Sunday, October 05, 2008

Adventures in Guilt by Association

Just yesterday the Washington Post reported that the McCain campaign planned to go sharply negative and attack Obama's character by reviving tales about his supposed associations with former Weatherman radical William Ayres and corrupt Chicago businessman Tony Rezko. Of course, Obama's associations with both those men were casual and passing at best. Quite frankly there is nobody at that level who hasn't made mistakes or doesn't have a skeleton or two in their closet, yes, including Mr. McCain.

In fact, both the the charges of connections between Obama and either Rezko or Ayres have been widely reported as being over blown. But desperate times call for desperate moves and since John McCain can't come up with a coherent and credible economic plan that would reassure voters, all his campaign can do is hope to change the conversation by silly and diversionary attacks. At a time when the public is looking for answers to real problems that are affecting their pocket books, their homes, their dreams, all McCain can do is sling mud and hope it diverts people's attention from their real difficulties. But given his own shaky associations is this really the route he wants to take?

For more information and a great discussion on the World Anti-Communist League, the neo-Nazi organization that Paul Begala mentioned, go here.

And here is more from Paul Begala:
And I think Governor Palin here is making a strategic mistake. This guilt by association path is going to be trouble ultimately for the McCain campaign. You know, you can go back, I have written a book about McCain, I had a dozen researchers go through him, I didn't even put this in the book. But John McCain sat on the board of a very right-wing organization, it was the U.S. Council for World Freedom, it was chaired by a guy named John Singlaub, who wound up involved in the Iran contra scandal. It was an ultra conservative, right-wing group. The Anti-Defamation League, in 1981 when McCain was on the board, said this about this organization. It was affiliated with the World Anti-Communist League - the parent organization - which ADL said "has increasingly become a gathering place, a forum, a point of contact for extremists, racists and anti-Semites."
In addition, even Douglas K. Daniel, a writer and editor with the Washington bureau of Associated Press, dressed down Sarah Palin, on Huffington Post, for her remarks acusing Barack Obama of "palling around with a terrorist." Daniel even called Palin out for the subtly racist subtext of her remarks.

Like I said, does the McCain campaign actually want to go this route when that is merely the tip of the iceberg for their own candidates?

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