The company he keeps

John McCain is employing the same robo-call artists who smeared his family in 2000 against Barack Obama.

1. John McCain said in 2000 that “there’s a special place in Hell” reserved for the people who slimed him and his family using robo-calls.

2. John McCain said to Letterman Thursday night, apropos Ayers, that people ought to be held accountable for those they choose to associate with.

3. McCain’s campaign is now employing those same robo-call artists against Barack Obama.

For example, the robo-calls don’t say that Obama is a terrorist. They say that Obama “worked closely” with Ayers – not mentioning what they worked closely on, of course, or when – and that Ayers was involved with a group that bombed the Pentagon and killed people. The inference that Obama worked closely with Ayers on bombing the Pentagon is left for the listener to draw.

Here’s the text:

Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home and killed Americans.

Sen. Susan Collins has denounced the ads. (Her colleague, Olympia Snowe, who isn’t up for election this year, hasn’t.)

These are the same people who made calls saying that McCain had fathered a black child. Do you think they’ll want to mention that Obama has fathered two black children?



To: John McCain

From: All decent Americans

Re: Your post-election apology

Don’t bother. We’re not interested.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: