Exhibit 13.4

This is almost sad. I think you can actually see the moment when John McCain realizes that he's going to go down in history as the guy who ran the race-baitin'ist campaign this side of George Wallace. Even after the unbridled and irrational anger of his last few campaign events, it's almost like he didn't realize that those wackos were the norm and not the exceptions.

Here's the thing: the McCain campaign knew exactly what they were doing when they added the line "Who is the real Barack Obama?" to their stump speeches. The first time they did it, someone yelled, "Terrorist!" and the senator (who visibly winced when he heard it) didn't bother sticking up for his opponent's fundamental loyalty to his country. That McCain now has to convince his own crowds that Barack Obama is an American is nobody's fault but McCain's. These fringe elements were always present, of course, but McCain apparently decided to make the lies normally passed around in chain emails a central theme of his campaign. And so those who might have once believed in private that Obama is a "secret Muslim" (still my favorite meme of the campaign. I want to name a band Secret Muslim) now feel like they have a candidate who agrees and wants to spread the truth before it's too late.

That McCain had to correct a woman who was a foot away from him when she called his opponent an "Arab" is very likely to be one of the indelible moments of this campaign cycle. And nobody is going to give a shit that McCain apparently felt bad when his supporters misinterpreted his covert swipes at Obama's patriotism as overt swipes at Obama's patriotism.

No comments: