The pattern was clear to many - even some McCain supporters - early on but I guess I expected them to vary this a bit when it became clear that that smear attacks were failing to sway any intelligent voters and only seemed to appeal to a crowd that had no interest in the truth about the candidates - only in an outcome.
Every single major criticism of Obama now takes the following form. It’s a formula and it’s BS in every single case:
1) Review Obama records.
2) Find where he crossed paths with objectionable people, esp. if there can be a connection to the buzzword “terror supporter”.
3) Lie or wildly exaggerate the degree of connection to the people.
4) Lie to suggest Obama *shares* the controversial or outrageous views of the people to whom he has little or no connection.
5) Run high profile stories on right wing blogs until FOX picks up the distortions and then more reputable news outlets report the "accusations", thereby bringing a legitimacy to the issue it should not have.
Although I think most of the current rhetoric falls a bit short of "hate speech", it's still beneath *any* patriotic American to support the many lies and distortions that - successful or not as hardball politics - will compromise our ability to deal with many of the threats facing the USA.
Lies and distortions are a challenge to our great system- they are unPatriotic and unAmerican, and a shameful way for the McCain campaign to wind up an otherwise honorable career.