Crooks and Liars: Today is the day: Has a real crisis beaten the Lee Atwater school of smear politics?

Crooks and Liars

Today is the day: Has a real crisis beaten the Lee Atwater school of smear politics?

 

If you get a chance to see The Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, you will watch the architect of the modern-day GOP’s political strategy to win elections, which is to smear the other person with slimy personal attacks and vicious lies to keep Americans focused on the politics of personal destruction while feigning innocence. The idea is that those smear tactics will deflect us away from the real issues that Americans face every day. Karl Rove, Atwater’s best student, has taken over since he died and has succeeded in continuing that disgusting legacy. Up until now, that is.

Politics has been a dirty game throughout our history, but even Michael Dukakis had no ideahow to respond to the Willie Horton ad, and in the movie he says as much. He thought it was beneath him to respond to such shameful accusations and he realized that he was wrong a little too late. Part of Atwater’s strategy was also to get theses smears planted into the main stream press and he succeeded on that level as well. “Bernard Shaw dealt a crushing blow to the Dukakis candidacy by asking the Massachusetts governor about Horton with the opening question of his final debate with George H. W. Bush.”

 

And as the debates finished, Obama retook the lead in all the polls, because Americans saw that in response to a crisis, he truly looked like a Commander-in-Chief. Even the Conservative Talking Head Brigade of Charles Krauthammer and Dick Morris agreed with this assessment.

What was McCain’s response to this? Open up the Atwater playbook and hammer Obama as being a friend of Bill Ayers in robo-calls, while their surrogates once again took to the airwaves for a full frontal assault. His “friends” at the National Republican Trust PAC brought in new Rev. Wright smear ads that are running now on all the cable stations. And did you know he wants to destroy electricity and the coal industry?

And how has all these wild and desperate smears worked far as we all vote on election day? Instead of the politics of personal destruction tearing down Obama, his lead widened and poll after poll told us that McCain was just being downright nasty. Instead realizing the ineffectiveness and addressing the issues at hand, the McCain camp continued a campaign of personal attacks.

McCain yelled from his pulpit, “Obama is a Socialist” and the “Redistributor-in-Chief”. He then unleashed his last political gimmick: Joe the Plumber. Unfortunately for McCain, his poll numbers kept falling.

So today is the day we all get to find out if the Lee Atwater school of politics has been defeated by the reality of our economic situation.

It has taken a real crisis to combat the very successful campaign strategy that Atwater championed to win George H.W. Bush the White House in ’88. The same techniques that Karl Rove mastered and implemented in beating McCain and then Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. Will truth and reality finally win out?

I wish I could tell you that Americans henceforth will never be influenced by scurrilous personal attack ads and campaign smears in the future, but my hope today is that finally this great nation has been shocked into actually using their brains to decide who should lead us out of the wilderness that came upon due to the negligence of Conservatism. I think Americans unfortunately have a short memory span and these dirty tactics will always be with us. If Obama wins, then I do think that America have no excuses any more if they do get taken in by these cowardly tricks. So I say to you now:

Yes, We Can.

 

 

FOX News: Ralph Nader calls newly elected Barack Obama an Uncle Tom

FOX News

Ralph Nader calls newly elected Barack Obama an Uncle Tom

Media Matters: Liddy: Obama concentration camp will serve “ham hocks and turnip greens”

Media Matters

Liddy: Obama concentration camp will serve “ham hocks and turnip greens”

On the November 4 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, G. Gordon Liddy spoke to a caller who stated: “I’m ready to go to the concentration camp, that [Sen. Barack] Obama’s police force — he will round me up. Because I — I’m a white American.” Liddy then said, “Well, listen to this,” and aired an edited clip of Obama saying in a July 2 speech in Colorado Springs: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Liddy then stated: “Shades of the Gestapo. The Geheime Staatspolizei,” to which the caller replied: “How’s the cooking going to be? What will — what will they serve, at the camp?” Liddy responded: “Well, I think, probably, there’ll be ham hocks and turnip greens.”

Detroit Free Press: Nader concedes race, predicts Obama landslide

Detroit Free Press

Nader concedes race, predicts Obama landslide

Ralph Nader, the self-styled consumer crusader and perennial third party presidential candidate, conceded today, telling the Free Press minutes ago that there was going to be “a landslide” for Barack Obama.

“The streets are going to be filled with revelry … both here and in Africa,” Nader predicted, followed by a 10-minute denunciation of most of the Democratic Party candidate’s policy and record. 

