Well, some old cranky guy was on Jon Stewart last night. I think it might have been Bob Dole except he was not as funny*. I have not seen this guy on television in several weeks, but I think he is the Republican Presidential nominee, though I could have sworn he used to be a member of the Whig Party. McCain’s the name.
Anyhoo, he was saying that the fact that some guy in Hamas said that Barak Obama is a slightly lesser "Great Satan" than McCain constituted an endorsement and "that’s fair game".
Okay, so those are the rules then?
As Juan Cole points out, by that logic John McCain has picked up the explicit endorsement of Al Qaeda:
[I]t turns out that al-Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri has declared that he is actually on McCain’s side in wanting to destroy Iran. Al-Zawahiri is hurt that McCain keeps confusing hyper-Sunni al-Qaeda with radical Shiism: "Ayman al-Zawahiri said al-Qaeda wants to see the destruction of Iran – a Shiite nation battling the terrorists . . . "The dispute between America and Iran is a genuine struggle, and the possibility of the US striking Iran is real," al-Zawahiri said. . ." Al-Zawahiri hopes that the US struggle with Iran will destroy the latter and weaken the former, putting al-Qaeda in a position to administer the coup de grace.
In essence, al-Zawahiri is endorsing McCain’s plan to "bomb, bomb, bomb/ bomb, bomb Iran."
Since McCain apparently believes these kind of things are not cheap shots, but important endorsements and matters of public concern, it sure seems like something members of the press should ask McCain about between barbecues. And to satisfy the all-important Tim Russert test, I believe there are videos of Al-Zawahiri too. In fact, the guy even has a catch-phrase "Death to America", even though I’m pretty sure, unlike Reverend Wright, he never served in the Marines.
*Bob Dole in the early eighties, “History buffs probably noted the reunion at a Washington party a few weeks ago of three ex-presidents: Carter, Ford and Nixon – See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Evil.”