Entirely predictable, so much so that I’m embarrassed I didn’t foresee it in the post on the ad this morning. Let me atone by predicting that Olby, who loves loves loves to demagogue this subject, will broach it with Hillary in their interview tonight and will conspicuously fail to display the theatrical high dudgeon he musters in his special comments when she bats away his question.

The 30-second broadcast does not mention Obama by name, but the Illinois senator’s spokesman Bill Burton fired off a robust response and brought up Clinton’s vote in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war, which his boss opposed.

“It’s ironic that she would borrow the president’s tactics in her own campaign and invoke bin Laden to score political points,” Burton said.

“We already have a president who plays the politics of fear, and we don’t need another,” he said.

Read this post from after Hillary’s 3 a.m. spot came out, as all the old points still apply. Two things to take away: One, the left itself fearmongers relentlessly when it comes to McCain’s hawkishness, his temper (he’ll push the button!), his supposed racial politics, etc. That’s fine; politics ain’t beanbag. What’s objectionable is people like Olbermann, who compares Fox News to Al Qaeda and the Republican Party to a terrorist organization, pretending to display virtue on this point. Two, the outrage over this ad is manufactured with the same purpose in mind as the outrage over questions about Wright and Bill Ayers at the ABC debate, i.e. to render anything that hurts Obama’s chances as “illegitimate” and beyond the bounds of polite political discourse even when, as here, no one can say precisely why. Hillary’s making a pedestrian point that he’s not ready to deal with threats like Al Qaeda; that’s a stupid argument coming from someone with five years’ more experience than he has, but there you have it. Rather than restrict the response to the sort of “substantive” answers his supporters assured us they were interested in last Wednesday night, though, he whines about the “Republican tactics” at work in suggesting that people might reasonably worry about another mega-attack like 9/11. Exit question: By what strange feat of Messianic transubstantiation does insisting dishonestly that McCain wants to fight a 100-year war in Iraq not constitute the “politics of fear”?

Update: Here’s something for Hillary’s next ad. Remember, according to the left, international opinion is extremely important — unless it’s politically inconvenient, in which case it’s irrelevant and typical of “fearmongering” even to bring it up. How curious that Iranians, like so many Palestinians, seem to believe that Obama would be good for their interests despite his many noisy statements of support for Israel.