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 canâ€™t be called a â€œliberalâ€ (â€œthe same names and labels they pin on everyone,â€ as Obama puts it); his toughness on the war on terror canâ€™t be questioned (â€œattempts to play on our fearsâ€); his extreme positions on social issues canâ€™t be exposed (â€œthe same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our livesâ€ and â€œturn us against each otherâ€); and his Chicago background too is off-limits (â€œpouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversyâ€). 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.