Why do the DNC and Howard Dean continue to lie?

posted at 7:30 am on April 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Making a misstatement of fact once can rightly be called a mistake. Making a series of misstatements over and over again and rolling them into national ads can only be considered lies, and perhaps a Big Lie propaganda strategy at that. The DNC and its chair, Howard Dean, apparently have no other choice to lie about John McCain despite numerous corrections in the media and elsewhere. Fact Check looks at the lies and the bad math in its assessment of the latest ads from the Democrats.

First, Fact Check scolds the DNC for continuing to use its “100 years of war” lie against McCain, even though Fact Check already debunked that claim two months ago:

It’s one thing to argue, as Dean does, that McCain’s position is a recipe for continued violence and bloodshed, whatever his stated intent. But it is another thing to misrepresent that intent. The ad twists the sense of McCain’s words by showing images of war, when he was really talking about a peaceful troop presence. Imagine how different the ad would seem if it showed images of, say, American troops walking the streets of Tokyo or Seoul and had included what McCain said about “Americans … not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.”

Anyone who didn’t already know the fuller version of McCain’s answer could easily be fooled into thinking that McCain would be perfectly happy to see the war continue. McCain has said quite clearly that he considers Democratic proposals for a quick withdrawal from Iraq to be “surrender,” and so deadly fighting could well continue longer under a President McCain than under either a President Hillary Clinton or a President Obama. But what the DNC ad conveys is the opposite of what McCain said.

Next, Fact Check shows the Democrats continuing to misrepresent McCain’s remarks on the economy:

Nevertheless, two of the DNC’s factual claims are untrue. … While McCain says “a lot of jobs have been created,” the ad shows a graphic that states, “1.8 million jobs lost.” McCain is correct and the ad is wrong. Total nonfarm employment was nearly 5.4 million higher last month than it was when President Bush took office in January 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the standard measure of jobs, and it means 5.4 million have been created.

The DNC defends its claim of “jobs lost” by pointing to the total number of persons who were without jobs in March. That figure is 1.8 million higher than it was when Bush was sworn in. But it doesn’t mean that many jobs were lost, it means that the job gain didn’t keep pace with the number of persons who are seeking work. The ad would have been correct to say that there are “1.8 million more unemployed.” That stark statistic doesn’t contradict McCain’s statement that lots of jobs were created, however. It means not enough were created to satisfy the need.

The ads contain even more deception, although milder. It claims that gas prices have gone up 200% since Bush took office. That would only be true if Bush took office in December 2001, when gas prices dropped to $1.11 per gallon. The price in January 2001 was $1.47 per gallon, which makes the increase 139%. And one has to ask why the price went up. The war certainly had something to do with it, but most of that increase came years after the invasion of Iraq. Congress has blocked new drilling and has not expedited the building of new refineries in the US, which Bush has advocated during his entire presidency — so whose fault are higher gas prices?

They also complain that unemployment is “up”. Unemployment has risen to 5.1%, but that hardly qualifies as high. It beats the average American unemployment since 1948, which is 5.6%. Coincidentally, that was the same unemployment level in the US in 1996, when Democrats described it as “low” during Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign.

So why does Howard Dean lie? He lies because he has nothing else to use against John McCain, at least not from a hard-Left perspective. The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner with two terrible candidates, who have busied themselves with tearing each other apart. He needs a distraction, and since Dean apparently feels that Democratic policies are losers, he has to resort to cheap, transparent distortions and lies instead.

That should signal the American electorate as to which party has the necessary leadership to succeed, and which has a well-earned inferiority complex.


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They have been doing it for so long with total immunity that they just don’t see anything wrong.

DAT60A3 on April 30, 2008 at 7:39 AM

Howard Dean alternates between limp wrested, absentee parent like leadership/neglect and ham handed, aggressive street fight politics. I think he might actually be a schizoid.

D0WNT0WN on April 30, 2008 at 7:39 AM

“Why do the DNC and Howard Dean continue to lie?”

A) Because he’s a Democrat and that’s what Democrats do these days;
B) Because he can get away with it — the MSM is not going to call them on it and most people still get their “news” from the MSM so …

johnsteele on April 30, 2008 at 7:41 AM

Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the “turth”.

Johan Klaus on April 30, 2008 at 7:46 AM

Dr Dean should stand out as the most incompetent incompetent of the bunch. How he keeps his job is beyond me. He is not so much a leader as a note taker IMHO.

JAW on April 30, 2008 at 7:51 AM

I’m stunned that Democrats would knowingly block drilling for oil……..

EricPWJohnson on April 30, 2008 at 7:59 AM

Ed, I like that you still pause to ponder why the Dems are such dishonest hacks. It’s refreshing that you’re so unjaded.

It’s also quite a contrast to your Eeyorish co-blogger.

Here’s something to remember about the Dems. They are always projecting their own dishonesty, corruption, and bad-faith onto Republicans. So the louder they scream about how terrible or corrupt Bush, Chenney, Rove, etc are, the more you have to look out for the duplicity, lies, and attempts at stolen elections.

Part of the projection is just the psychological phenomenon, but much of it is savvy political cover. If they scream that the other guy is worse than Hitler, they fool everyone into looking the other way.

Nessuno on April 30, 2008 at 8:01 AM

I hate when they use statistics for “during” or “since” whoever became president. Most of the time it has little or no connection to who was actually president, or who was in control of Congress.

The price of oil/gas, for example. There’s hundreds of factors to consider there, not just who was president, which is perhaps one of the least influential factors in existence. The war in Iraq may have something to do with the oil prices, but there are far more important and influential factors than that at play.

Claiming, as the DNC does, that it has something to do with Bush, and only Bush, is basically saying to voters, “Yeah, we know you’re too dumb to see how simplistic this is, and that’s why we’re doing it!”

