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Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in 2016 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election | 28 comments

Trump’s Outrageous Statements Distract From Flaws In Other Candidates of Both Parties

Trump Vulgarity

One of the many problems with Donald Trump’s outrageous statements (undoubtedly made more to attract attention and support from a certain segment of the Republican Party than out of conviction) is that it might be making people fail to realize that many other candidates running also have positions which in a normal year might disqualify them from serious consideration. This is most clearly true within the Republican Party, but Hillary Clinton also benefits from the non-stop vulgar and sexist attacks on her from Trump. Donald Trump’s views make the flaws in the other candidates look far less significant in comparison, but there remains reasons why other candidates would be unacceptable as president.

Politico looked at The Wild Ideas You Missed While Donald Trump Was Talking, finding that many people are not noticing extreme views from other Republican candidates when Trump gets most of the attention:

The good news for Republicans, arguably, is that their rhetoric has been so consistently over-the-top that it has started to sound routine; academics call this “shifting the Overton window,” the range of what’s considered politically acceptable. I’ve watched all the debates as well as the undercards live, but when I reviewed the transcripts, I was amazed how many radical statements had slipped under my radar. Ted Cruz called for putting the United States back on the gold standard. Marco Rubio accused President Barack Obama of destroying the U.S. military. Huckabee said Bernie Madoff’s rip-offs weren’t as bad as what the government has done to people on Social Security and Medicare. Lindsey Graham said his administration would monitor all “Islamic websites,” not just jihadist ones. I had even forgotten Trump’s claim that vaccines caused autism in a 2-year-old girl he knew.

Vaccines do not cause autism. Goldbuggery is crackpot economics. The U.S. military is still by far the strongest in the world. And what the government has done to people on Social Security and Medicare is give them pensions and health care. But none of those statements drew any pushback from the other Republican candidates, or, for that matter, the media moderators. Neither did Ben Carson’s assertion that if the United States had set a goal of oil independence within a decade, moderate Arab states would have “turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks,” which is wackadoodle on multiple levels.

On the other hand, the Republican debates do present an extremely distorted view of Obama’s record, with nobody present to present the facts:

These are presumably winning messages in a Republican primary. It’s not clear whether they would be in a general election. The reality of the Obama era, for all its warts, is that unemployment has dropped to 5 percent, the deficit has shrunk by two thirds, illegal immigration has plateaued, far fewer U.S. soldiers are dying abroad and Americans are more likely to be killed by lightning than by terrorists at home. The question is whether the run-for-your-lives talking points will crash into statistical reality, or whether they will gradually help create a new political reality.

The Republicans do deserve some credit for being willing to display their views in public. The article does chastise the Democrats here in concluding that the Republicans are “acting like a confident party—perhaps an overconfident party—while the Democrats are acting like they’ve lost their feck.”

In reality, it is the Clinton campaign (which only wanted four debates) and the DNC, which expanded the number to six but hid most of them on nights when few would be watching, which are acting cowardly. Both Sanders and O’Malley have been pushing for more debates. I also think that Clinton has benefited from the exaggerated coverage paid to Trump. If not for his unexpected success in the Republican race, the big story of the year might be Sanders’ challenge to Clinton. After all, Sanders does beat Trump in head to head contests–and often by a larger margin than Clinton does.

Clinton benefits in other ways from Trump being in the race. The large number of lies from Trump dominated the year-end report from Factcheck.org. This led to a fairly long list of lies from Clinton being less obvious, posted further down in the story after Trump’s lies.

The concentration by the media on outrageous comments from Trump distracts from talk about the unethical conduct from Clinton, as well has the poor judgment she has shown throughout her career. Most importantly, it distracts from a more thorough look at Clinton’s views, including her neoconservative views on foreign policy, her conservative views on social/cultural issues, and her turn to the right on economic issues and health care. It also might be kept in mind that, with all his unacceptable statements and views, Donald Trump did oppose the Iraq war which Clinton pushed so hard for, and which turned out to be a disaster.

Originally posted at Liberal Values

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Copyright 2015 The Moderate Voice
  • Sal Monela

    Bernie has has some interesting (and worthwhile) ideas, populist appeal, and like Trump draws large crowds. Unlike Trump he isn’t theatrical and doesn’t make outrageous comments so he gets maybe 5% of the attention that Trump gets. If you want to make Trump go away, spread the news coverage out so that all the candidates get their fair share of time.

    • While Trump is getting the media coverage, Sanders beats him by a landslide margin in head to head polls.

  • Bob Munck

    The large number of lies from Trump dominated the year-end report from Factcheck.org. This led to a fairly long list of lies from Clinton being less obvious, posted further down in the story after Trump’s lies.

