Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hillary and the "smear campaign"

No big surprise, but it's finally official: Hillary Clinton is running for president. Her announcement came today, just a few days after Senator Barak Obama announced that he's also taking a run at the top spot.

And no sooner does Hillary announce she's in than the dirt starts flying... from the right, of course. Supposedly, someone in the Clinton camp has started what's being called a "smear campaign" against Obama. The "smears" include things like his dad was a muslim (so?) and as a kid Barak spent a few years in a madrassa school (and?) This has about as much significance as "Obama" sounding like "Osama", or the fact that his middle name is "Hussein". The source of the innuendo is right wing garburetor, which says:

An investigation of Mr. Obama by political opponents within the Democratic Party has discovered that Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia. Sources close to the background check, which has not yet been released, said Mr. Obama, 45, spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia. "He was a Muslim, but he concealed it," the source said. "His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign."

Way to shovel the shit, Insightmag. The article makes it appear that Hillary's team is suggesting Obama has something to hide. Never mind that it's all right in his autobiography for anyone who cares to look. Anything that puts Hillary Clinton in a bad light causes the right wingnuts to cream themselves in ecstasy and rage, and they've been jabbering like gerbils in heat about this story. Unfortunately a few things don't add up. What Clinton insiders would have contacts at a right wing rag like Insight? And why would Hillary choose to break out a smear campaign on the same day as she announces her candidacy? This load of flyspecked crap didn't originate with the democrats, it comes from the same bags of pigshit that started smearing Obama months ago.

Everyone remembers the famous push poll that knocked John McCain out of the running for President to make way for Bush in 2000. Delegates were asked: "Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain if you knew he'd fathered an illegitimate black child?" Of course the purpose of the poll wasn't to find out if this would affect the delegates' vote, it was to suggest that McCain had an illegitimate black child (he actually has an adopted child from Bangladesh). Karl Rove and the rest of the slimy Bush strategists appealed to their delegates' basic racism, and it worked (and the rest, as they say, is history).

Like the McCain push poll, the Obama smear campaign is right out of the dog-eared, shit-stained pages of Rove's book of scummy political tricks. The objective is obvious: appeal to the electorates' Islamophobia to smear Obama and at the same time smear Hillary by blaming her for it. It's what the republicans have been doing for years, good old-fashioned "swift-boating", and un-fucking-believably, some people are still falling for it.

UPDATE: It's not just me! Lib/Prog blogger Scott Tribe also has doubts about the source of the smear, and links to an equally skeptical article in the Huffington Post. Nice try, repugs.