Barack Obama miscalculated when he took Rush Limbaugh out of context for a Spanish-language ad that attempted to paint John McCain as a racist, for about the sixth time in this campaign. Not only was the ad completely and transparently dishonest — McCain and Limbaugh are far apart on immigration policy — but it used lines from a parody about immigration policy so far out of context as to make Obama a liar. Rush, never one to suffer fools or idiotic attacks lightly, has taken his argument to the Wall Street Journal to accuse Obama of exploiting racial tensions as a campaign tactic to get himself elected:
Mr. Obama’s campaign is now trafficking in prejudice of its own making. And in doing so, it is playing with political dynamite. What kind of potential president would let his campaign knowingly extract two incomplete, out-of-context lines from two radio parodies and build a framework of hate around them in order to exploit racial tensions? The segregationists of the 1950s and 1960s were famous for such vile fear-mongering. …
Much of the media that is uninterested in Mr. Obama’s connections to unrepentant 1970s Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright have so far gone along with the attempt to tie me to Mr. McCain. But Mr. McCain and I have not agreed on how to address illegal immigration. While I am heartened by his willingness to start by securing the borders, it is no secret that we have fundamental differences on illegal immigration.
And more to the point, these sound bites are a deception, and Mr. Obama knows it. The first sound bite was extracted from a 1993 humorous monologue poking fun at the arguments against the North American Free Trade Agreement. …
The malignant aspect of this is that Mr. Obama and his advisers know exactly what they are doing. They had to listen to both monologues or read the transcripts. They then had to pick the particular excerpts they used in order to create a commercial of distortions. Their hoped-for result is to inflame racial tensions. In doing this, Mr. Obama and his advisers have demonstrated a pernicious contempt for American society.
We’ve made much racial progress in this country. Any candidate who employs the tactics of the old segregationists is unworthy of the presidency.
Obama may have run as a post-racial candidate in the Democratic primaries, but he has shown a completely different side in the general election. Ever since winning the nomination, Obama and his campaign surrogates (and the media) have accused Republicans of racism for their opposition to The One. It has been a constant theme for Team Obama, even though they cannot produce a single shred of evidence in support of this smear campaign.
Rush finally states what the national media has been too cowardly to report: that Obama has a strategy to inject race into this campaign in order to silence criticism, and that he’s willing to lie to do it. It hasn’t been exactly a secret, as the long list of links above will show. He uses language in the general election that he never dared used in the primaries, about not looking like other presidents on the currency, having a “funny name”, or in some cases explicitly referring to the color of his skin — and accusing Republicans and the McCain campaign of a “campaign of fear” based on it. (The irony, of course, is that the Hillary Clinton campaign actually did do something along these lines by releasing the picture of Obama wearing traditional tribal dress on a visit to Africa, a point that no one bothers to mention now.)
The national media just got done clucking their tongues and wagging their fingers at McCain over an ad they claimed was a lie, when in fact it turned out to be true. Not once in this entire campaign have the media taken Obama to task for his strategy of lying to stoke racial tensions in this campaign. Only blogs at ABC and the Washington Post have even raised the question, while the AP or the Miami Herald busily buries the evidence of it through editing tricks. If Rush makes this a national story, perhaps the media will finally take stock in which campaign has run the dirtiest attacks — a smear campaign worthy of Joe McCarthy.
Update and bump, 9/21: This is today’s AOL Hot Seat Poll question:
Even before this got posted here at Hot Air, 60% of respondents from AOL agreed that Obama is deliberately using accusations of racism to silence his critics.