Conservatives like to defend McCain's negative campaigning by pointing out that Obama, too, is playing in the mud. But Hendrick Hertzberg writes in this week's New Yorker that "there is no equivalence between the two campaigns." Hertzberg commends the Obama campaign's decision to remain silent on the Palin family's association with the Alaskan Independence Party and John McCain's former seat on the advisory board of an organization that was “a sort of clearing house for former Nazi collaborators, Central American death-squad leaders, and assorted international thugs." Obama's decision is not only honorable, but also wise: The McCain campaign's negative turn has been disastrous. "If McCain loses, or even if he wins," Hertzberg writes, "his campaign will be remembered as a tragedy in the Aristotelian sense, in which a hero is ruined through some terrible choice of his own."