Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country. This call was paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500.
– robocall being played for McCain-Palin campaign in battleground states

I’ve been spluttering about this all day long, and every time it’s been played I’ve found myself more and more speechless. The reason it bothers me so damned much is that – until just now, not one person in the media has said what we can all see – the McCain campaign is making the clear implication that Barack Obama was involved in the bombing of the Pentagon, a judge’s home, the capitol and killed Americans. I’m sorry – you can tapdance like Sammy Davis, Jr. (thanks for the reminder of what a wonderful dancer he was, not-Joe-not-the-plumber) all around the world and you can not get away from the basic reality that that phone call strongly suggests that Barack Obama HELPED Bill Ayers commit acts of domestic terrorism.

Chris Matthews did finally say it out loud – but not to the face of a Nebraska Congresswoman who went on to suggest and urge that we should look for anti-Americans in the Congress. He saved it for an Obama spokesperson and for the editor of The Nation to bring up American Fascism – with a whey-faced Pat Buchanan demanding, yet again by implication, that Barack Obama should “repudiate” John Lewis’ parallels between what is going on at Palin rallies with the kind of jingoistic sloganeering and hate inspired in the Wallace campaign.

There are so many facetious fallacies in this whole ridiculous line thrown up as a smokescreen by the GOP and the McCain campaign that I can’t count them, but let me try.

1. The Democrats are partly at fault for decrying the shouts of “Kill him” and “terrorist!” from the crowds when what they SHOULD be decrying on is the words from the stage that incite the cries of treason and terrorist. She has the right to free speech, indeed, but by focusing on the shouts from the crowd and not the cheerleading from the podium, they weakened their own argument. Seriously, are we actually at the point that we have to PROVE that the mood at those rallies was -ugly-. It was ugly enough that one friend posted that her niece and a friend had gone to a Palin rally and left in the middle because they were AFRAID FOR THEIR SAFETY. They were Palin supporters – and they were afraid for their safety at a Palin rally.

2. The issue is not with a few fringe lunatics in the crowd. It is with the words from the campaign and the words from the candidates themselves. John Lewis does not speak for the DNC or for Barack Obama. Obama immediately came out and stated that he disagreed with Lewis’ drawing of a connection between the Wallace campaign and the McCain campaign, but did have concerns about the tone of the attacks from Sarah Palin. It is reasonable for the Obama campaign to feel that Palin should take responsibility for the tone those words create.

3. It is not up to Barack Obama to “repudiate” John Lewis, and for once, I’m glad to see Obama standing firm on this. The truth is that I started talking about the ugliness of those crowds and the cheerleading that Palin was doing from the platform days before the media started discussing it. If anything, I wish Obama had the stones to commit political suicide by seriously taking this shit on.

I guess I’m going to stop counting at three, because I’m sidetracked by this: this is what I wish Obama had the stones to say out loud about Jeremiah Wright, about Bill Ayers and about ACORN:

I will not repudiate the church to which I have belonged for 20 years because some people disagree with my pastor’s opinion that our country is doing us wrong. I proudly belong to a church that rolls up its sleeves and wades into the community to help clean it up. I proudly belong to a Church that cares enough to challenge itself to do better, to educate its children, to refuse to sit down and shut up when it sees wrong. I do not agree with all of Reverend Wright’s views, but I do believe in the good that my church does. I challenge the media to shed as much light on the good that our church has done for its community as it has shed on a few sentences from its pastor.

I will not repudiate the work that I did with Bill Ayers in an effort to better the educational opportunities available to the children of Chicago. I do not condone his actions in the 60s and I do not believe in violence as civil disobedience. But it is not my place to atone for his sins, and I refuse to punish the children of Chicago by refusing to work with an entire coalition of very conservative and Republican people for their benefit because he is a part of it.

I will not repudiate my ties with ACORN just because the Republican party is pulling out its biennial smear campaign accusing them of voter fraud so that they can congratulate themselves if they win and provide themselves with believable deniability if they lose. The Republican party has raised these same bugaboos every single election cycle, and has gone so far as to fire over 20 of its own lawyers for the crime of refusing to falsely prosecute people who made honest mistakes – like, oh, I don’t know, writing Samuel J. Worzelbacher instead of Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. Yet, after all these years of investigation, they have uncovered “the worst case of voter registration fraud ever perpetrated on the American people” – half a dozen young people who figured out a way to cheat the company that hired them.

Furthermore, the idea that ACORN was responsible for the fall of the mortgage market when they have spent the past five years putting out literature in low-income communities warning people to avoid the kinds of subprime loans that have tanked this economy is laughable, as is the Republican contention that there were billions of dollars of pork in that bill for ACORN. That money was for the Housing Trust Fund, whose most recent use is to help fund President Bush’s mortgage relief program. If Senator McCain lied to you about that, what else is he lying to you about?

There are so many reasons that Barack Obama cannot say these things (and I don’t presume to know what he is thinking or to speak for him). I know that it would cement the Republican base’s feelings about him, and I suspect that it might move enough undecided voters to the right to lose the election. But I wonder too, if he had said these things, if from the very start he had refused to distance himself from the things he believes as if it is shameful to understand that only God is perfect, and America seriously must change the way she deals with the rest of the world, work to educate its children and shore up the middle class that has been footing the bill for everyone else for far too long, if he had declared from the start that he will not abandon his core beliefs because he is running for president anymore than he could have allowed his core and central beliefs to be changed by being in contact with others of more extreme views – I wonder, if he had done that, if he might not have inspired even more people to think outside their own little boxes.

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