At some point America should put the smackdown on political speech. It’s starting to get dangerous. In our do and say anything to get elected environment, hiding under the protection of “free speech” and counting on the slowness of the courts and regulatory authorities to act, we’re undermining the power of those who do get elected.
I’m not railing against Palin alone on this one- we saw this kind of opportunistic cannibalism in the democratic primary. The New York Times has this story about Palin’s attacks on our probable president:
Underscoring the McCain campaign’s aggressive attacks on Senator Barack Obama’s character, Gov. Sarah Palin accused the Illinois senator today of “putting ambition above country” at several private fund-raising events in Ohio.
In making her remarks, Ms. Palin cited a disputed report in The Washington Times today that said Mr. Obama, on a trip to Iraq with other members of the Senate, had encouraged an Iraqi official to delay an agreement that would extend the presence of American troops in Iraq. Mr. Obama’s campaign denied that claim, as did other attendees on the trip.
Ms. Palin portrayed the events in a darker light. “We learned this morning that Iraqi officials are saying Senator Obama tried to make a secret deal with the Iraqi government,” she said at a fund-raiser outside Cincinnati, although the article in The Washington Times does not make that specific claim.
“Obama apparently tried to undermine our government’s official efforts to reduce troops in Iraq,” Ms. Palin said. “If this is true, again, it is a stunning example of putting ambition above country.”
She repeated the attack line at a fund-raiser later in the afternoon in Cleveland, where the accusation was met with rumblings in the audience. “He tried to influence negotiations with Iraqi leaders in a way that would set back America’s cause there while advancing his campaign here,” she said. At both events, she described the allegations as “stunning.”
Of course, it also doesn’t help when Joe Biden opens his mouth and inserts his foot with his statement that foreign leaders should test Obama in the first six months either.
Other nations wouldn’t stand for this kind of behavior, and neither should we. If Obama was president, and Governor Palin started with this crap it would border on treason.
The rule of thumb should be, if you would think twice about saying it after they’re elected, you shouldn’t say it in the campaign. We need leadership that is interested in building this country- not undermining it.