Seixon on April 30, 2008 at 8:10 AM

That should signal the American electorate as to which party has the necessary leadership to succeed, and which has a well-earned inferiority complex.

It should, but as we see too often, the target audience for this DNC tripe is as gullible as can be, and won’t take exception to it in any way.

Midas on April 30, 2008 at 8:15 AM

I think that if in the event Humble Howie Dean ever uttered a single word of truth, the man would turn into a pile of dust. Kind of like what happens to the vampire at the end of the movie when the sun comes up.

pilamaye on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

That should signal the American electorate as to which party has the necessary leadership to succeed, and which has a well-earned inferiority complex.

It won’t. Most believe every word and can be trusted to parrot every line and lie.

Democrats have shown now for some time that all they have to offer are lies. I am sick of the lot of them. They are the party of liars, POL’s.

Question: If Bush had been Democrat, aside from the far left, I think it’s safe to say that most democrats would stand behind him with regards to the war and economic policies. But would the GOP be aligned against him? Would they become the party of liars? Would they be grabbing onto every bit of bad news and trumpeting that the war was lost or the great depression of ’08 was just around the corner?

I like to think not. I’d like to think that we could put forth our beliefs, goals, values, and policies without resorting to lies and half-truths to support them.

Rod on April 30, 2008 at 8:17 AM

“Lies come first, and drag along the gullible. Truth limps in long afterward on the arm of time.” – Balthazar Gracian

They lie because it has always worked. One short sentence takes several pages to refute, meanwhile the average reader never makes it past the first paragraph. Newspaper always put the accurate facts in the last paragraph.

What is more amazing is we condone the lying. How many times did the Clinton’s spin yarns, the same yarns for years, that everyone knew were outright falsehoods. Yet most editorial pages in this country will recommend voting for them after she gets the nomination. There’s no public disgrace, it’s all rather charming now.

patrick neid on April 30, 2008 at 8:23 AM

We don’t need no stinkin facts,besides lying is an inate
behaviour of Liberals,and Liberals have lied so much it
becomes their truth!

And besides,step the H-LL aside,Liberals think they got
the shaft from Gore’s so-called win,and they have a lot
more important things to do besides fact checking!

One way or another,what ever or however it takes,lying
about the success’s in Irag,the Lying will be an ends
that justify the means!

And Liberal’s are going to get their power back at all costs,to hell with America,the Liberal Party is more
important don’t ya know!

And if Bill Clinton can look into the camera,directly
speaking to the American people,stick his finger out
and claim “I did not have sex with that women——
Monica Lewinsky,and completely lie.So what were Liberals
get over it!

And I thought Rev.Wright had problems!

canopfor on April 30, 2008 at 8:24 AM

The Democrats are speaking, once again, to a Higher Truth, where what they want to believe is The Truth, unhindered by actual facts.

rbj on April 30, 2008 at 8:27 AM

Nothing to see here…move along now…nothing to see….

Tim Zank on April 30, 2008 at 8:33 AM

They also complain that unemployment is “up”. Unemployment has risen to 5.1%, but that hardly qualifies as high. It beats the average American unemployment since 1948, which is 5.6%.

They claim that unemployment is up, and your argument is “sure its up but it’s not as high as it was immediately following world war ii”? That doesn’t prove that the DNC are liars, it proves their point. This probably isn’t a terrific argument for McCain to be making out on the campaign trail.

e-pirate on April 30, 2008 at 8:43 AM

e-pirate,

I think you missed something there. He is quoting the average unemployment rate since 1948, not the unemployment rate in 1948.

forest on April 30, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Why has not the RNC released an ad showing the entirety of McCain’s remarks on these two subjects?

EJDolbow on April 30, 2008 at 8:57 AM

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

CP on April 30, 2008 at 9:13 AM

You got him like Lawrence Taylor sacking David Beckham.

mymanpotsandpans on April 30, 2008 at 9:41 AM

pilamaye on April 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

This little light of mine (and Ed’s), I’m gonna let it shine…

bikermailman on April 30, 2008 at 9:41 AM

Well, you could knock me over with a feather.

I’ll be damned

franksalterego on April 30, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Democrats are abjectly shittaceous.

whitetop on April 30, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Why has not the RNC released an ad showing the entirety of McCain’s remarks on these two subjects?

EJDolbow on April 30, 2008 at 8:57 AM

Sooner or later, McCain has to abandon the Mr. “I’m Above All This” persona and address these attacks.

MaryAnn on April 30, 2008 at 10:31 AM

Sooner or later, McCain has to abandon the Mr. “I’m Above All This” persona and address these attacks.

MaryAnn on April 30, 2008 at 10:31 AM

Because internal polling shows this is only playing to the hard line lefties, the fence sitters aren’t buying this stuff.
The more the DNC does this, the better chance for McCain. It is not resonating in middle America, let them waste the money.

right2bright on April 30, 2008 at 10:36 AM

They have been doing it for so long with total immunity that they just don’t see anything wrong.

DAT60A3 on April 30, 2008 at 7:39 AM

I don’t think its a matter of seeing anything wrong. They have gutter morals, and they live down to them.

tgharris on April 30, 2008 at 11:04 AM

e-pirate on April 30, 2008 at 8:43

It’s an AVERAGE. Read what you posted.

TimothyJ on April 30, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Why do the DNC and Howard Dean continue to lie?

Might have to do with it being an election year, and they desperately want a Democrat to win the White House this time, after several utter failures. They don’t care how they do it, or what the consequences are of doing it, but they are relying on the average American, who does not read HotAir to listen to them and take their word as truth

ToddonCapeCod on April 30, 2008 at 3:59 PM