I, like many progressives, always held McCain apart from the ugly Republican smear machine. He was the affable, straight talker -- the most honorable in an increasingly dishonorable bunch. He himself had been the victim of a despicable Rovian rumor spread in the 2000 South Carolina primary that the dark-skinned daughter McCain and his wife adopted from India was in fact his "love child" from a liaison with a black women.
He had suffered -- as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and as the target of "dirty tricks".
He committed himself to a "civil" campaign. A debate on the issues.
He was a Republican with a modicum of empathy-- with a moral code. But now...
Worth reading on this subject:
Wanting the White House in the Worst Way by Joe Conason in Salon
The Low Road Express New York Times editorial
Running while Black by Bob Herbert in the New York Times
Meanwhile. I am saddened.
Not only because I held to an ideal that McCain was a different kind of Republican. But also because the 'low road' tactics seem to be working just fine.
Few in the media seem to take their honest broker role seriously. Instead of calling "foul" on McCain they relish the fight and label it "mud slinging on both sides". I thought American was ready to move beyond the "old politics of destruction." Apparently not.