Americans are very cynical about such things but I don't ever recall a campaign being called out so extensively for serial dishonesty. Front page stories on the NYTs about such things just don't happen.
Even the Wall Street Journal has gotten into the act.
And check out this exchange last night from The News Hour,
...John McCain said -- and he meant it -- that he would rather lose an election if it meant winning the war when he supported the surge. And, right now, I think that that the bargain he has made -- and I hate to say this, because this -- these are dishonorable acts. This makes -- these are dishonest...Mark Shield 'ashes' comment, which I italicized, is important. If McCain wins this way, there will be no hope for his ability to lead. This is exactly why the country is so divided at this time. Scorched earth politics leave only ashes. Obama has tried hard to not do this, first to the Clintons because he wanted to have a party at the end of the primary season -- and now to McCain. But fighting back doesn't equate to counter lies. Fighting back is confronting the liars directly and in no uncertain terms. When the McCain campaign suffers for the outrageous lies, the lies will at least be more tempered.
JIM LEHRER: Dishonorable.
MARK SHIELDS: Dishonest and dishonorable. And that's not the kind of campaign that one expected from John McCain. It is certainly not John McCain's lifetime. And one hopes that he is not going to trade his self-respect for political victory, because I will tell you, it will be ashes if he does win that way. It will be ashes. There will be no chance of bipartisanship.
JIM LEHRER: David, do you share them?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I would say depressing, rather than dishonorable.
The last 60 days of any campaign, even for those of us who love politics, tend to be depressing, because they get into the gutter. I think both campaigns have been misleading, exaggerating.
I think the McCain campaign has been more misleading and exaggerating. Obama has said things which I think are blatantly untrue, where he said John McCain said yes to -- when you make $5 million, you are rich. McCain never said that seriously. Obama ran an ad today saying John McCain hasn't changed since he join the Senate in '82, that he doesn't know how to use a computer. I don't any of us as journalists would that as the factual truth. Those things are just not true.
So, I think both campaigns are trading untrue charges. They enjoy their own lies. They get furious at the other.
JIM LEHRER: Enjoy their own lies?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
I mean partisan people -- this is the narcissism of partisan. You get furiously outraged at the other campaign's lies, and you love your own. Nonetheless, I do think it is fair to say that the McCain campaign has been more egregious than the Obama campaign.
(HT to Karen Tumulty for pointing out the News Hour exchange)