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SELF-PARODY WATCH….This is just bizarre. Has any presidential candidate ever before run an ad mocking his opponent for not choosing a particular running mate? I think the folks running McCain’s war room are getting cabin fever or something.

But who knows? Maybe an attack ad this transparent will be just the thing to finally get all those ex-Hillary supporters fully on board with Obama. Sort of the way trash talk from the Yankees ends up on the front page of the Boston Globe and fires up even fair weather Red Sox fans. That’s pretty much how it would affect me, anyway.

In any case, since this is an ad that’s obviously aimed at insiders and the media, not actual voters, Jon Cohn has some pointed advice:

Having said all that, the media has some responsibilty here, as well. Controversy makes for good coverage, I know. But for all the talk of disunity, the really remarkable story about the Democrats right now is the absence of meaningful dissent on the party’s agenda. When it comes to substance, the Democrats are arguably more united than they have been since the early 1960s. Yes, you can find divisions on both domestic and foreign policy, on everything from the relative priority of deficit reduction to America’s response to Darfur. But these debates don’t match the kind we’ve seen in the past.

That’s really true, isn’t it? On trade and economic issues, the left and right of the party have both moved in each other’s direction since the early 90s and the remaining disageements are pretty moderate. Nearly everyone is united on some form of liberal internationalism as our favored foreign policy stance, and nearly everyone wants to withdraw from Iraq. Social issues have largely sorted themselves out. There’s surprisingly broad agreement about what our energy policy ought to look like. And there’s virtual unanimity on the broad contours of how we should tackle healthcare.

It’s not all sweetness and light, but aside from optics and personality issues, liberals really are remarkably united this year. It’s kinda scary in a way. I blame the blogosphere.

FORMATTING NOTE: It took me a while to figure out how to embed YouTube clips over at the old site so that they looked decent, but I haven’t quite figured it out here yet. This clip looks fine in Firefox, but it’s sort of squashed in Internet Explorer and a complete disaster in Safari. Sorry. I’ll fiddle around some more later and try to figure out the magic bullet.

On the other hand, I just noticed that link highlighting works a whole lot better in IE and Safari than Firefox. Win some, lose some, I guess.

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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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