Lesson learned, Senator?
The New York Times smear of John McCain is a perfect example of the old saying: "When you lay down with liberals, you come up smelling like garbage."
OK, that's not exactly the old saying, but let's make it the new one, shall we?
Conservatives have ethical constraints that liberals don't, and you've seen it right here as personified by, but certainly not limited to, Lenny and Snowy who will say anything that supports or justifies their beliefs and ideology regardless of whether or not it's true.
People on the right can't get away with that. If a conservative makes a dubious charge or commits a breach of ethics, other conservatives will call him on it. As they should. In politics, when a Republican does or says something that reflects badly on the party, and an apology just won't do, he's forced to resign. Not only is that not so with liberals, but Democrats can commit acts of criminality and still retain their seats. And the more liberal, the bigger the criminal act you can get away with, as if "talking while liberal" isn't criminal in itself.
And of course, the other side of that coin is that when people aren't constrained by a system of moral values, "the end justifies the means" becomes their rule of law.
Such is the case with the New York Times today. In one of the most overt displays of bias and a most blatant attempt to undermine a Republican candidate and indeed, the party itself, the Times ran perhaps the weakest hit piece ever. Not only are the sources anonymous, but the charges aren't even the least bit substantial, much less substantiated.. In addition, it has come to light that the Times had, and failed to even mention, evidence and sources willing to go on record, both of which would mitigate the accusations, such as they are.
Now this is certainly no surprise. It was done to George Bush days before the 2000 election, but one wonders why then didn't the Times wait on this in order to plant doubt about McCain closer to election day? I say it's because the Times felt it could effect maximum damage right now.
You see, because the story is so weak, it might not have the intended effect in November, but right now, well, that's another story. First the Times endorsed McCain when it already had the smear in the works. Why? Conservatives groaned that the Times endorsement only proved what people on the right already felt about McCain. But that certainly wasn't who the Times wanted to reach. It wanted to encourage moderates, independents and liberals to help cement the McCain nomination so they, the Times, could then undermine it once he was the guaranteed winner.
That's only speculation on my part, but have you got a better scenario? The Times' idea: McCain secures the nomination – then he's toast. With a mortally wounded candidate and a loss in November guaranteed, why try?
And if McCain's not down for the count, at least the Times thinks it has laid the groundwork for others to expand on the charges and level new ones. I've said that I've never seen an election like this one, but I also have to say that once the liberal viciousness came out of the closet circa the Clinton impeachment, said viciousness has been on public display ever since, and it continues to grow and become more bold.
I see little difference in tactics between American liberals now and those employed by the leaders of the old Soviet Union. Pravda has nothing on the New York Times.
But the Times effort could backfire, both on the paper and the election – there is a golden opportunity for John McCain. For the first time, I believe conservatives are slightly sympathetic, even if they needn't be. I mean it's the perfect time to say, "Senator, we told you so." That's why McCain needs to seize the opportunity. It's not enough for him to call the Times story a smear. He has to understand that the Times represents all liberals. That the Times is liberalism at its finest.
McCain must (but I doubt he will) regard the Times attack as a gift. He has a window that won't remain open for long. If he were to move even slightly more right, he might accomplish what was previously unthinkable. Conservatives won't embrace him, but they might stop attacking him.
However, McCain, being far more like George Bush than conservatives are willing to admit, will probably do what Bush continues to do – he'll regard liberals as human, and he'll not only be civil to them, he'll still 'work" with them. I don't know about you, but I've found hyenas to be more approachable.