by Leonid Balaban
I believe it is fair to say now that we are way past the “what is the definition of IS is” level of lying in this Presidential election, especially when it comes to the McCain/Palin campaign. Truth be told that both McCain and Obama campaigns have stretched the truth or exaggerated facts in the early stages of the campaign. McCain didn’t really say that he wants to fight the war in Iraq for 100 years, as he meant it more in a sense of leaving residual force there, similarly to Korea or Germany. On the other hand, Obama never proposed raising taxes for everybody and in fact he wants to cut them for 95% of the taxpayers.
However, after the pick of Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential running mate, John McCain’s campaign seemingly lost any sort of truth telling qualities it had left. I mean we are not even talking about half truths, some of his latest ads were completely debunked as false, lying or untrue. Richard Cohen, a conservative Op-Ed columnist for the Washington Post writes that “following his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain did something extraordinary: He confessed to lying about how he felt about the Confederate battle flag, which he actually abhorred. “I broke my promise to always tell the truth,” McCain said. Now he has broken that promise so completely that the John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised.”
Here’s one of the last week’s examples of straight out shameless lying:
Sarah Palin, appears to be leading the charge on this too. She has repeatedly lied time after time in her stump speeches, how she said “Thanks, but not thanks for the Bridge to nowhere” and , even as this statement was debunked by the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
You know the campaign has has gone too far with those lies when Karl Rove of all people says that McCain campaign has not been telling the truth.
McCain has gained on Obama in polls and overtook him for the lead as of last two weeks, partly because of these debunked and false statement. Yet, if we look at these public opinion surveys, even with truth coming out slowly each day, trends have not really changed all that much. In fact, some states have moved from being toss-ups to leaning Republican, even as the Maverick bubble, that surrounds McCain and Palin, is being shredded left and right by the media.
Time magazine reports that “The backlash has not yet had an impact on voters’ perceptions of McCain’s credibility, though with the press emboldened, that could change. But to date, the numbers don’t show it. In late July, the Real Clear Politics average of McCain’s favorability rating stood at 53%, with 34% of voters saying they held an unfavorable view of McCain. Since then, his favorability rating has gone up three points while his unfavorability number has gone up just more than a point.”
The question is when do voters wake up and realize that they are being fed bunch of baloney or do they just gobble it up?