It's a positive sign of how far we've come, that people can write perfectly reasonable, if shrill and possibly incorrect, things without igniting an epic shitstorm.
I was struck also the other day when Paul Begala said this:
BEGALA: He's the president of the United States and he's reading a storybook to children?
HAYWORTH: And he swung into action.
BEGALA: No, he didn't. He peed his pants and he hid in the side of a mountain. He was a total coward on 9/11, J.D.
I don't think Paul Begala would've gotten away with saying such a thing 18 months ago, either.
Of course, the rules of rhetoric for the Right, which were never particularly changed after 9/11, have also been relaxed somewhat. I think if I brought this campaign commercial back in time 18 months and showed it to the elite members of our punditocracy, telling them that BC04 will run it the days before the election, they too would have peed their pants. We've been building to this for some time. For better or for worse, things are mostly back to "normal"....