Sunday, February 17, 2008

Old News

The Times of London says the right wing is gearing up to trash Barack Obama.

LEADING Republicans believe they can trounce Barack Obama in the presidential election by tarring him as a shady Chicago socialist. They are increasingly confident that his campaign could collapse by the time their attack machine has finished with him.

Grover Norquist, an influential conservative tax reform lobbyist, said: “Barack Obama has been able to create his own image and introduce himself to voters, but the swing voters in a general election are not paying attention yet. He is open to being defined as a leftwing, corrupt Chicago politician.”

[…]

“It will be easy to portray him as even harder-left than Hillary,” said Norquist. “Hillary could lose the election, but Obama could collapse. People already know Hillary and she is not popular, but the disadvantage for Obama is that Republicans can teach people who don’t know him who he is.”

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House and Republican guru, recently described Obama as the “most leftwing candidate to run since George McGovern” – a reference to the anti-Vietnam-war Democrat who lost 49 states out of 50 to Richard Nixon in the 1972 election. Norquist believes Obama’s questionable Chicago connections will stir things further.

Yawn. Is this the best they’ve got? Grover Norquist and Newt Gingrich? How retro-1994. Plus, being called a “shady politician” by the right wing is roughly equivalent to being called ugly by a frog; in some GOP circles, you’re not even considered for membership until you can list references by Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay.

It’s also worth noting that these wingnuts give barely more than a passing reference to John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee. That’s because, to them, he doesn’t matter. These guys aren’t out to promote his candidacy; they have monumental issues with him as it is. Their tactic is to destroy the Democrat regardless of who the candidate is in either race, and with a candidate like Barack Obama, they will be even more desperate.

That’s because they are in deep, deep shit and they know it. They are saddled with eight years of a disastrous Bush legacy and yet another tired old candidate who has the added handicap of being despised by the True Believers. So it’s little wonder that they’re going to dig up every little thing about Sen. Obama they can find and flail it around like fetish. We’ve already seen it with the flag lapel pin and the hand-over-heart stories, and it’s only going to get sillier.

It’s all very predictable and very tiresome. The only unknown in the equation is whether or not the Democrats will be able to counteract it. After all, these wingnuts are, if anything, the masters of efficiency; they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t think it would work as well as it has in the past.