The River Rafting Of Barack Obama genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

It was only a matter of time before backroom GOP operatives would capitalize on the controversy surrounding the incendiary comments of Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's pastor. A newly launched YouTube video appears to be the first swiftboating salvo in a campaign that is likely to see many more. The video demonstrates the growing impact of the internet as well as the expanding ability to distribute stealth attacks upon one's opponent.

The video is listed on YouTube as being produced by a professional-sounding group called "NHaleMedia," but there is no such entity.

Rather; the incendiary video -- which also includes footage of Malcolm X, the U.S. Olympians who raised their hand in the black power salute and the song "Fight the Power" -- is in part the amateur work of Lee Habeeb.

A former producer of "The Laura Ingraham Show," Habeeb is the director of strategic content at Salem Radio Network, the conservative talk radio powerhouse that airs programs hosted by figures such as Bill Bennett and Hugh Hewitt.

Habeeb declined to reveal the identity of his co-producers, but did say that they are "conservatives who happen to be in the media world" and are not working for any campaign. One, he said, works in film and the other is involved in crafting ads.

I debated whether to include the video in this posting but I decided it was important for Democrats to see what they can expect as we approach the November election. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of these efforts backfire. This one is particularly offensive in its attempt to link Senator Obama with numerous negative images and stereotypes.

Those still wondering if the GOP would again use gays and gay marriage as their signature issue need not spend another moment contemplating the question. After watching the video, it should be abundantly clear that race will be the crown jewel in the GOP's armada. Should Obama be the Democratic nominee, I expect the meme to mimic a GOP favorite used to assail gays...the militant homosexual agenda.

In Obama's case, this effective meme will be modified to portray him as secretly promoting "the militant black agenda"...one that denigrates patriotism and seeks to install a Marxist inspired version of socialism. Take a moment to do a Google search with the term "Obama Socialist Marxist agenda". If that doesn't convince you, Google "Obama Marxist Posters" and you'll note the efforts to connect Obama to Che Guevara.

It makes perfect sense for a party that has found fear to be a formidable tool in building its current coalition. Truth be told, it is so effective that many of those who vote GOP do so despite the fact that it is detrimental to their own self-interest. Race appears to be poised to replace (or augment) terrorism and gay marriage as the big bad bogeyman in 2008.

Yes, Senator McCain has suspended a staff member who was found to be distributing the video. Unfortunately, the GOP has refined the tactic of disseminating fear and falsehoods while maintaining the deniability of their candidates. The fact that 13 percent of Americans believe Obama to be a Muslim demonstrates the success of these unsubstantiated smears. One needn't be a sophisticated statistician or an astute tactician to predict that the vast majority of this 13 percent won't be voting for Senator Obama.

On that somber note, the video follows as does my own satirical graphic on "The River Rafting of Barack Obama.

SwiftBoatingBarackObama.jpg

Comments

1 On March 21, 2008 at 9:59 AM, Ben in Oakland wrote —

"It makes perfect sense for a party that has found fear to be a formidable tool in building its current coalition. Truth be told, it is so effective that many of those who vote GOP do so despite the fact that it is detrimental to their own self-interest...The fact that 13 percent of Americans believe Obama to be a Muslim demonstrates the success of these unsubstantiated smears."

Daniel-- this says it all. It is hard for me to imagine that Americans are too stpuid, too fat, and too lazy to be bothered to make the effort to discern the truth, but that seems to be the way of it. Our economy is in the toilet, the war goes on forever, but dammit, we stopped the homo's from getting married and we're protecting the unborn...

...except we haven't done a thing.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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