September 18, 2008

Liars Liars

By Brady Bonk

Joe Klein is very observant.

Politics has always been lousy with blather and chicanery. But there are rules and traditions too. In the early weeks of the general-election campaign, a consensus has grown in the political community—a consensus that ranges from practitioners like Karl Rove to commentators like, well, me—that John McCain has allowed his campaign to slip the normal bounds of political propriety. The situation has gotten so intense that we in the media have slipped our normal rules as well. Usually when a candidate tells something less than the truth, we mince words. We use euphemisms like mendacity and inaccuracy…or, as the Associated Press put it, “McCain’s claims skirt facts.” But increasing numbers of otherwise sober observers, even such august institutions as the New York Times editorial board, are calling John McCain a liar. You might well ask, What has McCain done to deserve this? What unwritten rules did he break? Are his transgressions of degree or of kind?

Potpourri
Keith may be sorry that MSNBC brought the Good Doc on board:

“The Rachel Maddow Show” was MSNBC’s top-rated broadcast Tuesday night, unseating Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” as the network’s top show. Maddow drew 1.8 million total viewers compared to Olbermann’s 1.6 million. Maddow also outdrew Olbermann in the advertiser-friendly 25-54 demographic, taking 25,000 more young adults than her lead-in “Countdown.”

Even Joe Scarborough, who sparred with Ms. Maddow during convention coverage, had terrific things to say about this development.

TV folk are some of the craziest folk I know, as Krusty the Clown might say. But she is a good, good person. We probably don’t agree on anything politically. But she’s respectful of people, and it’s great. File this under, one of those good people doing well.

Which underlines why Maddow is destined for superstardom. She is a scrappy liberal who is so obviously smart, talented, and attractive that she can’t be denied, not even by those who disagree with the progressive world view vehemently. My lady friend swears I have a crush and will give me heck for this entry. But who amongst us doesn’t have a little Rachel crush goin’ on? Who?

Vigilance!