The Washington Post

McCain takes on Bachmann, Democrats want to tar GOP

The Post reports that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) “strongly defended Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Huma Abedin against unproven accusations that tie her to a supposed conspiracy of the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the U.S. government. McCain said on the Senate floor: ‘Huma represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully.’”

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) weighed in as well: “I don’t know Huma. But from everything that I do know of her, she has a sterling character, and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.”

Good for McCain and Boehner. The baseless accusations are especially reprehensible coming from elected officials.

That said, it is noxious for Democratic operatives, as one did on MSNBC this morning during a roundtable on which I participated, to generalize these sentiments to the entire GOP or to claim former Gov. John Sununu was dabbling in racial politics. (The governor apologized profusely for calling the president un-American and clarified that he was referring to the president’s conception of wealth-creation.) I suspect as time goes on the race card will be played more frequently if the president’s poll numbers dive. That’s how the Democrats play this game. Rather than bemoan the phenomenon, Republicans should make certain not to give their opponents more ammunition. The last thing they should do is give the “racism!” smears legitimacy.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.

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