If Only Obama Agreed To McCain's "Town Hall" Meetings

When John McCain grabbed the microphone out of the hand of that disheveled Republican lady in Minnesota who called Barack Obama an "Arab" he was sincerely trying to rise above the woman's racist misconceptions to set the record straight. But what came out of his mouth was this: "No ma'am, [Obama's] a decent man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreement with on fundamental issues." His response speaks for itself.

When McCain's ignorant tool, Samuel "Joe The Plumber" Wurzelbacher, agreed with someone at a McCain-Palin rally that if we elected Obama it would mean the "death of Israel" even Fox News had to reprimand him.

Lately, the McCain campaign is claiming that Obama's 2003 interaction with a Palestinian professor, Rashid Khalidi, has nefarious implications. They never miss an opportunity to link Obama with Arabs, Muslims, and "terrorists."

And then there's the McCain campaign's "voter fraud" histrionics against low-income African-Americans in the cities who are just trying to register voters. Voter suppression is the Republicans' bread and butter and the attacks on ACORN are just subterfuge.

And let's not forget Ashley Todd, the 20 year old Young Republican volunteer in Pittsburgh who carved a backwards "B" on her own cheek to fake an assault by a rampaging black Obama supporter, and how the McCain campaign jumped at the chance to milk the hoax for maximum political effect.

And when John McCain and Sarah Palin say that Obama will turn the Internal Revenue Service into "a giant welfare program" they choose their words carefully and know exactly what they are saying.

And when they slam "community organizers" as second-rate people no one on the campaign staff bothers to inform them that they are dissing people from our nation's history like Samuel Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez.

And don't forget the phony pamphlets that have popped up pretending to come from the Obama campaign and trying to scare white voters in swing neighborhoods of swing states.

And there was also a fake broadsheet pretending to be from the state of Virginia falsely alerting voters in African-American precincts that due to high voter turnout Democrats and Independents will be voting on November 5th instead of the 4th.

And out on the stump Sarah Palin likes to talk about Obama's "early surrender in Iraq" and his secret plan to "gut" the defense budget. She also talks about how terrible it will be for the nation if the "Democrat Party" takes power. Nobody hurls red meat to her supporters better than Sarah Palin. She fuses together the cluelessness of Elisabeth Hasselbeck with the meanness of Susan Molinari. I hope the Republicans nominate Palin in 2012.

Add to this mix of McCain campaign slime the accusations about Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, his relationship to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the questions about his country of birth and his "true" religion, the charge of being a "socialist" and sympathetic to "terrorists," and what we have is one of the most vicious, dishonest, and mean-spirited presidential campaigns in American history.

It is fitting that at the miserable close of the George Bush-Karl Rove era we are finally seeing, at long last, the Republican Party's true colors divorced from the verbal pabulum of "compassionate conservatism" and "reaching across the aisle." McCain and Palin, Hannity and O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Medved are singing to the choir, spewing their bile in an endless loop inside an echo chamber whose walls are closing in all around them. The party is shrinking. It's becoming whiter and more intolerant at a time when the country is moving in the opposite direction.

But McCain sticks to his absurd story that it was Obama who forced his hand. It is Obama's fault that McCain had to embark on one of the most fiercely negative campaigns in history.

If only Obama agreed to appear with his esteemed opponent in the series of "Town Halls" that McCain proposed at the beginning of the campaign.

All of this unpleasantness could have been avoided.