It's remarkable what those fiendish GOP operatives can squeeze into thirty seconds: Not only does McCain's "celeb" ad have "Barack Obama will rape yo daughters overtones," says Rick Perlstein (who's apparently under the impression that most Americans think of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears as stand-ins for their daughters), but it was edited to blatantly evoke Triumph of the Will as well - the better to freak out elderly Jews in South Florida, perhaps. Comparing the "Celeb" ad to stills from Leni Riefenstahl's work, Perlstein writes: "I actually wonder if the Republicans had a crew on the scene to capture just the right angles; for instance, the identical camera placement shooting the speaker over the shoulder at stage right." If he actually wonders that, I fear for his sanity. Here's a tip for liberals: If your candidate is going to stage enormous rallies in front of tens of thousands of chanting Germans (with monuments to Prussian military might in the background) in the middle of his Presidential campaign, it isn't the GOP's fault if the footage comes out looking a little like Hitler at Nuremberg.
Ross Douthat is a contributing editor at The Atlantic.