Posted tagged ‘Little Lies’

Dog Bites Man: McCain Campaign lies again

September 28, 2008

I used to like euphamisms, like “dissemble,” “misleads,” “fabulates.”  But my thesaurus got sulky at all the work and has headed off to a bar on an unscheduled work action, so I’ll just call it like it is:

In one of the least surprising post debate reactions imaginable, Senator John McCain’s campaign continued to lie about big things and small.

The big?  Well I was struck by the candidate himself charging that in the matter of the bailout, his opponent, Senator Obama put electoral politics before the country — given this story.  (Not to mention the interesting sequence of events that followed Obama asking McCain to join him in providing a common set of principles for the solution.

This isn’t news, of course — McCain continuously, routinely lies about his own shenanigans, that of his associates, and of course, on a daily basis, that of his opponent (just think of the often debunked lie about Obama’s tax proposals repeated in Friday’s debate).

On some level, I must admit, these big lies neither surprise me nor bother me all that much.  The problem he faces, of course, is that McCain’s record itself is at odds with what every poll seems to suggest the American electorate wants.

Given where McCain actually stands, thus, his only chance is to accuse Obama of precisely the sin he has just committed — see his behavior in the bailout story referenced above for only the most recent of a long list of examples —  and hope he can confuse the voters enough about what Obama and he actually stand for to sneak out a victory. (H/t and shorter form of the link above to Andrew Sullivan.)

What really gets me, though, and what I think reveals the deep pathology at the heart of any prospective McCain administration, are the little lies, the unnecessary b.s.-is-better-than truth stuff that seems to be a constant in that campaign.

The one that caught me eye was this one, from yesterday.   Justifying McCain’s attempt to inject himself into the bailout negotiations again, this time by phone, his spokesman, Mark Salter said,

“He’s calling members on both sides, talking to people in the administration, helping out as he can.”

So whom did the Senator call?  Paulson, Bush, and Bernancke — and about a dozen Republican members of Congress.

That’s fine.  McCain is a grown man (are you sure?…ed) and he should call whoever he thinks needs to hear from him.  And whatever you think of the proposed deal on its merits, the hold-up now is coming, by all accounts, from the loon wing of the House Republican caucus, so having the Presidential candidate from that party lean on some folks might even have an effect.  The list of his calls is as uncontroversial as anything can be in an election season.

But why lie about it?  Why say you are going to call Democrats when you are not?  This is just so petty, so minor, why even bother?

Because, of course, once you get the habit of deceit it becomes hard to break.

The only remaining question, I hope a rhetorical one, is to ask whether a man and an organization he leads that displays this kind of habit should be entrusted with the Presidency.

*Institutional logrolling alert:  I note with pleasure that the article in the Boston Globe to which this link leads was written by Carolyn Johnson, one of the growing number of accomplished graduates of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing.  See — there is life after a masters program.

Image: Robert Arneson, “See No Evil/Hear No Evil”, one of seven “eggheads” found around the UC Davis campus. Released under the GNU Free Documentation License. Source:  Wikimedia Commons.