The Swiftboating of Obama Has Begun

By way of maha (and also Roger Ailes the Good), I came across this screed from the conservative National Review's website (italics mine):

... Obama and I are roughly the same age. I grew up in liberal circles in New York City--a place to which people who wished to rebel against their upbringings had gravitated for generations. And yet, all of my mixed race, black/white classmates throughout my youth, some of whom I am still in contact with, were the product of very culturally specific unions. They were always the offspring of a white mother, (in my circles, she was usually Jewish, but elsewhere not necessarily) and usually a highly educated black father. And how had these two come together at a time when it was neither natural nor easy for such relationships to flourish? Always through politics. No, not the young Republicans. Usually the Communist Youth League. Or maybe a different arm of the CPUSA. But, for a white woman to marry a black man in 1958, or 60, there was almost inevitably a connection to explicit Communist politics. (During the Clinton Administration we were all introduced to then U. of Pennsylvania Professor Lani Guinier --also a half black/half Jewish, red diaper baby.)...

...Political correctness was invented precisely to prevent the mainstream liberal media from persuing the questions which might arise about how Senator Obama's mother, from Kansas, came to marry an African graduate student. Love? Sure, why not? But what else was going on around them that made it feasible? Before readers level cheap accusations of racism--let's recall that the very question of interracial marriage only became a big issue later in the 1960s. The notion of a large group of mixed race Americans became an issue during and after the Vietnam War. Even the civil-rights movement kept this culturally explosive matter at arm's distance.

It was, of course, an explicit tactic of the Communist party to stir up discontent among American blacks, with an eye toward using them as the leading edge of the revolution. To be sure, there was much to be discontented about, for black Americans, prior to the civil-rights revolution. To their credit, of course, most black Americans didn't buy the commie line--and showed more faith in the possibilities of democratic change than in radical politics, and the results on display in Moscow.

Time for some investigative journalism about the Obama family's background, now that his chances of being president have increased so much.

That's right: Barack Obama is the result of a Commie interracial breeding plot.

I would say that this is in the realm of crazy tin foil hat conspiracies, except that would be an insult to crazy tin foil hat conspiracists. The only different between the National Review blogger and the crazy guy on the street corner is that the National Review blogger probably bathes more regularly.

The constant stream of bullshit that the conservative movement generates completely outstrips one's ability to parody it. Keep in mind this spew is not on some white power website, but on the website of a widely respected conservative magazine (although it's getting harder and harder to tell them apart, isn't it...).

I would love to live in an era where I could argue with conservatives over tax policy or budget items. Sadly, I do not. Instead, the conservative movement is in thrall to absolute lunatics. Like the creationists, they do not rethink and reconsider, they regroup and rearm.

If there's one good non-policy related thing that will come from Obama's candidacy, it is that it will finally force the mainstream to confront the lunatic and the prejudiced base of the Republican Party. Since the Nixon era, Republicans have been able to have it both ways: they are allowed to make racist dog whistles, while at the same time, claim they are not racist. But to go after Obama like this is so overt that these attacks can't avoid notice.

Of course, this assumes the political press corps will decide to report about it....


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I saw this linked to somewhere else and it made me feel icky. Now even if this writer's greatest fears are true, and Obama's parents got together because they were communists or had communist tendencies - So what?

If one wants to write an article criticizing Obama's political background - wouldn't it be prudent to start with addressing something that he personally believes? Is this writer trying to suggest that his policies are communist? During his speeches, does he blink the morse code for "I love Karl Marx?" It's just absurd.

I guess all you have to do is say "Communist" and Obama in close proximity and hope people are going to suture them together.

Communist? Communist, you say? The truth: A couple of my dear, old friends are Communists and I like them just fine.

By Matthew Platte (not verified) on 20 Feb 2008 #permalink

Hey, Deval Patrick's dad used to play baritone sax for Sun Ra's Arkestra...I forget if he was also Communist.
Maybe it's time to resurrect (from 1963!!) this.

