(Sorry, I meant to post this over the weekend. But, as far as I’m concerned, the story hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention.)
From NYT’s The Caucus:
A new e-mail making the rounds among Jewish voters in Pennsylvania this week falsely alleged that Mr. Obama “taught members of Acorn to commit voter registration fraud,” and equated a vote for Senator Barack Obama with the “tragic mistake” of their Jewish ancestors, who “ignored the warning signs in the 1930′s and 1940′s.”
The ACORN smear is just false, just as the whole ACORN story is, well, a non-story, but what about the suggestion that voting for Obama would be like ignoring the Nazi threat? I may be stretching it a bit, but is that not like saying that a vote for Obama is sort of like a vote for the Nazis (or at least like not voting against them)? Is that not the rather sensitive button the e-mail was trying to press among Jewish voters?
Picking up on one of the central anti-Obama smears of the McCain-Palin campaign, the e-mail focuses on the old Obama-Ayers association, calling Ayers “a known terrorist” even though it’s been decades since he committed acts of terrorism. As usual, the facts hardly matter. The key is to connect Obama to a terrorist, or in this case a former one, all nuance aside, and to imply that he is somehow, it matters not how, not just a close friend of said terrorist but an ally as well, a terrorist-by-association.
And so, it goes, a vote for Obama is a vote for terrorism. But then why bring up the Nazi period of the ’30s and ’40s? Apparently to suggest that terrorism, including the domestic terrorism of the ’60s, is akin to Nazism. Which is just plain stupid. Ayers is and never was akin to al Qaeda, and al Qaeda, or more generally the terrorist threat facing the U.S. and much of the West today, is not akin to Nazism. Last time I checked, al Qaeda hadn’t seized power in a major European state and wasn’t conquering Europe by military force. This may come as a shock to the “with us or against us” ignoramuses of the right, but America’s enemies, whether domestic or international, are not all the same.
Again, though, the truth matters not here. The Pennsylvania GOP was obviously hoping to scare up some votes among the state’s Jewish population by connecting Obama to the Nazis.
And make no mistake about it, it was the Republican Party behind this e-mail, not some non- or vaguely affiliated organization. The state party has since “repudiated” it, but only after there’d been negative backlash, saying that “it had been released without their authorization and that they had fired the strategist who helped draft it, but it “had an unusually official provenance,” having been “sponsored by the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s ‘Victory 2008′ committee” and “signed by several prominent McCain supporters in the state.”
Remember, the McCain campaign was pushing what turned out to be the ugly, race-baiting hoax to local media in the state. It should hardly come as a surprise that the state GOP is engaging in a similarly ugly campaign to smear Obama.
It may all be coming down to Pennsylvania for McCain. And it looks as though his Hail Mary fight is being waged from slimiest gutter of them all.
(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)