Tossing euphemism overboard, Time’s Joe Klein reached the acme of his nonfictional career this week when he wrote that “there is no excuse for what the McCain campaign is doing on the ‘putting America first’ front. There is no way to balance it, or explain it other than as evidence of a severe character defect on the part of the candidate who allows it to be used….[McCain] has made a fateful decision: he has personally impugned Obama’s patriotism and allows his surrogates to continue to do that. By doing so, he has allied himself with those who smeared him, his wife, his daughter Bridget, in 2000.” Who will dare carry such Straight Talk onto the Round Table Express?

Todd Gitlin , who teaches journalism at Columbia, is the author of a new book, Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street.