HITTING BACK….Jon Chait is getting pissed:

Thinking more about this McCain tire gauge lie, I’m wondering why Barack Obama doesn’t just outright call McCain a liar. All politicians spin, some more agresssively than others, but McCain’s claim that Obama’s energy policy consists of urging people to inflate their tires is way beyond spin. Can’t Obama flat-out say, “John McCain is lying. He’ll obviously say anything to get elected president. American can’t afford another president who has no regard for truth or the facts.”

McCain is only hanging in close in the polls because he’s seen as a straight-talking maverick. But he’s just lying about Obama’s energy plan every single day. He did it again today. Doesn’t this say something important about McCain’s character? Don’t the last eight years show us what happens when you campaign in the Rove style and then try to govern? It seems to me that Obama can do something that’s both politically valuable and extremely salient to the choice voters face.

Sure, Obama could say this. And considering both the depth and reach of Obama’s energy plan, which has been available for months, McCain’s lie is an especially egregious one. But would the press report it that way? Or would McCain claim that, come on, my friends, he was just joshing, and can’t that Obama guy ever take a joke? Perhaps, given the realities of today’s media environment, Obama’s choice of a more tempered response is the better approach after all. Somerby makes the case here.

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