    Here is Politifact’s ranking of the candidates based on the percentage of their statements that are Mostly False, False, or Pants-on-Fire.

    84 Ben Carson
    76 Donald J. Trump
    66 Ted Cruz
    55 Rick Santorum
    50 Carly Fiorina
    40 Marco Rubio
    34 Lindsey Graham
    32 Chris Christie
    32 Rand Paul
    32 Joseph R. Biden
    32 Jeb Bush
    28 Bernie Sanders
    28 Hillary Clinton
    26 Barack Obama
    25 Martin O’Malley

    Yes, Clinton is definitely “posted further down” in the list.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/opinion/campaign-stops/all-politicians-lie-some-lie-more-than-others.html?_r=0

    • Severity of the lies is also an important factor. Factcheck.org limited their annual round up to the more signifcant lies of the year, and had the second largest list from Clinton (following Trump).

      • Bob Munck

        Severity of the lies is also an important factor.

        Everyone on my list above Clinton had a larger percentage of Pants-on-Fire lies — the most severe category — than she did, except for Sanders and Graham. Everyone on my list above Clinton had a larger percentage of Pants-on-Fire or False lies than she did, except for Bush but including Sanders and Graham.

        Factcheck.org limited their annual round up to the more signifcant lies of the year, and had the second largest list from Clinton (following Trump).

        Only because they did the two front-runners as separate topics, then did everybody else. There’s no hint that they were stating or implying a ranking. You knew that.

        • That is a rather ridiculous spin and is not what Factcheck.org was doing. They were not looking at front runners specifically–they were looking at the candidates who told the most significant whoppers. It just happened that the two front runners were out in front. Donald Trump was named King of the Whopper not because he was a front runner, but because of the magnitude of his lies. Clinton’s long list, largely concentrating on her cover up of a major scandal, was far more consequential than any of the other candidates.

          It is also notable that they picked Fiorina next among the Republicans after Trump. This is not because of her position in the race but because she had the next most significant lie.

          • Bob Munck

            Factcheck.org was … not looking at front runners specifically–they were looking at the candidates who told the most significant whoppers.

            The Factcheck article doesn’t say that or anything like it, or imply it in any way. You made it up.

            Quoting the Factcheck article:

            But enough about the Republican front-runner. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has told some whoppers, too.

            Not looking at front runners specifically? Sounds pretty specific.

            Clinton’s long list, largely concentrating on her cover up of a major scandal, was far more consequential than any of the other candidates.

            The Factcheck article doesn’t say that either, or anything like it, or imply it in any way. You made it up. “Major scandal” and “far more consequential” are entirely your own opinion, not stated or implied by anything Factcheck says.

            It is also notable that they picked Fiorina next among the Republicans after Trump. … because she had the next most significant lie.

            But Sanders and O’Malley had their falsehoods listed before Fiorina.

            I’m afraid neither Factcheck nor PolitiFact are supporting your bias here. In fact, they contradict it.

          • As usual you are not going to give up, regardless of the facts. You are sure twisting the article above.

            My bias, as you call it, is rather widely shared, with most people agreeing that the two most dishonest candidates are Trump and Clinton:

            http://theweek.com/speedreads/591812/poll-least-trustworthy-candidate-each-major-party-winning

          • Bob Munck

            As usual you are not going to give up,

            Coming from you, that’s pretty funny.

            You are sure twisting the article above.

            I’ve refuted all of your arguments to that effect. Do you have some more, or are you just throwing out a general accusation with nothing to back it up?

            Apparently PolitiFact’s ranking of the veracity of the candidates, reproduced in my first comment in this thread and below, really threw a monkey wrench into your worldview.

            Here is Politifact’s ranking of the candidates based on the percentage of their statements that are Mostly False, False, or Pants-on-Fire.

            84 Ben Carson
            76 Donald J. Trump
            66 Ted Cruz
            55 Rick Santorum
            50 Carly Fiorina
            40 Marco Rubio
            34 Lindsey Graham
            32 Chris Christie
            32 Rand Paul
            32 Joseph R. Biden
            32 Jeb Bush
            28 Bernie Sanders
            28 Hillary Clinton
            26 Barack Obama
            25 Martin O’Malley

            Citation

          • Already debunked that above, and no, you haven’t refuted a thing. Percentage of items looked at by Poltifact is not very meaningful as lies vary in consequence. There is a huge difference between Sanders getting some of his statistics off in debates, while the underlying message was right, and Clinton lying to cover up a major scandal or to distort the views of her opponents. Factcheck’s analysis based upon major whoppers (not front runner status) is far more meaningful.

