Republicans: "But what about us?"
America: "We'll always have . . . no, never saw you before in my life."
THAT'S PRETTY MUCH where John McCain and Sarah Palin find themselves -- if the journalistic consensus is to be believed -- pretty much doomed to lose, perhaps badly, to a Democratic candidate who would have been pretty much unelectable a presidential election or two ago.
It's not that America has become much more liberal. It's that the GOP has messed things up that badly of late.
And now, McCain and Palin have been reduced to playing Captain Renault -- only not nearly so well as Claude Rains -- in the waning days of their allegedly doomed campaign. After all, when you have precious little to say for yourselves, what's a little hypocrisy to get in the way of slinging mud at Barack Obama, as pointedly noted by The Associated Press:
Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin accused the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday of protecting Barack Obama by withholding a videotape of the Democrat attending a 2003 party for a Palestinian-American professor and critic of Israel.
The paper said it had written about the event in April and would not release the tape because of a promise made to the source who provided it.
McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, a characterization that Khalidi has denied in the past. Both candidates said guests at the party made critical comments about Israel.
McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group that Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies has received more than $800,000 from an organization that McCain chairs.
On Wednesday, McCain said 1960s radical Bill Ayers had attended the same party in 2003. McCain and Palin have criticized Obama for his ties to Ayers and questioned what the videotape of the party might show.
"Among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism rather than the victim," Palin said at a rally in Ohio. "What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he professes to support."
In a story published in April, the Times said Obama spoke out at the event on the need for common ground on the Israel-Palestinian issue. Obama has said during the campaign that his commitment to Israel's security is "nonnegotiable."