When the Obama campaign responds to McCain-Palin accusations of his “palling around with terrorists” because he once served on a Board with William Ayers and because like the late Walter Annenberg (a former crony of Richard Nixon), Obama is interested in education reform, the Obama campaign is for sure engaging in a “tit-for-tat” “so is your old man” tactic of neutralizing McCain-Palin slander.
On the one hand, the Obama response that points to McCain supporter John Murtagh’s connection with the radical right bombing of abortion clinics is more of the same. But as a tactic it cleverly creates clutter in the public’s mind that in turn neutralizes some of the deleterious effects of the Ayers attacks.
On another level, however, a discerning public can see that McCain-Palin are the ones who are vulnerable to questions about good judgement and character in terms of their associational life.
By the logic trotted out by McCain-Palin, Americans should be wary of John McCain because he cavorts with and receives money from abortion clinic bombing sympathizers, a terrorist activity of much more recent vintage.
Of greater concern, however, is the very real and present connections between Sarah Palin and Mark Chryson, former head of the Alaska Independence party. Chryson, and fellow AIPer Steve Stoll helped elect Palin maor of Wasilla and helped shape her political platform once elected. These guys are secessionists, who believe Alaska suffers under the jackboot of the federal government. Chryson and Stoll even got Pali, as governor, to change Alaska laws so as to make it easier for their ilk to create anti-government militias. They also pal around with fellow white supremacists in neo-confederate movements in the south.
Here’s the danger, and it transcends Palin’s poor judgment and hypocritical rhetoric.
Consider the tenor of McCain-Palin campaign rallies this past week. The crowds, with the candidates’ approval, are whipping up anti Obama hysteria that is racially and ethnically tinged. This rhetoric has not appeared out of thin air. The voices from the crowd are spewing neoconfederate and white supremacist rhetoric, and herein lies a danger that goes beyond free speech. It carries with it subtle and not so subtle) threats against the well-being of the democratic candidate for president.
Hopefully the secret service is digging into the backgrounds of some of the folks whipping up such crazed speech. Chances are that the hate speech is coming from AIP, John Birch Society and other neoconfederate white supremacist sympathizers.
The Ayers nonsense is a smokescreen for something much more alarming here.