Saturday, September 13, 2008

Using the L word.


Part of the political calculus being used by the Republicans right now is the tendency of the media to be "balanced", which means that if the press is going to report something negative about one campaign, they will often bring up a similar flaw with the other campaign, and even if they are not really of the same scale, they will be made to look equal.

But right now, many in the media are using the "L word". They are correctly calling John McCain and Sarah Palin liars. So much of the rollout of the new 2008 Sarah Palin model has been done with compelling stories that run counter to the truth, easily discovered lies. It's not just one or two. It's been a boatload, and having started lying, McCain and his campaign have had a hard time stopping.

Paul Krugman in the New York Times has a piece about several of the lies and the media's general reluctance to call them lies. Paul Sarobin in the National Journal wrote a long and dreary piece about how McCain is about honor and Obama is about empathy. I link to both, but I must say Sarobin's piece isn't worth reading, because he decided on a theme without looking at the facts on the ground.

John McCain speaks of honor, he sells baseball caps with the word honor, but he doesn't display honor.

Some will scream when this is said. He was a prisoner of war! How dare anyone judge this man! You did not endure what he endured!

The first and last of those exclamations are true. While all such experiences are unique, whose story can be put on the same level as McCain's? Nelson Mandela, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, survivors of the death camps and death marches during World War II.

But do those of us with more bland pasts dare judge him? Of course we can, and in fact, we must. Because honor is not like being a sports champion, something once achieved that can never be taken away. Honor is an everyday thing, something we all have to do, a simple decision not to lie, not to cheat, not to steal, to play by the rules. And day after day in this campaign, most notably since Sarah Palin has joined this campaign, John McCain has been without honor.

McCain has two great punchlines on the stump that he has repeated. "She sold the plane on eBay!" (laughter.) "And she made a profit!" (laughter.)

Great stuff. But both are factually incorrect. Simply put, both are lies. She put the extravagant plane bought by her predecessor on eBay, but it didn't sell. She hired an aviation broker to sell it, and it sold for $600,000 less than the purchase price, with a $31,000 broker's fee on top of that.

Right now, Senator McCain is without honor. To get honor back, he must start by repenting his sins. If he really wants the votes of the American people, he should confess his sins to them. And after that, he must go and sin no more. No more lies.

Having seen parts of his appearance on The View, I don't think he's up to it. There is no Straight Talk Express anymore. It's just an empty slogan, as he is an empty suit, the man who sells honor like it was a breakfast cereal, but has none to sell.

7 comments:

karenzipdrive said...

On that baseball cap, take out the N and you have HOOR.

CDP said...

@kzd--ba ha!

Seriously, although he'd never have received my vote, McCain once had my respect and admiration, and he no longer does. And Obama MUST open a can of whup-ass and start saying the word "LIE" over and over again. I am TIRED of our candidates taking the damn high road to a concession speech on election night.

OK, sorry for cursing up your comments!

Tara Mobley said...

There are people trying to claim that the women on The View were a bunch of hens pecking at him for asking the kind of questions that all candidates should be getting asked. Granted, all the people I've seen expressing that opinion have just been comment makers on websites actually talking about it, but still.

FactCheck.org has called McCain out on his lies, and twisting the information on their site into his lies.

This whole election is stupid. The news media are being stupid. All lies and identity politics.

May Obama win the election, and God help us if he doesn't.

Sorry about the rant, Matty. I'm just feeling cynical these days.

Matty Boy said...

CDP, that is hardly cursing.

Tara, no need to be sorry. The election is going to be decided on nonsense if it keeps going this way. Looking at what political debate is in other countries, the U.S. is hardly a shining beacon of democracy. Elections for high school president are run on a more informative level.

I don't know who the cynic-in-charge is over at the GOP, but I think it might be Frank Luntz. He's smart, but very shallow, and I think he decided this election is about celebrity, so the GOP needed a celebrity of their own.

I agree that only God can help us if these two get elected.

Anonymous said...

FYI, your blog quoted at
http://publicdiplomacypressandblogreview.blogspot.com/2008/09/september-13.html

Distributorcap said...

the wheels came off the straight talk express once he cowtowed to the religious right and embraced bush -- after bush and rove trashed his family

i have zero anything for him,

afeatheradrift said...

The good news is that the print media is starting to turn. They are calling him dishonorable and willing to trash the country in his personal pursuit to win. I think John is going to explode during the debates. He just goes nuts when there is any flavor of dishonor thrown his way. He doesn't believe that the word dishonor can be used against it. Watch out, I think this may be a landslide in the making. I don't trust the polls, they are missing some huge voting components I think. I remain, for the moment, very optimistic. Tomorrow I could be in the dumps again.