In a previous post I made a comment that John McCain is nothing if not honest. In last night's debate he proved that he can lie as well as anybody. Even when faced with the undeniable truth, he continued the lie in a fashion that would make Bill Clinton proud.
The issue was whether or not Mitt Romney ever favored a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. John McCain cited a part of a sentence from an ABC interview in April of 2007 in which Romney said that President Bush and Maliki would of course discuss timetables and goals in private meetings, but none of that would be for public proclamation. In the following question (which McCain did not mention) Romney was asked specifically if he would support a move by Congress to set a specific timetable for withdrawal, to which he answered absolutely not.
McCain is fully aware of Romney's actual position on the subject and it is identical to McCain's. Yet he repeatedly tried to defend his accusation by simply repeating partial sentences from the interview. Romney sat right next to him and repeated the whole statements in context, yet McCain ignored this. It was almost pathological.
This may seem a trivial argument, but it shows an aspect of McCain's character that I did not previously know was there. This was not a misunderstanding or a result of poor advice or misinformation. He had the transcript. It took place in April and he threw the issue out there three days before the Florida primary...nine months later, giving Romney no time to correct it. It was an out and out, bald faced lie, and when confronted with it, rather than apologize or correct himself, he stuck with it.
McCain has proven that he is not the maverick, brutally honest, independent anomaly of politics. He's just another guy desperately trying to get to the White House by whatever means necessary.