Friday, September 19, 2008

John McCain and the Lying Game

It is simply unprecedented. I have never known any election in which so many serious newspapers have called one of the candidates a liar.

I caught the first rumblings of this when The New York Times openly called McCain on his campaign's dishonesty, but since then it's turned into an avalanche with Time magazine being the latest to join the fray and they are saying what I have always said. Usually when a candidate lies and is caught, they never apologise, but they also don't repeat the lie. What's astonishing about both McCain and Palin is that they continue to tell lies long after what they are saying has been proven to be false.

McCain's lies have ranged from the annoying to the sleazy, and the problem is in both degree and kind. His campaign has been a ceaseless assault on his opponent's character and policies, featuring a consistent—and witting—disdain for the truth. Even after 38 million Americans heard Obama say in his speech at the Democratic National Convention that he was open to offshore oil-drilling and building new nuclear-power plants, McCain flatly said in his acceptance speech that Obama opposed both. Normal political practice would be for McCain to say, "Obama says he's 'open to' offshore drilling, but he's always opposed it. How can we believe him?" This persistence in repeating demonstrably false charges is something new in presidential politics.

Worse than the lies have been the smears. McCain ran a television ad claiming that Obama favored "comprehensive" sex education for kindergartners. (Obama favored a bill that would have warned kindergartners about sexual predators and improper touching.) The accusation that Obama was referring to Sarah Palin when he said McCain's effort to remarket his economic policies was putting "
lipstick on a pig" was another clearly misleading attack — an obnoxious attempt to divert attention from Palin's lack of fitness for the job and the recklessness with which McCain chose her. McCain's assault on the "√©lite media" for spreading rumors about Palin's personal life — actually, the culprits were a few bloggers and the tabloid press — was more of the same. And that gets us close to the real problem here. The McCain camp has decided that its candidate can't win honorably, on the issues, so it has resorted to transparent and phony diversions.
And the conclusion that Time magazine have arrived at is devastating:
John McCain has raised serious questions about whether he has the character to lead the nation. He has defaced his beloved military code of honor. He has run a dirty campaign.
Ouch! But McCain deserves nothing less than our disgust. He has run the most dishonest campaign of my lifetime. And I am delighted that the press are calling him on it.

Click title for full Time article.

1 comment: said...

Do you think that Presidential Campaigning is exceptionally dirty this year? Or does it only looks so, because everything is happening now, because everything is so fresh?
Or maybe it should be so - the one who is smarter and dirtier, is a winner? And after elections we just should forget all false accusations, lies and smearing?
Looks like this year we are able to choose our candidate not only by his policies, but by thinking, is he a lesser lier. So, voters, defend your choice - who is competing honorably, and who is a bigger lier - Obama or McCain?