Will John McCain Renounce This Ugliness?

I have been predicting that the last few weeks of this election season was bound to get nasty. I had no idea how bad it was going to get. The McCain/Palin ticket is badly wounded and they know that there is little hope for them to prevail. Consequently, they have nothing to lose by going for Barack Obama’s jugular. That sentiment was articulated verbatim today by Sarah Palin who told Rush Limbaugh that…

“Rush, I’ve got nothing to lose in this and I think America’s got everything to gain by understanding the differences – the contrasts here between Obama and McCain.”

That is why we are seeing more disingenuous attempts to associate Obama with “unrepentant domestic terrorists.” That is why racial epithets and chants of “terrorist” are emanating from McCain/Palin rallies without objection by the candidates. It is why they are now, with the help of Fox News, fomenting distrust of the election process by falsely alleging voter fraud. And it is why the National Enquirer is pushing a disgusting story that has no bearing on this campaign, but has salacious appeal to the repugnant right-wingers who will stoop to any means to achieve their ambitions.

The Enquirer’s “Exclusive” (to which I will not link) is topped with this intentionally misleading headline: “Obama Sex Perv Scandal.” The headline suggests that Obama is a sexual pervert, but that is not what the story is about. The column alleges that Frank Marshall Davis, a friend of the Obama family in Hawaii when Obama was ten years old, authored a pornographic autobiography. The Enquirer further states that…

“The appalling catalog of admitted real-life decadence is laced with perverted sexual activity, bisexuality, rape – and the seduction of children.”

The book, “Sex Rebel: Black,” was published in 1968 and the author was listed as Bob Greene. The Enquirer says that Greene was in fact Davis, but they provided no evidence for the claim. Davis died 20 years ago. There is no way of knowing whether the Enquirer’s assertions are true, but their reputation doesn’t elicit much confidence. It wouldn’t matter anyway. Associating Obama with this venal garbage makes absolutely no sense. He was a child and couldn’t possibly have had any connection to the alleged activity. Clearly, in his personal life, he is the model of a committed husband and father.

For this article to appear so close to the election can only be interpreted as an intentional attempt to tarnish Obama and damage his election prospects. Perversity obsessed rightists, like Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media, are already jumping on the story. Expect more of that to come from the conservative media chorus.

The question is, can we expect McCain to renounce this nonsense? A couple of days ago, McCain admonished a supporter for saying that she couldn’t trust Obama because he is “an Arab.” McCain took the microphone from her and said, “No, he is a decent family man and citizen.” Setting aside that McCain just insulted every Arab as not being decent, etc., if McCain really believes what he said about Obama, he will not let a story like this fester and grow with the help of his surrogates.

I hope this story dies an early death, but if it gets a foothold in the press, then reporters need to get a statement from McCain to ascertain if he agrees with the substance of the story or approves of the tactic of retelling it. What’s left of McCain’s honor should make this an easy decision for him, but judging by his behavior so far this election year, it would be folly to presume that he would do the honorable thing. After all, he has nothing to lose.