Crossing the line in Lakeville

This is the salient part of the story about John McCain’s town hall forum in Lakeville this afternoon, from the story posted here on the MPR Web site:

“I don’t trust Obama,” a woman said. “I have read about him. He’s an Arab.”

McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said: “No, ma’am. He’s a decent, family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

It’s hard to know where to begin.

These visits are, we’re told, held to “fire up the base,” not to create a lynch mob.

The campaign has been spiraling for awhile. Perhaps it started with the disgusting credence and coverage given to the assertion that Sarah Palin’s baby wasn’t really hers, and went down from there. Or perhaps that was just another benchmark, but one wonders what we’ve done to suppress our basic decency?

Political campaigns are certainly emotional things. Is it time that we all think about what happened in Minnesota this afternoon, and try to identify how we, as individuals from all points of the political spectrum can ratchet things down a bit and search for intelligent debate on issues on which we may disagree?

Today was not a bright spot in the history of Minnesota politics. There’s always tomorrow, and we’re all better than this.

Aren’t we?