Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dukakissing Obama

By Michael J.W. Stickings

(Thanks to the co-bloggers for stepping in and keeping things going the past few days. I was in Prince Edward Island for a short, spur-o'-the-moment, mid-winter vacation -- and, yes, it was extraordinarily beautiful, as always.)


Bob Somerby has his problems with some in the liberal-progressive blogospheric elite, such as Marshall and Drum, and I don't always take his side, but he may very well be right about the upcoming plans of the GOP Smear Machine:

If the RNC gets its way, Obama is going to get "Dukakised" in the coming months. Our guess: In the main, he will not be treated as a liar/flip-flopper/reinventer, as Clinton, Gore and Kerry were treated. Instead, he’ll be treated as an unsettling alien presence, much as Dukakis was played (except more so). The Democratic Party has never nominated a more decent person than Michael Dukakis. But by the time the RNC got through, he was a person with a funny name and olive skin who: 1) "had a problem with the pledge of allegiance"; 2) looked funny riding around in a tank; 3) may have had some sort of mental illness (that was voiced by Reagan himself); 4) was "a card-carrying member of the ACLU"; and 5) had released Willie Horton. Almost surely, similar themes will be voiced against Obama -- and yes, there's material to work with.

Now, before you Clinton supporters go all up-with-Hillary on this, desperately trying to make the case that she (and not Obama) is better positioned to withstand the inevitable assault, please understand that the Republicans no doubt have a similar plan for her. Just imagine how the GOP Smear Machine (RSM) would assault her.

Of course, Somerby is right that, with Obama, "there's material to work with". Assuming that Obama is the nominee -- and, no, I don't intend to make a formal prediction here (but, if you've been paying attention, you know what I think) -- we haven't heard the last of Louis Farrakhan. Nor, for that matter, have we heard the last of of Jeremiah Wright, "Obama's minister," as Somerby suggests. Nor of Obama's middle name. Nor -- and this is what it comes down to -- of Obama's race and skin colour.

No, it won't be McCain who does the dirty work. He'll take the high road, or what passes for the high road in Republican circles, talking about experience and all that, spinning it all for good, and avoiding his rather more controversial record. Instead, it'll be his various minions who connect the Obama-is-a-black-Muslim-terrorist dots, spinning the usual lies that make up Republican presidential campaigns, if not Republican campaigns generally -- his various surrogates, the various right-wing media outlets, the rest of the RSM, all feeding those lies to a more-than-willing media elite: Brian Williams, Tim Russert, and Chris Matthews, to name but three of the more noxious offenders, but also the entirety of the Fox News establishment, etc., etc.

Somehow, someway, Obama will be presented -- that is, repackaged and rebranded by the RSM -- to the American people as a dirty, traitorous foreigner, black, Muslim, at least by implication, a threat to (steroid-fueled) baseball and (artery-clogging) apple pie and all that is good and dear to "Main Street" America. The Republicans have made a predictable habit of feeding the culture of fear that chains Americans to their cave of delusion, and, looking ahead to a possible Obama-McCain showdown, they will turn Obama into the new Other, a terror -- literally and figuratively, to be rejected.

Obama, I believe, is up to the challenge. He can stand up for himself and push back -- just as Clinton can, I acknowledge -- and, for once, at long last, the American people may not buy what the RSM and their media mouthpieces, overtly partisan or otherwise, are trying to sell them.

It is never an easy task to go up against the ratfucking of the RSM, however, and, should he win the Democratic nomination, Obama will have a huge challenge ahead of him


On a related note, it isn't just McCain who rejects the RSM's "Hussein" campaign. As Marc Ambinder points out, no less an RSM insider than Karl Rove has also come out against the Husseining of Obama -- but for partisan political reasons, not out of decency or anything like that. Apparently, according to Ambinder, Rove thinks referring to Obama by his middle name "would perpetuate the notion that Republicans were bigoted".

Sorry, Turd Blossom. It's too late for that. We already know what your party is all about.

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