Tucker Carlson asks something I’ve been wondering myself: Why did the McCain campaign choose to go after Barack Obama’s tenuous ties to the former radical William Ayers instead of revisiting Obama’s long association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright?
Sarah Palin’s accusation that Obama has been “palling around with terrorists” is false on at least two levels: her use of the plural, and her insinuation that Obama had anything more than a passing acquaintance with Ayers.
Yet Obama has clearly been disingenuous about his long, close relationship with Wright, whose “God damn America!” exhortation was one of the recurring hits of the primary campaign. You don’t title your campaign book after one of Wright’s sermons and sit in his church for 20-something years without knowing what the man is about.
Given the McCain campaign’s lie-and-deny tactics, it doesn’t seem likely that it was too worried about the Palin family’s own association with the radical Alaskan Independence Party, whose founder’s motto — “I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions” — exceeds Wright in its anti-American vitriol.
So why Ayers and not Wright? It is a mystery. If you’re going to go negative, at least do it competently.