By Martin Bosworth
Just as the condemnation of MoveOn.org’s “General Betrayus” ad ensured a spike in the organization’s funding and donations, George Bush seems set to do the same for Barack Obama’s campaign, thanks to some hysterically funny slamming of Obama’s intellect and ability in today’s Examiner :
As for Obama, a senior White House official said the freshman senator from Illinois was “capable” of the intellectual rigor needed to win the presidency but instead relies too heavily on his easy charm. “It’s sort of like, ‘that’s all I need to get by,’ which bespeaks sort of a condescending attitude towards the voters,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And a laziness, an intellectual laziness.”
You got that? A “senior administration official” in George Bush’s White House is criticizing Barack Obama for intellectual laziness! Oceania really HAS always been at war with Eurasia! Luckily Steve Benen skewers this for the foolishness it is.
Not only that, Bush also telegraphs the GOP’s desire to have Hillary be the nominee, as they know she’s the most eminently beatable if they go for the full-out slime campaign. But again, by overplaying their hand so obviously, they can only add to the public support for Obama (and Edwards)–because if George Bush doesn’t like you, that’s the equivalent of the Metal Jesus himself coming down and throwing the horns your way. If I were Obama, I’d be emblazoning slogans like “BUSH THINKS I CAN’T WIN–PROVE HIM WRONG” all over my Web site, buttons, etc.
And while we’re at it, in case you were wondering what self-respecting media outlet would uncritically publish this sort of dreck, the Examiner is a free tabloid right-wing rag created under the assumption that D.C.’s two papers–the Washington Post and the Washington Times–are just filled with liberal political correctness. Because D.C. just can’t have enough papers that go for huge, splashy five-part investigations on the evils of trial lawyer donations to Democratic candidates, you understand. The reason why this stuff is free is because no one would pay for it.
Media Matters published an expose of the right-wing business empire behind the Examiner in 2005. As for article author Bill Sammon, the guy’s claim to fame is penning a book (put out by right-wing pulp mill Regnery Publishing) that claims Al Gore was somehow responsible for nearly stealing the 2000 election. Obviously Sammon is an expert in the ways of “up is down, black is white, short is long.” This Daily Howler article from 2001 goes into some depth about Sammon’s misuse and rewriting of Gore’s history to fit his agenda.
All of this reminds me of two famous chestnuts from the Bush era–the line about “we’re making our own reality” and Karl Rove’s tactic of turning his candidate’s weakness into that of his opponent’s. While it’s heartening to see that these guys continue to use the same playbook with regularly diminishing returns, it’s chilling to see the media continue to let this stuff pass so utterly uncritically and unchallenged.