It’s not as if we didn’t see this coming, but the ugliness is still shocking. McCain strategists, right-wing bloggers, and their Fox TV propaganda arm have decided that the only way to turn around the seriously slumping numbers for the McCain-Palin ticket is to knock aside discussion of the nation’s economic problems and focus on trying to destroy Barack Obama with charges that would make the Swift boaters blush. Pitbull Palin is at the forefront, beaming broadly while telling crowds that Obama thinks the nation is so imperfect that he’s willing to pal around with terrorists.
The portrayal by Palin, Sean Hannity, and others of Obama’s relationship to William Ayers is so dishonest, so dishonorable, and so disgusting that it’s hard to imagine where things will go over the next four weeks. Actually, it’s not so hard -- we can get a pretty good idea, based on the other elements of the new smear campaign: Obama’s criticism of war-fighting strategy in Afghanistan is misrepresented as a disrespectful attack on our troops, and Palin repeats the bogus charge that he voted to “defund” the troops – even though by the Mc-Palin team’s rationale, the exact same thing could be said of McCain’s Senate votes.
Over the past couple of days, news reports have documented people in the GOP ticket’s audiences shouting “kill him” and “treason” – and telling a black cameraman, “sit down, boy.” If there’s any worry within McPalin’s team about unleashing this kind of ugliness and hatred, there’s no sign of it on the candidates’ smiling faces. They seem to be fully embracing the savagery of the Bush campaign team’s win-at-all-costs tactics, which took McCain down in 2000. And McCain, who has tried so hard and for so long to make his name synonymous with honor, has now welcomed the perpetrators of that dishonorable campaign onto this team and demonstrated his willingness to say and do anything to win his final run at the White House.