So there was a dust-up this past week on a charge by Hillary Clinton that denouncing the views expressed by Louis Farrakahn (who was given some kind of award by the pastor of the church Obama attends) was not enough. Obama also needed to reject those views. Or maybe it was the other way around. Whatever. Clinton was trying to score some points by bringing up what has been one of the many oft-used smears by the right against Obama -- that because someone Obama knows thought Farrakahn is a groovy kind of guy, Obama obviously shares these views. Obama has repeatedly denied that he shares the views of Farrakahn, and that he rejects (or denounces) Farrakahn's views. But this smear gets repeated. Guilt by association, but that association is at least one degree away. Which brings us to John McCain. McCain, who as we all know is hurting among the hard-core Republic base, recently accepted the endorsement of one John Hagee. No degree of separation here, this man endorsed McCain in McCain's presence. Hagee is best known for his hateful anti-Catholic views, but is not limited to hatred of that group. No, he also spews vitriol at Jews, gays, atheists, Muslims and others. In short, he is easily a white Farrakahn. He is also an end-timer. He believes that we are the final generation before the return of Christ, and that the Bible says that Russia will team up with some of the nations of the Middle East to attack Israel, that there will be a glorious battle between US forces and these Russian/Muslim forces, and that the battle will result in the return of Jesus Christ to earth to usher in 1000 years of peace. He also believes US foreign policy should work to encourage these events. Will McCain denounce and reject this man's views? If he doesn't, he's in for a rough ride, even from folks like Bill Donohue. If he does, he's seen as weak by the hard core base. So it seems he trying to walk a middle line by saying he doesn't agree with all of Hagee's views (but notably doesn't say exactly which views he doesn't agree with) while still accepting Hagee's endorsement. Can we all imagine the bloviating that would be going on in right-blogistan if Obama had said that while he doesn't agree with all of Farrakahn's views, he still accepted a proffered endorsement?