Those people making Barack Obama monkeys and booing John McCain for saying Obama is a person "you do not have to be scared of?" Some of them have blogs! Which means they are free to put all sorts of terrible things on the Web, like the virtual poster at left, the one with Obama, a noose, and the headline, "Asphyxiation/The Fucking Solution." The gent who made that lovely thing, and posted it to his website Sunday night, said he did so in retaliation for comparably nasty images of Sarah Palin (also at left), apparently created by anti-Sarah Palin artists and spread by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. Want to guess how long his over-the-top act of revenge stayed on the internet?

After various bloggers vented outrage about the poster, the anonymous "Paleoliberatarian" behind wrote, "I do not intend to pull this posting... I will go to jail before I pull it." Then, within 12 hours, he pulled the posting, writing, " the post itself was becoming the story. Which I never wanted to happen." Ha ha yes, who would think a picture of Obama next to a noose would get more attention than a rehashing of Michelle Malkin?! Strange world we live in.

In this election cycle, not only can anyone craft and distribute a political attack ad, or film and upload some confrontational Michael Moore-style interviews, but they're actually are! It's no surprise, then, that even the wingnuts have developed surprisingly good Photoshop skills, and are putting out propaganda images like those above (or these, of McCain, created by a photographer hired by the Atlantic for a more pedestrian cover shot). Nor is it surprising that official campaigns seem to contribute less of the total advertising in favor of their candidates than at any other time in history.

It's not enough to have "rapid response" to the other guy's ads anymore. The 21st century politician has to keep a close eye on the friendly ones, too, to avoid getting smacked in a backlash.