Katharine Seelye's Monday evening post on "The Caucus" blog, "Rendell: 'The Big Lie Strategy,'" passed along without comment an inflammatory, Hitler-tingedaccusation against the McCain-Palin ticket from Pennsylvania's Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who accused McCain of "lying" about Barack Obama's middle-class tax plans. Seelye also accepted the judgment of a liberal-leaning tax policy consortium that Obama's tax plan would not in fact raise taxes on most people.
Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania just accused the campaign of Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin of flat-out "lying" about Senator Barack Obama's plan on taxes.
Mr. Obama would cut taxes for the majority of Americans, according to the Tax Policy Center that has examined his proposals, and yet the McCain campaign continues to say that Mr. Obama would raise them.
"I call on Senator McCain to stop misleading, stop lying, about Senator Obama's tax plan," Mr. Rendell said in a conference call with reporters.
While accepting the Tax Policy Center's findings as gospel truth, Seelye could have at least mentioned that the research group is administered by the liberal Brookings Institution and Urban Institute.
Rendell's "big lie" (and shouldn't that be "Big Lie"?) argument didn't bother Seelye, whose sympathy appeared aligned with the Obama camp.
Politicians rarely accuse each other of lying, preferring euphemisms instead. Mr. Rendell's unusually blunt language is a sign of the anger that Democrats are feeling as they watch the McCain camp distort Mr. Obama's proposals (Factcheck.org says the McCain campaign is engaging in "a pattern of deceit") and their frustration at being unable to stop it. Governor Rendell was highlighting the issue in advance of a visit Tuesday to Pennsylvania by Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin.
Mr. Rendell repeated his accusation several times. He said that most speakers at the Republican convention in St. Paul last week had "lied" about Mr. Obama's tax plans and that Mr. McCain's television ads "have continued to lie." He said Mr. McCain was using "the big lie strategy," which is to repeat something often enough in hopes that it will stick. And, he lamented, "to some extent it has stuck."
"The big lie" is a clear reference to Adolf Hitler, but the Times didn't chide Rendell's inflammatory rhetoric or even acknowledge the reference.