If media reports in the dailies are any indication, a valiant John McCain is heroically standing up against a new round of outrageous attacks. The NYT reports, “McCain Parries a Reprise of ‘00 Smear Tactics.” The WaPo notes, “McCain Takes the Fight To Negative Opponents.” The LAT reports, “McCain camp goes on offense in S.C.”
But in at least one instance, the "smear tactics" happen to be right.
Volunteers making telephone calls for Senator John McCain in South Carolina last weekend noticed something odd: Four people contacted said in remarkably similar language that they opposed Mr. McCain for president because of his 1980 divorce from his first wife, Carol, who raised the couple’s three children while Mr. McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. […]
[O]n Saturday night, within hours after Mr. McCain’s advisers learned of the people who objected to Mr. McCain’s divorce, his campaign sent out an e-mail alert to thousands of South Carolina supporters warning them of a potential dirty tricks campaign and advising them to call a McCain Truth Hot Line if they learned anything more.
Now, I don’t like ugly smear-jobs against any candidate, regardless of party or ideology, but this one stood out for me — because it’s not really a smear-job at all. Here’s the key point the NYT article didn’t mention: the charge about McCain’s personal life happens to be accurate.