At one level, all this can be interpreted in terms of the individuals who are making the choice to seek victory at whatever cost. Better to "win ugly" than to lose with dignity and honesty, the conduct of these leaders clearly declares.
But at another level, this can be seen not in terms of mere individuals but as the playing out of vast forces in the cultural/political/moral/psychological system of American civilization. In this vast perspective, the individuals who pursue their own aims are more fundamentally the channels for forces of which they may be only dimly aware.
In particular, the ugly course the McCain campaign has taken is a sign not just of John McCain's desperate ambition to be president but also as a last-ditch strategy of the forces of evil to bolster its position in the ongoing struggle between good and evil in America.