Desperate Acts of Beleaguered Politicians

“Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” — Palin, to donors Saturday at a private airport in Englewood, Colo.

From International Herald Tribune

It seems that the McCain/Palin campaign is running out of fuel. And its no wonder since the latest numbers put Obama at a 6.2% average lead in the polls (RCP). Now they’re striking at Obama for a purported relationship with Weather Underground member Bill Ayers. And, of course they’re bringing up Reverend Jeremiah Wright again, however little that actually has to do with Obama anyway. Obama responded:

“He engaged in these despicable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old. I served on a board with him. And so now they’re trying to use this as guilt by association,” Obama said.

“I think the American people deserve better. I think they deserve a last four weeks that talks about the economic crisis,” Obama continued. “But if John McCain wants to have a character debate, I’m happy to have that debate because Mr. McCain’s record, despite him calling himself a maverick, actually shows that he is continually somebody who relies on lobbyists….He makes decisions, often times, based on what these lobbyists tell them him to do. That I think is going to be a lot more relevant to the American people than what somebody who is tangentially related to me.”

From The Swamp

And then there’s this:

One might note at the outset that Obama has had dealings with just one domestic terrorist—former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers—and that “palling around” is hardly a good description of this passing acquaintanceship. Obama and Ayers were both politically active members of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, and both were affiliated with the neighborhood’s University of Chicago. But the very New York Times article that Palin cited as a source concluded that “the two men do not appear to have been close.”

So Palin’s “palling around” accusation is no more true than her boast that she “told congress ‘Thanks, but no thanks’” on the Bridge to Nowhere, or that she had the Alaska Permanent Fund divest from Sudan. But it seems to me that pointing out factual errors gives this line of argument too much credit: guilt by association, even when the association happens to be real, is a silly charge.

From The Atlantic

So why is this even news? Because the media eats this stuff up. And McCain/Palin are using this fact as a means to distract people from the truth and from the issues. I’ve never been a proponent of negative campaigning, and this is just despicable.

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