The bitterness deepens in the Democratic primary, and when one reaches the dregs, one cannot be surprised to see … James Carville. In today’s New York Times reporting on the Bill Richardson endorsement of Barack Obama, Carville vents his spleen at the former Clinton administration official — by comparing him to Judas Iscariot in a deliberate reference to the Easter holiday (via Power Line):

Mr. Richardson stopped returning Mr. Clinton’s calls days ago, Mr. Clinton’s aides said. And as of Friday, Mr. Richardson said, he had yet to pick up the phone to tell Mr. Clinton of his decision.

The reaction of some of Mr. Clinton’s allies suggests that might have been a wise decision. “An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

If the endorsement of Obama makes Richardson a Judas, does that mean Carville thinks of Hillary as the Messiah? I thought that was Barack Obama? Or does Carville think that Obama is the Devil, or Pontius Pilate, or … a Pharisee? Perhaps Carville was being more literal and accusing Richardson of being bought off by Obama — maybe with an offer to join Obama’s ticket.

Obama isn’t an innocent in this bare-knuckled brawling, either. His chief military adviser compared Bill Clinton to Joe McCarthy yesterday as well. Both sides have unleashed their primary surrogates, and both campaigns have started flinging the mud in earnest.

John McCain, meanwhile, continues meeting with world leaders and avoiding Messiah complexes altogether. When the general election comes around, the American electorate will want a serious leader for serious times.