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Classy as Ever


The Obama campaign has launched what is easily the most vile and deeply dishonest attack ad of this campaign year. Even if the McCain “kindergarten” ad had been baseless and false (which it was not) it would not come close to this. It’s a Spanish language ad that accuses McCain of racism and duplicity, and that twists two quotations from Rush Limbaugh to try to paint McCain and Republicans generally as hateful bigots. How could they claim McCain is anti-immigrant? What sense does it make to tie McCain to Rush Limbaugh (even if their quotes from Limbaugh weren’t utter distortions)? The full details, laid out by Jake Tapper here, are truly beyond belief. And as Tapper further shows, all of the Obama campaign’s attempts to explain the ad are also laughably false and outrageous.

There is nothing wrong with attack ads. Pointing out your opponent’s positions, statements, or weaknesses is an entirely appropriate element of political campaigning. But outright lies, let alone race baiting lies like this, are surely not.

Last week, the political press fell into a tizzy about negative ads and called John McCain a liar and libeler. We learned earlier today that 77% of Obama’s ads so far have been negative ads (compared to 56% of McCain’s). If reporters really think negative ads are all that bad, and especially if they want to call out deceptive ones in particular (as they should), here is their opportunity to stand up for honest campaigning. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

(H/T Jennifer Rubin)


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