And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.There has been an escalation of racist rhetoric from a variety of Republican sources online, so the adoption of this line of attack by Palin, the designated "pit bull in lipstick," was not unexpected.
First, Palin's attack shows that her energetic debate with rival Joe Biden may be just the beginning, not the end, of a sharpened role in the battle to win the presidency.
''Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,'' Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo. A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain's ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.
The question is: are American voters ready to let racism deflect their attention from the economic crisis that is killing John McCain's campaign?
I don't think they are, and if Republicans persist in this line of attack, they are going to seriously damage the already horribly damaged Republican brand. John McCain's chances of becoming president are rapidly evaporating. How long will other Republicans--people with long term plans for the future of the Republican Party--allow John McCain to take a crowbar to the image of the party of Lincoln?
If John McCain makes the Republican Party synonymous with racism, how will that impact the aspirations of rising Republican stars like Eric Cantor?
Update: To be absolutely crystal clear, Palin's smear against Obama has been debunked by CNN.
CNN Calls Palin Claim about Palling Around With Terrorists "False." "The New York Times article cited by Palin concluded that 'the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers.' Other publications, including the Washington Post, Time magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The New Republic, have said that their reporting doesn't support the idea that Obama and Ayers had a close relationship. The McCain campaign did not respond Saturday to a request for elaboration on Palin's use of the plural 'terrorists.' Verdict: False. There is no indication that Ayers and Obama are now 'palling around,' or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years. Also, there is nothing to suggest that Ayers is now involved in terrorist activity or that other Obama associates are." [CNN.com, 10/5/08: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/05/fact-check-is-obama-palling-around-with-terrorists/]Not only is Palin's racist line of attack inappropriate, the underlying charge she makes about Obama is false.
Another lie from Palin and McCain.