Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jonathan Martin -- Obama not yet ready for what lies ahead

Pay careful attention to this, folks. Jonathan Martin hits the nail on the head with this piece from Politico. (Emphasis mine):

It may be too little too late, but Hillary Clinton may have been onto something with her warning to Democrats last night.

Only one of us, she said about her and Barack Obama at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, is "ready to defeat the Republicans."

On potentially lethal lines of attack, religion and patriotism, Obama has twice now demonstrated that he's not sufficiently aware of the danger that exists from the conservative Freak Show that did as much to beat John Kerry as George W. Bush did in 2004.

Last year, Obama's campaign largely ignored the persistent rumor that he was some sort of crypto-Muslim. Emails to this effect circulated for months, tainting the first impression many casual voters had of the young senator. Obama's camp didn't want to give the smear more attention by spotlighting it, but it reached such a fever pitch in the days leading up to Iowa that the candidate himself finally had to bring it up in his stump speech. And even now, new anecdotes emerge every day about voters who are wary of Obama's middle name (Hussein) or his purported Muslim roots.

And again this week, they've been slow out of the blocks in recognizing another danger zone. "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country," Michelle Obama said Monday in Madison, Wis.

By that evening, the quote was the top headline on the Drudge Report and quickly found its way onto conservative blogs. Yesterday afternoon on his influential radio show, Rush Limbaugh played the clip and then lit into both Obama's.

"Doesn't it just grate on you that liberals in general are not proud of their country, period?" Limbaugh asked.

By last night, the conservative commentators on Fox News were in high dudgeon over her comments, repeating them over and over before lambasting her and predicting they would be used against the candidate this fall. And as of now, Wednesday morning, Michelle Obama has made no public comments nor issued any statement to stop the bleeding. Only Obama campaign advisers have sought to explain away an obvious gaffe. Now, the Obama camp can make the case that her comments are being distorted and that they don't want to legitimize their right-wing tormentors by having Michelle apologize or even clarify the statement. After all, the mainstream media hasn't exactly pounced on the affair.

The New York Times, for example, had just a small story deep in the paper today, completely overshadowed by Obama's success last night. It all sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Kerry and his top aides didn't want to elevate the attacks of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by forcefully rebutting them. And the Swifties didn't exactly garner much attention when they launched their campaign in the summer of 2004. The elite newspapers and network newscasts initially gave them only the most cursory mention. Plus, Kerry was riding high after his military-bedecked convention. Why dignify a few fringe voices?

But as Kerry learned too late, the politico-media world has changed. Obama may not want to play by the rules of the Drudge-Limbaugh-Fox News axis, but their influence is as real as the voters they reach.

More ominous for Obama is that his general election opponent in waiting appears to appreciate the opportunities afforded by the new media forces.

The right-wing media voices may not have any great affection for John McCain, but the senator and some of his top advisers have been around long enough to know that most of these conservatives loathe liberals even more.

They’ll never go anywhere near the Muslim smear or anything approaching racial territory, of course (that has already proven to have considerable currency underground). But there is nothing that delights a Republican operative more than the prospect of a Democratic candidate (or spouse) criticizing the country.

It plays right into the blame-America-first narrative that the GOP has been beating over the heads of Democratic candidates dating back to George McGovern in ’72.

So sure enough, Cindy McCain used a public appearance the day after Michelle Obama’s comments to bring them up and note that, for the record, she is “very proud of [her] country.”

That McCain doesn’t typically delve in partisan politics and that her husband served in Vietnam and two sons are currently on active duty today only made her remarks that much more striking. More important, they doused gasoline on a fire that was already burning on the right and helped pushed it into the mainstream media.

The good news for Obama is that he and his campaign have now — assuming they’ve grasped the impact — been given something of a warning shot. It’s only February. There is time yet to figure out the difference between the way to win and the way to lose.

We contend that even though the warning shot has been fired, he will not be able to withstand the juggernaut of the alternative media. Bear in mind that this will be the first major presidential election where the alternative media - talk radio, conservative columnists, podcasters, bloggers and vloggers - will have substantial influence in it's outcome. This is the alternative media's "gates of fire."

We haver the ability, at a moment's notice, to dig up disparaging information about Obama. And while Mr. Martin is quite correct that none of the "professionals" in the alternative media wil delve into the Muslim slurs, or race-card tactics, the subordinates will. And they'll be roundly and rightly criticized. Neither -- I repeat, NEITHER -- of those issues are at contention in this election. I could care less if Barack Obama is Muslim (he's not, and it's improper to even contend that he isn't qualified for the presidency if it were true; we've been over this with the Romney affair), and I could care less that he's black (again, it has no relevance in the overall election).

Face it, we don't think he truly understands the gravity of the alternative media. We have been around for quite some time. We were influential in the midterms of 2002, the presidential election of 2004, and we even had a hand in 2006 despite some conservatives who were content to sit at home "to teach Republicans a lesson." This year, that won't happen. Mr. Martin is absolutely correct that we loathe liberals and their socialist platform more than we dislike John McCain.

Obama is going to be scrutinized on his statements (withdrawing troops from Iraq, threatening to invade Pakistan to hunt down bin Laden, having no preconditions before meeting with the worst despots that despise us, and a tax plan that will wreck the economy). He will be lambasted over these positions. And whereas we can acknowledge that John McCain hasn't exactly stayed on the reservation, he hasn't stated any position that will end up doing harm to the nation. (And no, you can't cite McCain/Kennedy because it's dead, and isn't likely to rear it's ugly head again for some time.) Barack Obama has, and that is where we're going to level the cross-hairs. And you can be sure that McCain will take a page or two from our playbooks on how to go after him.

We all know the media is going to be pushing Obama's race when the general election begins. They're doing it now by bringing up being "swiftboated" by racist Republicans. Thank God Obama had enough sense to take that meme off the table, but the MSM won't relent on that topic. They'll do their best to paint McCain and the Republican party as being against Obama because we're "racist." That's the furthest thing from the truth, and we'll condemn any conservative pundit that even makes that contention, overt or veiled.

Just get ready, Obama supporters. We're coming out after him, and we're going to bring facts to the table. Speaking of "hope" and "change" isn't going to help you in the debates you attempt to engage in. We have the high ground in this election.

Publius II


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