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Guilt By Association, McCain Style

Perhaps the last great hope of the McCain/Caribou Barbie Campaign is that their charges of guilt-by-association directed at Barack Obama for his flimsy ties to former Left-wing radical and terrorist Bill Ayers will generate enough doubt about Obama's love of country or his judgement to sway enough voters in key states to vote for the Republican ticket in November. If Team McCain's strategy is to use guilt-by-association to attack Obama, one would assume that Team McCain doesn't have any ugly guilty associations hiding in its own closets.

One would be wrong.

Murray Waas, reporting at The Huffington Post, reported today that, "William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime." Waas reported that the bulk of Timmons's work on behalf of Saddam came in the early 1990's after The Gulf War. He also reported that, if the sanctions against Saddam had been eased, the way would have been paved for Timmons and other lobbyists to pursue an oil deal worth millions of dollars. Waas also reported that Timmons had told investigators that he did not fully understand his Iraq lobbyist partners' relationships with Saddam's government. Wass's report spins a web of international corruption and intrigue.

But, wait – there's more! Back in September, Michael Scherer reported in TIME that Timmons has been in the lobbying business in Washington since 1975 and has worked for every Republican President since Nixon. Scherer reported that, "According to Senate records, he registered to lobby in 2008 for a wide range of companies and trade groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, the American Medical Association, Chrysler, Freddie Mac, Visa USA and Anheuser-Busch." Freddie Mac? Yes, that would be the same Freddie Mac that many prominent Republicans, including McCain, blame for helping to fuel the current mortgage crisis. Per a piece by Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly, McCain recently told a crowd in Wisconsin that, "At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians, and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

So, what's wrong with this picture? According to Team McCain, having briefly met a washed-up one-time terrorist on a few occasions disqualifies one to pursue the Presidency of the United States. However, if one has worked on behalf of a rogue dictator such as Saddam Hussein, and one has worked on behalf of a primary culprit of the mortgage meltdown, then that qualifies one for a potential high-ranking position in the service of a President-elect John McCain.

Republican hypocrisy knows no bounds.

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