It is incontrovertibly true that there is no stupider smear of Obama than that which decries him as the Antichrist. It is also incontrovertibly true that this is the smear most likely to help McCain, as nothing rallies the lunatic, evangelical base to a weak candidate like the idea that he’s campaigning against the devil incarnate. To get an idea of how totally retarded the source material the McCain campaign’s working with is, by all means check out Slacktivist’s exhaustive demolition of the first Left Behind book. To get an idea of how stupid the people who believe this “theory” are, fortify yourself with a bottle of Jack Daniels and read the multi-thousand comment thread on Apostropher’s blog, “Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?”

Note, too, that Apostropher’s post is from 2004, whereas the Time article has a somewhat different timeline:

Two months ago, Vanderslice founded a Democratic PAC called the Matthew 25 Network and soon noticed that the negative emails she received from conservative Christians fell into two general categories: abortion, and the assertion that Obama is the Antichrist. The cataloguing of similarities Obama shares with the Antichrist began nearly two years ago. But they picked up steam in February 2008 after he racked up a string of impressive primary victories. A Google search for “Obama” and “Antichrist” turns up more than 700,000 hits, including at least one blog dedicated solely to the topic. A more obscure search for “Obama” and “Nicolae Carpathia” yields a surprising 200,000 references.

Two years ago? Apostropher was on that tip two years before that, stupid Time gaywads. Actually, Apo was on the case so early that his blog was, for a time, the top search result for the phrase “Is Barack Obama the Antichrist” (hence the flock of numbskulls in that thread). Given this, could it be that this meme, now picked up by the McCain campaign itself in a desperate bid to make people forget that he’s an angry old senile asshole who’s bad at thinking, was initially popularized by a liberal blogger? Disturbing(ly hilarious), if true.