And Karl McCain started it. Kos responds to one of my reader's e-mails:

To all the concerned people emailing me about "being played", don't waste your time. I'm not about to revert to writing puff pieces about Obama thinking that his magic "new politics" bullshit will carry us to victory. He may or may not believe that crap, but I don't. We're going to win this thing the way campaigns are won -- by playing hardball. Politics is a blood sport.

Republicans understand this and never flinch from flinging the shit. We won't win until we learn to fight back in kind. And I'm more than happy to get down in the mud with our friends on the Right so Obama doesn't have to.

Recent history vindicates the "tough and aggressive" path. We went toe to toe against Rove and his machine in 2006, and our math beat his. I have no doubt we're in for a two-peat this year, and it'll happen because we won't back off from exposing the GOP for the den of lies and corruption it has become.

I tend to agree more with Nate Silver. But I do think that Moulitsas' distinction between what the Obama campaign can do and what the rest of us can do is a fair one. I intend to be relentless for the next six weeks, morning, noon and night, weeks and weekdays, exposing the lies of the McCain-Palin campaign and showing their unfitness - in terms of competence, decency, intelligence, and experience - to become president and vice-president of the US. I will be making arguments and presenting facts in ways I do not expect and do not want Obama himself to engage him.

But these last two weeks - and this absurd, insulting pick for veep - has roused me. As I know it has roused many. McCain needs to be more than defeated. He needs to be exposed as the dishonest, despicable, desperate and dishonorable cynic he has become.

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