Sunday, November 27, 2011
Glenn Reynolds links to an interesting post by William Jacobson that argues that the Democrats are, by their response to a Romney ad that did not so much as hint at an allegory to a reference of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, still worried about Wright's association with Barack Obama.
First, the notion that showing images of blacks in a video is an attempt to invoke Jeremiah Wright is preposterous. There also were plenty of whites in the video; momentary flashes of non-whites does not give the video a racial overtone.
Second, and most important, this was nothing more than a pre-emptive Democratic attempt to make it toxic for anyone to bring up Obama’s long association with Wright by making charges of racism even when Wright is not mentioned. That shows you how much the Democrats fear a true investigation of Obama’s background and his ridiculously incredible claims that he did not know that his pastor and mentor was a race-baiting flame thrower....
Memo to Tad Devine and David Di Martino: If a rock from 1984 and a dinner from 1997 are on the table, so too are Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and the vast emptiness of Obama’s narrative.
All of that is, of course, true, but the Republicans would be unwise to pursue the question for two reasons.
First, Wright is old news, and as soon as that pitch is thrown the pro-Obama pundocracy will ask "is that all they got?" No, actually, the GOP will have a 3+ year track record to run against, and there is a very little good to say for it (apart from the OBL hit and decisions that Obama mostly runs away from, like the drone wars and keeping Gitmo open). Focusing on "old news" or the "Obama as cypher" meme will only move the game to Obama's home court, personal issues. And that leads to...
Second, is there any leading Republican candidate, Mormon or Gentile, who would benefit from a close examination of his or her religious practices and affiliations by the secular humanists in the national media? OK, so that may be the one personal issue that will not dog Newt, but you get the point.
Jeremiah Wright was a totally legitimate issue in 2008 and John McCain was the perfect candidate to go for that soft spot. Probably unfortunately, McCain made a decision not to do it and even ordered surrogates to back away. Now the issue is spent.
Let's be blunt. Whether or not any of Obama's questionable past is brought up the media will still go after Romney's religion and Gingrich's divorces.
I think the mistake the GOP always makes is they let the MSM set the rules without realizing the rules are designed guarantee the GOP's loss.
Sit on it until the first nominee debate next year where it will receive widespread, live coverage not subject to a MSM protective filter, hold fire until the first instance Obama demonstrates some kind of condescending self-righteousness (should be a short wait), and then strike, backing it up with Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Fast & Furious, deliberately allowing receipt of foreign donations in his 2008 run, etc. and all the moral outrage the Republican nominee can muster.
Obama can hardly stand legitimate opposition to his policies, especially if he's made to look stupid; see the Netanyahu incident. He would spontaneously combust if personally attacked about serious moral failures on live TV (and all the more outrageous because they're true). And I would bet that he wouldn't be even remotely prepared to handle it.
Dawnfire82 makes the point I wanted to make. Don't make it a major plank in the campaign, and don't be the first to start the politics of character assassination. Hold it in the arsenal as a defensive weapon.
Only AFTER AxelPloufee has gone on the offense by attacking the character of the GOP candidate should it be used. But then use all the dirt they've got to retaliate: Wright, Rezko, Ayers, Khalidi, the shady way he got on the ballot in his state elections, etc.
Nobody will hold it against the GOPer if it's clear it's being done to retaliate against a character assassination offensive launched by AxelPlouffe. And it may actually help with the low information voters who don't pay close attention to politics until a few weeks leading up to the general election.
The key, I think, is for the GOPer to leave the impression he wanted to run a clean, issues oriented campaign but the attack by AxelPlouffe left him no choice but to fight back. Otherwise, he just looks like a punching bag. A patsy. -- SCOTT
Saying Wright is off limits, for our own good, is sort of odd. Isn't it racist to use double standards? David Duke and Louis Farrakhan are rightly criticized for racism, but is Jeremiah Wright any different? If a white figure prominent in Chicago made similar statements (like Father Pfleger) wouldn't he be criticized? Why should Wright be above criticism?
Maybe, all the most controversial of Wright-isms are entirely rhetorical, The Audacity of Trope, and we mere voters are just too taken with superficiality to get that, so we on the center-right should shut the hell up.
It's all just so depressing: criticizing public figures, like Wright, has become out of vogue in America. So much so that liberty-loving blogs like this one are themselves urging self-censorship upon readers.