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Elections & Voting Last Updated: Oct 13th, 2008 - 00:46:12

More dirty tricks
By Howard Lisnoff
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Oct 13, 2008, 00:14

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The Republican Party is up to its endless parade of dirty tricks.

Dirty tricks are not something new to Republican politicking and weren�t invented by Karl Rove. The technique harkens back to the political campaigns of Richard Nixon. Nixon, as the present right wing of the Republican Party, was not shy about using smear tactics driven to exponential heights. He�d often enlist the power of the F.B.I. to cement his policies and nail his opponents.

The Republican contender for the presidency, John McCain, and his vice presidential choice, Sarah Palin, have attempted to connect Barack Obama�s work as a community organizer with Bill Ayers, a member of the Weather Underground in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The line of thinking goes something like this: Ayers was a member of the violent underground movement that carried out domestic bombings in opposition to the Vietnam War. Obama was 8 years old around the time of the most notorious acts of violence by the Weathermen. Twenty-six years later, when many of the former upper-middle-class radicals had reinvented themselves as responsible professionals, Ayers met Obama at a meeting in Chicago that revolved around school reform. The two men had sporadic meetings over the next few years, but were never involved in anything resembling a close personal relationship. Therefore, there is prima facie evidence that the Democratic nominee for president endorses the failed politics of the former Weathermen, and would likely revert to left-wing violence if elected President of The United States.

Every Logic 101 student knows the stupidity of the Republican smear campaign, but that party has been in the business of shoveling political dirt for so long that its leadership feels that the public can be duped at least one more time and perhaps in time for election day 2008.

Guilt by association is also an old right-wing trick. Many lost their livelihoods, their freedom and their lives during the heyday of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy. If a well-known person knew someone who dabbled in left politics, or had been involved in left politics, then that person was fair game for the ideologue in the Senate who cast a pall over political discourse in the entire nation.

However, the Weathermen didn�t need the likes of a McCarthy, Nixon or J. Edgar Hoover to help them along. Many were spoiled kids, who, in some cases, began with strongly held antiwar positions and then lost their hold on reality. They wished to �play� the game of revolution against the strongest military power in the world, and a sophisticated and widespread domestic police presence. They attempted to cull propaganda from Mao�s Cultural Revolution, and thought that they could hasten revolution in the U.S. by more direct and rapid means. They were generally not tied tightly to rational thought and lost their revolutionary zeal when the winds of political change began to blow in a different direction. They were as disconnected from the mainstream of the antiwar movement as the Republican Party is now separated from the ideals of the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution and the constitutional principles that that revolution produced.

Barack Obama comes from the mainstream of political discourse in the U.S. His positions are most often just to the right of center, and often are at odds with his early work as a community organizer, a line of work so different from Bill Ayers� early history in the Weathermen that a comparison fails the test of common sense. That the Republican right, which has held the Republican Party hostage for nearly three decades, dares to make the connection between these two men tells much of the total lack of scruples of that party�s strategists and their belief in the complete gullibility of the public.

In the shadow of a massive collapse of the economy hastened by the lack of government regulation, and endless wars of aggression, the Republican right will continue to obfuscate its agenda with dirty tricks. The nation is on a swift boat to disaster!

Howard Lisnoff teaches writing and is a freelance writer. He can be reached at

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