Saturday, June 14, 2008

Taking Down Barack Obama

As I noted the other day, the tables have turned in this year's election. Whereas the 2004 election was Democrats simply running against Bush-- and not for any specific grand vision (though really, shouldn't that have been enough?)-- now the Republicans have no vision of their own, and are pinning all their hopes of victory on convincing Americans that Barack Obama is a scary, unpatriotic, elitist black nationalist Muslim socialist who will destroy America. It certainly didn't help matters that a certain one of Obama's primary opponents worked to fan those flames.

To me, the stealth weapon in that fight are the chain smear emails that everyone has been getting. I had a friend from Long Island just the other today tell me that his father's girlfriend was forwarding him emails about Obama, including one insisting Obama will "stand with the Muslims" (it purposely misquoted a section from Obama's book in which he discussed the mistake America made in interning Japanese citizens during WWII). I even got one months back, entitled 'Who Is Barack Obama', which states-- among other things-- that "Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy. The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States , one of their own!!!!"

This has all lead to voters like Shelby Sugg and Wanda Gibson here-

Now the news has picked up on Obama's efforts to fight back by... "form[ing] a rapid response internet 'war room' to track and respond aggressively to online rumours." The Obama fact-check website is here (look at the menu on the right for specific sections on Obama's religion and patriotism). And they have now launched a new, specific site-- Fight The Smears-- to maximize these efforts.

The problem there is that the percentage of Americans-- even among political junkies-- who visit a candidate's website(s) in this detail is really low. How much time is a Wanda Gibson going to take out of her day to surf through months and months of fact-check archives?

The GOP, of course, isn't just relying on stealth emails. They are being direct... if not very effective. John McCain's big attack of the week was responding to criticism that he's running for Bush's third term-- no, not by denying that!-- by saying that Obama is just like Jimmy Carter! Neener neener! During Carter's years, we had an energy crisis and Middle East woes... any party which presided over that would definitely be hated! Good point, John!

Sen. McCain's campaign is also running online banner ads juxtaposing Obama's face with that of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The right even has the creator of the infamous 1988 Willie Horton working on 'exposing' Barack Obama. His latest ad is like a parody of all the smears mentioned above.

Sen. Obama will definitely need to do more than put a fact-check on his website to combat all of this. One of the main reasons that the Swift Boat lies became conventional wisdom in 2004-- besides media laziness-- was John Kerry's failure to fight the attacks immediately and aggressively. I have been glad to see that Obama is playing a good game of offense, but he can't slack on the defense either.


At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senator Obama is NOT a Dirty Muslim!

"What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge," says Mr. Obama, while denouncing statements of him being a Muslim as a smear. Why is the presidential candidate who claims to be religiously inclusive is treating the word "Muslim" as an insult? Apparently, it is OK for Mr. Obama to be associated with terrorists like William Ayers or racists like Jeremiah Wright, but God forbid somebody would call him a Muslim! No, he won't stand for that kind of smear! We admit that most terrorists are Muslims, but most Muslims are not terrorists and the statement on Mr. Obama's website is insulting to hundreds of millions of people.

How could a man who discards his family heritage in favor of political expediency be even considered for presidency of the United States? Where are all the so-called "Islamic civil rights groups" like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, MAS, etc. who are quick to defend every Islamic terrorist, but are silent when Muslims in general are being denigrated? Would Mr. Obama have the same reaction if someone claimed that he was raised as a Jew? We sincerely doubt that.

Muslims Against Sharia demand immediate removal of "SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim" statement from the official Barack Obama's website as well as an apology for giving the word "Muslim" a negative connotation.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger BlueDuck said...

Oh, whatever.

If you actually read my blog, you'd know I already gave my take on this faux-outrage from conservatives on that issue in the entry right before this one. Wasn't hard to miss.

At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We sorry if your blog is not exactly on the top of our reading list.


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