By Sven DiMIlo (not verified) on 20 Feb 2008 #permalink

Somebody pointed out that there was a swiftboat attack on John McCain for his war record, which then prompted died a quiet death. The question was raised, why was John Kerry done in by swiftboating, while McCain was unaffected, and this question was addressed to McCain himself. He dodged the question.

My answer would be the mainstream media made the difference. Swiftboating of Kerry was covered all the day long, day in and day out, the Big Lie technique, and it sunk him. When it was tried on McCain, the MSM wouldn't play along.

I worry that the MSM will start in on Obama after he's won the nomination. And I suspect the MSM will do for McCain what they did for Nixon when he was running for president - which was to give him billions worth of free advertising wherein he looked and sounded presidential. That's how presidents are made.

As I have been saying on this blog and others, those who have accused the Clinton campaign of being beastly towards Senator Obama don't have the faintest idea what true beastliness is. This crap from the National Review blogger is only the opening salvo in a smear campaign which will make the swift boaters and the Willie Horton ads look like love taps. The unfortunate fact is that the Rethuglican smear machine has no shame. Anything goes with those folks. They have only one slogan, "there is no substitute for victory; victory isn't everything, it's the only thing." So my advice to the Obamabots is to stop attacking Senator Clintons' anti-Obama love taps and realize where the real mudslinging is going to come from.

"This crap from the National Review blogger is only the opening salvo in a smear campaign which will make the swift boaters and the Willie Horton ads look like love taps."

The problem is that it's reaching such a batshit insane extreme that it is practically self-parody. You can only push the envelope so far before it rips.

I really haven't been paying much mind to back and forth between Obama and Clinton, I'd gladly support either in the general election when weighed against the prospect of another Republican administration (although, in the interests of full disclosure, I am leaning toward Obama for the nomination).

"The problem is that it's reaching such a batshit insane extreme that it is practically self-parody. You can only push the envelope so far before it rips."

And to clarify, I mean that this a problem for the wingnuts tossing out the rumors. Eventually they are just going to get so over the top and ridiculous that they cease to be effective. The above is a good example of this, it's such bullshit I have a hard time believing anyone outside of the wingnut wrongosphere would buy into it.

I am currently in the Obama camp since Edwards dropped out; partly out of bandwagoning. That being said, I know a lot of people that don't want Hillary Clinton to be the nominee specifically because she has been such a target of hatred from the vast right wing noise machine. I told them it is nonsense. Karl Rove and Lee Atwater taught the Republicans that everyone who runs as a Democrat is a target. They are fair game. I am not surprised by this. The campaign will be ugly no matter who the nominee is.

I don't intend to be all that high-minded at my own blog. At Tangled Up in Blue Guy I have all ready pointed out how the Republicans don't think that Al Franken should be the Democrats' Senate nominee because he has been "just too mean" to Republicans in the past. We really don't need Republican advice on that,

When they go after Obama or Clinton, their campaigns had better grab their stilettos and dig deep into the Republicans, or I will be ashamed of them.

This is the madrassa bullshit all over again. It's the crap about his church. Guilt by association, in this case his parents. If this is really the best these SOBs can come up with, they're really in more trouble than we thought.

I suppose then that we can expect repeats of the same tired theme. What's next, Barack Obama seen with *******************? (Sorry, self-edited. I didn't want to give the wingnuts any ideas.)

I understand that Barack Obama has a black child.

Just about any story or angle from which the conservatives choose to attack any Democrat has an excellent chance of success.

What they have done to the Clintons, who despite being intensely investigated with no resulting charges, have been labeled as corrupt even in liberal circles, the maligning of Al Gore's reputation, and the swiftboating of John Kerry ought to be proof enough for anyone of the ability of the conservative's ability to sling absolute bullshit, the MSM's willingness to play it over and over again and the general public's willingness to buy into it.

While this story may look like the ranting of some batshit crazy jackass to you and I, to the general public this is a reasoned and well thought out essay.

