For two days in a row, John McCain has said to a national audience that the tack his campaign has taken, issuing patently-false attack ads and questioning the honor of Barack Obama, is a direct result of Obama refusing to participate in town-hall meetings with McCain. What?!? I’m not even sure how to parse that — I literally have no idea what that statement means, how the two are connected, or whether McCain has some understanding of cause and effect that I don’t. Is there any rational person in this country who thinks that there are only two alternatives for running a campaign for president, having town-hall meetings or issuing blatant lies from the relative safety of an ad design studio? Is there some sort of weird playground rule in effect during this election that says that when a candidate doesn’t agree to his opponent’s demands, the opponent gets to go off the deep end? (For the record, the first time McCain said this was at last night’s Service Nation event at fair Columbia University; the second time was on today’s The View.) I would expect this kind of explanation from an elementary school kid who’s trying to justify pushing someone into a ditch or something, not from a man who’s been trying to convince us all of his deep honor and commitment to rational public discourse.

(I do have to say, though, that it was fun to watch McCain get ripped up on The View, of all things. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a candidate whose positions and statements are so untenable that he can’t defend them while sitting on the sofa of a late-morning coffee klatsch television show; is there really a question of whether or not he’d be able to defend them while sitting in the Oval Office? Nevermind the part of the same appearance wherein he claimed that Palin never asked for earmarks as governor of Alaska, another glaring and undeniable lie.)