Yo, parties: Neither of you holds a monopoly on Truth, OK?

Today’s news from OFA, which stands for Obama For America (but always makes me think of that thing that Greeks say when they party):


Chicago, IL – Today, Obama for America announced the launch of the Truth Team, a new national effort by President Obama supporters online and on the ground to promote the President’s achievements, respond to attacks on his record and hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable.  More than a million people took action as part of the Fight the Smears initiative during the 2008 campaign; the goal of the Truth Team is to double that number, reaching two million grassroots supporters who will communicate the President’s record and fight back against attacks before the Democratic National Convention this fall.

Beginning today with events across the country and continuing through the election, the Truth Team will engage grassroots supporters to spread the truth about the President’s record and respond to Republican attacks.  The program will be housed at BarackObama.com/TruthTeam, with individual websites –KeepingHisWord.comKeepingGOPHonest.com, and AttackWatch.com – serving as quick, comprehensive resources to help set the record straight.  Designed to put responsibility for spreading the truth in the hands of the President’s supporters, the websites contain videos and information on the President’s record, and fact checks on Republican claims about the President and themselves.  The sites also contain tools for sharing materials via Facebook, Twitter and email, and empowers supporters to take further action by volunteering, writing letters to the editor, sending postcards to undecided voters with information about the President’s record, and more.  The goal is to ensure that when Republicans attack President Obama’s record, grassroots supporters can take ownership of the campaign and share the facts with the undecided voters in their lives.

Republican Super PACs have committed to spend a half billion dollars on negative ads to defeat the President.  But from the start, the Obama for America campaign has relied on grassroots supporters to spread the truth, and today’s announcement builds on and expands that effort.

Truth Teams will be announced today in many states including Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin with events being held in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.  National supporters including the National Education Association (NEA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the United Steelworkers Union (USW) will be participating in this effort.

To find out more about the Truth Team, please visit: Barackobama.com/TruthTeam

I really, really don’t like this kind of stuff. Yes, tell your story; argue your case. But I detest this “truth squad” nonsense that both parties have engaged in since at least the ’80s. It says “our party is the source of truth” and “the other party speaks nothing but lies” and must be “held accountable” them. This stuff oozes from the core of the rottenest assumptions that underlie hyperpartisanship.

I expect better than this from the president. The Republicans have been painting him already (with very thin justification) as having gone back on his promise to rise above such things. The best way to give the lie to what they’re saying is to avoid stuff like this. He is rightly held to a higher standard, because he set the standard himself.

My first memory of encountering this sort of thing was in 1988, at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Then-Gov. Carroll Campbell and other Republicans took turns holding press conferences at an off-site location in the city, and they called it “truth-squading.” This year, we saw practically daily press availabilities held by the Dems in an effort to grab some of the attention being devoted to the Republican primary here in SC.

Not that the Obama people aren’t providing true information, often in reply to some pretty silly nonsense on the other side. But that is often the case. I remember when Campbell appeared in Atlanta, the point was made (either by him or by Tucker Eskew or someone, I forget) that he took almost no security with him, while Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore had taken a small army with him to the convention. Which was true. You should have seen their communications center in the hotel.

But the thing that really gets me is this “truth” rhetoric that they wrap it in.

Yes, I realize each side believes that what it has to say IS the truth, while the others sit on a throne of lies. But they’re both wrong. They need to cut back on the hubris, and those of us in the middle would be more inclined to listen.

14 thoughts on “Yo, parties: Neither of you holds a monopoly on Truth, OK?

  1. Brad

    After I got that, this release was not far behind…

    The South Carolina Democratic Party and Top State Leaders Join the Truth Teams

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Democratic Party announced today that it is joining the Truth Teams, a new Democratic and Obama Campaign effort to hold Mitt Romney and other Republicans accountable for their false attacks on the President’s record, set the record straight on the GOP’s failed policies, and spread the truth about President Obama’s record of keeping his word to the American people. Other state leaders joining the Truth Teams include U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn, DNC Southern Caucus Chair Gilda Cobb-Hunter, State Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, State Sen. John Land, State Reps. James Smith, Bakari Sellers, Todd Rutherford, Terry Alexander and Robert Williams, and Florence Mayor Stephen J. Wukela, among others.

    “Being a part of President Obama’s Truth Teams is important because he is the only candidate these days telling the truth,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Dick Harpootlian. “When the Republican Party thinks the Democrats are giving them hell, like Harry Truman, we are simply telling the truth, and the Republicans just think it’s hell. If there is one thing we have learned in this election, it’s that Mitt Romney and his Republican allies will say anything – no matter how untruthful or outlandish – to win. This Truth Team effort is going to expose such lies and tell the truth about the President’s record, and that of his opponents.”

