Danger to the Republic

September 14, 2008 6:21 p.m.
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Edsall ….

The McCain campaign, in running TV ads which defy prior political standards, is gambling that the traditional rules governing what is permissible in presidential contests — as defined by the mainstream media — can safely be discarded this year.

The normally cautious and even-handed Associated Press on Thursday declared, “Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain’s skirting of facts has stood out this week.” The controversies have surrounded McCain television commercials and stump speeches asserting that Barack Obama “supports” comprehensive sex education in kindergarten, that Obama called Sarah Palin a “pig in lipstick,” and that Palin stood firmly against the “bridge to nowhere” — despite videotape evidence that the Alaskan governor provided support for the earmark before she opposed it.

So far, based on polling over the past two weeks, McCain’s roll of the dice has paid off. Not only has McCain made substantial gains, pulling modestly ahead in most national polls, but his assaults on Obama appear to have damaged the Democratic Party as well, raising Republican hopes of minimizing House and Senate losses.

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