An Invitation I Hope Senator McCain Will Accept

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Oct 09, 2008 9:53 AM
Barack Obama taunts John McCain, saying that McCain didn't say anything negative about him to his face.  No doubt Barack hopes to sound tough -- and to put McCain in a box.  If McCain says something negative, he's a "mean old man" and if he doesn't, well, Barack tries to paint him as a coward.

But I hope Senator McCain will accept Barack's invitation to repeat his criticisms to his face.  Not just the fact that he's been allied with an unrepentant terrorist, Bill Ayres, for many years -- but also the fact that he's happily surrounded himself with other America-haters, including his pastor for 20 years.  Even his wife believes America is a "just downright mean" country.  And yet this is the man we're supposed to trust to lead this country through the greatest economic crisis of our lifetimes -- and defend us in the war on terror?  What, exactly, about America does he and his allies even see as worth defending (or saving)?  (As Dorothy Rabinowitz points out brilliantly today, a good part of the clash between McCain and Obama has to do with who we are as a nation.)

So far, in many ways, Senator McCain has allowed the Obama campaign and the media (virtually indistinguishable entities, by the way) to set the parameters of debate for the campaign.  They need to start breaking out of that mold, and explaining to Americans -- chapter and verse -- why Barack is simply an unacceptable alternative.

Ask the American people, again and again: How much do you really know about Obama -- given that every scrap of paper that might shed light into his pre-US Senate career is either destroyed or missing?  John McCain's long record is an open book.  Why isn't Barack Obama's?  And is this really the time to take a gamble with the country's well-being?