[Patrick Appel] I am not one to cry foul over negative attacks; I think they can point out important differences between candidates. What confuses me about some of the recent attacks against Obama is Clinton isn't highlighting differences. Critiquing Obama on public financing doesn't make a lot of sense when you haven't agreed to public financing yourself. Attacking Obama for using the words of other politicians would be a stronger charge if Clinton hadn't already appropriated much of Obama's rhetoric. David Kurtz puts it this way:

Sure he gives better speeches than I do, the Hillary line goes, but the words aren't even his own. He may talk a good game about public financing, she asserts, but when push comes to shove his position is the same as mine.

The attacks are intended to bring down Obama's positives, to knock him off his pedestal. But it's hard to see how they raise Hillary's. Her argument, boiled down, is: "He's no better than me." (Or perhaps, less charitably, "He's just as bad as me.")

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