I doubt besmirching Obama's parentage is going to have much effect. Interracial dating and marriage isn't the hot-button issue it used to be. I'm sure much will be made of other aspects of his background, like the admitted drug use. We've seen a little of this already. But I think in order to really attack him, he has to be made to seem a "divider." Remember how Kerry made so much of his military service, and the worst attacks went to the heart of that. The real swiftboating of Obama is going to dredge up any behavior that can be seen as divisive, for example remarks he's made on gun control.

Cliff Kincaid and his colleagues have accused Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987) of being a Stalinist, a lifetime member of the Communist Party, and �Obama�s Communist Mentor.� Kincaid heads �Accuracy In Media� (A.I.M.), an organization dedicated to �fairness, balance and accuracy in news reporting.� Kincaid and his colleagues are all honorable men.

Having asked Kincaid to substantiate some of his accusations, and having received no reply, one can only conclude that Kincaid must be preoccupied with more important questions, because Kincaid is an honorable man.

Although the ironically named �Accuracy In Media� has yet to substantiate that Davis actually mentored Obama (among other claims), such a relationship could have provided a bi-racial teenager with the key to success in mainstream America. To minimize criticism and maximize their potential, bi-racial African-Americans must walk a narrow identity path between group expectations. Davis was uniquely qualified to show the way. He may have significantly facilitated Obama�s vision of an inclusive society.

Davis may have advised Obama that to succeed in mainstream America, African-Americans must consider worst-case scenarios without wearing a chip on their shoulders, even though this normally requires judgment borne through actual experience. They must learn to give others (such as Cliff Kincaid) the benefit of the doubt. Success within mainstream America requires that abusive behavior should be attributed to bias only when there is no other plausible explanation.

Davis� crusty radicalism may have perfectly counterbalanced Hawaii�s laid-back lifestyle for an African-American teenager destined for greatness. He provided coherent insight on African-American history, politics, and culture vis-�-vis mainstream America. Obama�s grandfather may not have recognized the true value of his gift.

Davis recognized the folly of cultural nationalism, including Black Separatist movements, long before meeting Obama. He supported a fully integrated mixed economy, because neither laissez�faire capitalism nor Marxist authoritarianism enable the greatest benefit for the greatest number. He also had a libertarian streak that may have made Ron Paul proud.

As an honorable man, Kincaid must be unaware that by the 1970�s, the twin forces of Hawaiian and hippie cultures had mellowed Davis to the point that �Stalinist� charges are especially absurd. By the early 1970�s, Davis had become a virtual teddy bear, a permanent fixture of the Koa Cottages in the �Waikiki Jungle,� noted for its counterculture residents. Davis was known as a kindly old man, usually sitting on his porch a few steps from Kuhio Avenue, waving at all that passed. Although he had little money, he was always willing to share with those in deeper need.

While he was justifiably bitter over the Jim Crow racism of his youth, recent decades made Davis quite optimistic regarding race relations. He strongly supported the nonviolent strategy of Dr. King, and believed that all mankind should be judged by the content of their character. He rejected militant African-American groups as counterproductive.

Kincaid and his honorable colleagues must also be unaware that although Davis shared King�s opposition to American intervention in Vietnam, he did not oppose his son�s decision to join the Air Force in 1968. His son eventually retired as an Air Force Intelligence Officer after 24 years of service, with full TS/SCI (SI/TK/G/B) access. As an honorable man, this fact alone should mitigate any concerns about �Obama�s Marxist Mentor.�

As an honorable man, Cliff Kincaid must also be unaware that his portrayal of a raving Stalinist could not be further from the truth. Davis deeply loved the United States, despite his occasional flirtation with radical ideology. He recognized, perhaps belatedly, that the United States offers a unique combination of economic opportunity and personal freedom, thus providing sufficient strength and moral authority to champion human rights worldwide. If he HAD been so lucky, Barack Obama could not have found a finer mentor anywhere.

By Kaleokualoha (not verified) on 14 Jun 2008 #permalink