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Already Lying

10/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McCain wanted Lieberman. Rove wanted Romney. Obama's convention looked fabulous and the Republicans had to rain on that party as best they could, so McCain impulsively chose Palin, who turned out to have some dirt in her background. After the dirt started raining down, the Republicans sent lots of vetters to Alaska to inspect the record that they hadn't bothered to look at before. McCain met Palin moments before he picked her. Impulsiveness, McCain's besetting sin, asserts itself once again.

And then there's the corollary. In today's Financial Times, McCain declares that the vetting was "thorough," even though all of us can see that it wasn't and couldn't have been. So now you have it, folks, a perfect demonstration of the McCain-Palin ticket and future governing pattern -- act on impulse, cover it up by lying, demonstrate over and over that your own ambitions are more important than security and good governance.

It may be that American voters will fall for this, in spite of the fully demonstrated incompetence and criminality of the rightwing. I'm glad to see, though, that the bookies, who in this case seem to be more levelheaded than most observers, say no. It also may be that the Republicans have their vote stealing operations fully functional and the current election is simply a sham. In either of these cases, we WILL get McCain and Palin, and if we do, the decline of the US under Bush will turn into a collapse under McCain.

When we look at Bush, Cheney, McCain, and Palin, what we see are different varieties of selfishness. Bush's selfishness is defensive, stubborn, and dumb. Cheney's is power-mad. Those were bad enough, and even the Republican platform agrees that they have been destructive. McCain's selfishness is impulsive and hotheaded, while Palin's is simply heedless (and, judging by reports from Wasilla, vengeful). So, there you have it. The Republicans think that selfishness is a winning ticket that always appeals to something in the American people--would that be selfishness? Obama has made his opposition to selfishness explicit. That doesn't mean he will win--unless the bookies are right. I hope they are. Because four or eight more years of lying, cheating, opportunism, war-mongering, refusal to prepare for things, and a lack of "vetting" will surely do us in. And let's be clear. There is no one in the world, not even Putin, who can do us in. It can only be suicide.

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