From yesterday’s mega-rally in Ohio, the clip doesn’t capture it but this tool is now warning about Republican fearmongering in virtually the same breath as he’s doing his heavy-breathing routine about shadowy money flowing in from conservative PACs. I wonder if the hypocrisy of that is something he’s aware of and happy to wallow in or if his own messianic ego blinds him to it.

Obama said the election on Nov. 2 was “a contest between our deepest hopes and our deepest fears.”

“And the other side is playing on fear. That’s what they do.”

Obama, turning again to his attacks on millions of dollars in campaign ads run by independent groups that do not under law have to disclose their donors, referred to special interests as an “empire.”…

The president did not mention the prospect of foreign money being used by the outside groups, however, but rather used a new tact of casting the anonymous donors as cowardly.

“They don’t have the courage, they don’t have the gumption to stand up and disclose their identity,” Obama said.

Gee, I wonder why he left foreign money out of it this time. Meanwhile, E.J. Dionne uncovers the devious three-tiered Republican strategy that’s going to win big next month:

At the first level are the party’s candidates, who can be as reasonable or as angry, as moderate or as conservative, as their circumstances require.

Next come the outside groups that refuse to disclose their donor lists. They are doing the dirty work of pounding their Democratic opponents in commercials for which no one is accountable. The Republican candidates can shrug an innocent “Who, me?” Deniability is a wonderful thing.

And then, on the far right, Glenn Beck and his allies cast President Obama as the central figure in a conspiracy against America itself, fueling participation by the most extreme 10 percent or 15 percent of the electorate.

Ingenious. More or less mainstream establishment party on top; fantastically well-funded special interests propping them up; and underneath it all a base that’s worked itself into a lather demonizing the president from the opposing party. It’s … exactly what the Democrats did the last two cycles, isn’t it? A little “Bush = Hitler” here, a little MoveOn and union money there, a little Obama studiously remaining civil and “above the fray” while his surrogates smear everyone in sight (until now, that is). Well done, GOP. You’ve learned from the best.

The one bit of good news here? He’s starting to vary the Slurpee joke. A little. Click the image to watch.