“To develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to provide graduates who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.”
Lying, even to get elected, is dishonorable. John McCain should be ashamed of himself.
Of course, he is a Republi-Con (proper name for the GOP).
Don’t vote for McBush.
NoBullBert, A Fellow USNA Graduate Like McCain
An article from the Washington Post that is on point:
Why Do Lies Prevail?
John McCain was not offended when Barack Obama described McCain’s policy agenda as putting “lipstick on a pig.” I can’t prove that, but it seems so obvious to me that it’s more like a fact than an opinion. Nor could McCain possibly have thought that Obama was calling McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, a pig, since Obama didn’t even mention Palin. If Obama had even thought that his words would be misinterpreted as calling Palin a pig, he wouldn’t have said them. That also seems obvious. The whole controversy is ginned up, a fraud, a lie. All obvious.
I know that by even bringing this up, I am falling into the trap that McCain’s people have set and perpetuating this ridiculous controversy. But the routine acceptance of obvious lies now corrodes our politics as much as the money that was the subject of McCain’s famous act of Republican apostasy: McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. McCain has described his motive for McCain-Feingold as a giant mea culpa for his involvement in the Keating Five scandal. Maybe when this is over, one way or another, McCain will swear off corrupt lying the way he has sworn off corrupt money.
But it shouldn’t be necessary to wait for one of McCain’s conveniently delayed conversions to righteousness. In a democracy, obvious lies and obvious liars should be self-defeating. Why aren’t they?
One reason is that the media have trouble calling a lie a lie, or asserting that one side is lying more than the other — even when that is objectively the case. They lean over backwards to give liars the benefit of the doubt, even when there is no doubt. Objectivity can’t be objectively measured. What can be is balance. So if the sins of both campaigns are reported as roughly equal, the media feel they are doing their job — even if this is objectively untrue.
But the bigger reason is that no one — not the media, not the campaign professionals, not the voters — cares enough about lying. To some extent, they even respect a well-told lie as evidence of professionalism. If a candidate complains too much about an opponent’s lies, he or she starts being regarded as a bad sport, a whiner. Stoic silence doesn’t work either. People start asking why you don’t “fight back.” Pretty soon, the victim of the lies starts getting blamed. C’mon: this isn’t paddycakes; politics ain’t beanball; and so on. This happened to Al Gore in 2000 and to John Kerry in 2004. And it’s already starting to happen to Barack Obama this year.
Sure, if he loses, it will be his fault. Sure, he and everybody ought to know that the Republicans play this game for keeps. But that shouldn’t let John McCain off the hook. He says he’d rather lose the election than lose the war. But it seems he’d rather lose that honor he’s always going on about than lose the election.
By Michael Kinsley | September 10, 2008; 9:54 PM ET