News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The GOP smear machine turns on one of its own

When a presidential nominee selects a running mate, the VP candidate always arrives with an entourage. Like any merger, staff rivalries are bound to surface, especially during the stresses of a heated campaign. When a ticket loses, post-mortem finger pointing is inevitable. So the charges against Sarah Palin leaked to the press by unnamed McCain staffers hardly come as a surprise.

All the same, it’s interesting to note that smears and character assassination have become so habitual to Republican campaigners that they are willing to turn the flamethrowers on one of their own. In this case, the friendly fire is intentional.

As a result, I find myself in the mystifying position of feeling sorry for Sarah Palin. At least when the Dems were questioning Governor Palin’s fitness to lead the nation, they did so publicly—not as unnamed sources. There is no way to substantiate the claims that Palin believed Africa was a nation and not a continent, or that she could not name the NAFTA nations.  

I probably should not be surprised by the GOP smears on one of its own. Habits die hard—especially bad ones.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

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