A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Obama's racial McCarthyism. . .

. . .strategy is laid out pretty plainly in a Newsweek piece by Richard Wolffe and Evan Thomas. Of course, this isn't entirely unexpected. I've written about it in the past myself. And, it's not totally unexpected that mainstream media outlets would be a party to it. After all, the Obama campaign has been successful in cultivating a good deal of sympathetic press.

It's a little surprising to see the degree to which Wolffe and Thomas are complicit in regurgitating the Obama campaign's assertions that the candidate is being unfairly maligned. Never at any point does the article address whether or not Obama's relationships with the various shady characters in his very recent past are legitimate grounds for criticism, other than to grant the assumption that they're not. They simply run right past the question.

What is breathtaking, however, is utterly cynical way in which the article puts forth the implication that any questioning of Obama's judgment with regard to his personal relationships constitutes the phenomenon of "dog whistle racism". It simply lets the Obama campaign take the wheel and drive the reader straight to the destination that best suits it. No stop signs, no detours, not even a flashing caution light.

What is happening here is a despicable attempt to tar Obama critics, and the Republican Party as a whole, as racists before the general election campaign even gets underway. I've been a close observer of politics for years, and I have yet to see anything in my life that matches this ploy in terms of cynicism. Pure preemptive slander.

Mark Salter replied to the article via email, which Newsweek was kind enough to link in the small, italic print at the very end of the piece. Personally, I think he went entirely too easy on the magazine's editors for publishing such a blatantly propagandistic screed without an accompanying rebuttal. It's an outright smear against anyone who questions Obama's messianic image.

It's good to have this all recorded in the pages of Newsweek. When the McCarthyite accusations start flying, conservatives will have this piece to point to as evidence that it was the Obama campaign's plan of attack all along. Unfortunately, a once-respected publication has allowed itself to be co-opted and thrown into the mix with eyes wide open.

So, conservatives should consider this a warning -- you're going to be accused of being a racist simply because of the fact that you oppose Obama. Your reasons are immaterial as is the legitimacy of your questions. It's going to happen. Now is the time to push back. If conservatives don't let it be known forcefully and immediately that they will not be tarred as bigots simply because they prefer not to accept Obama's image on faith, they're going to have to live with the consequences for many elections to come.

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