Last Week (Oct. 22), the Huffilngton Post set up a page encouraging readers to check with their Republican congressperson to see if he/she were willing to repudiate the smear tactics employed by the McCain campaign–at that time the smear du Jour revolved around the fact that Obama inhabits planet earth alongside William Ayers. (Interestingly enough, the only Missouri congressperson identified on the page would not commit; an aide identified as Britney, “reported that Sam Graves ‘won’t say either way” if he condemns the robocalls or not.'”)  

However, speeches delivered by several Missouri politicians at a McCain rally in Belton, Missouri render superfluous any strenuous efforts to determine which have a modicum of integrity intact.  On the topic of McCain’s campaign fantasy for this week, Missouri’s Republican “elite” were more than ready to commit themselves to McCain’s fibs about how Obama will raise “your” taxes because he really wants to redistribute the wealth–and we know what leads to: SOCAILISM and LOSS of LIBERTY!

If you doubt that the McCain camp’s position is really so dishonest and twisted (not to mention retrograde), take a look at this video summarizing the duplicity:

It is not a surprise that Todd Akin, Bush fellow-travelor supreme, has no problem pushing this distorted version of truth, decrying:

“the creeping socialism” that is a dark cloud on the horizon if McCain loses the election for president.

Akin didn’t mention Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama by name, but Akin did say that McCain is running against “one proposing forging golden, glittery chains of socialism.”

“This campaign, in the next couple of weeks, is about one thing: it’s a referendum on socialism. Are we going to choose freedom?” Akin asked the roaring crowd.

Golden, glittery chains … just imagine! Of course, Akin is kind of simple in his outlook, and actually probably believes this tripe.

John Danforth, though, is a horse of a different color–at least so far as assumptions about basic intellectual competence go.  Consequently, it is depressing to hear him so egregiously insult the intelligence of Missourians–even the ones ignorant enough to buy the b.s. he’s spreading:

Former Sen. John Danforth said, “Well, it’s come down to this. It’s either McCain or ACORN,” referring to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Danforth said McCain will win the election, no matter how hard ACORN tries to steal it.

Then, Danforth mentioned something Obama had said last week to a plumber in Ohio about “sharing the wealth.”

“It wasn’t any slip of the tongue,” Danforth said of Obama’s comments. “He meant it. This is a Harvard lawyer who chooses his words carefully. That is his policy. That is his tax policy.”

Kit Bond’s rhetoic at this particular rally did not implicate him so forcefully in the win-thorugh-deceit tactics of the rest the prevaricators, but he has gone out on the guilt-by Socialist-association limb in the past few weeks, telling Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC that “Obama started out with Saul Alinsky.” I understand that Alinsky, good reformer and organizer that he was, might represent the acme of evil to people like Bond, but as the reporter who quoted Bond, Lynn Sweet, noted, the statement is:

Not true, if Bond was being literal. Alinsky, born in Chicago on Jan. 30, 1909 died on June 12, 1972 in Carmel, Calif. Obama was born in 1961.

Sweet then added that in any case, “Alinsky’s techniques were more tactical than radical.” It fits well enough with the effort to falsify Obama’s tax plan and then brand it as socialist though, doesn’t it?

Of course, many of you are saying, socialist, smocialist so what?  Since the rhetoric is so confused, the appeal can only be to those who are a little confused about what socialism means in the first place.  To which I say: Exactly!  Here is how Hendrik Hertzberg puts it in the New Yorker:

The Republican argument of the moment seems to be that the difference between capitalism and socialism corresponds to the difference between a top marginal income-tax rate of 35 per cent and a top marginal income-tax rate of 39.6 per cent.

And once you define it as socialism, you can play on the negative connotations with which decades of propaganda have endowed that word, not to mention its possible newer function as a code to attack black welfare recipients.  Again, in the words of Hertzberg:

Sometimes, when a political campaign has run out of ideas and senses that the prize is slipping through its fingers, it rolls up a sleeve and plunges an arm, shoulder deep, right down to the bottom of the barrel. The problem for John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party is that the bottom was scraped clean long before it dropped out. Back when the polls were nip and tuck and the leaves had not yet begun to turn, Barack Obama had already been accused of betraying the troops, wanting to teach kindergartners all about sex, favoring infanticide, and being a friend of terrorists and terrorism. What was left? The anticlimactic answer came as the long Presidential march of 2008 staggered toward its final week: Senator Obama is a socialist.

Obama himself describes McCain’s tactics best of all:

…By the end of the week he’ll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The shameful thing, though, for those of us here in Missouri, is the way our Repubican powerful are playing along with the lie-all-you-can express.

Rev. 10/29/08m 3:31 pm.  Missing link and final sentence added; minor revisions restored.