Well, we are done with the final debate between the candidates and going down the home stretch towards Election Day. And it looks to me like McCain and his campaign are making every possible dumb move that can be made, and no Rovian tactic can help them. In fact, it is the Rove-like maneuvers that are hurting McCain/Palin in the eyes of the American people. Yet, it doesn’t seem to faze them as they are still out there, throwing out the same dumb lines and attacking in all the wrong ways. While Obama is rightly attacking McCain’s policies, McCain and Palin feel as if they have no choice but to try to energize the far-right voting block and use some unseemly language and tactics to do so.
Of course, one of the hot topics they have hit on recently, after it having been left dormant for months, is the association between Obama and a super-dangerous terrorist, Bill Ayers. Per Palin, Obama ‘pals around’ with this terrorist. Of course, you would want to why in the hell would Obama even associate himself with a dangerous man who wants nothing more than to bring terror upon the helpless people of America, right? Well, this terrorist served on the same community board as Obama from 2000 to 2002. It was an anti-poverty group in Chicago. Their association prior to that was they both worked for education reform.
Yep, a terrorist was working to end poverty and improve education in Chicago. This terrorist is also a professor and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This terrorist was also named Chicago’s 1997 Citizen of the Year for bringing in a grant of nearly $50 million to help public schools. That’s right. This is a free man we are talking about who is not only very involved in public and civic life in the Chicago area, but is a respected educator. The terrorism claim against him is based on his days as a radical in the ’60s and ’70s opposing the Vietnam War, as he was a leader of the Weatherman. This group would go to extreme measures to get its point across. Ayers specifically would use bombs to create damage to public structures. This was more meant to make a point and not to necessarily harm any individuals.
Ayers went underground in the early ’70s when some of his associates were killed assembling a bomb and charges were placed against him. However, the charges were eventually dropped in the late ’70s and he came back up in 1980. Since then, he has devoted his life to education. The other point the McCain campaign wants to use to smear Ayers (and by association Obama) is by saying that he said he wished he could drop more bombs when the events of 9/11 happened. In fact, what he actually said is that he had ‘no regrets’ about opposing the Vietnam War and that ‘we didn’t do enough’ back in his radical days. Some have interpreted this as meaning that he wished he had bombed more, but it can also be interpreted that he wished he could have done more to stop the war in Vietnam.
Of course, this would actually take some research to actually know who Bill Ayers is. This is, however, not the MO of the McCain/Palin camp. Instead, it is just to use broad strokes and paint things strictly black and white. However, what they are doing here is disingenuous at best and dangerous at worst. Obama and Ayers were associates and neighbors at most, and to paint Ayers as a terrorist and Obama as his friend is just the kind of tactic that will get some hot-headed right-winger revved up enough to try to cause harm to Obama, and can possibly last past Election Day.
There are other hot topics that they have tried on the campaign trail, the most well known is tying Obama to ACORN and possible voter fraud. I won’t go into great detail about it, but let me just point out what the main issue might be with ACORN. ACORN pays people to go out and register people to vote. They pay these people per each voter they register. I know this for a fact as I worked for ACORN in the mid-90s when I was in college and was paid to be a petitioner and register votes. It then makes sense to think that, on occasion, these people might try to pull a fast one and get paid more by turning in fake registration cards that they filled out themselves. However, it also makes sense that nobody will be able to commit voter fraud this way as, in the end, nobody was actually registered and no extra votes will be cast for Obama. This particular situation (I know there are others) is really just an issue between ACORN and its employees.
Tying Obama to Ayers and ACORN reeks of so much desperation by the McCain camp that I can smell it here in St. Louis. On top of that, it seems to be taking its toll on McCain. He is trying hard to tell everyone that he isn’t running a negative campaign and blaming Obama for everything he can. In fact, today he just blamed Obama for Joe the Plumber getting hounded by the press. Of course, it was McCain that mentioned Joe the Plumber 21 times during the debate and called him the ‘winner’ in his campaign stop the next day. He even mentioned having Joe due some campaigning with him. Yesterday McCain looked foolish and was caught with his pants down by David Letterman when Letterman pressed him on his relationship with G. Gordon Liddy and basically had McCain compare Liddy with Ayers and realize that he shouldn’t be pushing that point.
McCain keeps saying that this campaign is all about the economy, but he is the one that is talking about everything BUT the economy. He now is focusing on keeping states that Dubya was able to easily win in 2004, including my home state of Missouri. However, he is unable to match Obama in ads in even these states as the more McCain attacks Obama, the more ordinary citizens contribute to Obama’s campaign. I guess because of the overwhelming difference in funds between the two camps, the only thing McCain can do is make personal attacks on Obama, whereas Obama can actually throw ads out there that discuss the economy and other important issues that voters are concerned with. Poor McCain. Well, at least you got to handle the ball once before retiring and hanging out with Bob Dole. As for me, I look forward to seeing Obama tomorrow in St. Louis.