Manchurian Candidate?

There has been an uproar today over an anti-Jon Huntsman ad that is being aired in New Hampshire, ostensibly by an independent group of Ron Paul supporters. The ad suggests that Huntsman is anti-American and pro-Chinese, taking off on the fact that he has two adopted daughters, one born in China and one in India, and, of course, was Ambassador to China and speaks Chinese. Here is the ad; it is one of the vilest and stupidest political videos since Lyndon Johnson’s “daisy” ad in his 1964 campaign against Barry Goldwater:

This incident raises some serious questions. Ron Paul has, of course, disavowed the commercial. But how do we know that it was actually created by Paul supporters? My opinion of the Paul-Bots is as low as anyone’s, but to my knowledge there is nothing to stop anyone from taking out an ad in the name of “NHLiberty4Paul” and putting “Vote Ron Paul” at the end of a video, not to discredit Huntsman, but to discredit Paul, or perhaps the GOP. The ad is so dumb and so ill-calculated to actually harm Huntsman, who is obviously going nowhere in the GOP race, that I suspect foul play. There are good reasons to protect the anonymity of contributors to independent expenditure groups, but there is a cost, too, and if this kind of thing becomes more widespread, demands for more disclosure will inevitably proliferate, for better or worse.

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