Monday, September 8, 2008

McCain and Palin are liars

Bold statement. Unbelievably bold for the timid US media. Well, most of them, anyway.

Well, it's true.

Obama wants to raise your taxes? Lie.

Obama never worked on major legislation in Illinois or Washington? Lies, and more lies.

Obama wants to institute "socialized medicine"? Lie.

What is happening here? When did it become possible for political candidates to lie with impunity about their opponents? In 2004, there were a number of lies about Kerry, but none quite as brazen as this, at least not that I can remember. The Swift Boat attacks were more insidious; difficult to easily refute, but easily implanted in the public consciousness. And there was a lot of ridicule; who can forget "he voted for it before he voted against it"? These were attacks presented without context, successfully landed against a candidate who did not ably defend himself.

McCain and Palin's lies are easily refuted, real whoppers, so this represents either an increase in desperation or an increase in confidence. My gut tells me it's the latter. And Democrats should be afraid. The simple fact is that the average voter is too damn ignorant to go fact checking on their own time. They hear "Obama wants to raise your taxes", and they believe it. It's the Democrats' job (and ideally the media's, but they're hopeless) to get out there and make sure people know that their opponents are lying.

And I don't know what they're waiting for. Yesterday, Obama attacked Palin for her hypocrisy on earmarks. Biden was up the other day castigating the Republicans for ignoring all the important issues at their convention. But this isn't enough.

What I want Obama and Biden to do is get up there in their stump speeches and tell the American public that they're being lied to. Tell them loudly and tell them often. Because the Republicans are going to be repeating this bullshit every chance they get. It's what they do. And the Dems have to fight it if they want to win this election.

I'm not hyperventilating over the polls that now show McCain ahead; this was to be expected, candidates almost always get a convention bounce, and invariably, it fades over time. If nothing major happens the next couple weeks, Obama will probably be back to a small lead over McCain by the time of the first debate.

And at that first debate, he should begin by calling McCain a liar. To his face. And then he should start shaming him, asking him why he has tried to make the election about image and cultural wedge issues, and not about policies; why is he following the Karl Rove playbook instead of speaking to the issues that the voters really care about? And he should demand that McCain justify his behavior, if he can. Chances are, he won't be able to. He'll be too shocked by the spectacle of a Democrat actually standing up for himself. And it could be a gamechanger.

UPDATE: Okay, this is more like it.

Gotta emphasize the "lies" and "liars" and "lying" stuff more, though. Still, a good start.


Canajun said...

Wow wouldn't it be nice to see the Canadian MSM as bold and direct. Never happen though - CBC is too dependent on federal $$ and CTV is... well CTV has Mike Duffy. 'Nuff said?

Desmond said...

Well, our MSM may have similar deficiencies to that of the US, but I do feel that our journalists are, in general, far less tolerant of partisan BS. When Peter Mansbridge or Mike Duffy interview MPs or members of the Government, they do ask them hard questions, and don't just let them recite talking points.

At least that's my opinion. But then again, I'm generally pretty agnostic when it comes to domestic politics. It's US politics that get me riled up, so maybe I'm just not biased enough to see our media bias. :)