When Republicans say that Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists," they've clearly crossed the line.
But what about when a Democrat implies that John McCain is an incontinent old codger?
Speaking this afternoon at a business summit in Cambridge, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry complained about the inane questions he fielded from the press during his 2004 presidential bid--and expressed sympathy for this year's crop of candidates. The target of his ire: "the famous 'boxers or briefs' question." Praising Obama for successfully parrying the inquiry--Kerry confessed that he "was tempted to say commando"--the Bay Stater informed his audience that McCain had encountered some problems: "Then they asked McCain, and McCain said, ‘Depends.'" Hotcha! The crowd, according to PolitickerMA, cracked up.
I mean, I get the joke: McCain is so old that he wears Depends--the best-known brand of adult diapers--to keep from soiling his slacks. Ha. But just as Republicans have cheapened a legitimate line of attack against Obama (that he's avoided taking a firm stand on some issues) by calling him a shady terrorist sympathizer, so too do Democrats risk diluting their best criticism of McCain (that he can be erratic, impulsive and unreliable) by harping on his age. Both comments are not only inappropriate; they're counterproductive. After all, Obama is relying on older white voters--his newest, softest supporters--to propel him to victories in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio (among other places).
So something tells me that Kerry is about to receive a call from Chicago telling him that if he doesn't cut the crap and keep it above the belt from now on, he could be pissing away his chance to serve in an Obama administration.
Thank you, ladies and germs. I recommend the veal.