02 July 2008

Smear

Drew Westen writing in The New Republic warns us about Republican smears of Barack Obama.

When I was doing focus groups with swing voters in the early winter, nearly half of every group we met with would either assert confidently or wonder aloud whether Obama was a Muslim or didn't believe in the Pledge of Allegiance.

This is going to get very, very bad. Any audacity is possible. Recall that George “AWOL” Bush defeated John “Silver Star” Kerry by portraying Kerry as a coward, and Republicans have been laying brick on dog-whistle appeals to racism since Nixon.

The Obama campaign has cooked up a Fight The Smears website, with the intent of debunking them as fast as they're created. I'm inclined to agree that the Gore and Kerry campaigns were hurt by not firing back quickly and forcefully enough against BS smears. But if you try to combat them as fast as Republicans cook ’em up, does it just turn into whack-a-mole?

I guess we'll see.

3 comments:

Kate said...

Trudeau has incorporated this into a sequence of his strip--alternating between the Obama "hotline" and the vet returning home.

Jonathan Korman said...

I hadn't been reading lately. Sure enough, here it is.

Muslims Against Sharia 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.

"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." Barack Obama, "The Audacity of Hope", page 261.

Well, the political winds did shift in an ugly direction. Is equating "Muslim" with "smear" Obama's idea of "stand[ing] with [Muslims]?

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.

http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/06/senator-obama-is-not-dirty-muslim.html

Update:
Obama changes "SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim" to "SMEAR: Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim" as well as removes his pledge not to use religion as a wedge from site's header.