As Promised, Prez Race Goes Negative

As the LA Times and other papers report, character (and the attempted assassination thereof) threatens to trump the economy and the occupation as the primary issue in the presidential race.  The media will try to convince you that both the Republican and Democratic camps are going negative. That remains to be seen, but up until now I don’t think the Obama response has been particularly ugly. In this instance, the Democrat’s camp is telling the truth: McCain’s campaign has focused on smears and lies. The issue of the Republican veteran lawmaker’s judgment — McCain’s sin during the Keating 5 scandalis a vital one in considering whether he is fit to be president. The GOP attacks, in comparison, clearly are ugly; Obama is no terrorist. The Democrats could point out truthfully that McCain and Palin have ties to suspected war criminals and terrorist enablers named Bush and Cheney. They haven’t gone there. Praise the Dems (this time) for their restraint.

This “ugly campaign” the media are reporting is merely the GOP ticket showing its desperation (which actually can work as a campaign tactic, sickeningly enough). It reeks all the way around.

With less than four weeks until Election Day, the 2008 presidential campaign between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama is ugly and may be getting uglier.

With less than a month before voters head to the polls to pick the next president, both presidential campaigns have gone increasingly negative.

After Obama was pummeled over the weekend for his alleged ties to a former radical Weatherman Bill Ayers, a top Obama aide accused McCain Monday of waging a “dishonest, despicable smear campaign.”

At the same time, the Obama camp got down and dirty, launching a Web documentary reminding voters that in the 1980s McCain was one of the “Keating 5,” a group of congressmen who were investigated for trying to fend off charges against a campaign contributor who was a major player in the savings and loan scandal.

McCain was later exonerated of wrongdoing, but criticized for “poor judgment.”

During the 13-minute long documentary William Black, former deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp., states, “Fraud is the creation of trust and its betrayal. The Keating 5 involved all the things that have brought the modern crisis. Sen. McCain has not learned the lessons, and has continued to follow policies that are going to produce a disaster.”

via ABC News: McCain, Obama Camps Go Negative as Presidential Campaign Nears Home Stretch

The mudslinging goes on with Palin bringing up Jeremiah Wright again (of course, if we ask about her pastor problem, that’s gotcha journalism) and McCain surrogate criticisms of Obama’s patriotism (his sin, criticizing Bush Administration policy). At least Keating 5 speaks to a present-day situation; it is germane. What does McCain/Palin have to say about actual issues? Seems to me that Palin is what McCain accused Obama of being early in the campaign — all style, little substance. And it looks like the GOP — perhaps from actual fear or as part of another effort to lower expectations — is really, really desperate.

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