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Dos Caras

It seems that the candidates save some of their most dishonest ads for Spanish-speaking audiences.  The first one I noticed was McCain attempting to paint Obama as someone with no interest in Latin America whatever, despite the fact that Obama had already given a policy speech on Latin America earlier in the year, and then there have been Obama’s ads trying to incite Latinos against McCain, with whom Obama has essentially zero disagreements on immigration policy, with false and dishonest representations of both McCain and critics of illegal immigration.  These ads attempt to make McCain out to be some hard-line restrictionist who doesn’t like Mexicans, which is so comically inaccurate that one might almost think that Obama’s people were auditioning for jobs at The Onion.  On top of that, the latest ad attempts to twist things Limbaugh said and then impute them to McCain, the candidate whom Limbaugh once pronounced as the doom of the Republican Party if he were nominated (Limbaugh seems to have gotten over his concerns).  This is on par with Obama’s insinuations that McCain will engage in race-baiting to compensate for his lack of ideas.  This misunderstands McCain completely–he glories in his lack of ideas and takes pride in his tired platitudes.  This latest Obama attack is right down there with his lame claims that McCain is responsible for undefined “allies” who talk about Obama’s “Muslim connections,” when this is simply not true.  To my surprise, despite a fairly concerted effort to pin race-baiting on McCain earlier this year, the media and the Obama campaign have largely abandoned that accusation and redoubled their focus on McCain’s dishonesty. 

If challenged on any of this, I suppose Obama can also use the McCain defense that the media reward trashy attack ads and ignore high-road tactics, but lies are lies and Obama has been churning out some amazing whoppers lately.

Update: I had forgotten that McCain was already running his own dishonest Spanish-language ad on Obama’s immigration position, which McCain absurdly tries to portray as opposed to amnesty, er, the “road to citizenship” and thus makes explicit his own continued support for the same.  So I suppose you can call Obama’s latest an example of retaliatory lying.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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