Fox exec John Moody has it precisely right: the "Obama fan attacked McCain worker" hoax in fact does "forever link" the McCain campaign to race-baiting.
However, it's not just McCain. The entire Republican Party this year has been revealed as the Party of Racial Fear. Nor is it anything new: Republicans for years have tried to make hay off of racially incendiary cases that turn out to tell us more about the motives and worldviews of the torch-bearing mob than anything they might be chanting.
Pam Spaulding nails it:
It's like Susan Smith and Charles Stuart all over again -- a disturbed person blaming a non-existent black man for a crime, fomenting the fear of "the Other" based on our country's inability to acknowledge and deal with race, difference, and stereotypes. That this perpetrator of a hoax was a McCain campaign worker underscores the whole whipped up race frenzy of the McCain mob that we've seen in the last several weeks. It's time to flush this toxic sludge away.
What's equally remarkable, we might add, is the eager role played both by the McCain campaign and by the wingnutosphere -- led by Matt Drudge -- in whipping up a frenzy around this case without considering the potentially incendiary nature of the charges, not to mention the actual credibility of the storytellers.
This is particularly the case with the Mark Noonans out there, furiously clinging to their belief that the story is true, and claiming that the attack heralded the onset of "Nazism 2.0" under Obama: "God help us if Obama wins."
Along with John McCain, their credibility has just sustained a serious body blow. Couldn't be happening to a nice bunch.