Now that the national Republican apparatus is starting to realize just how badly things are going to go in November they're attempting to set up a "firewall" in the Senate. That is, they've written off the House. It's already gone. But now they're contingency-planning for the unthinkable, which is losing the Senate as well. As ginandtacos predicted a few weeks ago, the possibility of a 50-50 Senate – or even a small Democratic majority – is very real.
So the GOP has decided to set up its firewall around three (OK, two. More on that in a minute) Senate races to make sure that doesn't happen. States in which it was previously unthinkable that the GOP could lose now need to be saved, triage style, at any cost. Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio used to be GOP slam-dunks. Now they're desperately trying to hold on.
That means that all pretense of fairness and decency are tossed out the window. Ginandtacos has highlighted how the language of the GOP has resorted to race-baiting, gay-bashing, and rural-urban division in the last few weeks. But it's failing in Ohio. Sherrod Brown has a big lead (as much as 9 to 12 points in recent polls) and that's being written off as a loss per Ken Mehlman's comments on Meet the Press last Sunday.
So they're really, really getting desperate in Virginia (where George "macaca" Allen is treading water) and Tennessee. So desperate, in fact, that they've decided to throw caution to the wind and engage in some blatant racist pandering in the Ford-Corker race.
Now, the ad in question is nowhere near as racist as, say Willie Horton or Helms-Gantt (the most despicable ad of my lifetime, hands down). But really, short of painting someone in blackface and showing them cashing a welfare check while eating watermelon, nothing could be more racist than Helms-Gantt.
Nevertheless, this RNC ad from Tennessee shouldn't feel too bad. It's still really racist! Top work, guys.
Can you believe there are still two more weeks in which this can get worse? I'm really afraid that by early November they'll be making ads that say "Look, if you don't vote Republican, negroes are going to rape your daughter and Jews are going to sacrifice your sons for their heathen blood rituals."