One of the ugliest things in the world is a Republican that is in the process of losing an election. As I wrote here http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_steven_l_061109_election_2006__96_afte.htm in the aftermath of the Democrats' takeover of the congress in 2006:
When you see likely defeat coming around the corner in politics, you can go one of three ways, you can give up, which I don't recommend, you can fight harder using the best of what you have, or you can fight harder using the worst you have to offer. With the impending blue tsunami that was election 2006, too many Republicans chose to fight with the worst they had to offer.
Race baiting, general bigotry, attacking spouses, lying about opponents records, robo-calling, denigrating someone with a debilitating illness all of these and much more was employed by one or more Republicans in an all out effort to eke out a victory. If your party was going to surrender control after 11 years in the majority, is this the last thing you would want people to remember about your party's days in power?
When you talk about character, one of the things that stands out about a person's character is how they behave when things are not going their way. Anyone can be a great person when success is around every corner. But when you are facing defeat right in the eye, that is the test of character. In Election 2006, Republicans failed this test badly.
John McCain is about to take the same low road to the dung heap. Obama is pulling away from him in national polls and in almost all of the battleground states. The race is starting to become so lopsided that states that should be reliably Republican are now becoming battleground states, states like Indiana and North Carolina. McCain's unfavorable ratings have exceeded 50% for the first time. John McCain and his policies have been judged and found wanting.
Most normal people in John McCain's position would fight harder to try to convince the people of this country that his positions on the issue were better and that he was the better candidate. I call this the "Try to get people to like me more" strategy. Republicans don't think that way. They employ the "Try to get people to like the other guy less" strategy.
So, what is McCain going to try to say? I'm almost embarrassed to talk about it. I'm embarrassed for two reasons. First, this has all been hashed and rehashed more than a dozen times earlier this year during the Democratic primaries. People looked at the three items that will be raised and determined that there is no 'there' there. Obama did nothing wrong. All of the three items McCain is going to try to raise involve guilt by association with no wrongdoing by Obama. Here they are:
1. Obama's prior Pastor Jeremiah Wright.
We've all seen the video's of Jeremiah Wright. They were over the top. Some were not flattering to this country. At the same time, Wright is a former Marine. He spent two years in the Marine Corps and then transferred to the Navy and became a Navy Corpsman. As a black man who experienced the racism of the 1950s and 1960s, he has some painful memories that no doubt affect some of the things he said. All of that said, I am not sure why any of this has anything to do with Barack Obama.
2. Tony Rezco
Tony Rezco was a former Chicago Real Estate developer that did some bad things and got convicted. Obama is not accused of being a part of any of the bad things Rezco did. That is the end of the story.
3. Bill Ayers
Ayers was a radical anti war activist in the 1960s and member of a radical organization. This organization bombed a few government buildings in the 1960s. Nearly 30 years later, in 1995, Obama was introduced to Ayers by a mutual friend. They had very little contact over the next 13 years dating to the present. They live nearby to one another. That is the end of this story.
Sarah Palin mentioned Ayers in a speech yesterday in an attack on Obama. There are signs from the McCain campaign that more of this is coming regarding Wright, Rezco, and Ayers.
The problem for Palin and McCain is that they have much more serious issues in their recent past and unlike the silliness they are raising with Obama, they don’t involve non-wrongdoing and trivial acquaintances. McCain has his involvement in the Keating Five http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five that was part of the Savings and Loan scandal that cost the American people over a hundred Billion dollars. It was a scandal that has some similarities to the current financial crisis in that it involves lack of enough regulation and oversight of financial institutions.
Here is a video that explain's John McCain's role in the Keating Five scandal
If the video embed doesn't work, here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIyZ1gH5mKk