John McCain, man of dishonor

Now he’s accusing Barack Obama of wanting to slow a program that McCain himself proposed to cut, and twisting words to make it seem that Obama is anti-defense generally. McCain is a disgrace to the office he holds, the office he seeks, and the uniform he used to wear.

McCain does it again: attacks Obama for proposing to cut a defense program that McCain himself proposed to kill.

Wait! It gets worse! The program in question is called Future Combat Systems. So McCain tried a little bit of lying-by-punning:

John McCain is launching a new line of attack against Barack Obama, criticizing his rival for saying Sunday that he would buck his own party by calling for an increase in the size of the U.S. military.

“Of course, now he wants to increase it,” McCain told an audience in Lee’s Summit, Missouri Monday. “But during the primary he told a liberal advocacy group that he’d cut defense spending by tens of billions of dollars. He promised them he would, quote, ‘slow our development of future combat systems.’”

See? Obama’s opposition to a particular piece of Army pork gets turned into a desire to slow all progress in defense technology, simply by dropping the capital letters.

Let’s say it clearly: John McCain is running a campaign that is a disgrace to the office he holds, the office he seeks, and the uniform he used to wear.

And it’s also a campaign based entirely on the Big Lie, or rather on such a rapid series of Little Lies that the press can’t, or doesn’t dare to, catch up with them: the Bridge to Nowhere, education to protect kindergarten kids from sexual predators, taxes on the middle class, and now this.

That puts the problem squarely in the lap of the press. Reporters can keep reporting every McCain lie and every Obama response as “Republicans charged … Democrats replied,” in which case McCain and his sleazebag speechwriters win. Or it can start to report on John McCain’s problem with the truth, as they did &#8212 with devastating effect, though with much less basis &#8212 to Al Gore in 2000.

If there’s any scarier thought than “This election depends on the information level of the voters,” it’s “This election depends on the backbone of the press corps in standing up to the right wing.” But that’s the way it is. Will political reporters finally be able to make the boast of Olaf, glad and big?

Update Well, at least Ambinder is calling out McCain on his support for pedophiles.

Update 2: If the cummings link from my older post doesn’t work, try here or here.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: