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KUDOS to Jonathan Alter, Senior Editor at Newsweek, who guested on the The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC last evening.

In a tight political race with the Republicans pulling every kind of nasty, disgusting tactic one can think of, Maddow highlighted a new ad being aired by the McCain campaign against Obama, showing a picture of him along with sinister-looking pictures of former Fannie Mae exec Franklin Raines, bringing up his problematic history with Fannie Mae (he was fired and paid $25 million settlement in a case brought by federal authorities investigating his role in the agency's accounting problems) and citing ties talked about in the Washington Post between the two black men. (The citing? Was from the STYLE section of the Post. Raines, at first in interviews months ago saying he'd given Obama's camp some phone advice on the housing market and economics, later denied it after the Obama camp flat-out denied it. There is no evidence or people coming forward to say they had any "ties".)

Maddow discussed this ad and more with Alter. Maddow and Alter, who I will forever cheer because they breached this previously "unspoken" truth in this campaign, talked about the possibility of McCain's camp attempting to use the RACE CARD in a negative fashion against Obama with this ad. Alter pointed out another ad that may also be part of a pattern, subconsciously attempting to incite racial responses: a quote from Biden saying "She's good looking" (about Palin) but instead of having that quote put over Biden's picture, they put it over OBAMA's picture....an attempt to play on that old Emmet Till canard...that "black men are after our white women".

I commend Barak Obama and his immediate camp for attempting not to play at that level (he has yet to pull out the Keating Five card for McCain. Personally? I think it should be on the table, loudly.) However...that race IS a fundamental divisive issue in this election need to be and should be addressed in public by responsible people. I refuse to let anyone off the hook who would allow the amount of melatonin in a person's skin to be the deciding factor in such an important event. I say, say it publicly and say it loud, otherwise, in silence, we risk letting those undecideds who may let race be the deciding factor, slip out and ruin this country through their ignorance.

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