All They’ve Got is Black

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The (legitimate) knock on Obama throughout the primaries, and to a lesser extent now, is some variation on the theme that he is ‘vague.’ Bland. That there is no there there. That he tries to be all things to all people……

And now we can see why.

What policies and positions can the newest iteration of the most vicious political attack machine in modern political history attack Obama on? Especially now that Maliki has endorsed his Iraq position, stealing the only real issue McCain had?

For ANY candidate to go up against the smears, swiftboating and dog-whistles of the Republicans dirty, dirty politics of personal attack would have been tough. Whoever ran was either going to have to attack (like Edwards tried to do) or ‘go bland,’ as Obama has done, and try to neutralize the Republican slime machine by not giving it anything solid to swing at.

Obama’s strategy of aggressive blandness, while still being able to outline (instead of explicitly delineating) his barely left of center policies leaves them with virtually nothing meaningful to attack him on.

He is not a ‘flaming liberal.’

He is not a ‘godless secularist.’ He is not directly attacking the social conservative wedge agenda, in fact he is throwing out sops to them at a (to us) disgusting. even alarming rate.

After 8 years of just plain dumb, the fact that he is smart is much harder to smear as ‘elite.’

Since the majority of Americans now oppose the war, he is not ‘an unpatriotic cut and runner.’

So what do they have left? What hot-button, smeary, wedge will stick? What can they nail him on.

Why are the Villagers like Joe Klein, and Andrea Mitchell starting to turn on, and criticize the slime oozing out  of Karl’s successors? Because it is obvious that they are…that they CAN, only smear him for one thing. Their tricks are old, exposed and transparent now. They might work on the base, but the base is NOT going to win it for them this time.

What have they got? Where can they attack him? Where do they HAVE to attack him?

All They’ve Got is Black

Oh and……………….. skinny

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  1. Photobucket

    • robodd on August 2, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    that his aspirations are unreal and unrealistic:  endless war without new taxes or a draft chief, an economic plan of more of the same among them.

  2. to being a President, and–he’s young, smart, civil, and (shocker coming here:) he…works out!!

    Every one knows that Ameruka would be far, far better off with an out of shape, 3 time melanoma survivor, um…”not” skinny, stupid, grumpy, old, nasty liar as President.  At least, apparently that’s what the WSJ thinks.

  3. I just saw this article by Bob Herbert:   Running while Black re: McCain campaign attacks on Obama and here are a few snips:

    “…Gee, I wonder why, if you have a black man running for high public office – say, Barack Obama or Harold Ford – the opposition feels compelled to run low-life political ads featuring tacky, sexually provocative white women who have no connection whatsoever to the black male candidates…”

    “…There was nothing subtle about that attempt to position Senator Obama as the Other, a candidate who might technically be American but who remained in some sense foreign, not sufficiently patriotic and certainly not one of us – the “us” being the genuine red-white-and-blue Americans who the ad was aimed at…”

    “…Since then, Senator McCain has only upped the ante, smearing Mr. Obama every which way from sundown…”

  4. Just saw this article linked via TPM. Snips (emphasis mine):

    “…On the morning in March when Barack Obama was preparing to give his speech on race in Philadelphia…I was having breakfast in Washington with a member of John McCain’s inner circle. The topic at hand was whether McCain was licking his chops at the prospect of facing Obama in the fall-whether he relished the idea of running negative against the hopemonger on questions of his patriotism and, er, otherness…”

    “…The following night I was drinking with a big-time Republican operative who’d worked during the primaries for a rival candidate. When I floated the notion of the Good McCain, this person snorted. “He didn’t have a problem calling Mitt Romney a phony in New Hampshire or comparing George W. Bush to Bill Clinton in South Carolina in 2000,” he said. “McCain is a tough guy. He’ll do whatever he needs to do.”

    “…we now have an inkling of just how deep in the mud McCain and his people are willing to wallow in order to win in November: right up to their Republican eyeballs…”

    Re:  The strategy behind the campaign attacks:

    “…Drive up Obama’s negatives and render him unacceptable to pivotal voting blocs. Thus the depiction of him as too young, too feckless, and too pampered to be president…”

    As far as race?:

    “…The racial undertones of this assault are subtle but undeniable…” Re a mccain ad:  “…laughs a GOP media savant. “The racial angle is the first thing I thought of when I saw that ad. It fits into the celebrity stuff, too…”

    The article goes on to state the two Dem camps of thought about responding to McNasty’s campaign.  One, for Obama to remain “above the fray” and one to start punching McNasty back.  I’ll have to say I’m leaning to the “punching back” school–not by Obama continuing to play defense against each smear, but to go on the offense–just start showing ads that show McCain’s flubs; McCain’s flip flops–i.e.-lies; McCain’s votes against the troops and the vets; and McCain’s McBush voting record–and the best part?  Not one lie is necessary to show McCain’s negatives.  24/7 if possible.

    • RiaD on August 3, 2008 at 6:46 am

    it looks suspiciously familiar!

  5. It’s one thing when we (the DFH’s) accuse McCain & his merry band of rovian troglodites of racism, but it’s another when a pundit like Gergen, a man who has served in mostly republican administrations, accuses them of

    using racist tactics in attacking Obama:

    “…On Sunday, longtime Washington hand David Gergen took umbrage with John McCain’s recent attack ads, charging that the Senator was using coded messaging to paint Barack Obama as “outside the mainstream” and “uppity…”

    “…There has been a very intentional effort to paint him as somebody outside the mainstream, other, ‘he’s not one of us,'” said Gergen, who has worked with White Houses, both Republican and Democrat, from Nixon to Clinton. “I think the McCain campaign has been scrupulous about not directly saying it, but it’s the subtext of this campaign. Everybody knows that.  There are certain kinds of signals. As a native of the south, I can tell you, when you see this Charlton Heston ad, ‘The One,’ that’s code for, ‘he’s uppity, he ought to stay in his place.’ Everybody gets that who is from a southern background. We all understand that.  When McCain comes out and starts talking about affirmative action, ‘I’m against quotas,’ we get what that’s about….”

    And the reason it works, it that the “everybody” who knows what it means understands the message–but it is wrapped up in words they deliberately use to give them “plausible deniability”. But those who call them on are accused by them of “playing the race card”, of “whining”, etc.  So, the troglodites get away with it again?  

    Not if Obama–not going on the defense & trying to refute the nebulous–just goes on the attack, pounding McCain on each of his multiple vulnerabilities in ads.

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