Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Politics of Attack and Sleaze

I find it odd that Americans put up with a candidate, McCain, who claimed an interest in running a clean issues-only campaign and as a former victim of Bush sleazy tactics has hypocritically sunk to the same tactics in his desperate attempt to knock down Obama who is riding high in the polls. Here is an item from TPM Election Central pointing out an astounding attempt by McCain to attack his opponent by sliming his wife:

The McCain campaign is now broadening their attack on Obama's past association with William Ayers to include Michelle Obama -- even though McCain has repeatedly said spouses should be off limits during the campaign.

The attack? Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers' wife and fellow former Weatherman, went to work in 1984 for the major Chicago-based national law firm of Sidley & Austin, and three years later, Michelle joined the mega-firm as well.

That's the entire attack. We wish we were joking. But we aren't.

In launching this latest, McCain is ditching yet another formerly-claimed principle as he faces the growing likelihood of defeat. In a statement back in June, the McCain campaign said: "Senator McCain agrees with Senator Obama that spouses should not be an issue in this campaign, and he has stated that position frequently."

The attack on Michelle came on a McCain conference call with reporters this afternoon featuring John Murtagh, who has been hitting Obama over the Weather Underground's attack on his family's home back in 1970. Murtagh noted that Dohrn and Michelle Obama had both worked at the firm starting in the late 1980s.

The firm's Chicago office currently employs more than 500 lawyers.

Murtagh didn't even bother alleging that the two even knew each other, instead suggesting that they might have. If so, he said, the Obamas have known the two longer than suspected.

If you go to the TMP website you can listen to the audio of the unveiling of this attack by McCain's group and featuring a bitter son of a judge killed by a Weatherman attack.

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