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....
I will note the Karl Rove was making a necessary strategic concession to maintain a shred of credibility, but quickly pivoted to slam the Obama campaign, pretending that they've been just as bad as the McCain campaign and their relentless lies. (When one gig is up, move back to an old familiar one – everybody's been lying – never mind that even Howard Kurtz has written that "there have been some Obama falsehoods as well, but of lesser frequency and magnitude.")
Compare Eric Martin's mention of Karl Rove and Lee Atwater with the reference from Jennifer Rubin at neocon magazine Commentary (via Howard Kurtz):
Mickey Kaus posits: “The current lib blog-MSM-campaign tack–getting outraged by McCain’s “lies”–is a total loser strategy.” (Yes, the three hyphenated allies are joined at the hip but you already knew that.) I think he’s right that it makes them all look weak, whiny and in cahoots with one another.
But there is a good reason to do it. They are preparing their excuses for defeat. No matter how foolhardy the Democratic primary voters in selecting a high risk candidate, no matter how bizarre the policy choices of that candidate, no matter how outlandishly wrong the conventional press wisdom and no matter how inept the campaign operation there is a cure-all excuse: McCain lied, our hopes died.
I am not saying Barack Obama is going to lose; I am saying the Obama Gang of Three (i.e. the mind-melded bloggers/MSM/campaign operation) now thinks that is a distinct possibility. So how to explain how they all messed up? When in doubt, revive the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove/Gore v. Bush/Swiftboat rationale which is “It is never our fault.”
The problem, of course, is that doesn’t work if the aim is to win elections. In fact the opposite occurs: the cures (e.g. violent partisan counterpunches, media whining) usually turn off key Independent voters. But if the aim is to save face with your peer groups (e.g. fellow journalists, campaign donors, political operatives) who want to know what the heck went wrong, it works as well as anything.
This is prime concern troll stuff! It would be silly to only denounce the McCain-Palin campaign (accurately) as liars and beg the media to punish them for it, but of course, the Obama-Biden campaign hasn't been doing just that. As we recently covered (and as Kaus even advocated), they've been hammering the economy, hard. But of course, assertively denouncing McCain is hardly "weak," and it's frankly essential (Obama and Biden do need to stop vouching for McCain at all, though, and make things more forceful). The press lied about Gore in the 2000 campaign and created a false 'serial liar' narrative. It's actually deserved in the case of McCain and Palin.
We'll see if Rubin's political acumen exceeds her ethics, but after reading over this and a few other posts, apparently, she actually believes the corporate media is liberal, and plays the familiar, tired conservative martyr card (ironic given her highlighted post). She also cheerleads the most vile of National Review-McCain bullshit, the one about Obama and comprehensive sex ed for kindergartners. (Byron York's piece on this is absolutely loathsome. His only possible legitimate critique is that the bill (not passed) should have clarified some issues, but he purposefully tries to brush past the bill's intent, and tries to dismiss language that said all sex ed had to be age-appropriate. If you ever needed further proof these are not honorable people, here it is.) Still, the element that really leaps out for me is that Rubin evidently doesn't give a damn about Rove, Atwater, McCain, and Palin lying. (Her sex ed post suggests she might really believe her own side's bullshit when it comes to McCain, but what about Palin - Rove - and Atwater?!?). As to why she doesn't give a damn, or hasn't bothered to fact-check anything – well, Eric Martin sorta covered that. Really, who needs merit when you've got wingnut welfare, and why expect someone who spreads lies to call out liars on her own team?
(Wow – looking over some more Rubin posts, she's clearly a true zealot, conscienceless hack, or both. She also spreads another scurrilous charge by a proven liar, and actually argues - wait for it – that Obama not choosing Hillary Clinton for his VP proves that McCain with his Palin pick cares more about pay equity for women. I guess the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, that would help millions of women, doesn't matter after all. Maybe that's why Ledbetter spoke at the DNC and is campaigning with Michelle Obama, while McCain voted against the bill.
Relatively sane Eisenhower Republicans, take your party back, already!)
(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)