Dahlia Lithwick is making sense:
Last night’s presidential debate didn’t rise to full-frontal bodice-ripper status until John McCain insisted, “[W]e need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” Obama probably shouldn’t have guffawed. But it was hard not to. He was probably thinking, “Destroying the fabric of democracy???” Even for McCain that was a little bit of breathless chest-heaving.
As far as “gotcha” stunts go, the right-wing feeding frenzy over the vile vote-fraud treachery of ACORN has yet to yield much fruit. Investigations are indeed under way. But then, they are always under way this time of the year—and as the indefatigable Brad Friedman points out, so what? Evidence of voter-registration wrongdoing is no more a sign of widespread, Obama-sanctioned vote fraud than evidence of minorities being misled and intimidated on Election Day is a sign of official, McCain-sanctioned vote suppression. What’s the real point of turning voter-registration shenanigans into “one of the greatest frauds in voter history”? The object here is not criminal indictments. It’s to undermine voter confidence in the elections system as a whole. John McCain wants to build a better bogeyman, and he needs your help to do it.
In other words: he needs your help to destroy the fabric of democracy. See also Fred Clark. And, whipped up by the McCain/Palin campaign’s horseshit, the mouth-breathing yahoos dutifully engage in a little of the time-honored democratic tradition of political violence against minority and poor interests – an infinitesmal taste of what will come after Obama wins, no doubt. But John McCain is extremely honorable, and so say all of us.
The Obama campaign is taking a very aggressive position against the McCain/Palin campaign, and especially the Bush DoJ, for pushing this nonsense. Possibly too aggressive – nobody but the yahoos believes any of this crap anyway, you are almost certain to win regardless, so why not just let it alone? But it is good to see they are willing to stand up for the victims of Republican media attacks and abuses of power. Bodes well for an Obama administration, which even now doesn’t appear to have much functional interest in playing nice with the Bushies or their yahoo-populist base.
The Secret Service will have a busy 4-8 years.