Wednesday, September 10, 2008
In liveblogging Sarah Palin's acceptance speech, I noted that the ideal Republican candidate is someone who has the ability to lie without shame. Sarah Palin proved within minutes of her speech that she was well-qualified in that regard. The latest McCain-Palin ad reaffirms that the modern Republican Party, barren of ideas and solutions, will effortlessly and shamelessly resort to depraved lies to win.
The latest barrel-scrapping effort from John McCain is an ad which states that Barack Obama wants to teach kindergartners about sex before they can read (see details and discussion here).
Barack Obama's response:
"It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls – a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn’t define what honor was. Now we know why," says Obama spokesman Bill Burton in an emailed statement.
It is indeed a remarkably dishonorable act for John McCain to "approve this message." There is no Vietnam scar deep enough and no POW flag large enough to mask the brazen ugliness of this unprincipled and deliberate lie. John McCain has used his five and half years in a cell three decades ago to shield off criticism of years' worth of typical Republican politics. No mantle of honor, though, can hide the hideousness of McCain's latest attack.
It is not so much that the ad is a lie. Lies, after all, are the campaign currency of Pinocchio Palin and Mendacious MccCain, used to buy a news cycle there or low-information vote there. It is the type of lie that is presented that speaks more to John McCain's character than five years in a prison cell ever did.
The ad accuses Barack Obama, a father of two young girls, of voting to teach kindergartners about sex. In shorthand, it paints Obama as a sexual deviant, one who thinks it is entirely appropriate to teach your doe-eyed toddler about condoms and contraceptives. The legislation was aimed at teaching children how to avoid sexual predators, but as this campaign season has proven time and time again, a well-sourced fact will wither in the face of an oft-repeated lie that is coddled by the media and echoed on the airwaves as truth.
So, welcome to today's Republican Party, where facts are treated like an Rorschach inkblot test. Where the benign is viewed as perverse and the perverse is viewed as benign.
Through the prism of this inverted ethical philosophy, it's completely acceptable to laud a presidential candidate who thinks rape is just hilarious and to cheer on a vice-presidential candidate who was mayor of a town that charged victims for rape kits. It's a party where a congressman can state that naked prisoners stacked in a pyramid and tortured is nothing more than "hazing", where Senators on a D.C. madam's list still are welcomed into the GOP with open arms, and where Representatives soliciting 16 year old boys are allowed to resign rather than be kicked out of the party altogether. What turns the stomach of normal society is not merely tolerated here in the confines of Pervert Central, but it is fully accepted in this circus. Here, above all, the abnormal is normal in the caucus of freaks.
But oh, the indignation! When a Democrat tries to protect children from a world of Mark Foleys, he is painted as a sex-obsessed deviant. When a party seeks to preserve choice, it's portrayed as wanting a society of one-night stands. When rational science supports a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, the GOP sees a potion for whores.
Yes, folks, it is Democrats who are obsessed with sex and who are insisting on reaching into your bedrooms and your bodies. The Republicans? This Grand Old Party of pervert-protectors and sex monitors? This cadre of prudes who would rather have uninformed toddlers be molested, clueless teens knocked up, and uneducated Americans spreading STDs like fleas? Clearly, they are the honorable ones--the moral compass of our nation. They are nothing more than a parade of faux-Puritans marching back in time, waving banners of lies and singing smear chants along the way, twisting facts in the hot air that billows from their mouths, grinning stupidly from ear to ear, and reveling in their singular ability to beat the low drums of deceit without shame, day after day, until Election Day dawns.