The World According to Obama, According to the RNC

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A recent email to supporters from Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, Chairman of the Republican National Committee begins like this:

Do you think the redistribution of wealth by the federal government is one of America’s best traditions? How about free child care? Free college tuition? Wage insurance? Nationalizing oil refineries? A global tax paid to the United Nations?

A lot of this is plain made up. The global tax paid to the UN is a reference to the Global Poverty Act, which Obama sponsored. It makes reducing global poverty a goal of American policy, but does not institute a global tax paid to anyone. And Obama has never said anything about nationalizing oil refineries.

As for “free college tuition,” here’s what the Obama website says:

Obama will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students.

Not exactly what the GOP email would have you believe.

Basically, the GOP is using the most effective attacks, regardless of whether or not they are the most accurate. (Here’s another example.) I know this isn’t a startling revelation. But when was the last time you saw a Democrat play by the same rules? For example, considering this, a Democratic Party using the Republican playbook would call John McCain corrupt. Repeatedly.

Would it be accurate? Not exactly. The point is whether or not it would work.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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