Video via Breitbart. What’s the difference between the “swift-boat politics” being practiced this morning by McCain and the swift-boat politics practiced by our post-partisan Jesus during the primary? Simple: When Obama does it, he keeps it under the radar or uses surrogates. Forgive the extended quote from my all-time favorite TNR piece but the situation demands it. This one’s for you, PUMAs:
Meanwhile, below the radar, the Obama campaign pushed the race-baiting angle hard, rehearsing and sometimes inventing instances of alleged Clintonian racial insensitivity. A memo prepared by the South Carolina campaign and circulated to supporters rehashed the King-Johnson matter, while it also spliced together statements of Bill Clinton’s to make it seem as if he had given a speech that “implied Hillary Clinton is stronger than Nelson Mandela.” (The case, with its snippets and ellipses, was absurd on its face.) The memo also claimed, in a charge soon widely repeated, that he had demeaned Obama as “a kid” because he had called Obama’s account of his opposition to the war in Iraq a fanciful “fairy tale.” And a few reporters, while pushing the Obama campaign’s line that black voters had credible concerns about the Clintons’ remarks, had begun to notice that the Obama campaign was doing its utmost to fuel the racial flames. “There’s no question that there’s politics here at work too,” said Jonathan Martin of Politico. “It helps [Obama’s] campaign to… push these issues into the fore in a place like South Carolina.”
When asked about the race-baiting charges, Obama campaign spokeswoman Candice Tolliver roiled the waters: “Folks are beginning to wonder: Is this really an isolated situation or is there something bigger behind all of this?” Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., the Obama co-chair, as before, was more direct and inflammatory, claiming that the “cynics” of the Clinton campaign had “resorted to distasteful and condescending language that appeals to our fears rather than our hopes. I sincerely hope that they’ll turn away from such reactionary, disparaging rhetoric.” The race-baiting card was now fully in play…
The Obama campaign’s “fairy tale” gambit was particularly transparent. Commenting on Obama’s explanation of why he is more against the war in Iraq than Hillary Clinton, and disturbed by the news media’s failure to report Obama’s actual voting record on Iraq in the Senate, the former president referred to what had become the conventional wisdom as a “fairy tale” concocted by Obama and his supporters. Time to play the race-baiter card! One of Obama’s most prominent backers, the mayor of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin, stretched Clinton’s remarks and implied that he had called Obama’s entire candidacy a fairy tale. (The mayor later coyly told a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she had not intended to criticize Clinton: “Surely you don’t mean he’s the only one who can use the phrase ‘fairy tale,'” Franklin said, in a tone that the reporter described as “mock indignation.”) Appearing on CNN, one of its pundits, Donna Brazile, hurled the wild charge that Clinton had likened Obama to a child. “And I will tell you,” she concluded, “as an African American I find his words and his tone to be very depressing.” With those kinds of remarks–“as an African American”–the race card and the race-baiter card both came back into play. Although Brazile is formally not part of Obama’s campaign, her comments made their way to the South Carolina memo, offered as evidence that Clinton’s comment was racially insensitive…
It may strike some as ironic that the racializing should be coming from a black candidate’s campaign and its supporters. But this is an American presidential campaign–and there is a long history of candidates who are willing to inflame the most deadly passions in our national life in order to get elected. Sadly, it is what Barack Obama and his campaign gurus have been doing for months–with the aid of their media helpers on the news and op-ed pages and on cable television, mocked by “SNL” as in the tank for Obama. They promise to continue until they win the nomination, by any means necessary.
No, they promise to continue until they win the election; that’s why the governor of New York is busy accusing McCain of racism for goofing on community organizers, even while the Messiah laments “phony outrage” and fake controversies. I said yesterday after watching the clip that I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and if McCain hasn’t already overplayed his hand on this, he’s dangerously close: Republicans are now making statements about the lipstick thing on the floor of the House. But please do take five minutes to remind yourself of how deeply opposed to swift-boat politics the nutroots — and the New York Times — turned out to be when McCain rolled out his Britney ad. Racism, sexism, assassination, even Nazism: No subtext was too far-fetched for the Enlightened to explore. Like Goldstein said a few weeks ago after a guest on MSNBC summarily absolved Biden for his history of racial gaffes:
All of which points back to the animating tenet in “liberal” ideology — namely, that, simply by virtue of adopting the left-liberal agenda, one is good, and so his “mistakes” are but minor slip-ups, hiccups in a life of sublime goodliness. Whereas any kind of minor slip-up by those on the “right” (classical liberals included, these days) are to be seen as brief inadvertent flashes revealing their grubby souls — even when those flashes are either admittedly unintended, or else have to be run through a special code book to prove visible to the watchdogs of all that is good and righteous.
Sure, Obama might have a curious history of comments on the trail taken the wrong way by women. But he’s a “Lightworker.” By definition he’s incapable of unconscious prejudices. Of course he’s innocent.
Exit question: Who could have imagined that September would find The One chastising the media’s Obama Spirit Squad for the frothiness of its coverage? Panic indeed.
Update: People are e-mailing to note that another Democrat made a lipstick reference to Palin yesterday.