Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain's Disgrace.

It's astonishing to see just how many scholars and political pundits are describing this as the dirtiest campaign of all time. In this video John Judis of The New Republic concedes that, in his argument with Josh Marshall, he was wrong to say that the worst campaign was Bush and Dukakis, and that McCain has actually gone further than Bush ever dared.

The latest McCain smear concerns the relationship between Rashid Khalidi, a Middle East expert, and Obama, which McCain is citing as further proof that Obama would be anti-Israeli if elected.

McCain makes these ludicrous claims despite the fact that John McCain served as chairman of the International Republican Institute during the 1990s which provided grants worth $500,000 to the Center for Palestine Research and Studies which Khalidi co-founded, so McCain is on very thin ice here, but it's simply another indication of just how desperate and immoral the McCain campaign has become.

Palin, as always takes it further, lacking the knowledge to know just how offensive she is being. Here she talks of a dinner Obama attended in Khalidi's honour. The Los Angeles Times have a video of this dinner which the wingnuts have demanded must be released so that it can be examined for any traces of anti-Semitism:

"Among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism rather than the victim," Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said at a rally in Ohio. "What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he professes to support."

And McCain told a radio station, "If there was a tape of John McCain in a neo-Nazi outfit, I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different."
This is such manufactured nonsense that it quite makes your head spin. They are demanding the release of a tape so that they can check "how Obama responded" to anti-Israeli remarks and McCain makes the comparison that Obama's response - which the McCain team haven't by their own admission seen - might be akin to McCain "in a neo-Nazi outfit".

Josh Marshall's outrage is more eloquent than mine could ever be:
The McCain campaign has been throwing around so much mud and smears in recent weeks that it's easy to miss just how ugly and shameful their character assassination of Rashid Khalidi is. This is an entirely respectable, highly respected scholar. To go further into making a case for him would only be to enable and indulge McCain's sordid appeal to racism. For McCain, personally, to compare Khalidi to a neo-nazi, it's just an offense McCain should never be forgiven for. It's right down in the gutter with Joe McCarthy and the worst of the worst. Khalidi is in this new McCain set piece for one reason -- as a generic Arab, to spur the idea that Obama is foreign, friendly with terrorists and possibly Muslim.
The fact that McCain is trailing in the polls disguises to some extent the disgraceful mud slinging and character assassination which he has been indulging in. But this is a new low. As was clear in this video Khalidi is being used to imply that Obama has a long list of anti-Semitic friends, despite the fact that Khalidi is not anti-Semitic.

This is simply shameful and, as Josh Marshall says, it is something which McCain should never be forgiven for.


It really says something about how far over the line McCain has gone when The Washington Post feel the need to condemn him publicly.
To suggest, as Mr. McCain has, that there is something reprehensible about associating with Mr. Khalidi is itself condemnable -- especially during a campaign in which Arab ancestry has been the subject of insults. To further argue that the Times, which obtained the tape from a source in exchange for a promise not to publicly release it, is trying to hide something is simply ludicrous, as Mr. McCain surely knows.

Which reminds us: We did ask Mr. Khalidi whether he wanted to respond to the campaign charges against him. He answered, via e-mail, that "I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over." That's good advice for anyone still listening to the McCain campaign's increasingly reckless ad hominem attacks. Sadly, that wind is likely to keep blowing for four more days.

This is another part of this story which I find reprehensible. McCain knows that the LA Times cannot release the tapes, so he seeks to imply that someone has something to hide. It really is the worst gutter politics. Seeking to tar your opponent through baseless name calling and creepy insinuation.


Taylor Marsh has a good take on this.
Let's start with Juan Cole's "McCain Racism, Hypocrisy on Khalidi Issue." He gives an explanation that is continually ignored no matter how many people point it out.
The rightwing American way of speaking about these issues is bizarre from a Middle Eastern point of view. Lots of real living Israelis have close ties to actually existing Palestinians. There are 12 Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset, and they have helped keep the Kadima government in power. Here is PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas with current Israeli Prime Minister Tzipi Livni; Livni has repeatedly negotiated with the PLO as foreign minister of Israel. McCain's entire line of attack assumes that Palestinian equals "bad" and ignores Israel's and the Bush administration's support for the PLO against Hamas.
This line of attack is even too much for Lou Dobbs for God's sake.

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daveawayfromhome said...

Remember this on Wednsday: all the GOP has to do is keep the margins at around the halfway point, then Diebold will take care of the rest. All those states where the margin is within 5 points and which have electronic voting will go to Republicans - just watch.

Kel said...

Oh God, I hope you are wrong Dave. If Obama wins one of the first things he should do is ban electronic voting, simply outlaw it.

It's simply criminal that they can behave in this way.