Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More on the question of "associations"

Matthew Yglesias of The Atlantic doesn't think the McCain campaign should tie Barack Obama to William Ayers:

"It’s wrongheaded because merely pointing out an association is lazy: it doesn’t do the harder work of establishing a connection between the relationship and Obama’s ability to govern. The McCain campaign has failed to do that. And it’s dangerous because guilt by association can apply to just about anyone, and heading down that slippery slope would have perverse consequences. I have no idea what the vast majority of my friends think about the Weather Underground. I hope they have sound views, but if I found out otherwise I'd hate to have to stop hanging out with them. And, indeed, it seems to me that it would be a bit perverse to do so—so perverse that I trust nobody has any intention of actually trying to apply a guilt-by-association doctrine in any rigorous way."

Really? Then why do you and your friends on the left flash the guilt-by-association card so often? Don't forget, folks: the left wanted to take Trent Lott down because he associated with Strom Thurmond (read: said nice things about his 1948 presidential run). And then it was said Lott "associated" with supposedly racist groups. Conservatives in general are ripped for "associating" with abortion clinic bombers. Sarah Palin and her husband were bashed for "associating" with the members of the Alaska Independent Party. Going back in history, Barry Goldwater was attacked again and again for "associating" with the John Birch Society.

Strange that, to our liberal friends, with whom you "associate" is so important for the Right, but suddenly it magically loses salience if you're on the left.