Another Scummy McCain Ad

The new one truly is painful. Note how a negative ad is constructed. There is a cover: in this case an argument about Obama's pledge to raise taxes. That argument is dishonest as Ambers explains:

It claims that Barack Obama voted to raise taxes on folks earning more than $42,000 a year. Technically, the claim stands up-- Obama voted for a budget resolution that  would have restored the 25% tax bracket to 28%, which, in theory, might mean more taxes paid by those earning as little as $42,000.  But Budget resolutions aren't bills; they're broad targets... so the McCain folks are having a little fun here.

A little fun? Obama isn't proposing to raise taxes on people earning $42,000 a year, as the ad insinuates. The ad is substantively sleazy. But the tax issue is not what this ad is about. The ad is designed to perpetuate the notion that Obama is a wealthy, pampered socialist elitist, while "we" are not. When you look at McCain's bio and Obama's, you begin to appreciate the chutzpah.

McCain was a child of immense privilege, a son and grandson of admirals, given a prized education at the Naval Academy which he threw away - a performance he now touts in his favor. He dumped his first wife in favor of a fantastically wealthy heiress. He has had more money for a longer time than Obama has ever dreamed of. Obama, meanwhile, grew up on food stamps, was reared by a single mother and grandparents and by dint of sheer talent and hard work got to be the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He was given very little and made the most of it; McCain was given so much and began his life, as he concedes, by taking it all for granted.

This ad alone - its dishonesty on so many levels, its appeal to class resentment and envy, its use of fear and personal demonization - is one reason the McCain campaign, like McCain himself, is now more Rove than Weaver. If he keeps running ads like this one, he richly deserves to lose.