Thanks to Malcolm Mills for sending me this article
A herd of elephants on a mud trail makes for a pretty noisome combination
Bryan Zepp Jamieson
Usually, at this point, just 22 days before the election, I’m at the
point where I’m running out of things to say about the campaigns and am
looking around a bit desperately for something non-political to write
about, just to take a break and maybe restart my brain. This time
around, I had an essay about a kitten – yes, a kitten, that’s what I’ve
descended to – on the back burner ready to go against the point where I
couldn’t post one more Palin quote without puking.
But of course, this year has been a little different. The worldwide
economic crash is huge, news that is once-in-a-lifetime, vast in its
implications. It has been so big that even the campaign for what is
arguably the most important election America has seen since 1932 has
been pushed to the side.
So: three weeks to go, and I’m looking for opportunities to write about
politics. Right now, the kitten’s not even on the horizon, even though
he is indisputably a very nice kitten.
Europe is effectively nationalizing their banks while US “leadership” is
dithering. Tick, tick, tick. That’s where the economy stands. We’re at
that point in a Roadrunner cartoon narrative where we’re Wile E. Coyote,
and we’ve just noticed a shadow forming around us, bugged our eyes
skyward, and opened a little paper parasol in an effort to shield ourselves.
Paul Krugman just won the Nobel Prize for Economics. I posted
congratulations to his blog, noting that if elected, Obama was going to
need a really, really good economic advisor.
So let’s talk about the campaign. First, there’s the right wing smear
machine. Smearing isn’t limited to the right, and you can find Democrats
willing to swear that McCain caused the Forrestal accident, or is
actually not a citizen and not eligible to run for president, or turned
coward and traitor whilst being held captive in North Vietnam. All three
can be regarded, at best, as unprovable and more likely to be
politically motivated nonsense.
But the smears against Obama are organized, coordinated, carefully
planned, and crafted, and repeated, over and over. However, between the
huge distraction of the economy and Obama’s willingness to fight the
smears, they just aren’t gaining ground.
The far right, predictably, has become pretty hysterical. One user on
Usenet breathlessly posted recycled stories of a silly case demanding
that Obama prove his citizenship with the breathless header, “This could
be a game-changer!” The source in this case was something called “The
Illuminati Press.” That just added to the gravitas. Apparently he didn’t
know that the Dark Illuminati, by all accounts, aren’t very nice people.
Or if David Icke is to be believed, aren’t people at all. Another user
has posted at least 300 messages claiming that Obama had gay sex in the
back of a limousine with a man named Larry Sinclair. Another claimed
that Obama boasted of having sex with 10,000 white women, which would be
nearly a different one every day for his entire adult life. Forget
electing him president: vote him in for God!
Along with the usual suspects – Sun Myung Moon, Richard Scaife, Karl
Rove, Dick Morris, and Matt Drudge – the smear machine has some other
The NY Times just did a piece on Andy Martin, the clown who started the
“Obama is secretly a Muslim” crap back in 2004. They noted, among other
things, that Martin was diagnosed “moderately severe character defect
manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a
grandiose character.” In other words, he invents and may well believe
lurid and crazed conspiracy stories in which he is a hero. The problem
was evident enough that it was used to stop him from being accredited as
a lawyer. The NY Times notes that over the years, he’s filed hundreds of
crackpot lawsuits, despite being too mentally unfit to even be a lawyer.
Larry Sinclair has been discredited as a felon with a 27 year track
record of lies, fraud and deceit. He’s the one who claims that Obama had
sex with him in the back of a limo. Larry himself gave a press
conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC, which tells you
volumes about the state of American journalism, and at the end of the
conference, was arrested for the umpteenth time, this time on charges of
larceny in Delaware. He spent 12 years in prison for one fraud
conviction in 1987. According to Tim Shipman of the Daily Telegraph,
Sinclair came to the conference with a lawyer in tow, one Montgomery
Blair Sibley. Sibley, who wasn’t licenced to practice law in DC, was
wearing a kilt, and took advantage of his time at the mike to explain to
all assembled that he had to wear a kilt instead of trousers because of
his enormous genitalia. For some reason, News of the World didn’t cover
that story, but if Monty is Scottish, then perhaps there was mention of
it in Ewes of the World. Even Sibley’s, um, imposing presence didn’t
stop his client from being arrested. Again.
Finally, there was Larry Corsi. He of the “swiftboat” fame in the 2004
election. He released a book, “Obama Nation” which promptly sank in a
sea of derision except among the double-digit IQ members of the extreme
right, who quote it to one another endlessly. When last heard from Corsi
was in Kenya trying to find more dirt on Obama, and annoyed the
authorities and got kicked out of the country. That may not have the
cachet of being a mentally-ill lawyer, but it’s still pretty good.
It would be nice to say these are just fringe crackpots, but
unfortunately, these fringe crackpots have pretty much become the voice
of the GOP. They have a new leader in Sarah Palin, who has been inciting
crowds to shout things like “Traitor!” and “Kill him!” of Obama. One
half expects her to start hoisting a noose every time she mentions his
name, to cheers from the hooded crowd.
I noted at the second debate that then was the time for McCain to
apologize to Obama and disassociate himself from such tactics. The press
was beginning to notice the really ugly tones Palin was deliberately
whipping up among the mentals who believe that people like Sinclair,
Corsi, and Martin are telling the truth, and Obama really is a gay
moslem communist, his wife a black panther, and his daughters suicide
bombers. What’s left of the GOP these days has no shortage of ignorant,
But that moment has passed. McCain clearly realizes that his campaign
misstepped, and it’s possible that deep in his heart, the man genuinely
regrets it. But with it now getting widespread attention in the press,
he can’t make a show of changing the tone without it looking like yet
another erratic political gambit to try to save a campaign that is
There’s also the fact that people like the woman who told McCain she
supported him because “Obama is an Arab” (McCain called her to task on
it) make up most of McCain’s support these days. If McCain loses them
(and they support Palin in the American European Heritage Party in 2012
or some damn thing) then he’ll be lucky to get Arizona and Utah in the
electoral college. Most responsible conservatives have already bugged
out from the GOP, leaving only the loons.
But McCain should do it anyway, if only because it’s the right thing to
do, and if he is to lose, at least he can do so with some class and dignity.
And it can start the GOP on the path to breaking away from the clutches
of the lunatic-fringe right. The lies and smears aren’t working, that’s
for sure, and people are getting pissed off that in the middle of a
major crisis, that’s about all they have to offer.
also: the racist at this blog still has her disinformation as the featured post on wordpress.com’s main page. Tell the people who run this site that you want it off the main page. this post originates on Stormfront’s website. they are a white-supremist, violent, hate-mongering group. WordPress needs to put up a different post as a featured post. the woman has the right to say what ever she wants…even lies…but, wordpress has STILL not removed it from the main page.