Writing in the Wall Street Journal, pop-Marxist Thomas Frank suggests that raising the connection between Bill Ayers and Barack Obama is the GOP's "vilest" hour.
Why, exactly, would that be? The Ayers connection is a fact and, although McCain has not handled it well, it - along with a number of other things - tells us something not about his patriotism or his propensity for violence (I don't question the former and he hasn't the latter), but about his politics.
But Frank's accusation plays into the dominant story line. This is something that is over the top and unfair and even dangerous, focusing on a few nutjobs (at least some of whom turned out not to exist) who shouted vile things in rallies attended by 20,000 other people who did not.
But there's another story line and McCain hinted at. Barack Obama has spent an enormous amount of money on campaign ads and much of it is negative. Of those negative ads, a rather significant percentage are lies.
I don't use that term lightly. I think that much of what we call "lies" in political discourse is either an honest error or a tendentious presentation of the facts or an argument that we believe is wrong. A "lie," in common parlance, is an intentional misrepresentation.
And that is precisely what Obama's ads on McCain's health care plan and position on stem cell research are. McCain's plan would not raise taxes on people who recieve employer provided health care or increase costs for employers. McCain supports even embryo-destructive stem cell research.
These are lies repeated over and over again - even after they have been identified as such.
Now that strikes me as vile.