It is hard to watch Senator John McCain conduct the most scurrilous political campaign in memory and not be reminded of the line uttered by Joseph N. Welch, to Senator Joseph McCarthy at the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954: "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
Attorney Welch had clearly had enough when McCarthy was trying to insinuate that a junior attorney in Welch's firm had communist affiliations.
Guilt by association. Sound familiar?
Shamelessly, McCain has telegraphed overtly his intention to not talk about issues and simply attack the character of Senator Barack Obama. Using his pit bull, Sarah Palin, Team McCain has all but accused Obama of being a terrorist himself. They want voters to think Obama is un-American, and 'isn't like us.'
Not getting away with it
Surprisingly, to some of us, the mainstream media is actually pushing back.
CNN's fact-check on Sarah Palin's accusation, that Obama is a friend of terrorists, fully shoots her down.
The fact is, Senator Obama did serve on a Board of Directors of the Annenberg Challenge, a board that also included William Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground.
As CNN reported today, Leonore Annenberg, the wife of William Annenberg, founder of the group that funded the charity, is one of 100 former ambassadors who have just announced their support of John McCain. Based on his own logic, does that make McCain a man who enlists support from those who put terrorists in influential positions?
I don't think Mr. Straight Talk Express wants to go there.
The editorials call out John McCain
With their increasingly shocking rhetoric, and the apparent acceptance of calls to violence, the McCain campaign has crossed the line.
As today's New York Times editorial, headlined "Politics of Attack," stated:
It is a sorry fact of American political life that campaigns get ugly, often in their final weeks. But Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember.In reference to Palin, the Times wrote:
They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia
Her demagoguery has elicited some frightening, intolerable responses. A recent Washington Post report said at a rally in Florida this week a man yelled “kill him!” as Ms. Palin delivered that line and others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.As to Palin's role in all of this, an editorial in the Burlington Free Press states:
Mr. McCain’s aides haven’t even tried to hide their cynical tactics, saying they were “going negative” in hopes of shifting attention away from the financial crisis — and by implication Mr. McCain’s stumbling response.
Anyone willing to incite this kind of fear and harness this degree of hate for political gain has no business on the national political stage, especially as a candidate for vice president of a major political party, let alone serve in high office.They add:
The McCain camp's decision to let Palin loose on the attack brings an air desperation to a campaign that has abandoned a stand on the issues. Allowing Palin to take this line of attack raises serious questions about the kind of judgment Sen. John McCain would exercise to lead this nation.Meanwhile, a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial says what the McCain campaign is serving up:
They're offering "Lipstick On a Pig: The Sequel." And it's as bad as the original.
McCain is slumping in polls, largely because of his uneven response to the financial crisis. But running mate Palin has hit on a way to change the subject: by smearing Barack Obama for his loose association with Bill Ayers, a founder of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground.
Obama is "palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin said. She didn't mention that Obama was 8 years old when the group carried out bombings, nor that Obama has denounced Ayers' activities. It's enough, in her misguided view, that Ayers hosted a small political gathering for Obama in 1995, and that they serve on a charity board together.
This misdirection is reminiscent of the feigned outrage that poured out of the McCain campaign over Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark a few weeks ago. Instead of giving voters substance, they're providing silly diversions.
Making it personal
I am a supporter of Senator Barack Obama for president. But, if I read the McCain campaign correctly, that means I want as president, a man who "pals around with terrorists." So, what is he saying about me, or any of us who have felt that Obama is the choice for America's future?
I spoke with several friends and co-workers over the past week, all notable for not being traditional Democratic voters. Each one of them told me how they went from seeing John McCain as a war hero, to a man who has lost his entire credibility. A couple of these former supporters of his were outspoken in their shame over how he has conducted himself in this election, and what he had become.
If, by some perverse chance, McCain actually pulls this one out and wins, how can he possibly gain back his credibility? He is no longer respected by many who at one point held him in high esteem.
Sadly, for John McCain, his legacy of long-suffering POW-turned-politician, has now been redefined
In the same way that 'swift-boating' is now synonomous with political slander, running a 'McCain-style campaign' will now be the reference point for any campaign whose prime focus is the character assassination of their opponent.
Was it worth it, Mr. McCain, to sell your soul, reputation and legacy?
I suppose you feel it was.
I would like to leave the following video for you to reflect upon. I am very happy to let McCain have the last word on the subject.
For a well-reasoned post from another blogger on the same topic, click here.