At Contentions, Jen Rubin reports that Barack Obama, the King of Righteous Indignation, is righteously (actually, risibly) indignant over a “smear” by John McCain — namely, McCain’s factually true (and totally understandable) observation that Hamas wants Obama to be president. Remarkable. On the plane ride here to Chicago, I caught up with our Mark Hemingway’s superb article, “A Curious Kind of Friendship — Barack Obama’s dubious record on Israel,” in the current print edition of NR. There are gems throughout the piece, but Mark starts out discussing the Hamas endorsement:
When asked about the endorsement, Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, was flattered that Hamas compared his candidate to JFK: “We all agree that John Kennedy was a great president, and it’s flattering when anybody says that Barack Obama would follow in his footsteps.”
So what is “flattering” to Obama when Obama’s top spokesman addresses it becomes a “smear” of Obama when McCain does? This is of a piece with the whole kerfuffle over Obama’s middle name. Remember how that became a smear, too? Except, as I noted here a while back (thanks to a Bret Stephens WSJ column), the first person to make a point of using “Barack Hussein Obama” turned out to be Barack Hussein Obama. (“Well, I think if you’ve got a guy named Barack Hussein Obama, that’s a pretty good contrast to George W. Bush,” Mr. Obama told PBS’s Tavis Smiley on October 18, 2007. “If you believe that we’ve got to heal America and we’ve got to repair our standing in the world, then I think my supporters believe that I am the messenger who can deliver that message.”) So, Obama wants to be able to appeal to the Islamic world, which is rife with jihadists, by holding out the likelihood (i.e., the certainty) that he would be more understanding and accommodating (which is to say more prone to appeasement) than any GOP rival, but we are supposed to say nothing about the fact that this is naturally alluring to jihadists (as the jihadists themselves are pointing out)? I hope Sen. McCain does not decide that this, like the patently relevant Wright matter, is somehow beneath his dignity to discuss.