I wonder how the world looks from the gutter where John McCain lives these days. His campaign hit a new low today with the release of a 90 second web ad that falsely, and dangerously, ties Barack Obama to former 60s radical William Ayers. The campaign has been on a tear this week, whipping crowds into a frenzy by evoking the terrorist connection, using Obama's middle name "Hussein", and saying Obama doesn't view America like "we" do. The fevered crowds have been shouting "terrorist" and "kill him" in response.
The release of the ad shows McCain's deliberate intent to radicalize the far right. Throughout the ad, Ayers is referred to as a terrorist and friend of Obama, and it suggests the two of them have been cooking up nefarious schemes for years. The ad also claims that Ayers and Obama ran a radical "education" foundation together and "distributed more than $100 million to ideological allies with no discernible improvement in education."
The "radical" organization they're referring to is the Annenberg Foundation, founded by conservative Republican Walter Annenberg (who died in 2002). Annenberg and his wife Lee were close friends with the Reagans. Lee Annenberg has endorsed John McCain in this presidential election.
The Annenberg Foundation grants funds for reform of elementary and secondary public school systems. Given McCain's deplorable education record, that may seem like a radical idea to him but to most Americans it's considered a lifesaver for our crumbling public education system. Since the Annenberg Foundation appointed William Ayers to their board, does that make the Annenbergs terrorist symphathizers? And using McCain's twisted logic, since he is endorsed by Lee Annenberg and Ayers sits on her board, does that mean McCain pals around with terrorists too?
In an article published October 4, the New York Times reported that "Mr. Ayers played no role in Mr. Obama's appointment" to the Foundation. Archives of the Chicago Annenberg project, which funneled funds to schools from 1995 to 2000, show both men attended six board meetings early in the project -- Mr. Obama as chairman, Mr. Ayers to brief members on school issues."
Sounds nefarious alright. You would think McCain, who was accused by Bush's campaign in 2000 of fathering an illegimate black child, would have an aversion to brutal, violent political attacks based on nothing but a blind desire to win. McCain's contrary actions underscore that he truly is an extension of George W. Bush along with his failings as a person and as a president.