Monday, September 15, 2008

Miner at the Dial-a-View

You know you're setting a new standard for shameless dishonesty when even Fox News and Karl Rove call you out. Karl Freakin Rove! The man who took the baton from Lee Atwater and [deleted] it up a rat's [deleted]. I apologize for the vulgar imagery, but John McCain refused to do a series of town hall appearances with me, so I had no choice.

It is now patently obvious that the McCain camp is committed to a strategy of lying big and small from now until November (here's one of the latest, a rerun of one of their greatest hits and a foolish attempt to count to infinity). What is perhaps more significant is the reason for McCain's mendacity: running on the issues is a losing play. He's scared of a straight-up contest.

With good reason in a purely cynical sense. McCain/Palin are offering the same disastrous foreign policy approach as Bush, a deeper commitment to Bush's hapless, deficit busting economic plan (which greatly benefits the wealthiest Americans while depleting the middle class), a continuation of denial in the face of global warming, the same preference for hiring unqualified cronies to key offices in government (again, favoring loyalty over expertise - heckuva job legion of Brownies!), closeness with lobbyists/industry insiders that will (again) assume positions regulating the industries for which they work for, hostility toward Social Security and other entitlements, etc.

But then, it's not that McCain is in any way unique in promising four more years of Bush. It's just that McCain is a Republican, and even so-called Republican "mavericks" are committed to essentially the same Republican platform. The true story of the last eight years is not of Bush the aberration - a Republican gone off the rails that can be redeemed by McCain/Palin's vague promise of "reform." Quite the opposite.

Bush, with the aid of a Republican-dominated House and Senate, implemented the modern day Republican agenda to a tee. That this program was a resounding failure across the board doesn't seem to have deterred many Republicans or caused them to reassess the tenets of that agenda. In fact, McCain is doubling down in many respects. Palin endorsed the Bush Doctrine without even knowing that one existed.

It's encouraging that, given this record, Bush is hovering at historically low approval ratings and the American people are increasingly disenchanted with the Republican brand. They recognize that the country is on the wrong track, and that Bush and the GOP had a lot to with it. Yet, confoundingly, many voters so disenthralled with the Bush administration and the Republican Party aren't making the logical connection between the GOP/Bush and the McCain/Palin ticket. So while it's promising that the media is finally pushing back against the barrage of lies issued by McCain and his surrogates, it would be far better if the Obama campaign could effectively remind the voters just why McCain is afraid to speak a word of truth.

In this case, the crime may be more important than the cover-up.

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