I was glad we finished eating before Rush started talking:
Dinner Panel: A Political Discussion
- Willie Brown, Former Mayor of San Francisco; former Speaker, California State Assembly
- Harold Ford Jr., Chairman, Democratic Leadership Council; Visiting Professor of Public Policy, Vanderbilt University
- Ed Gillespie, Former Chairman, Republican National Committee (RNC); former Counselor to President George W. Bush
- Rush Limbaugh, Host, "The Rush Limbaugh Show"
- Frank Luntz, President, The Word Doctors.com
If you have the stomach for it, the video is here.
The first distortion I caught was Gillespie's claim that the energy proposal would, according to an MIT study, cost households $260 per month. Here's the Financial Times energy blog on that estimate:
Earlier this year the Republican party, using a study by MIT, argued that the cost would be $3,128 for every household [$3128/12=$261]. This was based on taking MIT’s estimate that such a scheme would raise $366bn a year, and dividing that figure for each household - something that one of the study’s authors said was ‘so wrong it’s hard to know where to begin‘.
I wish one of the other panelists would have challenged this, or any of the other distortions, e.g. Rush's claim that tax cuts pay for themselves - he used the Reagan tax cuts as an example - was not challenged at all. I didn't think the Democrats on the panel did a very good job with the tax cut questions for the most part, and I can't say I was much impressed with Harold Ford. I was, however, very surprised with the grade the audience gave to Obama given my perception of the political makeup of the attendees (we had clickers at the tables). We were asked to give an A, B, C, D, or F: