Outsourced to Jeff Weintraub:
Jeff Weintraub: The lost honor of John McCain: Well, now it's clear. McCain and his campaign decided that the only way they could win the general election was to run a dishonest, dirty, and cynically unscrupulous campaign. So that's what we're going to get.
On the one hand, shamelessly repeated lies by and about Sarah Palin. (It's bad enough that McCain was irresponsible enough to pick her as a running-mate in the first place.) On the other hand, pervasive lying about Barack Obama--not just systematic misrepresentations of Obama's position on important policy questions (ho-hum, right?), but sleazy character assassination and noisy fake outrage.
Right now, for example, much of the Republican world is in a paroxysm of artificial indignation about the transparently ludicrous charge that Obama called Sarah Palin a pig. And the McCain campaign just released a truly disgusting ad falsely claiming that Obama, as a State Senator in Illinois, sponsored a bill mandating "comprehensive sex education" for kindergartners. This is not even a subtle or sophisticated smear. It's just straight gutter politics.... [W]hen John McCain unexpectedly won the Republican nomination, promising to run a substantive and "respectful" general election campaign, it looked possible that the Republicans might actually stay out of the gutter this time around. Apparently not. Well, it might work.
Some people I know will accuse me of being naive for saying this, but I feel genuinely disappointed with John McCain for taking this road...