Friday, August 08, 2008

More on McCain's sleazy 'painful' ad

Andrew Sullivan goes after the "fun" angle on McCain's dishonest attack ad, but he doesn't stop there. He goes after McCain hard on the character issue.

Simply put, he seems to be acknowledging that McCain doesn't have any.

A little fun? Obama isn't proposing to raise taxes on people earning $42,000 a year, as the ad insinuates. The ad is substantively sleazy. But the tax issue is not what this ad is about. The ad is designed to perpetuate the notion that Obama is a wealthy, pampered socialist elitist, while "we" are not. When you look at McCain's bio and Obama's, you begin to appreciate the chutzpah.

McCain was a child of immense privilege, a son and grandson of admirals, given a prized education at the Naval Academy which he threw away - a performance he now touts in his favor. He dumped his first wife in favor of a fantastically wealthy heiress. He has had more money for a longer time than Obama has ever dreamed of. Obama, meanwhile, grew up on food stamps, was reared by a single mother and grandparents and by dint of sheer talent and hard work got to be the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He was given very little and made the most of it; McCain was given so much and began his life, as he concedes, by taking it all for granted.

This ad alone - its dishonesty on so many levels, its appeal to class resentment and envy, its use of fear and personal demonization - is one reason the McCain campaign, like McCain himself, is now more Rove than Weaver. If he keeps running ads like this one, he richly deserves to lose.
Sullivan has spent a lot of time this election cycle trying to convince himself that McCain the man and McCain the myth are one and the same. With this post, he seems to be giving up and admitting that McCain is just another shifty GOP hack.

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