[On September 19, 2004], GOP Senate candidate John Thune of South Dakota said of his opponent, Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle: “His words embolden the enemy.”
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[In late 2001], Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said tactics used by critics of the USA Patriot Act “only aid terrorists” and “give ammunition to America’s enemies.”
“ [Jeremiah Wright’s] comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate…” Mr. Obama said.
Sorry, but this rhetorical fallacy was wrong for Thune and Ashcroft then, and is wrong for Obama now. He can – and should – distance Rev. Wright as he sees fit, but to engage in this brand of fear-mongering goes against the hope and positive outlook for which Obama’s campaign has stood thus far.