Saturday, September 20, 2008

Damned Lies

There are three kinds of lies, according to Mark Twain; lies, damned lies and statistics. I would like to spend a minute about 'damned lies.' The McCain campaign has gone off the deep end as far as I am concerned by foisting a deliberate pattern of deception and 'damned lies' on the public. I have said repeatedly over the past year that, above all else, McCain is a decent and honorable man. His family was a military family and his background in the military, including his stint at the US Naval Academy, provided the stuff of which integrity and honesty are made. As a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, I was drilled incessantly in the mantra; "We will not lie, steal; or cheat, nor tolerate among us those who do." Each service academy, including Annapolis, has an equivalent theme emphasizing the need for 100% complete and total honesty not only in oneself, but in those with which one is surrounded. I would strongly suspect that this inherent trait in McCain, hard wired as it must have been by his early life military tradition exposure, must be the reason that his positions stood out like a sore thumb at various times during his career in the Senate. Most simply put, his maverick image was grounded on that notion that as a man of principle and truth, he could be relied upon to do the right thing; an abolsute mandate in military actions, but apparently not so important for McCain in the political setting.

During the last week, the McCain campaign has unabashedly engaged in the active spreading of mistruths and falsehoods. An article in today's New York Times summarizes the last week's activity in this regard.

"It said that Barack Obama supported “comprehensive sex education” for children in kindergarten (“dishonest” and “deceptive” said The Washington Post); that Mr. Obama used the colloquial expression “lipstick on a pig” to describe Sarah Palin (G.O.P. Senator Orrin Hatch labeled the charge “ridiculous”); that Ms. Palin never accepted earmarks as governor of Alaska; (this is patently false, she actually requested $450 million in earmarks as governor); that Mr. Obama will raise taxes on middle-class families (his plan would actually give a tax cut to 80 percent of Americans); that his health care plan will force families into a government-run health care plan; (a public health expert quoted in this paper called that “inaccurate and false”); that Ms. Palin told Congress “thanks, but no thanks” on the Bridge to Nowhere (she initially supported the bridge and kept the Congressional funds earmarked for the project); that Ms. Palin visited Ireland and Iraq (her airplane refueled in the former and never crossed the border into the latter). Now there are even reports that the McCain campaign fabricated crowd estimates for a recent rally in Virginia."

That's one week's work, friends, and how much more do we have to endure to understand that McCain is an ordinary politician who will do or say anything, including selling his soul, to win office?

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