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Neither McCain nor Palin would dare mention Obama's middle name, Hussein, but they can play up Obama's past associations and let others connect the dots. Terrorist. Muslim. Dangerous. Other.

 

It is legitimate to question character and dubious associations -- and William Ayers is certifiably dubious. The truth is, Obama should have avoided Ayers, and his denouncement of Wright was tardy. But this is a dangerous game.

 

The McCain campaign knows that Obama isn't a Muslim or a terrorist, but they're willing to help a certain kind of voter think he is. Just the way certain South Carolinians in 2000 were allowed to think that McCain's adopted daughter from Bangladesh was his illegitimate black child.

 

But words can have more serious consequences than lost votes and we've already had a glimpse of the Palin effect.

 

The Post's Dana Milbank reported that media representatives in Clearwater were greeted with taunts, thunder sticks and profanity. One Palin supporter shouted an epithet at an African-American soundman and said, "Sit down, boy."

 

McCain may want to call off his pit bull before this war escalates.

 

And she's exactly right. I've been hinting at this for a few days while she's just hit this one on the screws.

 

Kathleen Parker

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We conservatives are sending a powerful, inadvertent message with this negative campaign against Barack Obama's associations and former associations: that we lack a positive agenda of our own and that we don’t care about the economic issues that are worrying American voters.

 

[...]

 

Those who press this Ayers line of attack are whipping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that is going to be very hard to calm after November. Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for a man who may well be the next president of the United States, incidentally the first African-American president? Anger is a very bad political adviser. It can isolate us and push us to the extremes at exactly the moment when we ought to be rebuilding, rethinking, regrouping and recruiting.

David Frum

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Fear-mongering, plain and simple. If that is the only way that I could win the presidency - to make innuendo that you KNOW is simply not true - I wouldn't want it. Palin doesn't suprise me, but I thought that McCain would be above it. I would think that he would remember the Bush strategy against him in 2000.

 

While I agree that it might not be the best strategy, it is true that he is more than just neighbors w/ Ayers. It's also true that he sat in the church of a racist that dislikes America for 20 years. The problem w/ the approach, and the point I think Habib is making is that it isn't a big enough issue right now b/c the economy is in such turmoil. There are many issues I disagree w/ O on, but he realizes that right now most American want something done w/ the economy, housing market, and the credit crisis.

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Then why use this line?

 

Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for a man who may well be the next president of the United States, incidentally the first African-American president?

 

And I for one will give Nobama every bit the same chance that liberals gave GWB after his election in the disasterous event that he is elected.

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So why is bringing up his very questionable associations such a taboo?

 

It isn’t, inherently. But look how the rhetoric is couched. Why is Obama’s relationship with Ayers important? Officially, the McCain campaign has said it’s about Obama’s judgment, or that he lied about their relationship, or that they pursued a radical agenda together. All of which is fair game, to be sure. However, Obama recovered from the Wright publicity, and polls haven’t shown voters responding to the Ayers stuff, largely because the economic mess is quickly becoming America’s top issue by a wide margin. So why do the Republicans keep trying to link Obama to Ayers and not to Pelosi or Frank, certainly a more effective tactic?

 

Again, look at how Palin speaks about Obama: “Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country”; "Some of his comments that he's made about the war, that I think, in my world disqualify someone from consideration for the next commander-in-chief"; “This is not someone who sees America the way you and I do”. A bit vague, isn’t it? This isn’t about Ayers. Sounds like Obama might be a terrorist. Maybe he’s a secret Muslim who hates America. Maybe voters should go home and re-read those emails in their spam folder.

 

I’m not the only one who sees it. “Terrorist!”, “Treason!”, “Kill him!” have all been shouted from the crowd during three of the most recent rallies - none of which were denounced by McCain or Palin. A racial epithet was directed toward a black network cameraman at Palin’s last rally in Florida. Reporters now are even restricted from asking questions of attendants to Palin’s rallies. And no, I’m not naïve enough to suggest that they can control what people shout during their rallies, but they can certainly control what they say from the podium, and when it is as vague, ambiguous, and as sinister as what they are suggesting they should certainly expect that type of feedback. But, hey, “Obama is an anti-American, Muslim, terrorist supporter” plays a hell of a lot better than “Obama sat on a charitable board with some radical guy who set bombs off in the 60s.” Oh, nevermind the fact that you should vote for John McCain because Leonore Annenberg – yes, the same Annenberg Council that Obama and Ayers were part of - is endorsing him.