            However I don’t really care if you think that all the Republicans lie more than Clinton. If only you saw the significance of all the lies which they have caught Clinton on.

          • Bob Munck

            Already debunked that above

            Where? Exactly what do you think you’ve “debunked” and where did you do it?

            You haven’t debunked anything; you’ve abandoned all of your arguments when I answered them.

            There is a huge difference between Sanders getting some of his statistics off in debates, while the underlying message was right,

            That’s why PolitiFact has the six different different levels of truthiness. Sanders did slightly worse in False which is why he’s above Clinton in the dishonesty ranking.

            and Clinton lying to cover up a major scandal or to distort the views of her opponents.

            Who decides if something is a “major scandal?” You and the Republicans would like Benghazi and E-mail to be, but they aren’t despite your best efforts. Both are fading away, like Whitewater and Vince Foster.

            Factcheck’s analysis based upon major whoppers

            By your interpretation, Sanders is a worse liar than Carly Fiorina; he comes before her in the Factcheck article. Do you believe that?

            However I don’t really care if you think that all the Republicans lie more than Clinton.

            Nor do I. But the fact that Clinton and Sanders are shown as approximately equal in veracity by PolitiFact is what really makes you crazy. It destroys the message you’ve been obsessively hammering for months.

          • Wow, Bob- I am totally impressed. You actually got the last word in. That should go in the Guiness Book of Records or something! :-)))

          • Bob Munck

            Kim, I’m afraid you underestimated obsession. Ron is basically defending his entire raison d’être, and not successfully.

          • Debunked above. I have not abandoned any arguments, and have repeated them more than once.

            You are just repeating arguments which I have now responded to repeatedly. You are just cherry picking what benefits you from one fact checker, and distorting what other fact checkers say. No, there is nothing in my actual analysis which says that Sanders is a worse liar than Fiorina. The opposite is the actual case.

            Again, an analysis you are using is rather meaningless. The more serious analysis shows Clinton to be the far worse liar. Both the fact checkers and the voters agree on this.

            Again you distort the facts in acting like Benghazi, Whitewater, and Vince Foster have anything to do with the actual scandals Clinton is involved in. Don’t count on this fading away. Back in the 2004 election the Swift Boat lies faded away for a while, and then came back far more in August before the election. Expect the same to happen this time. Except that, compared to the Swift Boat liars, the scandals involving Clinton are based upon the facts, with the fact checkers backing them up. Democrats will have a rough time should she win the nomination.

          • Bob Munck

            No, there is nothing in my actual analysis which says that Sanders is a worse liar than Fiorina.

            Sure there is. You claimed that the Factcheck article listed the candidates in descending order of the severity of their lies (your comment above on December 29, 2015 at 9:26 am). Sanders appears before Fiorina. QED.

            … shows Clinton to be the far worse liar. Both the fact checkers and the voters agree on this.

            Politifact doesn’t, and they give actual analysis of the statements and ranking of the results. From their article in the NYTimes: “In the Democratic race, Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are evenly matched at 28 percent” Want to see the table of those results again?

            The voters are getting their information from people like the right-wing media and you. Scarcely a reliable indicator of the actualities.

            Don’t count on this fading away.

            It already has. Even you are no longer writing polemics about it, and the Congressional Republicans are hiding in embarrassment. But you should make the attempt to Keep Hope Alive.

          • “You claimed that the Factcheck article listed the candidates in descending order of the severity of their lies (your comment above on December 29, 2015 at 9:26 am). Sanders appears before Fiorina.”

            No. They concentrated on Trump and then Clinton. Other candidates with much shorter lists were done by party.

            The Poltifact numbers are based upon the number of statements they analyzed. It does not mean the percentage of statements made by each candidate. They also lump together incorrect statements of vastly different types. Inadvertent errors in statistics given in a debate are hardly comparable to lies to cover up violations of policy and major ethical violations as in Clinton’s case.

            Again, you are mistaken if you think this will just fade away. There are still multiple FOIA suits in progress and the likelihood of multiple rulings against Clinton. The FBI investigation is still in progress. Plus Republicans will be certain to bring everything up again in the general election. (Clinton’s best hope there is if they overreach as they have often done, throwing in their bogus attacks along with the real.)

            “Congressional Republicans are hiding in embarrassment.” Maybe over Benghazi, as they should, but this has nothing to do with the real scandals.

            Plus independent voters say they do not trust Clinton and are reluctant to vote for her. It is certainly possible that the Republicans could run a candidate who is disliked even more (such as Trump) but it sure is risky to nominate such a flawed candidate and hope that she wins because the Republican is even worse. We saw in 2014 how many Democratic voters stay home when they run Republican-lite candidates.

