mardi, août 26, 2008

Lies, damned lies and...politician's lies

Reading the Slate article on Joe Biden's plagiarisms is rather discouraging. Admittedly, they occurred a few decades ago. But the sheer shamelessness of stealing whole riffs from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock-even if they really have no application to your personal history-is scary. Apparently it wasn't the only time Biden was accused of plagiarism.

Then there is John McCain. I heard yesterday on the radio that the "guard and the cross" episode he mentioned while talking to evangelical pastor Rick Warren may also be found in Solzhenitzyn. The author being interviewed also noted that it wasn't until recently that McCain began mentioned the guard drawing a cross at all.

If McCain did lie, and is exposed, it will be much worse for him than for Biden. After all, a lot of people know Joe Biden had a brief period when he was Neil Kinnock. But if the McCain allegatin turns out to be accurate, it will serve as an exclamaition point on something we know already-politicians think we will would prefer the illusion of candor to the complex truths that make them less like fictional characters, and more like us.

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