 

It’s destructive and shameful. And in four years, when the economy is quite likely going to be a mess, or just on the beginning of recovery, Republicans aren’t going to ride in another “Reagan Revolution” on the coattails of this kind of garbage. Where is the reasonable economic message? You know, the one where the government doesn’t nationalize everything?

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So is this another assertion that if you are against Nobama and question his dubous associations you are racist?

 

That's beginning to get really old.

 

 

Yea, I'll go a head and say it. In my opinion with some folks, that has a lot to do with it. Very sad, yet very true.

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Isn't the Obama campaign bringing up the McCain's involvement with the Keating 5? Isn't every commercial trying to link McCain into being Bush's 3rd term? Especially funny since McCain has been every Democrat's favorite Republican for 7 1/2 of the last 8 years. Isn't Obama playing the class card at every turn? Tax the rich oil companies, give the money back to the people. Raise the taxes on the rich so that 95% of the people can get a tax break. This is accetable, but it is not ok for McCain to do similar campaigning.

 

Isn't it just practical to go after Obama's past relationships? If he were to get a job with the FBI, CIA, or IRS he would be interviewed carefully and a full background check with interviews with family and friends. They check every detail pretty thoroughly. If they found relationships with mobsters helping pay for a morgage (Rezko) or terrorist connections (Ayers), then he probably wouldn't be able to be hired.

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The argument that people are not responding to the McCain-Palin campaign's questions about Obama's troubling associations is just plain silly and very premature. Obama admits in his books that he sought out radicals, including Marxist professors early in life. He continued to associate with Marxists and socialists even after becoming a US Senator.

 

Very little is known about Obama's activities during much of his adult life. For example, Obama and Ayers coauthored the bylaws for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and Obama has described his work there as "educational reform." We know from Ayers' writings and speeches that his idea of educational reform is to use education as a tool to overcome capitalism. Are we to believe that the money that Obama doled out to organizations like ACORN while working at the Annenberg Challenge was limited to improving literacy?

 

There are those such as Ayers who would like to use the current economic crisis to dismantle our capitalist system and divert attention away from the real culprits like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Barrack Obama who have used Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac to put poor people into homes that they could not afford at taxpayers' expense.

 

Obama's class warfare rhetoric hints at a heart of a socialist but his campaign message in the general campaign is far more mainstream than his record.

 

There is nothing wrong and nothing racist about publicizing Obama's past political alliances and demanding that he justify them now that most Americans are paying attention to the campaign. If McCain simply plays nice and allows Obama to define himself as if he has not record prior to wrapping up the Democratic nomination, then Obama will be the next US president.

 

I am sick of all the whining about the truthful exposure of Obama's record. Many people will dismiss such attacks on the basis that they have not heard them before because the media has failed to do its job. Many will refuse to believe that Obama is a socialist on the mistaken belief that a socialist could not possibly be nominated by a major party in the USA.

 

McCain can only hope that there are enough fair minded people left to carefully consider Obama's radical past along with his flowery rhetoric before voting.

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I watched the other day when McCain asked who is the real Barrack Obama, and someone shouted either terrorism or terrorist and McCain laughed. That's encourging those kind of remarks and doesn't seem to serve a very good purpose.

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I don't believe Obama's associations make him a terrorist or anything of the sort. However, it calls into play his judgement and/or his ability to say 'Yes I was associated with XYZ in some mild way, but once I realized what they were or what they were involved in, I disavowed any association with them.' That apology or admission of being human would go a long way in making these things go away. McCain did that years ago with his association with Charles Keating that the Obama camp is beating him up for. Although found to have done nothing wrong, McCain stated 'That was the biggest mistake I have ever made.'

 

I also want to hear Obama come out and say anything negative about ACORN. I guess it would be hard with the $800,000 he has given to them over the years. Even the top democratic strategists won't deny this. I don't think he is involved in any sort of voter registration or voter fraud, but the implication of impropriety is there, especially with ACORN being raked over the coals for their activities. Although IMHO, Barney Franks is the one who I understand put in the profit donation to ACORN on the first bailout bill which never even got to a vote, not Obama.

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^The problem for Obama is that the list of his shady associates and political allies is a long one. If he takes the 'Yes I was associated with XYZ in some mild way, but once I realized what they were or what they were involved in, I disavowed any association with them.' people would conclude that he has exercised extremely poor judgment for his entire adult life.

 

BTW, the $800,000+ figure is only the amount of money that Obama has thrown at ACORN during the current campaign. His professional and financial entanglements with ACORN spans virtually his entire poltical career.

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