Monday, April 21, 2008

Glass Houses

'McCain sees the tawdry ceremonies of politics- the spin and hucksterism- as unworthy. He's not one to put on silly hats; his shtick is substance' ( Joe Klein, Time Magazine, April 28, 2008). Klein goes on to say that McCain wants to have 'substantive' debates about the major issues like the war and climate change.

On the day that this piece was received and read, I also received an e-mail from Christian Ferry, Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator McCain. The headline announced that 'Hamas weighs in on US Presidential Election'. It quoted Ahmed Yousef , Hamas Political Advisor, as stating that "we like Mr. Obama and hope he will win the election".So much for the integrity quotient being raised by Senator McCain.

Innuendo and insinuation are the dirty laundry that is aired at every turn in the political sphere. Senator McCain, sitting on the sideline while he watches the Democratic debacle continue to unfold, can appear like he is taking the high road, while at a safe distance. Even then, the stink factor is never far from surfacing. In the 'notice' from the McCain camp , it is clear that opportunities to strike and run will be taken even when the heat is not being applied.

What McCain is telling all of us is that Senator Obama is soft on terrorism. If those who lurk around every corner waiting to take down our country have anything positive to say about Obama, then there can be nothing positive about Obama. Forget that our attempts to ignore and minimize our enemies have only led to total alienation of the US throughout the Middle East and an inability to create any kind of stability in the region. Forget that failure to recognize an enemy does not make an enemy any less recognizable. Forget that our might does not equal our right anymore. Forget that a new dynamic must be envisioned if we are to crawl out of the mess that we find ourselves in and are unable to extricate ourselves from. Forget all that and just remember that if we vote for Obama we are siding with Hamas, and leading our country to its inevitable downfall.

That is what Senator McCain , while telling us he is staying above the fray, and that he wants to focus on the issues, is letting his underlings do on his behalf. The fantasy being foisted upon us that his candidacy is one in which the high road will be taken has already veered into the ditch. There is no way that the Republican machine is going to sit by idly if there is any chance to gain votes through talking points that have nothing to do with substance and everything to do with manipulation.

It is easy to try to look pure when your opponents are in their own dog fight and have scratched and clawed and opened wounds on each other without your having to lift a finger. It will be quite another thing if Senator McCain finds himself trailing badly in the polls. When the heat is on, and the pressure is high, it may well be Senator McCain, and not his underlings, who brings out the quote from Mr. Yousef.

Just remember that no politician is without a closet full of skeletons. When the rhetoric comes flying from Senator McCain, when the smears and attacks are spread on anything and everything Democratic, except the substantive positions , be fair warned that there will be equal return fire. If Senator McCain is going to throw stones, he better realize he lives in a glass house.

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