Allahpundit officially wins the Attack Watch Dead Pool, BuzzFeed informs us today, as the Obama re-election campaign rolls out yet another Snitch Central apparatus for its 2012 efforts. Last September, AP predicted that the much-derided Attack Watch would remain in place because, as Mary Katherine Ham tweeted at the time, “#AttackWatch is metaphor for Obama 08 vs. 12. Same product, subtract style, sprinkle desperation.” You can still smell the desperation in the new Truth Team effort, which incorporates Attack Watch as one of its components:
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign announced early Monday that it is launching a new site to enable supporters to promote Obama’s successes and “hold Republicans accountable.”
“The goal is to ensure that when Republicans attack President Obama’s record, grassroots supporters can take ownership of the campaign and share the facts with the undecided voters in their lives,” said Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter in a release.
The campaign is also setting up “truth teams” in swing states this week, receiving help from allied unions.
What a shock! I’m sure those “allied unions” include the SEIU, AFSCME, and the NEA, the three unions that have the most to lose if Republicans make good on their pledges to shrink the actual size and cost of government. Given their level of success (and honesty) in fighting Scott Walker in Wisconsin, at least so far, I’m not sure that this will do the Obama campaign much good anyway.
Let’s reflect once more on the observations of Victor Davis Hanson last September when Obama and his campaign rolled out Attack Watch to recall just how offensive and ridiculous this effort is:
Yet go onto the new (“Paid for by Obama for America”) AttackWatch.com website. It reads and looks like some sort of Stasi file (“file” is their vocabulary, not mine). It asks readers to inform them of criticism of Obama. The format is, I guess by intent, supposed to resemble a government intelligence dossier (“Attack files”), with its blaring black and red headers: “Attack” /”Attackers” (followed by names and pictures of the supposed bad guys)/”Attack Type” /(“public statements”) followed by check off boxes like “Have your seen or heard this attack?” “Yes/No”. It reminds me of of living in 1973 dictatorial Greece, when we all kept silent about the Colonels upon entering the apartment building, lest the government-paid concierge write something down not nice in her black book.
Apparently no one in the administration learned from the spooky tone of the now defunct Journolist. That obtuseness begs the question, what is it with these extra-journalistic efforts to intimidate critics, as if the 2012 campaign will be based around deterrence: e.g., as if: “Beware: if you criticize Barack Obama, your name and picture will appear on our “Attack File”. We are watching you, so you watch out!”
So creepier still is the request to snoop around and collect evidence for what the Roman emperors and French monarchs used to call maiestas/Lèse-majesté—supposed crimes against the head of state, by circulating criticism of his authority that might lessen his proper sense of majesty. Indeed, on AttackWatch.com there is a special pop-up window that is reminiscent of Crimestoppers.com that supposedly will help form some sort of a clearing house: “Your email”/”content of attack or link”/”Attack type”, “Attach” with a link “Report” that pops up yet another window.
The new defenders of His Royal Highness, Media Matters, will undoubtedly play a large role in this new effort as well. But it’s not all bad, is it? For instance, I’d bet a lot of Hot Air readers would love to send alerts to Obama’s “Truth Team” when people flat-out lie in the public square about policy and process. For instance, Jack Lew should be the first entry to Obama’s Truth Team, and I’m sure there will be plenty of material generated within the Obama administration to keep them busy until November.