Lying Corrupts Campaigns Just as Money Can

Maybe it's time for finance reformer to swear off fabrications
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2008 11:58 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. works the crowd during a rally, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008, in Lebanon, Ohio.    (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – We all know John McCain wasn’t really offended by Barack Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment—the one he pretended to think was a reference to Sarah Palin. “The whole controversy is ginned up, a fraud, a lie,” writes Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post. So why isn’t anyone calling McCain on it? Lies ought to be self-defeating, but in American politics, they're not.

Many people “even respect a well-told lie as evidence of professionalism,” Kinsley writes; complain, and you’ll be seen as a whiner, a bad sport. The press meanwhile “bends over backwards to give liars the benefit of the doubt,” to avoid an appearance of bias. But lies can corrupt our system at least as much as money. Maybe McCain should "swear off corrupt lying the way he has sworn off corrupt money."