Look who’s turned into a scold on “low-road” campaigning!  Why’s it’s the New York Times, the same newspaper who ran an ad calling an American military commander a traitor, initially at a substantial discount to its client organization, MoveOn.  Today, though, they cluck their tongues at John McCain — for hitting back:

In recent weeks, Mr. McCain has been waving the flag of fear (Senator Barack Obama wants to “lose” in Iraq), and issuing attacks that are sophomoric (suggesting that Mr. Obama is a socialist) and false (the presumptive Democratic nominee turned his back on wounded soldiers).

Well, Barack Obama wanted to retreat out of Iraq regardless of the consequences, and has not changed his policy despite the enormous transformation in Iraq over the last eighteen months.  Offering redistributionist tax and spending policies certainly puts Obama in the soft, European model of socialism, as does his repeated calls for the government to deliver (and determine) “economic justice”.   And Obama did indeed cancel his visit to Landstuhl and the wounded soldiers there, offering excuses that even the Gray Lady doesn’t really buy.

Does the New York Times editorial board read their own paper?

Mr. McCain used to pride himself on being above this ugly brand of politics, which killed his own 2000 presidential bid.

I presume the Times refers to the “black baby” rumor that got spread in South Carolina in 2000.  That’s a personal smear, not criticism of policy or actions, as the Times uses as examples above.  The Times can’t seriously equate the two, can they?  Apparently they can, when they want to protect their chosen candidate.

Besides, nowhere in this editorial filled with vituperation and unsupported innuendo about Karl Rove and his associates do the editors mention which campaign went negative first.  Hint: It wasn’t McCain:

And only three months earlier, he had pledged not to run any negative campaign ads at all:

And let’s not forget the New York Times own low standard for smears:

This hyperbole about negative advertising is nothing more than the Times worrying about how effective it will be against Obama.  Candidates can and should draw comparisons and contrasts between their positions and that of their opponents, as well as highlight their records.  Obama did nothing wrong in running this ad except for the sanctimoniousness of his pledge to avoid it and the hypocritical way he reversed himself.

The Times wants to shame McCain into leaving poor Barack Obama alone.  If Obama didn’t want to face negative campaign ads, then he shouldn’t have run his own.  If the Times wanted to set itself as the advertising police, then they shouldn’t have run this atrocious smear of an honorable American commander in the middle of a war.  The Times are the worst hypocrites on this issue, and their distorted, venal, and essentially idiotic editorial today proves it.