24 September, 2008

Campaign of the Absurd

Are you sitting down? Are your drinks fully swallowed?


I know the McCain campaign jumped the shark a long time ago, but somehow, they keep finding more sharks to jump. They've lied so much there's now a website dedicated to tracking their lies (as of this moment, the count stands at 63). They held a conference call with the press to cry over the New York Times calling them out on their lies, and lied continuously throughout. They've lied so much that even McCain's biggest fans in the media have stopped bringing him donuts and started reporting the lies.

And now we learn that even their "grassroots" efforts are nothing more than factories for lies:

"You can be whoever you want to be," says an inviting Phil Tuchman. "You can be a beggar or a millionaire. A mom or a husband. Whatever. You decide!"

I volunteer in political campaigns now and then. After a series of outings for Obama and a first mission as a phone banker for John McCain, I returned to McCain's headquarters in Arlington, Va. The offer was too alluring to delay -- they wanted to put me into action as a ghostwriter. Next to commercials and phone banking, writing letters to the editor is the most important method of the McCain campaign to attract voters. At least that is what's written in the guidelines that McCain campaign worker Phil Tuchman presents to me.


The assignment is simple: We are going to write letters to the editor and we are allowed to make up whatever we want -- as long as it adds to the campaign. After today we are supposed to use our free moments at home to create a flow of fictional fan mail for McCain.


The "talking points" the ghostwriters work from include some screamers, including Palin's former 80% approval rating (which was true - up until Alaskans got a good look at her and didn't like what they saw). Let's remember that when Bush first took office, his numbers were high, too. Now he's Mr. 19%.

They also repeat that bloody Bridge to Nowhere lie that's been debunked endlessly. In fact, if we had a dollar for every time that howler's been disproved, we could very nearly pay for Paulson's bailout plan.

You'd think there'd be some embarrassment, shame, and plausible denials put forth by the campaign after such a revelation. A normal campaign would say, "We had no idea this was going on. This was not authorized by the campaign, and the person responsible for it has been tossed out on his ear. We stand for truth, justice, etc. etc."

But we all know the McCain campaign is anything but normal. Caught blatantly manipulating public opinion by getting hacks to write fake letters to the editor (in the best tradition of the National Enquirer, most of whose stories are made up on the spot), they didn't express faux outrage. No, they went with their old standby: yell at the journalist who exposed their lies and then lie some more:

Gail Gitcho, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign, said that Oostveen did not properly identify herself to campaign workers in Arlington. "She did not represent herself as a journalist to the people who work in the mid-Atlantic office." Ostveen, who also wrote a column about an earlier stint phone-banking for the McCain campaign, says she twice explained to different workers in the Arlington campaign office that she might be using her experiences as a volunteer in her columns for the NRC Handelsblad.
Can you believe these fuckwits? They're beyond pathological - I've known compulsive liars, clinically mentally ill pathological liars, no less - who have more respect for the truth than these assclowns.

There's no way America can elect these buffoons and keep its self-respect.

1 comment:

cousinavi said...

Pathological lying is falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime.

The defining characteristics of pseudologia fantastica are that, first, the stories are not entirely improbable and often have some element of truth. They aren't a manifestation of delusion or some more wider form of psychosis: upon confrontation, the person can acknowledge them to be untrue, even if unwillingly. Second, the fabricative tendency is long lasting; it is not provoked by the immediate situation or social pressure as much as it originates with the person's innate urge to act in accordance. Third, a definitely internal, not an external, motive for the behavior can be clinically discerned. E.g. long lasting extortion or habitual spousal battery might cause a person to lie repeatedly, without the lying being a pathological symptom. Fourth, the stories told tend towards presenting the person in question in a good light. For example, the person might be presented as being fantastically brave, knowing or being related to many famous people.

BINGO. Welcome to the bonus round in which we play "What Percentage of the American Electorate Will Fall For This Shit?"
You have no choice but to wager everything.
Good luck!