GUILT BY ASSOCIATION

Let’s play “Guilt By Association,” the fun-filled, down-and-dirty political game that is so popular with right-wing politicos!
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
GUILT BY ASSOCIATION
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Let’s play “Guilt By Association,” the fun-filled, down-and-dirty political game that is so popular with right-wing politicos!

This year, the chief gamester is an outfit calling itself the American Issues Project

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The sole “project” of this group is to trash Sen. Barack Obama, and it has launched a multimillion-dollar television advertising campaign to do the dirty deed. With doomsday drama, the ads warn voters that Obama knows and has been supported by – gasp! – William Ayers.

Who? It seems that some 40 years ago when Ayers was a young political radical, he was indicted for bombing government buildings. Never mind that Obama was eight years old at the time and has zero connections to Ayers’ distant past, and never mind that Ayers was not convicted and is now a professor of education in Chicago – the American Issues Project wants you to think that, by association, Obama supports bombing public buildings.

The problem for these gamers is that their wild mudslinging makes others wonder about the group’s own associations. Who, for example, funds this project? Why it’s Harold Simmons, the right-wing Texas billionaire who funded the Swift Boat Veterans front group that served as Republican attack dogs against John Kerry in 2004.

Of course, the beneficiary of this nastiness, GOP presidential candidate John McCain, insists that his campaign has no connection to the smear group. But wait – Simmons not only is funding the attack ads against Obama, he’s also a major moneyman behind McCain’s campaign. And – wait again – the founder of the American Issues Project is a fellow who was on the McCain campaign’s payroll until he quit to take on this “outside” project.

McCain – who bills himself as “Mr. Straight Shooter” – needs to learn that the Guilt By Association game can backfire on you.

“A Billionaire Finances Ads Hitting Obama,” The New York Times, August 23, 2008.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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