Friday, September 12, 2008

What McCain's Lies Tell Us

Krugman says something I have been thinking:

Dishonesty is nothing new in politics. I spent much of 2000 — my first year at The Times — trying to alert readers to the blatant dishonesty of the Bush campaign’s claims about taxes, spending and Social Security.

But I can’t think of any precedent, at least in America, for the blizzard of lies since the Republican convention. The Bush campaign’s lies in 2000 were artful — you needed some grasp of arithmetic to realize that you were being conned. This year, however, the McCain campaign keeps making assertions that anyone with an Internet connection can disprove in a minute, and repeating these assertions over and over again.
What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.


Julia said...

several days ago I actually had this conversation or debate with a Republican friend who told me I needed to lighten up about the outright lies in the ads and responses to the "lipstick on a pig" comment. I was told I needed a sense of humor. I will not lighten up and cannot find humor in deception and lies. It is a forecast of what McCain/Palin would do in their administration. My words were, "If you run a campaign with lies and are elected because of the lies, why would the lies end with election to office? My conclusion is you would always lie to the American people-. You tested their willingness to believe the lies and found they will believe anything you tell them if you repeat it often enough.
This is a serious danger to democracy. It is frightening. Even more frightening is that for too many, believing these lies is easier than doing the homework to check the facts.( Where is the responsible press?)It is difficult to understand, but I have concluded that the daily lives of so many Americans are frought with economic worries--(jobs, mortgage payments,gas prices, food prices, college loans and other significant uncertainties)and as a result too many Americans have no time to check the facts, and thus believe whatever they hear over and over in the ads.

lerxst said...

Thanks for the comment Julia.

I had the same thought too after reading a Freakonomics post recently. The topic started with the premise that lots of successful presidents in the past have had a good feel for, and curiosity about, economics.

My response to that post was that the fact that McCain had no compunction about lying about economic policy suggested to me that, like Bush, he would do the same once in office.

Julia said...

Thank you for adding economic policy to the conversation. I teach AP Economics and although my students have just begun their study--they do understand opportunity cost. Immdediately they recognized the fallacy of promoting a mother of 5 (two with more time demands)who can do it all including being VP, as an impossibility. The PPC curve is proof for these students. Discussions of "having it all" brought up tax cuts, war spending and deficit spending. At this point in the semester, my students have more questions than conclusions, yet even these high school students understand scarcity and trade-offs. Already these students appreciate the study of economics and and its application to the current economy. They seek understanding and knowledge and are impatient with a candidate who suggests his/her understanding of economics is weak.

Chus said...

This is what I think: Jill Greenberg