Friday, September 12, 2008

I’m John McCain, and I Approve of Lying

You know the adorable old guy or gal that seems so sweet and folksy on the surface but is always ready with a mean or nasty comment as soon as he or she thinks no one is paying attention? Sure you do—if you don’t have someone like this in your family, then you’ve seen the character on a sitcom at some point in the last, oh, thirty years. . . .

But you don’t have to think that hard, we have an example of the two-faced, nasty-at-his-core old man right here, right now, on TV practically every hour of the day: His name is John McCain.

Presidential wannabe McCain loves to step out of his “straight talk express” and talk about what a decent and honorable campaign he wants to run; all the while, his team of Karl Rove protégés (oh, and, Karl Rove, himself) issue sleazier and sleazier campaign ads filled with the kind of lies and innuendo that make that old Willie Horton ad look like a Sesame Street commercial for the letter “H.”

This week, while the entire presidential campaign has been lost in the lipstick vogue (stupid and false in its own right), Team McCain rolled out an ad that basically accused Barack Obama of being a pedophile. It was bad enough to offend even establishment sensibilities:

"This is a deliberately misleading accusation." [McClatchy, 9/9/08]

"The claim is simply false..." [, 9/10/08]

"[The] accusations… seriously distort the record. … In referring to the sex-education bill, the McCain campaign is largely recycling old and discredited accusations..." [New York Times, 9/11/08]

"[McCain] is responsible for one of the sleaziest ads I've ever seen in presidential politics, so sleazy that I won't abet its spread by linking to it…." [Joe Klein, Time Magazine, 9/10/08]

"The most disheartening aspect of a scurrilous Republican ad falsely accusing Barack Obama of promoting sex education for kindergarten children is its closing line: 'I'm John McCain, and I approved this message.' This from that straight-talker of yore, who fervidly denounced the 2004 Bush campaign's Swift Boat character attacks on John Kerry's military record." [Editorial, New York Times, 9/12/08]

That little bit of federally required legalese—“I’m John McCain, and I approve this message”—should be enough to tie candidate McCain to his campaign’s gutter tactics, but Sweet John has carried on, maintaining some unspecified distance between his angelic self and the messy stuff of political sausage-making. He’s above that sort of thing, golly gosh [forced smile, creepy laugh].

And, McCain has largely managed to maintain this distance—I guess no one was around to call the old coot on his under-the-table insults. . . until this morning.

JOY BEHAR: "There are ads running from your campaign, one of them is saying that Obama, when he said you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig, was talking about Sarah. There's another ad that says that Obama was interested in teaching sex education to kindergarteners. Now, we know that those two ads are untrue, they're lies. And yet you at the end of it say I approve these messages. Do you really approve them?"

JOHN MCCAIN: "Actually, they are not lies." [ABC, "The View," 9/12/08]

Yes, that’s the tough political team at The View nailing John McCain on his lying ads—or rather, that’s The View nailing John McCain TO his lying ads.

From where I come from, when a guy approves of a lying statement—and seconds it, even—that makes him a liar. It is now pretty much universally agreed that both the lipstick and child sex ads were lies, and John McCain has chosen to stand by those lies. That would make the self-anointed above-it-all straight talker a common, down-in-the-gutter, liar.

Say it with me, everyone: John McCain is a liar.

Now, I know that’s not as funny as an episode of The Golden Girls (if only just barely), but Betty White wasn’t running for president.

John McCain is. . . and he approves of lying.

(cross-posted on Daily Kos and The Seminal)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are many even on the Right that wonder what has happened to McCain, of course, quickly noting that winning is all that now matters to him and so he is willing to make a liar of himself. Now, imagine that he wins. He will get into office from day one with some 50% of the nation totally unwilling to give him a chance, something Americans are often willing to do. After all, it did take a while for Bush to lose so much supp[ort throughout the nation. McCain will have lost it the day he takes his oath. And then, for those of us who did not support him, we will see the dumbness and oddity of his views made public when he does not have to lie...He will be perhaps even worse.

11:52 AM  

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