department of Health, which maintains such records, to ask if it was real.

“It’s a valid Hawaii state birth certificate,” spokesman Janice Okubo told us.

[...]

There is not one shred of evidence to… support allegations that the birth certificate he released isn’t authentic.

The full article, dated June 27th, 2008, is here. And more info here.

Comment #19

FWIW, this whole birth certificate kerfuffle reminds of that Dana Carvey sketch in which he postulates on the elaborate global conspiracy to frame O.J.

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