Over the past couple of weeks the country at large has started to notice that the McCain/Palin campaign looks less like a campaign than like folks with torches and pitchforks raising a mob.
My friend Gemma wrote this:
What scares me is that I don't feel like McCain and Palin are trying anymore. These Ayers smear tactics are not working with anyone but their base, and they know it. Nor will a rerun of the Wright ridiculousness do anything productive with swing voters. They are not trying to win right now. They are trying to incite hatred. Serious, vociferous hatred.
In a comment I cited the above article by digby and said this:
The short version is that they're actively laying the groundwork to delegitimize Obama over the next four years, by planting in their base now the narratives that will keep them chanting "not my president" until 2012. ...
While I'm sure the GOP planners would like to imagine staging a replay of 2006 in two years and maybe even trying for another impeachment (on charges of being a terrorist sympathizer, no doubt), they are realistically trying to set up Palin (or maybe Jeb or Huckabee or some Bush III empty suit who isn't on anybody's radar yet) to run in 2012 on a narrative of reversing a stolen election and taking the country back from the anti-American Arab Manchurian candidate.
And it's not just the occasional outburst from someone in the crowd after applause lines, either. Yesterday TPM posted this video of the people waiting to get in Palin rally:
So yeah, be frightened. All that seething class, race, and ideological resentment that the right wing has been stoking for years in its base? They've decided it's now okay to bring it out in the open. If Obama wins and brings with him the down-ticket landslide that everyone's expecting, the right wing will have little left to lose, so expect them to play the next four years scorched-earth style.
On the other hand, like a smoldering coalseam or root fire, bringing all this out in the open and exposing it to fresh air may be the only way it will ever burn itself out for good.