Perhaps The Most Important Endorsement Of The Election

Somewhere in the heartland is a billboard that reads, “10 out of 10 TERRORIST AGREE ANYBODY BUT MCCAIN”.

But is that really the case?

You’ll find few political observers that don’t agree with the fact that the McCain campaign has been more than mildly schizophrenic over the past month and a half.  The messaging and strategies employed by the campaign are multitudinous, and often times mutually exclusive; if anything, one can’t fault the McCain campaign for lacking variety.

And in the vast repertoire of tactics at play in the McCain campaign simultaneously, at least one is a golden oldie borrowed from the Bush era; the politics of terror.  Through a number of different processes, the McCain campaign has attempted to do what Bush did successfully in giving the voters a clear choice; if Obama is elected, we will all suffer at the hands of terrorists, but if McCain is elected, he will not only keep us safe, but the terrorists will really really hate it, too.

Indeed, we’ve seen the McCain surrogates actually point out that Obama is the chosen candidate of Hezbollah, we’ve seen the Virginia GOP Chair tell canvassers to conflate Obama with Osama, etc.

So one has to wonder how the McCain campaign would react when we come to find out that it’s looking like al Qaeda is actually endorsing him.

And at least some of its supporters think Sen. John McCain is the presidential candidate best suited to continue that trend.

“Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election,” said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the “failing march of his predecessor,” President Bush.

According to Spencer Ackerman who was in on a McCain campaign call, the folks over in Team McCain seem rather spooked.  Funnily enough, he further goes on to report that the McCain team didn’t actually address the al Qaeda argument at all, not necessarily defending their anti-terrorism policies, nor discussing arguments that perhaps al Qaeda really does want to see another neocon put into power.

Instead, they went on to attack the reporting.  Funny.  It’s okay to report on a terrorist’s preferences if doing so should prove to be a liability for one’s opponent (Ayers), but not if it hurts one’s own campaign (al Qaeda).


Now, one could take this as a vindication of left leaning thought which felt that Bush’s policies have only fanned the flames of terrorism and given terrorists a soapbox and a valuable recruitment tool that doesn’t seem to ever end.

Or one could suggest that perhaps al Qaeda, those sneaky little buggers, are really just trying to employ reverse psychology on us.  To this latter point, though, I think Steve Benen is dead on:

I suspect the conservative response will be that this message is an elaborate attempt at reverse psychology — al Qaeda says it would prefer McCain because it really doesn’t want McCain. I suppose anything’s possible — we’re talking about the rantings of homicidal lunatics — but if the goal was to get this message out to an American audience, al Qaeda probably wouldn’t have published it in Arabic in a password-protected website.

In any case, I don’t think the preference of terrorists should sway our judgements one way or the other.  Allowing terrorism to influence your vote is exactly the goal of terrorism.  Still, this is not the kind of news that the McCain campaign wants to be reading with less than two weeks to go until the election.

2 Responses to “Perhaps The Most Important Endorsement Of The Election”

  1. Mark says:

    I tend to think Benen is correct about the likely conservative response. What Benen neglected to add, however, is that this response will occur without the slightest hint of irony that conservatives in 2004 refused to even consider that al Qaeda’s “endorsement” of John Kerry was also reverse psychology.

  2. Good pick up.

    Nor will they own up to Hamas’ endorsement of Obama.

    Now, I don’t care about some admittedly not washed up nor old terrorists, but I think John McCain needs to be candid about his relationship with al Qaeda.

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