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BARN DOORS….Via TPM, Mark Halperin said this morning that Barack Obama was foolish to bring up the issue of John McCain’s seven house because it “opens the door” for McCain to air inflammatory ads about Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, and other dark chapters from Obama’s past. It opens, to coin a phrase, the gates of hell.

But wait, you’re thinking: wasn’t all this stuff going to come up anyway? Turns out George Stephanopoulos asked precisely that:

Stephanopoulos: Don’t you think that was going to come up anyway?

Halperin: I think it would have been hard for John McCain, given the way he says he’s going to run his campaign, to do all this stuff without the door being opened.

It really does make you wonder what planet Halperin is living on. Last month McCain hired Karl Rove protege Steve Schmidt, and since then he’s run ads mocking Obama’s celebrity, charged (repeatedly) that Obama puts his career ahead of his country, pretended that Obama had refused to visit wounded soldiers unless the press was along, run an ad saying that Obama was responsible for high gas prices, and conspicuously declined to comment on Jerome Corsi’s bestselling claim that Obama is really a secret Muslim. At this point, who cares how McCain “says he’s going to run his campaign”? Halperin can look at McCain’s actual campaign and see what kind of campaign he’s running. It’s been sunk in the gutter for weeks now.

Anyway, as Halperin is certainly well aware, McCain and his cheering section are beavering away on all this stuff anyway. Over at National Review, for example Stanley Kurtz has been hard at work badgering the University of Illinois to give him access to the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Why? Because his heart is turning somersaults over the possibility that something in the archives will show that Obama had a conversation or three with radical leftist Bill Ayers during the period when both served on the board of CAC in the mid-90s. Do you think Kurtz was waiting for a “door to be opened”? Or Jerome Corsi? Or Steve Schmidt? Please.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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