No beans about it, the silly season is upon us

John McCain is coming to Denver today to talk about the economy, and the liberal group Progress Now has vowed not to disappoint, this time by trotting out a giant eight-foot pea pod to deliver a message that when it comes to the economy, McCain and George W. Bush are “two peas in a pod.”

Meanwhile, over the weekend the McCain campaign announced that it has begun to run TV ads — the first major buy of the presidential campaign — questioning Barack Obama’s commitment to energy reform. The ads will run in four battleground states, though not in Colorado.

As the’s Chris Cillizza writes in his blog The Fix, this is about how the McCain ad goes:

"Record gas prices, a climate in crisis," says the ad’s narrator. "John McCain says solve it now." The spot then details McCain’s "balanced" plan on energy and notes that the Arizona Senator is "pushing his own party to face climate change."

Obama, on the other hand, says nothing but "no" when it comes to addressing the energy problems the country is facing. "He just says no to lower gas taxes … No to nuclear … No to more production," says the narrator before concluding: "No new solutions. Barack Obama: Just the party line."

The response from the Obama campaign, Cillizza reports, is “stunned skepticism.”

At least they don’t have Obama depicted in the ad as an energy efficient light bulb — or even a wind turbine.

Which brings us back to Progress Now’s planned publicity stunt for today. The guys and gals who’ve brought us nicknames for GOP candidates, including Big Oil Bob (Schaffer), and perpetuated nicknames for others, including Both Ways Bob (Beauprez), is planning its giant Pea Pod Political Theater to coincide with McCain’s visit to Denver.

The idea, according to the group’s executive director Michael Huttner, is to lay claim that, when it comes to economic policy, McCain and Bush are “obviously two peas in a pod.” They also plan to hand out pea pods to people who plan to attend McCain’s town hall meeting, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Denver Center Performing Arts downtown.

"No matter how many green beans you eat, Bush and McCain’s economic policies are bad for America," Huttner says, mixing his vegetable metaphors in a press release.