Sunday, October 5, 2008

Is the McCain/Palin Campaign Lying About Obama Being a "Terrorist?" You Betcha, Doggone It!

In case you haven’t heard, Barack Obama is a terrorist. Or at least he’s been “palling around with terrorists,” if Gov. Sarah Palin can be believed. Unsurprisingly, she cannot.

"There is a lot of interest, I guess, in what I read and what I’ve read lately,” Palin said Saturday. “Well, I was reading my copy of today’s New York Times and I was interested to read about Barack’s friends from Chicago."

“I get to bring this up not to pick a fight, but it was there in the New York Times, so we are gonna talk about it. Turns out one of Barack’s earliest supporters, (University of Illinois-Chicago Professor William Ayers), is a man who, according to the New York Times, and they are hardly ever wrong, was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that quote launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and US Capitol. Wow. These are the same guys who think patriotism is paying higher taxes.

“This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America. We see America as the greatest force for good in this world. If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for for all of us. Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?”

This is in keeping with the McCain/Palin campaign’s stated intention of attacking Sen. Obama’s character in the final month of the campaign. There are so many things wrong with this b.s. that leaves me livid, so we’d better get started.

1. Gov. Palin, you will refer to the Democratic nominee as “Sen. Obama.” You have not met him, you don’t play poker with him, and he is not your moose-hunting buddy. You may not refer to Sen. Biden as “Joe,” you may not refer to Sen. Obama as “Barack,” and no, you may not braid their hair or paint their toenails. We’ll extend you the same courtesy.

2. There is only one candidate in this race who is under investigation for a potentially impeachable abuse of power, and it isn’t “Barack from Chicago.” It’s Gov. Sarah Palin, from that whitewashed sepulchre of corruption that is Alaska.

3. When did the McCain campaign’s official take on the New York Times become that the paper is “hardly ever wrong?” What happened to “in the tank for Obama” and “pro-Obama advocacy organization”?

4. If Barack Obama were a terrorist, or were tied to terrorists, don’t you think that would’ve been all we had heard for months? There would’ve been none of this “aw, shucks,” “my friends,” “country first,” “hockey mom,” “lipstick on a pig,” “maverick maverick maverick” ridiculousness. Every time Obama’s name came up, McCain and Palin would’ve just looked exasperated straight into the camera, The Office-style, and said, “Um…HE’S A TERRORIST!”

Why weren’t we hearing about how Barack Obama is a terrorist when John McCain was ahead?

Instead of merely refusing to look at Sen. Obama during their debate, Sen. McCain could’ve just refused to debate altogether. “I have suffered and bled and nearly died for my country, so you’ll forgive me, my friends, if I won’t share a stage WITH A TERRORIST!"

John McCain refuses to look at Barack Obama during their recent debate at Ole Miss.

Imagine that I came to your house and said, “My friend, I’d like to take you out for ice cream. Come with me.” And then, if you should refuse, imagine that I start to sweat, and say, “My friend, there are termites eating your walls. We should really leave and call an exterminator.” And then, if you should still refuse, imagine that I turn beet-red and scream, “For heaven’s sake, my friend, the whole block is on fire, and it’s consumed five buildings already! You must come with me!”

Wouldn’t you probably look at me and ask, “Um…so why were we talking about ‘ice cream?’” Of course you would, and so should we all wonder why McCain has waited until now, a month before the election, to say that Obama is a terrorist.

From the looks of Palin’s quote, and similar quotes by spokesman Tucker Bounds and others, it appears they’re going to try to pretend that this “terrorist” stuff is new. It isn’t. Sen. Clinton brought it up in her debates with Obama in April. Conservative columnists were ranting about it in February. It’s never been a secret.

Less than a month ago, everyone was accusing Mayor Daley and the University of Illinois-Chicago of a cover-up, of hiding damning records linking Obama to Bill Ayers in a way that could sink his presidential bid. But then the records were opened up, and conservative media outlets from the Chicago Tribune on down were disappointed to learn they’d been chasing yet another mirage.

Anyone who reads the Chicago Tribune’s Op-Ed page on a regular basis knows that it is a Republican paper. This dates all the way back to the Republicanism of Joseph Medill before the Civil War, and to that of his grandson Colonel Robert McCormick, who hated New Deal Democrats in particular; this is what made Harry Truman’s smile so broad when he held up that most famous edition of the Tribune ever published. The Tribune has dug at Obama for four years, from Tony Rezko to Bill Ayers to Rev. Wright. If it hasn’t found anything digging here in Sen. Obama’s back yard, you can bet there’s nothing to be found.

One of America’s most underestimated presidents: Harry Truman on his proudest day.

5. If the McCain campaign were truthful (which it is not), it would tell folks that the New York Times story it cites actually says that Obama and Ayers “do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called ‘somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.’”

This is like taking a headline that says, “Fred Thompson is 100%, absolutely, positively not gay with Rudy Giuliani,” and saying, “Did you read the news story that talked about the possibility of secret homosexual liaisons between Thompson and Giuliani?”

Rudy Giuliani in drag. Nope, I’m not joking.

But I don’t know why anyone is surprised the McCain camp is going there. This is classic Karl Rove-style politics, turning day to night, right to wrong, strength to weakness. It’s what allowed Republicans to run against a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran, Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., as soft on terror in 2002.

It’s what allowed two chickenhawks to run against a decorated Vietnam war hero as a weak, liberal coward in 2004. It’s what’s allowed every Republican since 1980 to run as a “fiscal conservative,” despite ballooning deficits that have made our national debt ELEVEN TIMES what it was in 1980, even though 20 of those 28 years fell under Republicans.

The McCain/Palin crowd has taken a headline that said “no terrorism,” left out the “no,” and convinced itself that it’s still telling a half-truth and keeping half its honor intact.

6. Lastly, as anyone who’s ever served on a board knows, you don’t get to pick your fellow board members. Charities and civic organizations are always looking for professionals and community leaders to serve on governing and fundraising boards, some of which can have as many as 100 members.

Should Sen. Obama have refused to serve on any organization’s board whose members also included someone with a shady past, regardless of how important the organization’s mission was? Should he have turned down this donation from a man who, by all accounts, has given back a lot to the community and the society that he once so violently reviled?

I don’t know. Do Republicans return every donation from G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and other unrepentant criminals who put their beliefs and values above the law? I doubt it.
As Sen. Obama has said, he was eight when all this Weather Underground stuff was going on. One of the beauties of his campaign to so many in my generation is that finally – finally – the divisive politics of the 1960s can be put behind us. No more draft dodging, no more draft deferments, no more bra burning, no more free-loving and pot-smoking and flag burning and all of it.

We can turn the page with Barack Obama, and it’s not surprising that someone like John McCain – a Vietnam-era guy by definition – is hoping we have one more election mired in the social conflicts that consumed the second half of the 20th Century.

But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that McCain is just whistling Dixie. To me, it sounds an awful lot like a swan song.

1 comment:

DRock said...

I wouldn't worry about it too much. This isn't John Kerry who would just ignore the attacks. I have faith Obama will fight back. John McCain wants to win and this is his last card to use with little time left. This election is about the economy and Americans are tired of the attacks. Republicans love to use this tactic because it has worked in the past but in the past it was different times. McCain hasn't put a dent on Obama yet so he'll try anything at this point.