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For Democrats: How To Kneecap McCain

Democrats are in agony over the question of how — or for some, even whether — to run attack ads against John McCain.

Even Barack Obama is starting to mix it up, after campaign management told its fundraising team in the spring that it wouldn't tolerate their involvement with any Swift-Boat style ads targeting the Republican nominee.

But there's a boatload of difference between, say, Obama's issue-oriented "How Can McCain Fix The Economy?" ad and what consultant Jim Vega proposes in The Democratic Strategist.

Here's the not-so-pretty nut of it: Trash McCain's character the same way Karl Rove and other conservatives trashed John Kerry's four years ago. As Vega puts it:

...McCain is actually profoundly vulnerable to a powerful, aggressive and damaging attack on his character. McCain's actions in recent weeks have provided compelling evidence for three genuinely disturbing propositions about his character, core values and integrity.

1. That John McCain has become desperate to win this election and is willing to sacrifice his deepest principles and his personal honor in order to do it.

2. That the John McCain we see today is only a pale, diminished shadow of the man he once was in his early years.

3. That John McCain is allowing men he once despised and held in complete contempt to manipulate him and tell him what to do — to literally put words in his mouth and tell him what to say.

At first glance these statements are so strong that they sound almost defamatory. But each is supported by McCain's recent actions ... and they fit together into a single coherent narrative of ambition overcoming integrity and moral character.

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Vega is a strategic marketing consultant who keeps an extremely low profile while writing regularly for The Democratic Strategist.

Makes us want to start a pool: How long till the first ad adopting this approach?