Jonathan Martin:

McCain seems to have made a choice that many politicians succumb to but that he had always promised to avoid he appears ready to do whatever it takes to win, even it if soils his reputation.

“We recognize it’s not going to be 2000 again,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, alluding to the media’s swooning coverage of McCain’s ill-fated crusade against then-Gov. George W. Bush and the GOP establishment. “But he lost then. We’re running a campaign to win. And we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.”

What this means is that they will lie and refuse to be accountable for the lies. In fact, because the lies are working, they will keep lying. All that matters to McCain is winning. By whatever means. By whatever lies. It's pure Rove. Which is why, if it works against a candidate like Obama, we will not have honest or rational discourse in American politics for a generation.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.