August 1, 2008 · Lessig
So I didn’t make many friends in the Obama campaign when I suggested his campaign was Self-Swiftboating Obama — acting in a way that undercut his most important character. But (as an Obama supporter), I am really pleased (if as one-time admirer of McCain, saddened) to see that McCain is out-doing Obama in this respect, big time.
McCain’s strongest feature as a candidate was the perception that he was a no bullshitting, straight talking, truth speaking maverick. Though I was an admirer, I never quite saw the image as true. (I wrote about an extraordinary exchange I saw with him and Zittrain last year.) But that’s certainly what makes people like and respect him — and what distinguished him so completely from Mitt “I’m running so I need to be a Rightwinger” Romney, and Rudy “I’m running so I need to be a Rightwinger” Giuliani.
But now, McCain’s acting in a way that will turn off this base completely. The absurdity of the flip-flop on off-shore drilling, and the shameful suggestion that this is a solution to the problem of high gas prices (all after he had met with oil execs, and then received a huge influx of campaign cash from the same), and the totally baseless charge that Obama’s decision not to visit troops was motivated by the unavailability of the press coverage: Shame on you, Senator. But please, don’t stop now!