Left: Senator Barack Obama at Furman University, during the South Carolina primary. Photo from Greenville News.
Is he in trouble? I think so.
The big news this week has been all about Jerome Corsi's best-selling attack-book, titled The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.
Jerome Corsi, you think... Corsi? Where have I heard that name before? Aha. He is one of the guys who swift-boated John Kerry, co-authoring the similar 2004 hit-book Unfit for Command.
The Obama campaign has issued a 41-page pdf file itemizing the falsehoods in the book. And yeah, they come out swinging. They expose Corsi as a world-class right wingnut who buys into various popular conspiracy theories (North American Union, 9/11, Obama's a closet Muslim, maybe) among other bizarre documented beliefs. Jonathan Martin of Politico.com believes the real purpose of the aggressive response is to make it very clear that Obama is NOT John Kerry, and won't take it lying down:
But, as made plain by the title and faux book jacket, the goal is also to demonstrate to fretting Democrats, Republicans plotting attacks and reporters watching it all that they won't be "swift-boated" in the way John Kerry was in 2004 starting with Corsi's book, "Unfit for Command."Well, thank God for that. I'm one of the people who thought John Kerry looked like he had his thumb up his ass while he was under vicious attack by the swift-boaters. Responding intelligently to random nastiness is part of the job description as Commander-in-Chief, and Americans need to see if Senator Obama is up to the task.
To prove this point, they don't stop at merely fact-checking each questionable claim in the book -- they also set out to attack Corsi for his fringe views, discrediting the messenger.
Of course, the lies in “The Obama Nation” almost pale in comparison to the bizarre, conspiratorial views that Jerome Corsi has advocated in his broader work," writes the Obama campaign in what amounts to an introduction, noting the author's fear of a purported North American Union, belief that there was a government coverup of 9/11 and past anti-Catholic comments.
In moving so aggressively to prove that they aren't Kerry, Obama's campaign seems to have taken a page out of the 90s-era Clinton playbook. Obama may decry the partisan rancor of the past two decades, but by launching a withering counter-attack against his enemies he's also aping one of the most effective elements within the Clinton arsenal. When they came under assault from the right-wing, they gave no quarter, responding with not just a vigorous defense but an equally vigorous counter-offensive aimed at discrediting their enemies.
But I can't help but worry. If you keep throwing shit, some of it always sticks. The Republicans are very desperate, and they are pulling out the stops. As a result, I think Obama is in trouble. The dog-whistling Stealth Antichrist Campaign has not abated. And now, we've got this nutso book to contend with. I say, roast Corsi on a spit. It shouldn't be too hard, since he sounds like a member in good standing of the Black Helicopter Faction of the GOP:
Corsi is an unabashed partisan. In 2006, he mulled a run for president under the hard-right Constitution Party’s banner and last year he signed on as a senior strategist for a group that intended to become to the right what MoveOn.org is to the left.And Number One on the best-seller list!
But his outrageous assertions and fringe theories — which include allegations that President Bush worked to eliminate the borders with Mexico and Canada and the assertion that Kerry is a Communist — have hurt his credibility on the right, as well.
Corsi’s co-author on the Kerry attack book, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth spokesman John O'Neill, downplayed Corsi’s role after the left-leaning press watchdog group Media Matters exposed Corsi’s venomous postings in the conservative blogosphere.
On the blog FreeRepublic.com, Corsi wrote that pedophilia “is OK with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press,” that “RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters” and that Kerry is “Anti-Christian, Anti-American.”
Last year, Corsi released a book charging President Bush was secretly plotting to create a North American Union by merging the U.S. with Canada and Mexico.
This sort of thing makes me hyperventilate.
Some time ago, I linked Michele Obama Watch, while neglecting to mention this in a post. My apologies! This is a great blog, carefully chronicling (and to some degree, analyzing) media coverage of Michele Obama.
For example, recent analysis of an article in NEW YORK magazine titled Black and Blacker, the Racial Politics of the Obama Marriage:
Having read and re-read this article several times, however, I think the point that [author Vanessa] Grigoriadis was attempting to make was that the Obama’s - and particularly Michelle - don’t “act” the same when fundraising, campaigning, and trying to win a presidential campaign as they do when the cameras are not on or when they are among “friends”. As Grigoriadis puts it:
Michelle is the type of woman rarely seen in the public eye. She’s a well-educated woman who is a dedicated mother, successful in her career, and happens to be black…Michelle must project herself as black to one community, but she also must act white to another,…
“Acting white”? What if anything any of this has to do with the “racial politics of the Obama marriage”? Perhaps in reading the entire article, MOWers might be able to discern what the point of this article was intended to be. Cause I really need to understand exactly what she meant by it being so rare to see a a well-educated woman who is a dedicated mother, successful in her career. Isn’t that what we not only expect but demand from our First Ladies? Surely we don’t expect her clothes to come from a stores not ending in “Mart”.
As I said, a great blog, and they are ON the case.
Speaking of Michele in the media, there is a lovely article about Michele in EBONY magazine this month. The article isn't online, but some good clips of Michele at the EBONY site.
I hope Michele will address the Democratic Convention in splendiferous fashion! Stay tuned, sports fans!