by Max Brantley
He's baaaaack. Tim Griffin, the Bush administration hit man who was scheduled to wield a political cudgel in the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock until U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and others stood up, may be headed back to work doing what he does best -- sliming Democrats. At least this time he wouldn't be doing it with other political hacks chosen by the Bush Administration to turn the Justice Department into yet another of their political tools.
Thanks to RT for the heads-up on Robert Novak today:
McCain is not about to disarm. His campaign has no intention of fighting this battle on Democratic turf. During the more than five months ahead, Republicans will explore the mindset of this young man [Obama] who is a stranger to most Americans. That includes his association with the Chicago leftist William Ayers, who has remained unrepentant about his violent role as a 1960s radical. This will not be popular with McCain's erstwhile admirers in the mainstream news media, but America has not heard the last of Bill Ayers in this campaign.
Indicating what lies ahead is the McCain campaign's plan to bring in Tim Griffin, a protege of Karl Rove, who is a leading practitioner of opposition research -- digging up derogatory information about opponents. Although final arrangements have not been pinned down, Griffin would work at the Republican National Committee, as he did in Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.
It is an article of Democratic faith that John Kerry would have been elected president had not Republicans undermined public confidence in his leadership and integrity by assailing his performance as a Swift boat commander in Vietnam. McCain, idolized by much of the news media in 2000 as the potential Bush slayer, is now stigmatized as adopting not only his former intraparty adversary's policies but also his tactics.
An Arkansas source confirmed this report on Griffin's future to me and now comes Talking Points Memo with more. Still more from Think Progress. And, now, Karl Rove has been subpoenaed to talk about the Justice purge.