Friday, August 15, 2008

Hitting Back

The Obama camp is not going to let the far-right whacko Jerome Corsi get away with his bullshit this time. From TPM Election Central:

In stark contrast with the Kerry campaign in 2004, the Obama campaign is mapping out an aggressive counter-attack against the new Swift-Boat-Vet style book targeting Obama — including plans to dig more deeply into the author’s past statements, plans for increased surrogate action against the book, and stepped up pressure on high-level media executives to let the Obama team have air time to rebut the charges.

The plan is taking shape amid new signs that the book — by Jerome Corsi, who wrote the tome that formed the basis for the attacks on Kerry — will have staying power and become a real factor in the campaign.

We’ve just learned, for instance, that the Corsi book, called Obama Nation, will be number one on the New York Times best seller list two weeks running, according to an early copy of the list from the Sunday after next we obtained. It was previously known that it would debut at number one this weekend, but the fact that it will stay there for a second week running suggests the attacks will continue to resonate.

We’ve also learned that a second anti-Obama tome — The Case Against Barack Obama, by David Freddoso — will also debut at number five on the best-seller list the week after next.

Obama advisers say that whenever they hear that Corsi has been booked for an appearance on a network program, they are quickly contacting the program’s producers to rebut the book’s charges in phone conversations and giving them a whole run-down of past Corsi quotes that are controversial.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to books like this: dismiss it, ignore it, and reasonable people will realize it’s all crap; or fight back effectively and make everyone — reasonable or otherwise — realize that it’s all crap. The first scenario didn’t work for the Kerry campaign in 2004, so Plan B seems to be the way to go.

Of course the argument against Plan B is that by making a big deal out of the books and the lies you give them exposure and thereby promote them. That may be, but through the exposure you reveal that the book is nothing more than crap and the “scholarship” behind it doesn’t pass the laugh test.

I realize that some Democrats aren’t comfortable with hitting back; it seems so un-progressive. Well, unless you want to spend the rest of your political career curled up in a ball in the corner whimpering, “Don’t hurt me” even when you’re right, grow a spine and get used to hitting back.

Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post gets in a few good whacks.