The Missing Link

In his obituary for the McCain campaign, Stephen F. Hayes of The Weekly Standard writes:
[McCain's] sense of decency did not allow him to countenance using Ayers as part of a broader narrative and without that narrative the attacks fell flat.

The media largely missed this. Any attack on Barack Obama was too much.

One writer for The Atlantic Monthly put it this way last week. "What I've learned from watching McCain these past two months is that there's nothing he wouldn't do if it could get him a small bump in a news cycle, polarize the electorate, and appeal to a rabid base that is now his only source of power." He added: "My view is that McCain has shown his character in this campaign: it's vicious, petty, lazy, reckless, vain and dishonorable."

That's a little hysterical, but it provides a telling look at the prism through which many in the media saw the campaign.
That "one writer for The Atlantic Monthly" is Andrew Sullivan, acclaimed author of the most popular one-person political blog in the world. Sullivan recently penned a crisp essay about blogging for The Atlantic, full of wit and generosity, in which he wrote of the sometimes petty back-and-forth that blogging, as a form, seems to engender:
Rudeness, in any case, isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a blogger. Being ignored is. Perhaps the nastiest thing one can do to a fellow blogger is to rip him apart and fail to provide a link.
Here is the link (and the context) that Hayes failed to provide.

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