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    Hello, world!

    Greetings, fellow travelers!  Thanks to the Dag guys for giving me the opportunity to do some guest blogging at dagblog.com.

    For my first post here, I wanted to offer a quick thought.

    Over at TPM, Josh Marshall has taken note of three McCain campaign events in the past couple of days where we have an ostensibly random supporter hollering something inflammatory and getting picked up by a mic.  This comes directly after explicit warnings from the McCain campaign that they intend to go forward with a full-frontal character assault on Barack Obama over the remaining month of the campaign.

    So, maybe it's a coincidence that all of a sudden we're hearing supporters yelling things like "terrorist", "kill him" and "treason", all of which were picked up by event microphones.

    Then again, maybe it's not.

    Let me be clear.  There's no evidence that this is a coordinated effort by the McCain campaign.  However, it certainly seems a bit suspect.  Perhaps this has happened at previous events and it's just gone unnoticed.  Even so, is it that radical to entertain the possibility that these incidents are being perpetrated by the campaign itself?  As I said, there's no proof of this, but the coincidence with the McCain campaign's announcement has certainly caused me to wonder.



    More than radical. If someone raises a "speculative" Obama attack, e.g. "There's no evidence that Obama supports terrorists, but it certainly seems a bit suspect," I call it a smear. This is of the same vein. There is plenty to criticize in McCain's tactics without resorting to speculation.

    PS Welcome to DagBlog. I hope that you weren't expecting me to wear my kid's gloves.

    Not at all.  I don't think your analogy holds though.  If people at Obama campaign events were yelling things like, "Go Osama!" and Obama didn't stop to address it, don't you think it would be fair to ask whether or not he agrees with them?

    Now, that's not exactly what I'm pondering here.  Hopefully we can at least agree that the McCain campaign is goading this kind of sentiment with their new tack.  There's nothing speculative about that.  They're clearly trying paint him as "the Other" with this week's rhetoric and I certainly don't see them stopping on the stump to remind their fellow Americans that a U.S. Senator is certainly not a terrorist or traitor.  Those are very serious charges indeed.

    What I'm saying here is that I was struck by the sudden and consistent nature of these incidents.  I'm not accusing the McCain campaign of doing this themselves, but politics is a dirty business.  This wouldn't be the first time, even this particular presidential campaign, where plants have been used.  As I said, I have no evidence that this has occurred.  However, it is plain that the memo is out.  Both McCain and Palin are encouraging exactly this kind of sentiment at their campaign stops this week.  There's nothing speculative about that in my mind.

    For what it's worth, Josh Marshall just offered his vote on deliberate provocation and campaign plants up at TPM.

    I'm glad that I'm not the only person who had this thought.  You have to admit that it's quite the coincidence.  That's not at all the same as evidence, but at what point does the correlation become overwhelming?

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