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January 27, 2008

From Allowing False Witness to Bearing It

It's come to this. Earlier this weekend, Senator McCain must have seen the poll numbers and got a little desperate and started telling lies about Mitt Romney's Iraq policies.

Basically, it seems Mr. Straight Talk is lying through his teeth, and even those in his media cheering section are starting to notice. At this point, it looks as though McCain may lose Florida. If he does, I fully expect a replay of his bitter, self-pitying concession speech after he lost South Carolina in 2000. Although I do not particularly like John McCain as a politician, I've always kind of admired him for his seeming forthrightness. His willingness to harm that reputation shows just how desperate he's become and is the biggest indication to me that he's seeing some bad internal polling data.

What's even more disturbing is the willingness of Mike Huckabee to join the party. Huckabee is not going to be president, but he does have a choice to make - does he lose honorably and ensure himself a bright future in the party, or does he lose ugly and make himself a pariah?

So far, he's choosing...unwisely.

I've been quite critical of Huckabee as a candidate. My main reason is that I'm disturbed by his poor record as governor of Arkansas and disagree with his policy proposals. The other reason is that I'm disgusted by the opportunity he squandered. Huckabee is an ordained pastor with considerable political gifts. He had a chance to show that Christians could get engaged in politics without lowering themselves to the status quo - he could have been in but not of. Huckabee could have used his popularity to show that one need not use the normal political weapons to win elections.

Needless to say, he didn't do that.

Instead, Huckabee engaged in one of the more disingenuous political campaigns I've seen. Instead of being forthright about his record, he's shaded the truth. Given the opportunity to show that even though Christians may disagree with Mormon theology, they respect America's religious plurality, he decided to go with cheap smears designed to appeal to anti-Mormon sentiment. And now, given a chance to criticize his opponents graciously and honestly, he's uttered half-truths or lies.

In the end, this Christian leader turned out to be just another politician. What a disappointment.

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posted by Slublog at 08:09 PM

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