The McCain-Khalidi Connection

Andy McCarthy makes the case that John McCain’s oversight on the funding of a Rashid Khalidi-founded organization is appreciably more benign than Barack Obama’s involvement with Khalidi:

In effect, McCain’s Lefty-light has made beating Obama much more difficult because his many maverick forays make it hard for us to get traction on subjects like ACORN, Khalidi, speech-suppression, immigration, enhanced due-process for terrorists, etc. A real conservative could have made a much more compelling fight on the issues than McCain has.

McCarthy is right. If the Obama camp could convince voters that all their candidate did was okay $448k to go to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Reasearch and Studies, they’d jump at the chance. If the LA Times had a video of Obama signing that check, no one would even watch it.

McCain’s token gesture was a political quickie aimed at pacifying a noisy party that you’d never really want to get personally involved with. Obama’s intimate history with the likes of Khalidi is of an entirely different order. Groups like the CPRS are specifically designed to cloak radical players in the robes of academic respectability. That McCain obliged–like every other American politician these days–is one kind of concern. That people like Khalidi don’t even need to take the backdoor when approaching Obama is quite another. By his own admission, Obama said talks with Khalidi have served as “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.” Khalidi’s front organization may have elicited a check from John McCain, but Khalidi himself has corrected Obama’s thinking. While the candidates are “not even close” on this issue, it’s a messy argument for McCain to make–and it leaves him looking irresponsible.