Thursday, May 21, 2009

Irrelevants Never Forget

One of the oddest things about Republican attacks on Obama is how they still seem to be based on the idea that the election isn't over. It's as if their drubbing last November still hasn't quite sunk-in yet and they're hoping that one last rehash of the attacks that were ignored last November might finally begin to pay dividends.

And nothing was more absurd than their attacks on him for associating with Bill Ayers. That, along with Reverend Wright were issues that Hillary brought up during the primaries, and McCain brought up during the general; and nothing. People just didn't give a damn. Nor do I understand why they would have been expected to.

While the charge of socialism also ranked pretty high on the Stupid Scale, that term at least had some salience at one time...a few decades ago. Attacking him for associating with a dude most folks hadn't heard of was just dumb. After all, the whole point of a smear is to use public ignorance to attack someone, as your opponent will have to spend all their time trying to educate the voters as to why the smear isn't true. But if your smear requires a lengthy history lesson to be understood, then it just backfired on you.

Dreams of Nightmare Absurdity

And so I find it hilarious that the Washington Times is still trying to link-up Bill Ayers to Obama, including suggesting to Ayers that he co-wrote Dreams From My Father. And seriously, that had to be the kookiest political attack on anyone, anywhere.

Because first off, it was completely insane. There was never any evidence whatsoever to suggest that Ayers wrote Obama's book, or that Obama would have needed a ghostwriter, or even that Obama knew Ayers well enough to have him write the damn thing. It was absolute fantasy based solely on the already absurd idea that Obama and Ayers were secret BFF's.

But what made this ghostwriter story even dumber was that it wasn't a very good attack even if it were true. So what if Ayers wrote the book? Does that make Obama or the book more radical? No. If anything, all it would do would be to provide evidence of the Obama-Ayers BFF myth. And because no one was suggesting that the book was wildly radical, it would suggest that Ayers was less radical for having written in. And where's the harm in that?

And while I suppose it would undermine Obama's intellectual credibility to not have written the book, so what? Lots of autobiographies are ghostwritten. Karen Hughes supposedly wrote Bush's. McCain's "alter-ego," Mark Salter "co-wrote" all five of McCain's books. It happens. Not everyone's got mad writing skillz like me and Obama. And so if Obama were yet another non-author, could that really be the negative attack that finally turned everyone away from him? I can't imagine how.

And so the whole thing was just a big zero. It was an absolutely ludicrous claim based upon bizarro assertions which wouldn't have been particularly damning even if true; and which was completely ignored by voters. And yet conservatives are still so desperate to believe in it that a reporter for the WaTimes disgraced himself by asking Ayers about it. And the best plan conservatives can come up with to gain relevance is to double-down on their attacks and pray they finally start working. They won't.

1 comment:

Johnny Pez said...

The reason the wingnuts think all this sixties radical stuff will play with the electorate is that the wingnuts are stuck in 1968 and they can't get out.