Straight Talk Express derailed, falls off “bridge” to become mired in mud
Posted by James McPherson on September 13, 2008
It’s an old story, of course: Politicians lie. But usually in presidential campaigns the candidates let their surrogates take on the most egregious fabrications, staying somewhat above the fray themselves. John McCain and Sarah Palin seem to be the exception, cheerily tramping through the mud on their way to a lead in national polls.
The lies range from tales of the infamous “bridge to nowhere” (see video below) to taxes to health care to immigration (bilingual lying!) to sexism to Alaskan oil production to pig lipstick to kindergarten sex education to Cindy McCain’s drug theft problems to even the findings of FactCheck.org. In the words of the Associated Press’ Charles Babington, “The “Straight Talk Express” has detoured into doublespeak.”
Considering how much admiration I once had for McCain, I am troubled that he has become not just a typical campaigner but even worse than most. The campaign he has chosen to run is costing him other one-time fans, as well, while supporting the latest Obama camp claim that McCain “would rather lose his integrity than lose an election.”
The lying has become so bad that even the women of “The View,” a morning show watched mostly by stay-at-home wives, feel compelled to question McCain about it. His response: Lying, of course. Unfortunately Barbara Walters, long one of the most overrated journalists in America, helped McCain out by following up his lie with a trivial lipstick diversion rather than confronting him with the truth.
I don’t think McCain and Palin can lie their way to the White House. But a part of me fears that too many voters don’t care about the lying even if they recognize it. If those voters happen to help McCain win, they deserve what they get–four more years of Bush Administration nonsensical tough talk and bumbling policy. Unfortunately all of us may get an even more conservative and out-of-touch Supreme Court that will last for a generation.
Same-day update: Apparently the McCain/Palin camp also misrepresented her “world travels,” falsely claiming she has visited Iraq. And in a lengthy story about Palin today, the New York Times reports: “Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records. ” She appears, as one of my colleagues noted recently, “Dick Cheney in a dress.”
Next day update: To John McCain–When you’re on the same side as Karl Rove and even he calls you a liar, maybe it’s time to dial it back.
Palin’s bridge to falsehood:
This entry was posted on September 13, 2008 at 12:56 pm and is filed under History, Journalism, Personal, Politics, Video, Written elsewhere. Tagged: "straight-talk express, 2008 campaign, 2008 election, Alaska, Alaska oil production, Associated Press, Barack Obama, Barbara Walters, bilingual lying, Bush administration, Charles Babington, Cindy McCain, Cindy McCain drugs, Dick Cheney, doublespeak, energy policy, immigration, John McCain, Karl Rove, kindergarten sex education, lies, McCain campaign, McCain lies, McCain on immigration, mudslinging, negative campaigning, New York Times, Obama campaign, oil production, political campaigns, Politics, presidential politics, Sarah Palin, secrecy, sex education, Supreme Court, The View, YouTube video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.