Republican Sen. John McCain ÔÇô a self-described straight-shooter and an honorable man ÔÇô lies. He lies often and often lies dishonorably.
Sometimes he personally doesn't do the lying, but he does not object to his underlings orchestrating a campaign based on vicious lies. But the Republican senator does indeed do his own share of the lying ÔÇô such as questioning Sen. Barack Obama's patriotism and Americanism.
That "Country First" campaign ÔÇô which delivers a not-too-subtle message ÔÇô has been orchestrated by Sen. McCain himself. Does such a campaign qualify as a lie? It's the first lie and it is perhaps the most important lie that matters; his entire presidential run is predicated on it.
Despite this, Sen. Barack Obama does not outright call him out on his many lies, especially this most undignified one.
As exploited by the McCain campaign, patriotism and Americanism, particularly in regards to Sen. Obama, unquestionably translates into: "he's Black." In this case, it's even more insidious; post-9-11, it's also code for "he's a foreigner." While the Arizona senator will not say this himself, his campaign encourages ultra-nationalism to flourish to the point where nut jobs from the talk radio and internet universe to continue their "whisper" campaign that Sen. Obama is actually a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer. The only thing that Sen. Obama has not been accused of is being an "illegal alien."
The other blatant lies flow from this premise; Obama does not support the troops. To swallow this whopper, one has to suspend reality and pretend that the foreign policy issue of our time was/is whether one supports the troops as opposed to whether the Iraq war ÔÇô which Sen. McCain has always supported ÔÇô was and is illegal and immoral by any and all standards.
Sen. Obama's inability to say this clearly and plainly is what permits Sen. McCain ÔÇô and the mainstream media ÔÇô to ignore the illegal origins of the war. His reluctance to say the words criminal and illegal as opposed to simply "unnecessary" permits Sen. McCain ÔÇô who has been on the wrong side of history in terms of the Iraqi war ÔÇô to be perceived to be more in command of foreign policy. Sen. Obama does this because he appears to believe that if he moves to the center in regards to the war, he somehow becomes more trustworthy and acceptable to independents. But the polls consistently have not moved in his direction, despite his winning formula and his consistent demand to end the war ASAP ÔÇô a position that even the Iraqi government agrees with.
A friend reminded me of the legal principle of the rotten tree. In this case, the war ÔÇô predicated on numerous outright lies ÔÇô is the rotten tree. Such a tree can only bear rotten fruit. The fruit in this
case includes, tactics, strategies (the surge) and "horizons." Nothing that results from the war becomes legal simply because the Bush administration has not been held accountable, nor because the nation or mainstream media has developed a case of collective amnesia. Under such a legal principle, the war, not simply its origins, remains illegal today.
Most Americans agree with this assessment; at least 80% of Americans agree that the nation has been heading in the wrong direction for the past several years. Prior to the current financial meltdown ÔÇô the Iraq war, which has been costing $10 billon per month ÔÇô while Iraq has been swimming in oil profits ÔÇô has been the major reason for this sentiment.
So why has Sen. Obama surrendered this advantage? Chances are that if he indeed becomes the president, having called the war illegal would cement future legal claims against the Bush administration and the government of the United States itself.
Lucky for Sen. Obama that the electorate blames the nation's financial crisis on historic Republican [deregulation] policies ÔÇô policies that have long been supported by Sen. McCain.
The notion that Sen. McCain is the economic crusader and reformer and the one who will hold Wall Street accountable ÔÇô while Sen. Obama is under the grip of Wall Street insiders ÔÇô is another bald face lie equaled only by the Arizona senator's dishonorable campaign to paint Sen. Obama as Un-American. Why Sen. Obama holds back is the unanswered question of this election.