May 20 • 10:52 AM

Time for Obama to start fighting back

August 27, 2008
The hope that John McCain could mount a run for president without allying himself with the disingenuous snipers that sabotaged the past two Democratic candidates, appears to have been a pipe dream inhaled deeply by the last bastion of American idealists.

Based on McCain's relentlessly nasty TV and radio ads and his public rhetoric, the former political maverick has fallen victim to what represents the lowest common denominator of the Republican Party: The "win-at-any-cost" and "divide and conquer" camp, successfully led by Karl Rove.

It's obvious that personal attacks have become an integral part of the political landscape — at least the "getting elected" part. And the Republicans are particularly good at it.

George W. Bush could never have been elected twice had it not been for the exhausting, venomous barrage of untruths, innuendos, mischaracterizations and outright lies spewed forth by the likes of Rove and others of his ilk.

Had Americans been a little more suspicious about what they were being shoved downt their throats, we might have been spared eight years of the worst leadership and national and foreign policy decisions made by a president and administration in modern American history.

In 2004, it was as though many Americans threw up their hands and hoisted the white flag of surrender, voting for Bush as much out of sheer exhaustion than support for his policies.

First we were deceived into believing that John Kerry, a loving father and husband, was pro-abortion and favored gay marriage, a pair of oft-used and unfortunately successful devisive issues perpetuated by the party's right wing.

Then we were hoodwinked by the Republican funded "swiftboat" veterans who suddenly came out of the shadows to accuse Kerry of having been a coward during the Vietnam War. Apparently because he was not wounded severely enough in combat, or because he dared question the logic of continuing the war after he got home.

Instead, we chose a man whose military career was highlighted by mysterious gaps of service and absences from assigned duty stations. Being AWOL should not necessarily preclude someone from public service, but it does speak to the character of the man who would twice run and be elected to our nation's highest office.

For those of us who see things from the other side of the fence, it is baffling that we may again fall prey to this negative campaign strategy. Though it appears to be happening once more.

McCain routinely questions Obama's lack of experience, his loyalty to the country and his ability to make decisions. Recently, he suggests that the American economy will go south should we elect Obama.

Frankly, could the economy get any worse then it is right now? And have the decisions made during the past eight years strengthened or improved the lives and images of Americans at home or around the world? And was Texas Governor George Bush more experienced when he was elected in 2000? One may recall his confusion regarding the geographical whereabouts of Afghanistan after 9-11.

This election should be a slam dunk for Obama. But being a black man with a funny-sounding name and new-fangled ideas that don't cater to corporations and the wealthy can be frightening.

In a country where recent history demonstrates that it votes "red" or "blue" based on the region we live in; it could very well be that the 2008 election will be determined by the results in three or four key electoral college-rich states.

And unless Obama starts fighting back soon, we could be in for another four years of the same. E-mail

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