    “Telling the truth about the successes of President Obama’s administration is key to winning re-election in November,” U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn said. “We will not allow our opponents to misrepresent the president’s record or distort the facts. When the truth is told, the choice will be clear.”

    The Truth Teams are a collective effort by supporters of President Obama and will operate online and offline to help the campaign combat attacks on President Obama and collect intelligence on new attacks. The Truth Teams will also spread a positive message about President Obama’s accomplishments and his record of keeping his word to the American people – and they will hold Mitt Romney and other Republicans accountable when they try to distort their own records or the President’s. The Truth Teams, an effort of Obama for America, will sign people, groups and communities up atBarackObama.com/TruthTeam to get the information they need to combat false and misleading attacks against President Obama and to set the record straight on the plans and policies of Republicans and Mitt Romney.

    The Truth Teams will have the resources to report GOP attacks, robocalls and other efforts and will enable supporters to build personalized email content for their family, friends and neighbors. The Truth Teams program is another example of the President’s commitment to building the largest grassroots campaign in American history and will empower the President’s supporters to get the facts out in their communities.

    To find out more about the Truth Teams, please visit BarackObama.com/TruthTeam.

  2. bud

    The GOP has been dominated by liars and scoundrels for years now. Finally, at long last, the Dems are fighting back. Good for them! Not that I like the nasty rhetoric and over-the-top messiging but damn it when a bully acts out you have to sock him the nose to defend yourself. And the GOP bully has been acting out in an unbelievable fury of lies and distortions ever since the days of Lee Atwater. Brad you need to get your story right on this. You’re continue to spread the big MSM lie. Be better than that. Show the GOP bully for who he is. And stop all this balance is better nonsense. Join us in the liberal movement to make our country better. Before it’s too late.

  3. Doug Ross

    “I expect better than this from the president.”

    Maybe you should lower your expectations.

    How often do you tell those people involved in this garbage that they are the problem? Do you ever address this with them directly?

  4. Burl Burlingame

    Many Republicans insist in public that the president is a communist nazi Muslim Kenyan AntiChrist who wants to put “real Americans” in FEMA death camps. Craziness like that would not usually merit a response, but none of the Republican candidates deny any part of the above.

  5. Brad

    I hate communist nazis, don’t you? I can’t be as phlegmatic about it as Ferris: “They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.”

    That Ferris is such a narcissistic consumerist. But we love him all the same…

  6. bud

    Burl, Rick Santorum accused the president of being an atheist the other day so we can add that to the list.

  7. Silence

    If Congressman Clyburn, Chairman Harpootlian and Representative Todd Rutherford are for something, I’m automatically going to be against it, and I’m going to keep a close eye on my wallet.

  8. Brad

    Doug: “How often do you tell those people involved in this garbage that they are the problem? Do you ever address this with them directly?”

    All the time. That Obama fella, though, has been avoiding me or something, for four years now. So I tell him here.

  9. Bart

    “Burl, Rick Santorum accused the president of being an atheist the other day so we can add that to the list.”…bud

    bud, I am not a Santorum supporter but I have searched the internet extensively and so far, have not found any source to confirm your comment. Could you provide a source and the direct quote where Santorum accused Obama of being an atheist?

    Truth Squad and all that you know. Confirmation would be nice.

  10. Doug Ross


    Sorry… I can only WISH Obama would adopt some of my common sense over his political gamesmanship. He’s the Sideline President. Never taking a stand that hasn’t been vetted for political expediency. Ref: His backtrack on Catholic contraception policies that wasn’t anything but bureaucratic b,s.

  11. Bart

    “Many Republicans insist in public that the president is a communist nazi Muslim Kenyan AntiChrist who wants to put “real Americans” in FEMA death camps. Craziness like that would not usually merit a response, but none of the Republican candidates deny any part of the above.”…Burl

    Many Democrats called Bush a Nazi, Hitler, traitor, and about every other invective imaginable but Obama, Biden, Clinton, Gore, Dean, and other prominent Democrats never denied the name calling because some were guilty of the name calling. Gore – Bush betrayed his country comment, no scream, ring a bell? So, if Democrats call a Republican president many of the same names, it is acceptable if the party leaders don’t say anything but if a Republican who is not a candidate calls Obama names and the candidates don’t deny it, it is unacceptable.

    Just wondering.

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