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Published:April 24th, 2008 08:25 EST

Campaigning in the Gutter is All the Rage

By Djelloul (Del) Marbrook (Editor/Mentor)

How disheartening — for Americans and everyone else — to see all three wannabe presidents acting like schoolyard goons, backbiting, pandering to the worst instincts of the media and ideologues. How disheartening the media in their preference for the shallow.

The media are fond of speaking of right-wing and left-wing ideological bases, but they have their own bases: witness the Lou Dobbs xenophobes and the Fox swift-boaters.

Is Barack Obama’s unfortunate failure to foresee what might be taken as elitism worse than Hillary Clinton’s squalid harping on it? It looks as if these two, whose electability has always been questionable, are in self-destruct mode. And leave it to the press to project onto others its own worst  characteristics.

Of course John McCain had to pile on with his smiley disingenuousness about Obama’s supposed elitism.

What on earth would the McCain-Clinton Act have said about Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt? We, at our remove, know the Roosevelts did good works and showed compassion. But we don’t seem to want to see it in Obama, a community activist with better credentials in that sector than his opponents.

The Republicans told us that Al Gore and John Kerry were sons of privilege, but they didn’t mention George W. Bush who not infrequently had been thought a ne’er-do-well son of privilege.

Perhaps we are dealing with disguised mysogyny and racism. Perhaps McCain’s critics are disguising their agism. But all of us are succeeding in disgracing the process and ignoring the real issues— the national debt, health care, the war, failed schools, multiplying prisons, foreclosures, and welfare-for-the-rich and screw-the-poor policies.

If he goes down among the white deer hunters, the bowlers and after-work tipplers of Pennsylvania because his enemies smeared him as an elitist, we are all disgraced, not because Barack Obama should be president or even the nominee, but because we should know better than to be fooled by gutter sniping and red herrings.—DM