January 10, 2007

I listen to political TV speeches and to the comments of the talking heads with amazement. Are the talk show hosts completely oblivious to inconsistencies in the candidates’ comments or do they just not give a damn?

When questioned as to when he believes that life begins, Huckabee flatly states that “Life begins at conception.” He then goes on to state that it is obvious. “All the scientists agree.”

Fine, but how come not a single questioner takes him to task on a horrible inconsistency? Huckabee has stated on many occasions that he does not believe in Darwin’s theory of Evolution. The vast majority of scientists – in fact, almost all scientists – strongly believe in Evolution.

Either Huckabee believes in science, or he doesn’t believe in science. He can’t have it both ways.

Rudy Giuliani in a TV interview reminds the public that he is a lawyer. He goes on to state, “ I believe in precedent.” This belief in precedent is totally inconsistent with his repeated promise that, if elected, he would appoint Justices like Scalia and Alito, both of whom have strongly indicated that, if given the opportunity, they would reverse Roe vs. Wade. So much for precedent. So far, not a single commentator has tripped Rudy up on this blatant inconsistency.

Just two of many inconsistent and half-true statements by presidential candidates in their routine daily proclamations.

TV commentators also contribute to the dubious statements and conclusions flooding the airwaves. In a discussion as to why pollsters were so wrong on their predictions in New Hampshire, a theory was offered that there was a racial element, that many potential voters who would never admit to racial prejudice, once alone in the polling booth, could not bring themselves to vote for a black presidential candidate.

Chris Mathews poo-pood this theory, citing the fact that the percentage of Obama votes predicted by the polls turned out to be accurate. There was no loss of Obama votes. A last surge of Clinton voters accounted for the reversal. True, but what caused this last minute surge? What voting population came to Clinton’s rescue?

Were they previously undecided voters, and was their indecisiveness due to racial ambivalence? Or, were they unpolled individuals? Pollsters find it much easier to poll the educated and the prosperous, while poor and uneducated whites are more likely to be prejudiced..

Perhaps commentators resist discussing an unpleasant truth — that there are still thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of Americans who won’t vote for a black man for high office. Harold Ford’s Senate loss in Tennessee in the 2006 race shows a case in point.

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