Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take the high road

Now that we’ve got one nominee from each party, folks are staring to zero in. We’re seeing all the disgusting attempts at swift boating Barack Obama; he’s a Muslim, he fathered two black babies, his middle name is Hussein, and blah blah blah. I hate this aspect of our politics. Unscrupulous purveyors of win-at-all-costs personal destruction.

And yep, it’s happening to John McCain as well. McCain gave a really bad speech last Tuesday when Obama was announcing that he won the Democratic nomination. Reviews of the speech that noted how uninspiring it was compared to Obama's were right on. Criticisms of the green background, right on. Yellow teeth, er, probably salient but comments on personal appearance just suck. (Yeah, I made the point not long ago about how McCain’s hair is whiter than his teeth. Mea culpa.)

But what else I’ve seen, and I deplore, are comments such as McCain’s “rictis grin.” C’mon. McCain has views that progressives find odious, and he advocates policies that we deplore and that are terrible for America, but please. Let’s not descend into the gutter.

John McCain served this country honorably, and at great pain and sacrifice. Yeah, he’s not disavowing the nasty attacks on Obama, but so far that’s not way outside how campaigns are conducted these days.

Even more on point for Idaho Dems is that unfair attacks on McCain will just look petty and detract from Dem cred. I say we acknowledge McCain’s service and honor him for it, as Obama has done, but keep criticisms strictly on points of policy. There’s certainly plenty of fodder for disagreement. $12B a month to Iraq, not a penny for a GI Bill! See. It’s easy.

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