POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Dionne (The New Republic): McCain campaign fans the racist flames

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 15, 2008

E.J. Dionne writes in The New Republic …

  • John McCain’s campaign is playing with powerful extremist themes to denigrate Obama.
  • When his running mate Sarah Palin first brought up Obama’s association with 1960s radical Bill Ayers, who has become a centerpiece of McCain’s attacks, she accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” What other “terrorists” was she thinking about?
  • False claims that Obama is a Muslim, that he trained to overthrow the government, that he was educated in Wahhabi Muslim schools, are a standard part of the political discussion.
  • These fake stories come from voices on the ultra right that have dabbled in other forms of conspiracy, including classic anti-Semitism.
  • McCain and his campaign do not pick up the most extreme charges. 
  • They just fan the flames by suggesting that voters don’t really know who Obama is, hinting at a sinister back story without filling in the details. That is left to the voters’ imaginations.
  • McCain has an obligation, to his own legacy and the country he has served, to separate himself and his campaign from the kooks. Extremism in pursuit of the presidency is degrading.

Read the entire article at … http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=d488f326-4624-440f-ac6c-ce5a8edeea38

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