          • Bob Munck

            No. They concentrated on Trump and then Clinton. Other candidates with much shorter lists were done by party.

            But you said “It is also notable that they picked Fiorina next among the Republicans after Trump. This is not because of her position in the race but because she had the next most significant lie.” So it wasn’t by party or frontrunner status, but by significance, and Sanders comes before Fiorina after all. What a tangled web you’re weaving. You may need another whole level of epicycles to get those planets going where you want them.

            The Poltifact numbers are based upon the number of statements they analyzed. It does not mean the percentage of statements made by each candidate.

            What in the world does that mean? Every declarative sentence they’ve uttered since they declared their candidacy?

            You claimed that Politifact agreed with Factcheck and the voters that Clinton was “the far worst liar.” Where? Give us a pointer to their statement supporting your position, the way I have for mine.

            Again, you are mistaken if you think this will just fade away.

            I didn’t say that; I said it has faded away. Gone with the wind. “We’ve gotten off of Hillary emails, good,” Sanders said. “Let’s go to the major issues facing America.” Guess his definition of “major” is different from yours.

            Plus independent voters say they do not trust Clinton and are reluctant to vote for her.

            So you’re abandoning the whole “worst liar” thesis and jumping to poll results? Trying to change the subject?

            You seem to have a lot of faith in the polls, especially when they support your prejudices. I, on the other hand, am quite certain what Clinton would do to Trump, Rubio, or Cruz in the general election campaign and head-to-head debates. Trump and Cruz would declare they weren’t being treated fairly and storm out, and Rubio would dissolve into tears.

          • Most of this was already dealt with multiple times and there is no point in repeating.

            “So you’re abandoning the whole “worst liar” thesis and jumping to poll results? Trying to change the subject?”

            No, that is not what I said at all. There are multiple ways to look at the worst liars. When journalists and fact checkers have looked, Trump and Clinton usually come out the worse. The public realizes this too, as is reflected in the polls.

          • Bob Munck

            there is no point in repeating.

            True. You’ve lost the argument.

            When journalists and fact checkers have looked, Trump and Clinton usually come out the worse.

            Journalists tend to have biases. I showed that you were wrong about Factcheck. I asked you to produce a citation for your claim about Politifact; you didn’t.

          • Nope, I haven’t lost anything.

            ” I asked you to produce a citation for your claim about Politifact; you didn’t.”

            What citation did you ask for. There is not going to be a citation anywhere which says, “Bob Munck’s twisting of this article to support his denial of Clinton’s dishonesty is not true.”

          • Brownies girl

            Due to the season, I’m late to this one — but way to go, Mr. Munck. Impressive to say the least! Happy New Year from up here!

          • Bob Munck

            Thank you. Thank you so much.

            Try the veal; and don’t forget to tip your waitress.

  • JSpencer

    That the heavyweights of lying are overwhelmingly republican comes as no surprise. The more interesting question has to do with why their constituents continue sucking up to them year after year, long after they’ve been outed, and even when they hurt themselves by doing so.

    • And every conservative I’ve discussed the election claims that they can’t vote for HC because she’s a pathological liar, haha

      • She is a pathological liar, although the Republicans might do worse considering that Trump could win the nomination.

        However, the conservatives who worry consider Clinton a liar aren’t the problem–they were never going to vote for Clinton. The problem in nominating Clinton is that the independents consider her to be a liar.

        • Um- I defer to Bob’s excellent response to this.

    • Slamfu

      A quick spin around most conservatives sites will show that the vast majority of people there are worked up about things that only exist in their heads. They have been intentionally misled by the GOP, FOX News, and talk radio into believing in this alternate universe. Without someone to consistently call out the lies(4th Estate), when for every person who figures out they are being played, 4 others take the lies at face value and vote accordingly. So there is no political downside to lying and it will continue to be used until it doesn’t produce results.

      • Absolutely true, Slam– and the things they are so worked up about range from all out lies to unverifiable rumors to half truths and distortions. It is just too easy to convince that audience of just about anything the far right comes up with. Examples include– lies about the president’s religion and birthplace, lies about his loyalties and patriotism, pants on fire lies about man-made global warming, half truths and distortions about Benghazi. fear mongering lies and distortions about the Ebola virus and ISIS coming over the Mexican border. The reason that we don’t make headway on real issues is because of the powerful sway of right wing media.
        In saying that, I am not saying that left wing media does not distort as well- but the right wing lies really seem to stick and hit home and affect our elections

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