A reader proposes:

"Yesterday I talked to a group of voters about how the McCain campaign is trying to call their continuation of just about every single Bush-Cheney policy of the last eight years "change."  In doing so, I used a common, hundred-year-old phrase that we all understand: You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Now the McCain campaign demands that I apologize for saying this.  Everyone, it seems, wants to hear my answer.  Here it is: NO.

No, I will not apologize for telling the American people the truth: That McCain and Palin represent a stunning, and disastrous, continuation of Bush and Cheney's policies.  Policies  of sacrificing the middle class to give huge tax cuts to millionaires and big corporations.  Policies that prevent Americans from getting the health care they need.  Policies that would privatize Social Security and take away a woman's right to choose.

No, I will not apologize for saying the truth, even if it hurts John McCain's and Sarah Palin's feelings.  Because this is not about them.  And it's not about me.  It's about you.  These past eight years, Americans have suffered a lot more than hurt feelings . . .  [insert brief litany of Bush disasters here]. 

You are the ones who have been hurt, and someone has to fight for you.  And I will do that, even if it gets me in trouble.

There's a word I've heard from the McCain campaign recently: "deference." No one is going to ask Sarah Palin a question, they say, unless they show her "deference."  Joe Biden points out that they oppose all stem cell research, and they are offended he even mentioned it.  I point out that their claim of bringing change is ridiculous, and they demand an apology.  Apparently we are not showing them enough deference.

Let me explain something to Senator McCain and Governor Palin, as deferentially as I can: This is a democracy -- not a monarchy.  You don't get to demand "deference" from the American people as if they were your royal subjects.  You -- and I -- and everyone who seeks elected office must defer to the American people, and answer their questions, and fight for them even when it's politically inconvenient.  That is what I promise to do.  Thank You."

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