Obama: Criticizing Me Is Off-Limits

Rich Lowry has a piece on how the Obama campaign is trying to argue that any criticism of Obama is somehow out-of-bounds:

Here are the Obama rules in detail: He can’t be called a “liberal” (“the same names and labels they pin on everyone,” as Obama puts it); his toughness on the war on terror can’t be questioned (“attempts to play on our fears”); his extreme positions on social issues can’t be exposed (“the same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives” and “turn us against each other”); and his Chicago background too is off-limits (“pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy”). Besides that, it should be a freewheeling and spirited campaign.

This sort of thing will not fly with the American public. Until now, Senator Obama has never run in a truly competitive political campaign. Until just a few months ago, he’s never had to face real political criticism. That his first instincts are to dodge his critics is hardly the sign of a confident campaign. The American electorate deserves more than Senator Obama’s empty platitudes. They deserve to know not only the policies of a candidate, but about their instincts and character. If Senator Obama is unwilling to be forthright with the American people than he should not be running to be their President.