Earlier today, Alex posted about a video making its way through the blogosphere that shows McCain supporters outside an Ohio rally alleging that Barack Obama is a terrorist. In yet another sign that these last few weeks before the election could turn increasingly ugly, Chad Livengood, of the Springfield, Mo., News-Leader, writes today of a disturbing billboard in West Plains, Mo (thanks to reader fightthetheocracy! for the tip). The billboard shows a cartoon of a turbaned Obama and reads "Barack 'Hussein' Obama equals more abortions, same sex marriages, taxes and gun regulations." According to a local newspaper, the West Plains Daily Quill, no one has come forward to claim responsibility for the sign.
And in a microcosm of the tensions underlying this presidential race, on Monday, the Daily Quill published a letter to the editor that said in part: “This is a message for those responsible for the offensive, scurrilous billboard south of Mustion Creek on the west side of U.S. 63 -- Shame on you! Have you no honor? Such a tasteless display merely reinforces the wide-spread belief that Ozarkers are ignorant country bumpkins. What must travelers think of us?” Another reader responded to that letter on Wednesday, writing, "To the person who sent the 'letter to the editor' in the Monday edition of the Daily Quill: What was erroneous about the message on the sign?"