You can never accuse the McCain/Palin ticket of not playing to their base.  The economy is tanking, despite McCain’s impotent grab for the bailout laurels, and Obama is widening his lead in the polls, so the "brains" behind the ticket have resorted to what they do best: sliming the opposition. Churning out the bilious hate and the barely veiled bigotry, McCain and Palin started the new week on the campaign trail, leaving behind a wake of vitriol and lies.  McCain took New Mexico, while Sarah Palin tried to woo Nebraskans and Floridians.

McCain, who should have been busying himself with debate prep, instead made a panicky, desperate pitch to a diehard group of supporters in Albuquerque:

Senator John McCain pressed his strategy of trying to sow doubts about Senator Barack Obama during the closing month of the campaign by asking a crowd at a rowdy rally here Monday:  “Who is the real Barack Obama?’’

"A terrorist," shouted one of his base.  

Outstanding. Republican troglodytes never fail to deliver, do they.

And McCain’s surrogate, Sarah Palin, took to the stage wearing a white surplice top (much to Rich Lowry’s tumescent delight) to rile up the crowd in Fort Myers.  It didn’t take long for her to get her shirt dirty with mud:

Many independent observers say Palin’s allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities.

"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.

"Boooo!" said the crowd.

"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’" she continued.

"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

Is it me or are McCain and Palin yelling "fire started by a scary black man!" in a crowded theater? Are they drawing perilously close to inciting the lowest common denominator to action? Are they determined to scorch the earth if they lose? It sure sounds that way to me.

Image via alabamian.net.