the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

June 12, 2005

Don’t Smear Obama


In reading a discussion of Barack Obama’s recent commencement address at Knox College, I became aware that there are some widespread false beliefs about Obama’s voting record. The most common misconception seems to be that he voted for the bankruptcy bill. That is not true, and I don’t understand where it’s coming from. Perhaps it mutated out of recent criticisms of Obama by David Sirota, which mentioned his opposition to an amendment capping credit card interest rates. Obama’s vote (along with 18 other Democrats) against that amendment is understandable when you consider that it would have legitimized 30 percent as a reasonable rate and, worse, prevented individual states from setting lower rate caps of their own.

Even more incomprehensible is that some people believe that Obama voted for the confirmation of torture supporter Alberto Gonzales as attorney general. That also is untrue. In fact, Obama was perhaps the most effective and outspoken opponent of the Gonzales nomination.

I’m beginning to wonder whether someone’s intentionally seeding misinformation somewhere.

Barack Obama has faults, like anyone. But if you want to criticize him, criticize him for things he’s actually said or done — for example, being too quick to distance himself from Howard Dean’s supposedly outrageous statements — not for actions that exist only in the fevered imaginations of blog commenters. Get your facts straight, and if you see someone spreading these smears, correct them.


  1. The era of disinformation is just getting started.

    I was one of those who was under the impression that Obama had voted
    for the bankruptcy bill. I distinctly remembered reading about it on Kos
    so I did a search.

    As it turns out it was a commenter on Kos on this

    Ironically, the subject of the original thread was that there seemed to be a disinformation
    campaign against Obama.

    alt hippo12:29 pm

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