Thomas Friedman has a great op-ed in the Sunday New York Times, an analysis of the fundamental differences between the two Presidential candidates’ approaches to the campaign over the past month or two. I can’t agree with him enough on this — during the past month, with issue after issue bubbling to the top of real American life (financial market woes, natural disasters, shifts in the Afghan and Iraq war dynamics, etc.), one candidate is actually talking about his plans to address these issues, and the other is concentrating on a campaign of smears and pig’s lipstick.

The money quote comes in the middle of the piece:

I dwell on this issue because it is symbolic of the campaign that John McCain has decided to run. It’s a campaign now built on turning everything possible into a cultural wedge issue — including even energy policy, no matter how stupid it makes the voters and no matter how much it might weaken America.
I respected McCain’s willingness to support the troop surge in Iraq, even if it was going to cost him the Republican nomination. Now the same guy, who would not sell his soul to win his party’s nomination, is ready to sell every piece of his soul to win the presidency.

I mean, if even Fox News is willing to start calling McCain out on his ad tactics and campaign strategy, he’s crossed into uncharted GOP territory…