Sunday, April 27, 2008

What the Hell is "the Politics of Association?"

The Obama campaign takes umbrage over McCain's assertion that Hamas wants Obama to win:
A week ago, the Arizona senator’s campaign sent supporters a fundraising e-mail that said Hamas approved of Obama’s foreign policy vision, and is hoping for his victory this fall.

The Obama campaign condemned the remark. "We want to take Senator McCain at his word that he wants to run a respectful campaign, but that is becoming increasingly difficult when he continually tries to use the politics of association and makes claims he knows not to be true to advance his campaign," said Obama campaign spokesman, Hari Sevugan.
We need to get this particular category error under control pretty damn' quick.

Seems to me that we have three different things convolved here. First, we have various flavors of public crazies endorsing various candidates for various reasons that are defective mental constructs internal to the crazy in question. So when Louis Farakhan endorses Obama, I think Obama gets a pass.

Next, we have various crazies who are endorsing candidates because they think that those candidates will generally be sympathetic to their agenda. This is a legitimate concern and should certainly be fair game in a campaign. So when John Hagee endorses McCain, McCain's got some 'splainin' to do. If McCain can't come up with a good reason why Hagee is mistaken in believing that McCain will further Hagee's religious agenda, he's got a problem.

Finally, we have various crazies who have specifically approved of a candidate because of policy positions that the candidate has publicly espoused. I can't think of anything that's fairer game than that. So when Ahmed Yousef endorses Obama and specifically cites Obama's foreign policy as the reason, McCain not only has the right to use it against Obama, but Obama has a duty to explain either why a known American antagonist is mistaken that its position will be improved by his presidency or why he thinks that the antagonist can be won over to our side. Either way, Obama can't get off the hook on this one.

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