I've just been watching the McCain campaign's video about their candidate's jobs plan. One thing that jumps out as amusing is during the discussion of energy policy, when the text on the screen talks about the genius of a gas tax holiday but Doug Holtz-Eakin, who's trying to provide the voiceover while maintaining his reputation, doesn't actually say anything about it, sticking instead to some good points about ethanol -- an issue where McCain is definitely right and Obama is definitely wrong.

The overarching frame of the video is the assertion that John McCain "looks at every policy, everything his administration will do, through the lens of providing Americans with the jobs they need." Running through the whole thing, however, two things become apparent. One is that this assertion is an effort to kind of distract you from the fact that John McCain does not, in fact, have a jobs policy. Instead, he's taken a miscellaneous group of other policy measures and labeled them his "Jobs for America" plan. The other is that it's clearly not the case that McCain "looks at every policy, everything his administration will do, through the lens of providing Americans with the jobs they need." After energy, the video leaps to McCain's longstanding passion for porkbusting and Holtz-Eakin reiterates McCain's vow to veto any appropriation with an earmark attached. You can say what you will about this pledge, but it's certainly not a jobs plan -- people are hard at work on those earmarked projects as we speak.

Wouldn't real straight talk be for McCain to just admit that conservatives don't really believe in labor market interventions and economic stimulus? Yes, that would be a losing election strategy, but the McCain brand is supposed to be about telling the truth no matter what the political price.

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