Halperin, Brooks, McCain

Two very weird comments from two very smart and informed men. David Brooks essentially argued last week that John McCain had no choice but to go Rove, and launch the first wave of seriously negative advertizing because of the nature of the media and campaigning. And now Mark Halperin seems to think that McCain's gaffe about how many houses he owns will rebound against Obama ... because it "opened the door" for McCain to go negative on Rezko, etc.

Earth to both: Nothing in this campaign so far suggests that John McCain has the slightest compunction in using the nastiest, toughest tactics he can possibly find as often and as powerfully as he can. His Paris-Britney mockery and his accusation that Obama is putting his own political career in front of what he believes is the interest of the country were a warm-up. You can see the rationale, and it's worked pretty well so far. But please spare us the crap about McCain really wanting to rise above it all. He has a choice; and he doesn't.