I take back all those mean things I said about Sarah Palin not being qualified to be vice president. Now that we've seen that she unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, it would seem that she has at least some notion about how the game is played. Investigator Stephen Branchflower, in a report to a bipartisan panel that looked into the matter, found Palin in violation of a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain. Sarah may indeed be ready for the big time.
Meanwhile, her boss is trying to figure out just how he can get the genie back in the bottle. "If you want a fight, we will fight," McCain said. "But we will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments." When people booed, he cut them off. "I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity," he said. "I just mean to say you have to be respectful." Ferocious respect? Shouts of "traitor," "terrorist," "treason," "liar," and even "off with his head" have rung from the crowd at McCain and Sarah Palin rallies, and gone unchallenged by them. Now the Senator from Arizona is forced to reconcile his drive to be the President of the United States with the fear and bile that is spilling over in the Republican rank and file. "I don't trust Obama," a woman said at a rally today. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."
McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said: "No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."
For him, maybe, but not for her. The Secret Service confirmed Friday that it had investigated an episode reported in The Washington Post in which someone in Palin's crowd in Clearwater, Florida, shouted "kill him," on Monday, meaning Obama. Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren downplayed the threat. "We looked into it because we always operate in an atmosphere of an abundance of caution."
Meanwhile, back in the hate factory, a new McCain TV ad accused Obama of lying about his links to Vietnam War era radical William Ayers, a member of the radical Weather Underground Group, whom Obama met in his formative years in Chicago politics. "When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers," the ad script said. "When discovered, he lied. Obama. Blind ambition. Bad judgment."
Then later in the day, the McCain campaign took aim at Obama's links with a non-profit housing counselling group called Acorn, which on Friday was at the center of a storm amid investigations into alleged voter fraud. The ad ends with the words: "Barack Obama. Bad judgment. Blind ambition. Too risky for America."
Desperate times, my friends, require desperate measures. Even if that means abusing power.