As Michael Cohen has recently commented, politicians across the spectrum have an annoying habit of stretching the truth, Obama and many other Democrats included. But Cohen has written many political speeches and knows a lot about that peculiar trade (he is the author of “Live From the Campaign Trail: The Greatest Presidential Campaign Speeches of the 20th Century and How They Shaped Modern America”). His considered opinion is that politicians’ worst nightmare is to be caught red-handed lying to the public, because in the past at least the penalty for even minor infractions on that front have been great, often quickly unraveling one’s campaign or career.
That is why Cohen is so stunned (and we should all be so worried) about the increasingly brazen lies coming out of the McCain campaign, which are well known and reported by mainstream media, and that yet do not seem to faze either McCain or his running mate, Sarah Palin. Just as a reminder of how incredibly bad the situation is, here is a short list of the most egregious examples, following Cohen’s editorial:
* Obama allegedly supported “comprehensive sex education” for kindergarden children, while in fact he called for age-appropriate education, which at most would mean for young children to learn about sexual predators. (Pause: imagine a Republican-style attack ad run by the Obama campaign, featuring a shot of McCain kissing young children with a voiceover that says: “John McCain. He is in favor of child sexual predators.”)
* Obama’s use of the common phrase “lipstick on a pig” interpreted as a vilification of Palin, while McCain himself has used the phrase referring to Hillary Clinton, and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch is on record calling the McCain charge “ridiculous.”
* Obama wants to raise taxes on the middle class, despite that independent experts agree that his plan would actually lower taxes for 80% of Americans (though it would raise them for the rich people whose wealth is, not surprisingly, McCain’s chief concern).
Wow. With a record like this, you would think even Fox News would have misgivings about the Republican ticket (no, scratch that, I don’t want to get into science fiction). But seriously, is this country so ideologically entrenched that half of its population simply doesn’t want to hear that their fearless leader is fabricating lies on a daily basis, repeats them in countless ads and campaign stops despite having being called on it many times, and has the gall of actually running for integrity and change in Washington?
This election should be a no brainer for Americans. The Republican so-called “free market” approach (really, a series of flagrant handouts to the rich) is collapsing in front of our very eyes, with consequences that resonate throughout the world. We are engaged in two wars, one of which we have not being paying much attention to, and the other that was a colossal strategic, financial, and human mistake from the beginning. Health care is getting more and more difficult to acquire or maintain for millions of Americans, and our dependence on oil is both wrecking the environment and making richer and richer those very countries whose religious zealots keep engineering violent attacks against the US. And all we hear from the Republicans is inane mantras (“drill, baby, drill”), lies, and complaints about pigs and lipstick. People, wake up before November 4th, throw the bastards out of Washington and let’s see if we can put this country back on a reasonable track to prosperity and international respect.