Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Primary Attacks

Yesterday I made light of the skeezoid attempt to plant a bad image of Barack Obama in the minds of voters that was done by someone inside the Clinton campaign.

In all seriousness, what disturbs me about these attacks are that they play to the voters on the right who will take them and run with them through the general election. Remember that Bill Clinton was painted as a serial philanderer in the '92 primaries. The Clinton's know what it's like to have to change the narrative that you pick up in the primaries. I think that'd be a good reason for easier-going. For sticking to the issues. Let the right wing implode itself by airing its own scandals. There is some good theorizing that it is Mitt Romney who is behind the attacks on McCain. They are setting up the narrative. McCain may have been able to quiet the noise by blaming it on an out of control liberal NY Times (for the record: ha!) But what lingers is that we are reminded that McCain is not Mr. Clean in government, the way he has fought so hard to show us since the Keating Five scandal.

Another thing that is important to note is that there isn't a single thing wrong with the photo of Barack Obama that was released. It does show that the Clinton campaign doesn't mind pandering to the least common denominator in American politics which is very disturbing. They are furthering the narrative that the right wing so loves. He is Barack HUSSEIN Obama after all.

This morning I searched for the similar attacks that Obama has made on Clinton. Visceral, emotion-based attacks. I couldn't find any. Here is a link to FactHub, Clinton's own rebuttal page. Other than remarks about Hillary's tears prior to New Hampshire, I can't find anything that compares. On FactHub itself, the rebuttals are nearly all made to statements about policy that Obama has misrepresented. That's politics the way they are played. For instance, one rebuttal involves Obama misrepresenting Clinton's position on NAFTA. The Clinton camp notes that Obama seems to be making up her opinions for her, trying to say what she thinks instead of pointing to anything concrete. Except that NAFTA was a Bill Clinton era initiative, and Hillary is running on her experience in that administration. I'm sorry but you cannot have it both ways.


Anonymous said...

campaigns always get so messy towards the end. stupid humans.

Hillary's a mom, don't forget. she CAN have it both ways, lol.

i hate the "Hussein" argument/observation. i happen to know a Dahmer that doesn't eat people, and a Rove that's liberal. and then there's that acquaintance of a friend who isn't a complete retard hell-bent on debilitating the Constitution, who unfortunately bears the name, George Bush.

dguzman said...

I wish someone with a brain had been running Clinton's campaign from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Dammit. I wanted to say something good, but then Commander Other and Delia made me laugh and then there was this glass of wine...

Oh, yeah, I'm with you. Let the Republicans run the racist ticket and leave the Dems the heck out of that!

Great post, Jess!

Dr. Zaius said...

To be fair, it is entirely possible that the Clinton camp had nothing to do with the photo. I mean, her accuser is Drudge ferchisakes.

Dean Wormer said...

Cons love to use middle names of Democrats for some reason.

Barack Hussein Obama.

Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Of course when it comes to McCain it's just John McCain.

Prolly because his middle name is Sydney.

Not very masculine.

Comrade Kevin said...

I have to admit that when I was doing volunteer work for the campaign, I asked people higher up that me why Senator Obama was not going negative on her and her sizeable baggage.

He replied that Obama himself had made a point not to stoop that low and that he believed the American people were tired of this sort of stuff. At the time, I thought this was pie-in-the-sky and dreaming, but to his credit, it has worked.

If you take the high ground, it leave your opponents with far less ammunition to shoot at you and makes it far less easy for them to paint you as a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Great post, you're such a smarty! Personal opinion? I really think it's over for Senator Clinton, but hey life could be worse for her, look at all she's accomplished since being a first lady. I just hopes she bows out gracefully.

Anonymous said...

jess says..."Remember that Bill Clinton was painted as a serial philanderer in the '92 primaries."

But he WAS a serial philanderer BEFORE he arrived in the White House and continued philandering AFTER he was elected. Thus, he hardly suffered from a bad paint job.

Hillary, meanwhile, looked like a fool then, and continued to look like a fool recently when Bill was lashing out at her critics. Hence, he's been off the campaign trail for a while.

You said..."Let the right wing implode itself by airing its own scandals. There is some good theorizing that it is Mitt Romney who is behind the attacks on McCain."

The "right wing"? McCain is not "right wing." Republican? Yes. Right wing? No. That aside, the appearance of the very old non-story about McCain and the lobbyist shows how little material McCain's opponents have available in the smear category. The story is 8 years old.

You said..."Another thing that is important to note is that there isn't a single thing wrong with the photo of Barack Obama that was released."

First, the photo of Obama was a news file photo. Not a secret shot of him taken by sneaky papparazzi.

Second, he looked as though he'd put on a woman's apron backwards while part of some crazy act on the Letterman Show. Unless viewers read the caption below the picture, they would have had no idea he was wearing some African muslim tribal clothing.

You should understand that technology in the hands of free-lancers is having a profound impact on campaigning. Drudge accepts leads from anyone. That's how he broke the Monica Lewinsky story that took his website to prominence. A hot tip changed everything.

As for Obama's attacks on Hillary, well, it doesn't matter if his the attacks are made by anonymous sources. Adding his name means nothing. In fact, due to the willingness of free-lancers to take the job of spreading every available harmful or embarrassing detail, he can stay out of that part of the fray.

The more significant issue is how free-lancers will hit Obama after Hillary drops out.

He's an easy target. He's going to spend more time renouncing ties to Louis Farrakhan, more time to separating himself from the comments of the leader of his church who is a black supremacist, and he'll have no luck escaping the impact of his middle name.

I guarantee you will see bumper stickers that read:

McCain. Not Hussein.

Meanwhile, his economic ideas are way too expensive. We simply do not have the money for his plans.

Jess Wundrun said...

Meanwhile, his economic ideas are way too expensive. We simply do not have the money for his plans.

This made me laugh. There's no way the right wing republicans can paint themselves as fiscally mature or capable after the out of control spending that has gone to fund the Iraq war.

Amazing how you won't shed a tear for a trillion dollar war.

Anonymous said...

jess, you will see there is a vast difference between getting approval for unaffordable programs that will run forever AND funding for a war that will end.

The war will end. They all do.

But the vastly expensive social services ideas of Obama's are plans for permanent expenditures. That's the difference. His universal healthcare plan is off the charts.

Jess Wundrun said...

The war will end. They all do.

McCain doesn't believe the war will end in his own lifetime, which isn't saying much since he's the oldest candidate ever to run for office. Sadly, McCain doesn't think the war will end in my lifetime, or even in that of my children. If that's your man, you've chosen a pretty poor debating point.

As far as the rest of your assertion, the rest of the industrialized world disproves your point.

Anonymous said...

Jess, McCain did not suggest that US military shooting action would continue for 100 years or whatever.

His quick statement referred to a situation like Korea, where 40,000 US troops have remained on the border for the last 55 years -- without firing a shot.

Quick note. The US lost 38,000 men in the Korean War, which lasted 3 years -- 1950 to 1953. South Korea has prospered and North Korea has withered since the end of that war.

We may station troops in Iraq or other sites for long periods, but that is not equal to a shooting war. US troop presence is a DETERRENT to shooting wars.

We've had troops in Germany since the end of WWII. And in many other places. No shooting there.

That's been the story for decades. Bad boys are reluctant to start shooting when US troops are near.