On the lower left-hand corner of the Nevada Republican Party's slick four-page fold-over mailer sits a blurry picture of a mustachioed curly-haired white kid with the name AYERS superimposed on it. From the upper right-hand corner stares a somber Barack Obama, half his face menacingly darkened by a purposefully added shadow. In a white insert box strategically occupying the gray space between the two photos is the following quotation, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." Credit for the quotation is not given to anyone, clearly leaving the implication that the incendiary words are attributable to either or both of the men.
Unfolding the mailer, the reader is confronted with a written sound bite about the radical terrorist friend of Obama. The litany starts with a false but cunning assertion -- that the activities of Bill Ayers occurred "three decades ago." You are supposed to do the math and figure out that three decades equal thirty years. Thirty years ago would have made Barack Obama eighteen-years-old, instead of the eight-year-old he was, when Ayers was operating. This blatant lie would make the gullible believe that at eighteen Senator Obama was running with terrorists.
Inside, brief simplistic summaries of Ayers' activities four decades ago are juxtaposed against pictures of an ancient FBI wanted poster, a burning urban brownstone, and a group of kids from the sixties, in the middle of whom is a young black man holding up a placard supporting the Weathermen. On the last page, there is another synopsis of Weathermen history, Ayers' mug shot, and the same menacing photograph of Senator Obama found on the front page.
Undoubtedly, the mailer is meant to trigger fear. But fear of what? Late sixties anti-war protesters? Hippies? Young people in general? Or shadowy, menacing black men?
The Republicans count on us to fear the other, people who don't meet the criteria required to be real Americans. Instead of winning the hearts and minds of Americans on the merits of their policy proposals, the Nevada Republican Party, like McCain/Palin, has plunged to the bottom of a cesspool and come up smelling like -- well you get the picture.
General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, had it right when he lambasted the McCain/Palin campaign and the GOP for their obvious unwillingness to discuss real issues affecting all Americans and for their bottom-dredging tactics. General Powell described Senator Obama favorably, saying he was steady, intelligent, and most importantly, transformational.
Senator Obama has indeed been transformational during this campaign. Once he is president, he will have many problems facing him, not the least of which will be the task of healing the deep wounds caused by the slash-and-stab tactics epitomized by the Nevada Republican Party's mailer and the McCain/Palin campaign. One thing is clear, however, he will not govern through fear and distortion.
You can look at the mailer over at Obama's "Under the Radar" feature.