Victory before honor

A while back, I lost one of my regular commenters by saying this about John McCain:

Victory before honor! McCain = McSame old politics!

Random was deeply offended that I would call McCain’s honor into question:

John McCain is a man who spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton being tortured because he refused an offer from his captors to release him before his comrades. People like you and I have no conception of the strength of character and sense of honour it takes to make a decision like that. You have not earned the right to question John McCain’s sense of honour just because he treats the most underqualified candidate for the presidency in recent years with the disdain he deserves. YOU HAVE NOT EARNED THAT RIGHT.

All I can say is, the “Hanoi Hilton” was then and this is now.

In the weeks since Random and I had our exchange, McCain has continued to spray Rovian lies and smears on the public airwaves. (I use “Rovian” with care:  Steve Schmidt, who is McCain’s campaign manager, is a Rove protégé.) I would like to know what Random thinks now, when it’s so bloody obvious that McCain is running a substance-free campaign, built on a foundation of lying attacks on Barack Obama.

But don’t take my word for it — judge for yourself.


The first example in the second video is especially egregious. The claim that Obama supported a comprehensive sex education program for kindergarteners certainly warrants the label “dishonorable”. The video as a whole makes some good points, but it misses some flagrant examples:  e.g., the claim that Obama was referring to Sarah Palin in his “lipstick on a pig” line (read the remark in context! ). It also misses one of McCain’s most persistent lies:  the claim that Barack Obama will raise your taxes. Not true!

As for the other candidate, McCain is not the tax-cutter he claims to be. His healthcare plan would introduce a major tax increase for millions of Americans who are not rich.

And then there’s McCain’s running mate. Sarah Palin told a bald-faced lie in her very first public appearance after McCain chose her. And she has persisted in repeating it long after her statement has been exposed as a lie. I refer to her statements on the infamous “bridge to nowhere”:

Talking Points Memo weighs the pros and cons of Palin’s argument:

Palin added that “it’s not inappropriate for a mayor or for a governor” to try to get “a share of the federal budget for infrastructure.”

Of course it isn’t! As she says, of course a mayor or governor is going to want to tap the Federal budget for money for local infrastructure buildup, and of course members of Congress will try to get it done, too.

But that isn’t the issue. It’s very easy to get distracted here, but again, the rub is Palin’s frequent claim that she said “thanks, but no thanks” to Federal help for the big local project. The problem is her and McCain’s latter-day effort to portray her as having been some kind of Joan of Arc of pork-slayers.

N.B. Palin kept the money that was originally earmarked for the bridge to nowhere, and spent it on other projects in Alaska. If you keep the money, how does that amount to “Thanks but no thanks”?

There’s a pattern here. McCain and his running mate are trying to distract Americans from the real, critically important issues at stake in this election. McCain is continually attacking Obama; he is continually lying in those attacks; and he cynically continues to tell the lies even after they have been exposed and widely denounced.

I stand by my earlier remark:  McCain now places victory before honor.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aaron
    Sep 15, 2008 @ 09:44:55

    You forgot to link to the ultimate confirmation of your point —

    When Karl Rove thinks you’re playing too fast and loose with the truth…


  2. JewishAtheist
    Sep 15, 2008 @ 12:20:27

    I think this is going to finish him. Like Rove took Kerry’s biggest strength and turned it against him, McCain’s taking his own biggest strength and turning it against himself. His big thing was honor, and he’s being brazenly dishonorable.


  3. Bridgett
    Sep 15, 2008 @ 18:04:33

    He has definitely put victory before honor. Completely. In 2000, when Rove smeared him all over the page, I would have voted for him for president. BUt the last 8 years, he has slowly chipped away at any of the integrity I once admired.

    What I find amusing is the TPM video, I think last week, watching pundits say, “oh, McCain surely wouldn’t approve that message!!” Ha ha.


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