News From The Front

Andrew Romano comments on Obama's new strategy:

My point here is not to claim that Obama's misleading attacks are somehow worse than McCain's. Most of this stuff is child's play compared to the whole McCain-sponsored "lipstick on a pig" kerfluffle, which I characterized as "idiotic" and "condescending." And I agree with National Journal's Stuart Taylor, Jr., that the Arizona senator "has lately been leading the race to the bottom" of the barrel. What's more, Obamans have a point when they say their man has the right to fight fire with fire. It would be political suicide for Obama to allow McCain to keep hitting below the belt without landing a few low blows himself.

But that's precisely the problem. If you'll recall, the general-election campaign began with paeans to the "politics of civility" and promises from both candidates that they would "break the partisan gridlock in Washington" once elected. Now, not so much. The shift to polarization and distortion was probably inevitable. But as Peggy Noonan notes in her latest column, "it invites charges of winning bad. And if you win bad in a 50/50 nation, it makes it really hard to govern."

In other words, neither McCain nor Obama should expect to find a helping hand when he "reaches across the aisle" as president. A clenched fist is more like it.

Today Obama released another misleading ad, this one responding to the Born Alive attack ad from a few days ago. Ben Smith explains:

Obama's response blames the attacks, which comes from an independent group, on McCain, and conflates criticism of McCain's ads with the abortion attack.