that havoc, he’s such a nice young man. John McCain, not so much.

HP: very nice post. The version in my drafts folder since Friday night is… hrm. Very similar in content, but, well, less polite. One might say ‘angrier’.

I had a lot of respect for John McCain (probably would have voted for him over Gore in 2000) but over the past couple of weeks that respect has gone- I’m just sick of the constant stream of lies, distortions, distractions. To paraphrase Obama, the distortions and the distractions don’t hurt Democrats or Republicans, they hurt America, not just for one media cycle, but permanently, because they prevent us from actually talking about the issues facing the country.

If we want to have a serious conversation about the very serious problems our country faces- if we want to actually solve problems instead of just win campaigns- this sort of behavior must have consequences. I can’t scold McCain (or the media, who share responsibility) to their faces, so I’ve done the next best thing: I’ve written the biggest check to Obama that I can, and time permitting I’m going to take action myself by phonebanking. In other words, I’m trying to help McCain and his handlers face the ultimate political penalty. They deserve nothing better. (I have no illusions that Obama can magically fix the problem by himself, but if Rovians continue to win, they will continue to behave this way. So their loss is where the solution must start.)

(It is worth noting that this issue of distractions and lies should be non-partisan. Honest Republicans who actually support America as an ongoing concern, and not just a place for their party to ‘win’ more scorched-earth victories, should want a discussion of the issues rather than a discussion of lipstick. Admittedly, it might cost you this election, but punishing the Rovians now will make your party stronger in the long run. So think about it supporting Obama, or at least withholding your support from McCain and Steve Schmidt.)

To bring this back slightly to my typical topics, this is a terrific chart (using the best Tufte-ian approach) explaining who would and wouldn’t get their taxes raised and lowered under the Obama and McCain tax plans. It puts the lie to McCain’s claim that Obama would raise taxes for most Americans. Given what lawyers earn, I’d probably be better off under McCain, but I don’t need it. Chart via the awesome ben fry.