The reason it’s a campaign narrative is because it’s true. First there was the gutter level attacks and the unwillingness of McCain and Palin to tamp down the rhetoric about Obama. It ultimately led to rallies turning into lynch mobs complete with death threats, angry rhetoric, hate speech, and even violence. You will remember that the first time someone shouted “TERRORIST” John McCain moved happily along in his attack speech. He did not stop right then and there and repudiate anything. He only did so when the chorus of blogger and journalist go so loud as to demand a response.

The campaign’s desire to whip up the right wing crowds backfired.

It’s happened again. This time with ACORN – a community organization whose goal is to help poor people. Because this group has been registering those most likely to vote for Barack Obama, they’ve become a target of the same hate filled and dangerous rhetoric Republicans used against Barack himself. Also like the claims against Barack, the ACORN stuff is sometimes lies and sometimes incredible exaggeration.

The ratcheting up of the anti-ACORN sentiment has led us to where every other McCain/Palin hatefest has led us. Violence:

Kettenring said that a senior ACORN staffer in Cleveland, after appearing on television this week, got an e-mail that said she “is going to have her life ended.” A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of “We know you get off work at 9,” then uttered racial epithets, he said.

McClatchy is withholding the women’s names because of the threats.

Separately, vandals broke into the group’s Boston and Seattle offices and stole computers, Kettenring said.

The incidents came the day after McCain charged in the final presidential debate that ACORN’s voter-registration drive “may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history” and may be “destroying the fabric of democracy.”

McCain seems very happy to have unleashed such fury upon the American political landscape. The irony is breathtaking when you consider he once was smeared so badly in South Carolina by his own party that he called the robocalls claiming he fathered an illegitimate black child “hate calls”. This time around? John hires the very same people that did it to him to do it to Obama. I guess he could personally vouch for the effectiveness of the outfit.

John McCain is a bastardized version of his former self and now risks a complete meltdown of his legacy going forward. I’d warn the good Senator on what thin ice he is currently skating.

I think it’s shit like this that has been pushing the likes of conservative pundits and newspapers that don’t normally endorse toward Obama. I only hope this toxic atmosphere the McCain campaign has created causes Colin Powell to do the right thing on Sunday. I’ll be tuned in along with ever other politico.

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