"New Rules" for Mary Matalin, John McCain and the Rest of Us

As we approach the Democratic and Republican Conventions, the Presidential race of 2008 enters a new phase. We need "New Rules"*.

New Rule: Marty Matalin, it is no longer acceptable for a respected operative like yourself to hide behind the trash you published in Jerome Corsi's book and not be called out on it. As the publisher you are responsible for the work and even more so when you defend it as a "work of scholarship..." and pretend ignorance when informed of the author's intention to use his profits in a smear campaign against Barack Obama. Your reputation is badly tarnished and it should be a lesson to your colleagues.

New Rule: John McCain, it is no longer acceptable to question Barack Obama's patriotism and then deny that you have done so such as when you proclaimed that he would rather lose a war and win the election. When you fail to act with the honor you espouse your face twitches and your credibility disintegrates.

New Rule: Steve Schmidt, it is no longer acceptable to ridicule Barack Obama's national appeal by denouncing twentysomething celebrities. Their responses are more clever and they are more popular than your guy.

New Rule: Republicans, it is no longer acceptable to try and win a presidential campaign by scaring Americans about terrorists, smearing a candidate's background, demonizing gay people or lying about your candidate's record.

For Democrats:

New Rule: it is no longer acceptable to assume that John McCain will run a different kind of campaign - one that is issues based and honor bound.

New Rule: it is no longer acceptable to whine about what could have been or the candidates we might have had.

New Rule: it is no longer acceptable to be lulled into confidence by favorable summer polling or exhilaration generated in Denver.

New Rule: is it no longer acceptable to wring hands about campaign strategy without turning anxiety into productive action.

New Rule: We must close ranks, work harder and want change more.

*Hat tip to Bill Maher