McCain: Simple, Direct, Deceitful

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Whether discussing his voting record on renewable energy, his relationship with lobbyists, or three wise men he would consult with, John McCain speaks simply, directly, deceitfully.

On issue after issue, coming to the fore is that John Maverick McCain has a problem with speaking truth.  

John McCain earns credit for “simple and direct” statements.  All too often, these ‘simple and direct’ statements hide deceit — either direct or implicitly dishonest statements.  Here are three examples of the past week that exemplify McCain’s pattern of deception.

Renewable Energy

John McCain spent part of this last Friday at the Aspen Institute speaking about energy issues, including a meeting with T. Boone Pickens.  From an interview there

McCAIN: I have a long record of that support of alternate energy. … I’ve always been for all of those and I have not missed any crucial vote. But my citizens in Arizona know that when I’m running for the President of the United States I have to be out campaigning.

While there is much , much more to discuss, let us stick with Thomas Friedman, “John McCain has a perfect record on renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year – which effectively counts as a no vote each time.”  


McCain has long positioned himself as somehow above the crowd, almost saintly, when it comes to lobbyists.  

Lobbyists don’t come to my office. Because they know they’re not going to be an earmark. They know they’re not going to get a pork-barrel project.

Let us be clear, they don’t need to ‘come’ to the office, because they reside within it.  The McCain campaign is staffed with over 100 lobbyists.  

And, in John McCain’s own (earlier) words:  

I would like to say another word about lobbyists. Lobbying is an honorable profession. I have no problem with it. I have no problem with people working in order to bring the people’s interests and agenda and priorities to the attention of Congress. Almost all of us who I know of rely on their input on various issues. Many supply us with policy papers, with data, et cetera.

Three Wise Men

At the “Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency,” Rick Warren asked numerous questions. We will put aside that John McCain, contrary to prior agreement, was not in the “cone of silence” and likely had the questions before his presence on stage, but will focus on just one question and one element of the answer to it.  Among the questions, Rick Warren asked who would be three “wise” people that McCain would turn to for advice and counsel if he were to be elected President. As one of those who argued that McCain ‘won’ the evening reported:

John McCain, on the other hand, judges the evening perfectly, answering each question from a presidential perspective — quickly and to the point. His three wise people are General Petraeus, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia and Meg Whitman, for each of whom he gives succinct reasons related to who we are as Americans.

Congressman John Lewis?  A Democratic Party leader? A leading name in the Civil Rights community and history?  Wow, that sounds great … a reach out across the aisle to a leading voice in the Civil Rights community.

Only problem, the two of them barely speak, barely know each other. McCain has been a Senator and Lewis has been a Representative for decades.

even though McCain has now repeatedly cited Lewis as a role model and potential adviser, McCain has not established a relationship with the Georgia Democrat in the 22 years they have served in Congress together.

Simplicity and clarity in the answer, truthiness in the implications.  

Sadly, these are from isolated events. John McCain seems to have an uncertain and intermittent relationship with truth and speaking truthfully.  He earns kudos for being “simple and direct”, for his strong certainty.  We have had eight years suffering from simple and direct certainty that turned out to be wrong, misguided, and misleading.  Can we afford four more?



“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” HL Mencken

McCain takes it a step further: And it’s a lie.


  1. (where is it?) but…

    Your essay just makes me realize–again!–that now, more than ever, we need Molly Ivins.  She had an exceedingly rare talent for cutting through the bullshit and doing it humorously.  What she could tell us about McSlime…oh, the imagination boggles.

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