I'm in two minds whether John McCain has lost his mind or never had a soul. But I have to say I am surprised by the barrage of lies and distractions his campaign is throwing out. The farce of the Palin candidacy is one such distraction - but the lies about sex education, the lies about Palin's pork record, the lies about "tiny" Iran, the lies about the lipstick-pig nonsense, the lies about the bridge to nowhere, the lies about the oil pipeline ... I mean, what is going on?
Some believe this is just GOP hardball. But it actually isn't. They're usually not this stupid. If you are going to broadcast a series of outrageous, demonstrable lies to smear your opponent, you tend to to that in the last two weeks of a campaign, so the lies can actually stick before they are debunked. But in September?
I know many people believe that the American people - especially the under-informed swing voters - are too dumb to know when they are being lied to. But these lies are so obvious that this cannot be true. And the sheer viciousness of the personal attacks on Obama make Rove's attack on McCain in 2000 seem mild.
Here's what I think. I think McCain is out of it. I think he checked out of his own campaign and handed it over to Schmidt and his fellow Rovians. This does not mean he does not have total responsibility. John McCain is now for ever a despicable and dishonest and dishonorable man. He has destroyed his reputation. But he is also trying to do what he can to win this election. My view is: if this is how he intends to win this election, he has mis-timed his lies.
So my assumption is that this is all about trying to get into Obama's head and get him to make a mistake. Which is why Obama needs now more than ever to stay calm and confident and focused.
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