The McCain campaign has gone into full on negative smear mode, with Governor Sarah Palin playing the traditional attack role of the Vice-Presidential candidate.
Apparently Obama has been consorting with terrorists, because he once knew a member of the Weathermen (long afterwards and when Bill Ayers had become an educator and a Distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago). All these allegations were aired during the primaries – and no doubt the Rev. Wright stuff is being readied for an encore. Reading this article on the campaign in Florida really does show how much dissemination the loathsome “Muslim sleeper” stuff is getting as well, and Palin’s attack on Obama as some sort of terrorist sympathiser will reinforce that theme among those disposed to believe it, or to have doubts.
The flick to a negative posture on the part of McCain’s campaign is a sign of desperation – with the polls consistently showing Obama with a winning lead. By contrast with John Kerry, Obama has been ahead most of the time, with only the most spectacular “game changers” from McCain giving him temporary momentum (Kerry trailed Bush for most of the campaign). With the economy tanking in the wake of the Wall Street crises – and this piece from Robert Reich [via Terry Flew] really spells out what’s going on – we’re about to see whether culture wars really do trump economic issues. This article in The Guardian from the distinguished sociologist Richard Sennett is an intriguing answer to why the culture wars card can still be played.