We could see this coming for months, and the results should be delicious. Huffington Post writer Tom Edsall reveals that a union has developed an extensive and detailed attack on Barack Obama’s connection with William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the former Weather Underground terrorists, while at the same time deriding it as “McCarthyism”. How do they square that circle? They wrap it into a cautionary message that asks, “What will Karl do?”:

A high-ranking labor supporter of Hillary Clinton is distributing to union leaders and to Democratic strategists a document detailing the radical activities of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, two former members of the ’70s group the Weather Underground, who decades later, in Chicago, crossed paths with Barack Obama.

The document – a three-page emailed essay by Rick Sloan, communications director for the International Association of Machinists as Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) — takes both literary and political license to outline what Sloan believes would be the thrust of a hypothetical Republican campaign against Obama focusing on his tangential connection to Ayers and Dohrn.

The goal of the essay appears to be to discredit Obama as the prospective Democratic presidential nominee. …

Sloan contends that the purpose of his document is to outline what he conjectures will be the tactics of Republican operative Karl Rove, an informal adviser to John McCain’s campaign, if Obama is the nominee. The title of Sloan’s paper is: “What Is Rove Up To?”

Well, this is really convenient, isn’t it? Not only can they indulge in what they call McCarthyism, they can blame their bete noir Karl Rove for it before he even utters a word. This frees up both Democratic contenders to fling as much mud at each other under the WWKD concept. We can call it pre-emptive McCarthyism, another great concept in campaigning from the people who brought us the vast right-wing conspiracy.

And it’s not McCarthyism by any stretch of the imagination. As Andrew McCarthy ironically noted yesterday, the Obamas have political ties to Ayers and Dohrn, not just a one-off chance meeting. Since Obama made his superior judgment the centerpiece of his campaign, it’s hardly outside the boundaries of political discourse to question why he tied himself politically to an unrepentant terrorist for years, why he and Ayers sent $75,000 to a Yasser Arafat toady, and even why he financially supports a church whose pastor claims that the government created AIDS to conduct genocides.

Meanwhile, the real Karl Rove can sit on the sidelines while the Democrats diminish themselves at the speed of light in an orgy of hypocrisy. That’s what this really is — a way to campaign hard while blaming others for the damage it causes, as hypocritical an effort as one will ever see in politics.

All we can say is, “Rove, you magnificent bastard!” — and ask when we can get our WWKD wristbands and bumper stickers.

Update: Joe Gandelman uses a word he dreads.  RTWT.