Character Matters

Yesterday in Philadelphia, former President Barak Obama gave a speech in support of his former Vice-President, Joe Biden. I have no doubt that potential GOP voters dismissed the speech without listening to it or reading it. I have little doubt that potential Democratic voters accepted it in glowing terms, even if they also did not listen to it or read it. And I have no doubt that some now reading this post will think, “I knew it, he is a ______” (please fill in the blank as you see fit; for the record I am unaffiliated and quite independent). But, one might wonder why I posted this. The reason is simple and has come out in many homilies over the years. “The thoughts we have become the words we speak. The word we speak shape the actions we take. The actions we take form the habits we develop. The habits we develop reveal the character we possess. The character we possess shapes our destiny.” We Christians are asked to take all that and ask, “Do the thoughts, words, actions, habits and character we display reflect the image of God, the likeness of Christ to others?”

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Jumping the Shark

Recently Gov. Ronmey pollster, Neil Newhouse, asserted that fact checking groups (FactCheck.org, the Washington Post “Fact Checker”, Tampa Bay Times “PoliticFact”, etc) have “jumped the shark.” The specific context was the Romney campaign’s advertisement  that the Obama Administration had gutted welfare reform. The various fact checker groups have basically rated this as “mostly false”, “four Pinocchios” or – so it seems to me – intentionally misleading. Gov. Romney has also been subjected to this kind of “spinning” when his remarks about “liking to fire people” were taken out of context.  Seems to be the state of political advertisement.

Have political fact checking groups “jumped the shark.”  As my friend Angie Holan (disclaimer: works for PolitiFact) says: cue the Jaws music.  These groups are invaluable to today’s landscape (or seascape?).

Here is the state of things: I mostly hold judgment on any political ad until it has been fact checked.  Seems to me political ads have jumped the shark