10 September 2008

The So-Called Palin Truth Squad

"I think ultimately the American people will realize that calling a prominent female governor a pig is not acceptable."

That's former MA governor Jane Swift, chair of the so-called Palin Truth Squad. And, she's absolutely right. The American people will not approve of calling a prominent female governor a pig.

Problem is nobody did. And the Palin Truth Squad isn't looking to protect the truth but to distort the message--every message, I suspect--between now and November 4.

Here's what Barack Obama said yesterday: "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink, after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing."

Swift claims that Obama must have been talking about Palin, because she's the only woman in the race. "She is the only one of the four presidential candidates that wears lipstick."

But Obama was not talking about Palin. He wasn't even talking about McCain. He was talking about McCain's policies, making the comparison that they strongly follow George W. Bush's policies.

The Palin Truth Squad, like Palin herself and the McCain campaign, is gambling that voters only need to hear the attacks in order to be swayed. Just like the Bridge to Nowhere lie, just like the earmarks lies, the campaign is betting on distortions and accusations to rile people up and to force Obama to respond, thus giving credence to the initial distortion and luring Obama off message. It's an ugly but effective tactic, and you can bet the McCain campaign is going to stick to it, because if this election is about the war, the economy, health care, and U.S. standing in the world, then McCain will lose, and he knows it.