Straight Talk Means Lying Constantly

It's increasingly clear that John McCain intends to use his special relationship with the press to run a campaign based on relentlessly lying about his opponent:

At a press conference here, I just asked John McCain about why he keeps talking about Obama's alleged willingness to talk to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has no power over Iranian foreign policy, rather than Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who does. He said that Ahmadinejad is the guy who represents Iran in international forums like the United Nations, which is a fair point. When I followed with the observation that the Supreme Leader is, uh, the Supreme Leader, McCain responded that the "average American" thinks Ahmadinejad is the boss. Didn't get a chance to follow up to that, but I would have asked, "But isn't it your job to correct those sorts of mistaken impressions on the part of the American public?" Oh well.

But of course it's not. McCain and McCain's allies in the world of neoconservative punditry have deliberately created the entirely false notion that Ahmadenijad runs Iranian foreign policy. One point I've been making in my book-related appearances is that it's not a coincidence that the preventive war crowd told a lot of whoppers about Iraq before the war and is telling a lot of whoppers about Iran now -- the right knows that contrary to the prevailing conventional wisdom, there's just no evidence that the American people are deep down yearning for senseless violence and imperial adventurism.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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