(The below leads up to an idea for an ad Obama could do that would possibly stop any trend that could be starting of repubs calling opponents socialists.)
Ever since the destruction of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, the public accusation that prominent Americans are Communists has been taboo. McCain/Palin has thrown that taboo out the window.
Perhaps this is due to the re-definition that Bush/Rove has given to what is acceptable in politics.
I think it is at least partly due as well to the dumbing down of America, of which Sarah Palin is a victim. She is perhaps the most eager and vociferous implier that Obama is a secret Communist. I believe her eagerness to make such an attack is because she is too young to remember the McCarthy era lessons and she has a poor knowledge of history. I believe that if she is pressed, we would find she is little more knowledgable of history than the buffoons we see on Jay Leno's "Jay Walking" segments.
So, I think it would have been dynamite for Obama to do an ad along the lines of the following, in part to educate younger folks about the McCarthy era and to bring back memories among the older and/or history-educated voters:
Show old films of McCarthy accusing prominent people of being Communists, interspersed with McCain and Palin implying that Obama is a Communist. Then end it by showing Special Counsel for the Army Joseph N. Welch asking of McCarthy his famous question, which destroyed McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" Then end it with Obama asking the exact same thing of John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Certainly not necessary to do this to win, I'm just speculating on a dynamite sort of ad that would have been fun to see, and educational to the younger folks too, and maybe help put an end to this new-starting trend of feeling free to call opponents Communists. I think it would be an effective line to throw into speeches the next couple days. At the same time Obama knows what he's doing better than I so I respect that of course. It's just fun to imagine certain ideas I guess. LOL