Monday, September 22, 2008

Holding McCain Accountable to His Falsehoods

Senator John McCain on The View, where Joy Behar, third from right,
said two of his advertisements were “lies.” (Steve Fenn/ABC).

Frank Rich had an insightful column in yesterday’s New York Times. Following are highlights (with thanks to Michael in Norfolk for bringing this piece to my attention).


Just as the Bushies once flogged uranium from Africa, so [Sarah] Palin ceaselessly repeats her discredited claim that she said “no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. Nothing is too small or sacred for the McCain campaign to lie about. It was even caught (by The Christian Science Monitor) peddling an imaginary encounter between Cindy McCain and Mother Teresa when McCain was adopting her daughter in Bangladesh.

. . . If you doubt that the big lies are sticking, look at the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. Half of voters now believe in the daily McCain refrain that Obama will raise their taxes. In fact, Obama proposes raising taxes only on the 1.9 percent of households that make more than $250,000 a year and cutting them for nearly everyone else.

. . . You know the press is impotent at unmasking this truthiness when the hardest-hitting interrogation McCain has yet faced on television came on The View. Barbara Walters and Joy Behar called him on several falsehoods, including his endlessly repeated fantasy that Palin opposed earmarks for Alaska. Behar used the word “lies” to his face. The McCains are so used to deference from “the filter” that Cindy McCain later complained that The View picked “our bones clean.” In our news culture, Behar, a stand-up comic by profession, looms as the new Edward R. Murrow.

. . . For all his fiery calls last week for a Wall Street crackdown, McCain opposed the very regulations that might have helped avert the current catastrophe. In 1999, he supported a law co-authored by [Texas Senator Phil] Gramm (and ultimately signed by Bill Clinton) that revoked the New Deal reforms intended to prevent commercial banks, insurance companies and investment banks from mingling their businesses.

. . . Whatever blanks are yet to be filled in on Obama, we at least know his economic plans and the known quantities who are shaping them (Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin, Paul Volcker). McCain has reversed himself on every single economic issue this year, often within a 24-hour period, whether he’s judging the strength of the economy’s fundamentals or the wisdom of the government bailout of AIG.

. . . The twin-pronged strategy of truculence and propaganda that sold Bush and his war could yet work for McCain. Even now his campaign has kept the “filter” from learning the very basics about his fitness to serve as president — his finances and his health. The McCain multihousehold’s multimillion-dollar mother lode is buried in Cindy McCain’s still-unreleased complete tax returns. John McCain’s full medical records, our sole index to the odds of an imminent Palin presidency, also remain locked away.

– Frank Rich

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Saying “No” to Torture and the Republican Agenda
Marching on the RNC
Historic (and Wild!)
Reality Check
Catholic Democrats
An American Prayer
Progressives and Obama (Part 1)
Progressives and Obama (Part 2)


Anonymous said...

"The View" defines the word "ludicrous." Put Mr. Obama on "The View," as long as somebody incapable of fawning over him vets the questions.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comment.

I don't see the journalistic merits of The View as the issue, but rather McCain's well-documented falsehoods.

To be honest, I'd like to see both McCain and Obama interviewed by Amy Goodman. Believe me, she would not "fawn over" either of them, but ask the hard-hitting questions that need to be asked.



crystal said...

I read somewhere (Andrew Sullivan?) that the View's interview of McCain was really good. I missed it but maybe there's a transcript somewhere online.