He's one of them, you know.

(A Negro . . .)

John McCain and Sarah Palin are playing with fire when they try to frame Barack Obama as a terrorist other.  The dark thoughts they're trying to plant in people's hearts might be all that's needed to embolden some nut with a gun to take the next logical step and try to rid the nation of this alien threat.

“That one,” McCain calls Obama, standing next to him — as though he were some creature without a name.  “Who's the real Obama?” McCain asks a crowd.  “A terrorist!” someone answers back.  McCain says nothing.  “He pals around with terrorists,” Palin tells another crowd.  “Kill him!” someone screams.  Palin says nothing.

That cry was enough to get the Secret Service on the case but it wasn't enough to wipe the smirk off of Sarah Palin's face.

The lunatic fringe of the base gets the message.  At another Palin rally, a gang of her supporters taunts a group of journalists, calling a young black technician “boy” and a “nigger”.  We know where this sort of thing leads, where it's led us so many times before — to the strange fruit Billie Holiday sang about, to that motel balcony in Memphis.

If Michelle Obama ends up a widow, the sin won't rest on McCain and Palin alone, but on anyone who supports these despicable demagogues in their reckless and wicked grab for power, even at the cost of their own souls.  The souls of many are on trial here.

The soul of the nation is on trial here.