John McCain: A Man Without Honor

In one of the most petulant columns in recent history, Charles Krauthammer made a begrudging admission yesterday:

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he had a "second-class intellect, but a first-class temperament." Obama has shown that he is a man of limited experience, questionable convictions, deeply troubling associations (Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko) and an alarming lack of self-definition -- do you really know who he is and what he believes? Nonetheless, he's got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.

When even Charles Krauthammer is forced to admit that Barack Obama possesses a 'first-class intellect and a first-class temperament' and, in that regard, is superior to Franklin Roosevelt, it's a pretty good argument that Sen. Obama is a good man for the job of president. But, notice also, that Krauthammer mentioned his 'associations', because that is where McCain now plans to go. The Washington Post reports:
"We're going to get a little tougher," a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. "We've got to question this guy's associations. Very soon. There's no question that we have to change the subject here," said the operative, who was not authorized to discuss strategy and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Now, John McCain talks a lot about honor and the concept seems to be quite important to him. John McCain would be doing us all a service if he raised questions about truly troubling associations that might lead to legitimate questions about Obama's judgment and fitness for office. But Obama's acquaintance with William Ayers is the worst kind of reach. His relationship with Tony Rezko has been thoroughly vetted. And the nation has already rendered its judgment about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Even Charles Krauthammer concedes Barack Obama's excellent qualities of mind and temperament.

I'm sympathetic to the concept that a political campaign's number one job is to win. I understand that campaigns will occasionally stretch the truth. Politics isn't a civil sporting event. But, even in politics, there is sportsmanship and there is integrity and there is, I hope, honor. Is this honorable?

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