AmSpec: Report:Obama Told Abbas He Supported Dividing Jerusalem

AmSpec

Report:Obama Told Abbas He Supported Dividing Jerusalem

Israel National News has the following disturbing report:

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama privately expressed his support for a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders, including eastern Jerusalem, during his meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah this summer.

According to a report published Tuesday in the Lebanese newspaper al-Ahbar, Obama told Abbas that he supports a PA state, and Arab “rights to east Jerusalem” as well.  The sources said Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad “heard the best things they ever heard from an American president” during the meeting. However, said sources quoted in the report, the candidate asked them to keep his declaration a secret.

To recap, this means that he went before AIPAC in June and told a pro-Israel audience that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” then, after Palestinians raised a fuss, he said it was a “final status issue,” and then he went to the Palestinian leadership and told them the exact opposite — that he actively supports a Palestinian state with a capital in eastern Jerusalem.

If, like me, you’ve approached Obama with skepticism, nothing about this should suprise you. There has been ample reason to believe that Obama’s election-year statements on Israel are meant to mask his true feelings on the subject, and now, on the day of the election, we get an account that if accurate, means that all along he was secretly planning to shift U.S. policy in the region toward the Palestinian point of view

Stuff White People Do: refuse to see how things look from another point of view

Stuff White People Do

refuse to see how things look from another point of view

A lot of people find Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s presence on “The View” incredibly annoying, and I gotta say, I do too. She’s like a feminine Bill O’Reilly–loud, domineering, condescending, obstinate, and most of the time, just plain stupid.

Nevertheless, for the purposes of this blog, I’m glad that Elisabeth is on television. By arguing her (talking) points so tenaciously, she often dramatizes common white tendencies.

I’ve written before about Hasselbeck’s continual demonstration of the common white insistence, especially in mixed-race discussions, onoccupying center-stage. In the clip below, from this morning’s edition of “The View,” she launches a vigorous, last-ditch volley of attacks, which largely consist of guilt-by-association claims about Barack Obama.

We’re probably all tired of such crap, especially today, but a tone of something approaching desperation in Hasselbeck’s attack here does provide a sense of something like schadenfreude. More to the point, she also demonstrates a common white tendency in such discussions–refusing to see or consider how something looks from another, non-white point of view, and then judging that thing from a limited white perspective.

In this discussion, Joy Behar serves as a foil to Hasselbeck; Behar highlights Hasselbeck’s performance of this common form of white solipsism by performing the opposite, an openness to experience that differs from her own.

Joy Behar thus provides some hope here; she shows that some white people can step back and admit that because they’re coming from a different place in terms of race, they just don’t know enough about something to judge whether it’s right or wrong.

Racism Review: The Meaning of Wright in the Obama Campaign

Racism Review

The Meaning of Wright in the Obama Campaign

What does it mean that white Americans are (apparently) willing to elect Barack Obama, a black politician, but still unwilling to engage the discourse of race and discuss continued, un-equalized race relations between people of color and whites and the long, on-going history of white racism in America? How is this socio-psychological paradox explained?

At the center of this paradox of race and politics is Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright (image fromRobinDude via Flickr). I agree with Joe that Wright is “actually an American prophet, indeed a prophetic hero who is not afraid to condemn this country’s racist government actions, past and present.” But I would stress that Wright’s demonization andcomplete marginalization, not just by mainstream media and Republican circles, but also by Obama and the Democratic party, demonstrates a much deeper problem in American race relations and in ways that Americans understand and deal with the ‘race problem.’ Obama’s distancing himself from Wright and categorical condemnation of Wright’s social philosophies about American government was clearly stated. One hopes this was only a temporary, strategic political move to reach a powerful office (wouldn’t be the first time a politician momentarily masked their ideological position to win an election) and that, in fact, Obama will champion policies that amend the disempowerment and disenfranchisement of blacks and other nonwhite minorities.

Whatever is behind Obama’s decision to sever his relationship with Wright, the fact remains that he was forced to denunciate Wright and suppress Wright’s message about the history of white racism in order to maintain political viability in American politics, illustrating that mainstream America is not yet willing to seriously address the murky, taboo issue of race. As Obama’s society-sanctioned sacrifice of Wright demonstrates, both republicans and democrats—Fox News and MSNBC—and the American public at large call for Obama to disassociate with and denounce Wright’s unsettling message.