This is a fucking joke, right? Barack Obama uses a terribly cliche’ analogy – “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig” – to describe McCain’s strategy, and in response, the McCain campaign* turns around and accuses Obama of making a sexist attack on Gov. Palin. Check out the ad they put out today:
McCain has yet to apply any of his much-vaunted “honor” to his presidential campaign. Indeed, his campaign is everything but honorable. But, you know, I’m not really shouldn’t be surprised by McCain’s willingness to use breathtakingly dishonest tactics. McCain has an almost preternatural belief in his inate goodness and incorruptability (his “maverickness,” if you will). In his mind, he’s allowed to run a ridiculously dishonest campaign, since his shameless lying is “in service” of his country, and thus doesn’t really “count.” And so we see McCain repeatedly distort and lie about every aspect of Obama’s record:
- Obama supported sensible legislation allowings schools to teach kindergardeners how to identify sexual predators, and McCain attacks him for promoting “sex” to children**.
- Obama supports slowing the Pentagon’s Future Combat Systems program, a major (and very, very expensive) effort to upgrade existing military technology and implement advances in computer technology and robotics. Considering that it’s largely designed for set-piece warfare, and we’re currently focused on fighting an insurgency, slowing it’s development seems like a sensible thing to do. So sensible in fact, that McCain supported it. But now that he’s running for president, he’s entirely willing to radically distort Obama’s statement, and portray him as being against general military funding*** (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, frankly).
- The McCain campaign has been telling middle class audiences that Obama’s fiscal plan will raise their taxes. Which is funny, because the general consensus thus far is that Obama’s plan will lower taxes for the middle class. Moreover, while Obama’s plan will add 3.5 trillion dollars to the national debt, McCain’s will add a staggering 5 trillion dollars to our national debt. But, of course, McCain is a Republican, which means he’s a “fiscal conservative.”
McCain and Palin are engaged in serial total fabrications. And almost no one calls them on it. The New York Times, which found the space to run a puffy piece on Palin’s family on its front page the other day, hasn’t found similar space to run a story under a headline like, “McCain-Palin Claims Stretch Credulity, Some Say.”
CBS and CNN have finally gotten around to running reports that pretty much state outright that Palin is lying about the bridge. ABC’s Jake Tapper plainly called out the “truth squad” on the lipstick story. McClatchy did a strong fact-check of the McCain education ad. But for the most part, the media treats it all as entertainment, a matter of which side has seized the offensive.
The McCain team knows all this. So they consciously promote lies, knowing that no real mechanism exists to stop them from doing so. […]
Once again, the media is completely abdicating it’s responsibility to be an honest broker in our political process, and once again, that abdication might result in another manifestly unfit Republican ascending to higher office.
But this race is now a test of the media too. You’d think after being told in the run-up to the Iraq war a bushel of things that didn’t end up being true that they printed anyway, they’d have given some thought to the question of how not to let themselves be manipulated like that again. But it is happening again, and the media are getting played in exactly the same way.
It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls – a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn’t define what honor was. Now we know why.