I really like Michael Dobbs. He’s generally fair and balanced in sifting through truth and fantasy spun by candidates on all sides of any ticket. . .sort of a “just the facts, ma’am” kind of guy.
Today in his “Fact Checker” column in the Washington Post, Dobbs goes after the top two on both presidential tickets — but in the view of this blogger, he has an odd snippet with out of whack emphasis on Joe Biden.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
“In the Senate, John [McCain] has voted with President Bush 95 percent. And that is very hard to believe.”
Biden is exaggerating McCain’s support for the President’s policies. According to Congressional Quarterly, which keeps score, McCain supported the Bush administration on 95 percent of the votes in 2007. But his loyalty score for the first 7 1/2 years of the Bush presidency is lower: 90 percent.
The analysis suggests that the presidential election campaign has drawn McCain closer to Bush. In 2005, the senator from Arizona voted with the White House 77 percent of the time. So far in 2008, he has a 100 percent pro-Bush rating, but he has missed many votes as a result of being on the campaign trail.
I wonder when he wrote this if he was chuckling about it, knowing folks would walk away knowing that Biden’s point about John McCain is even more true than Biden may say.
On the others, Dobbs charges Obama with not being able to show how he would “pay for every dime” of plans outlined in his powerful convention speech. Dobbs quotes my colleague Maya MacGuineas as President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but Dobbs fails to mention that the Committee is at the New America Foundation, where MacGuineas is also Director of New America’s Fiscal Policy Program. Just to fill in the details.
But on McCain and Palin, Dobbs is right on target.
Dobbs says that the Russia as invading villain in the Georgia-Russia narrative in McCain’s convention speech fails to note that “Georgia attacked first.”
And on Palin, Dobbs whacks the Alaska Governor for distorting her opposition to earmarks for the “Bridge to Nowhere.” In fact, the more we learn about Governor and Mayor Palin, the more it seems as if she was in fact a reigning diva of earmarks in an appropriations realm governed by her close friend, the now federally indicted Senator Ted Stevens.
— Steve Clemons