Victor Davis Hanson has one of the best analyses of the current predicament vis-a-vis the election that I have seen in recent days. (A must read.) He thinks time is running out (that’s the title of the piece!), and even though the most moderate Republican in history is running against the most left wing Democrat in history, ordinary voters still don’t get it:

The truth is that we have an election between a moderate Republican whose centrist positions worry conservatives, who is pitted against a fringe-hyper-liberal candidate who must somehow assure the voters he is merely liberal. Never in recent history, have Republicans nominated one so moderate, never Democrats one so hard left. Yet we are not getting from a proud and unapologetic Obama “My left-wing views have at last proven prescient and arrived, and McCain’s namby-pamby moderation is not what these crisis times call for.”
Instead, it is dissumaltion all the time, as Obama (for now) essentially has refuted most of his prior positions on the major issues. Even his tax-and-spend plans are now on hold, pending the Wall Street uncertainty. We know nothing really of his background between Columbia and Harvard Law School. Few can figure out exactly what he and Ayers were trying to do with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge other than to give someone else’s millions to further the hard-left agendas of a number of cronies whose efforts did not result in any marginal improvement in the Chicago schools.
In other words, the most liberal presidential candidate in our memory is suddenly posing as a moderate centrist not much different from McCain (e.g., “I agree with John…” ad nauseam). And McCain thus far has not been able to scratch the thin veneer. Had Palin once worked in community organizing with a Timothy McVeigh, or had McCain been the member of a white supremacist church for 20 years, or had McCain been judged the most conservative member of the Senate, the McCain-Palin ticket would have long ago imploded.

I couldn’t agree more. The Bill Ayers connection needs to become known.
Hanson thinks the race card has been played very skillfully:

The most brilliant prepping has been an anticipatory demonization of the white working class in an effort through shame, fear, or pity to sway them to vote Obama. The narrative advanced is that if McCain wins, the real reason is because working-class Democrats–once they collectively get into the privacy of the voting booth–sighed and voted against Obama because he is of half-African ancestry, despite telling pollsters they would not.
In the last two weeks I think I have read at least 20 op-eds with one of the following three premises: (1) warning: Many Americans are racists, and the election will thus hinge on race, so you have one last chance to get it right; (2) shame: The world is watching, and will either like or dislike us, depending on our support for Obama; (3) fear: If Obama loses, expect furor or even near riots.

However, it’s being overdone, and he thinks they need to cool it:

The white working class is tiring of the constant sermons on race, either chauvinism or veiled threats or overt insults. Obama’s supporters really need to cool it, and stop suggesting that at each dip in his polls, Americans are proving less than noble people. The only thing that will really lose them the working-class vote is the gun-to-the-head, you’d better vote this way or else attitude.
I grew up among the Democratic working classes, and I can vouch for one eternal truth about them: anyone who lectures them about what they “must” do–or else–will simply achieve the opposite result, every time….

Good advice for the Obama campaign. I hope they fail to heed it, and I hope they continue to overplay their hand.
Endless accusations of racism and thuggish Obama Truth Squad tactics may be McCain’s best hope.
UPDATE: My thanks to Sean Kinsell for linking this post in a great discussion of elitism.