Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The 'smear' smear

Jamie Kirchick in the Politico:
The only obstacle between Barack Obama and the presidency is the mountain of smears that will no doubt come his way. That’s the narrative that Obama supporters — and his swooning chroniclers in the mainstream media — would have us believe. . . .
Thus far, no one with any serious affiliation to John McCain's campaign has resorted to the alleged "scare" tactics which Republicans — and, apparently, only Republicans — have been perfecting since Richard Nixon was first elected. . . .
The evidence of dirty Republican tricks has been utterly absent this campaign season.
What Kirchick doesn't say is that pre-emptively accusing your opponents of being smear artists is, in itself, a smear. What he also doesn't say is that Obama & Co. have used this tactic for three transparently self-serving purposes:
  • To discourage the media from reporting negative information about Obama;
  • To set up the notion that any tactics Obama and his surrogates use are inherent fair, since the GOP supposedly deals dirt as a matter of routine; and
  • To encourage liberals to send more campaign cash.
Fundraising appeals from Team Obama have repeatedly used the bogeyman of a "Republican attack machine" to scare liberals into forking over more money for a campaign that has already exceeded every fund-raising total in history. Never mind that consultants' commissions means that most of the money they get is just being plowed back into more fund-raising: "Send us money so we can pay people to tell you to send us more money!"

If Democrats want to know why they lose elections, it's the same reason Republicans lose elections: Campaigns are routinely fleeced and misled by greedy, incompetent political operatives who are only in it for the money.

No need to name names, but the basic problem is that there are too many True Believers in politics and not enough hard-eyed cynics with the street-smarts it takes to look at these super-slick "consultant" types and ask, "What's in it for him?" Anywhere you find a bunch of True Believers, you can be sure there's going to be some slick operators trying to figure out a way to cash in on the action.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey:
A leader who didn’t want to have his party take part in such a smear campaign would act to stop one when it got rolling. Obama’s answer? It’s not a priority for him. That makes it pretty clear where the problem lies and where the smear campaign originates.
That's a reference to Wesley Clark's attack on McCain's war record, which is just more evidence -- as if it were needed -- that Wesley Clark is a dimwit. I've criticized Crazy Cousin John for just about everything he's done since 1998, but his war record is the one thing about McCain that can't be criticized. I would say that it's the height of stupidity for Clark to have attacked McCain where McCain's reputation is impregnable, but Clark keeps reaching for new heights. If Wesley Clark is what passes for a foreign-policy guru at Obama HQ, they're in more trouble than they know.


  1. >The only obstacle between Barack Obama and the presidency is the mountain of smears that will no doubt come his way.

    Y, like his resume, his record and his associates....

  2. Thanks, Wesley. I'm not sure what kind of name Wesley is, but I'm sure its not Latin for 'genius'.
    I've been struggling for whom should I cast my vote...I dont think being a POW means you 'deserve' to be POTUS, BUT, to denigrate a man who was a POW is beyond the pale. And now that Obama has not unequivocally blasted Wesley, as he didnt with Wright, I can only now do one thing.

    Cast my vote for McCain.