NY Times: Maureen Dowd: Mud Pies for ‘That One’

NY Times: Maureen Dowd

Mud Pies for ‘That One’

John McCain has long been torn between wanting to succeed and serving a higher cause. Right now, the drive to succeed is trumping any loftier aspirations. He cynically picked a running mate with less care than theater directors give to picking a leading actor’s understudy. And he has been running a seamy campaign originally designed by the bad seed of conservative politics, Lee Atwater.

It was adapted in 2000 in Atwater’s home state of South Carolina by Atwater acolytes in W.’s camp to harpoon McCain with rumors that he had fathered out of wedlock a black baby (as opposed to adopting a Bangladeshi infant girl in wedlock). Sulfurous Atwater-style rumor-mongering by Bush supporters — that McCain had come home from a Hanoi tiger cage with snakes in his head — aimed to stop him during that primary after he had zoomed in New Hampshire.

Atwater relished teaching rich, white Republicans to feign a connection to the common man so they could get in office and economically undermine the common man.

Campaigning last weekend, Palin cast their Democratic rival as “someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

The woman is sounding more Cheney than Cheney. Palin said that Obama’s relationship with the former Weatherman William Ayers proved that he did not have the “truthfulness and judgment” to be president. Asked by William Kristol if the Rev. Jeremiah Wright should be an issue, she said, “I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more.”

Atwater gleefully tried to paint Willie Horton as Dukakis’s running mate. With a black man running, it’s even easier for Atwater’s disciple running McCain’s campaign to warn that white Americans should not open the door to the dangerous Other, or “That One,” as McCain referred to Obama in Tuesday night’s debate. (A cross between “The One” and “That Woman.”)

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