Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mighty White-y of You

The rumor about Republicans having video of Michelle Obama “railing against Whitey” at her church has “gone mainstream.” Slate, Reason, and The National Review all have it now. Each vents skepticism that the tape rumor is more than an anti-Obama fear mongering campaign designed to swing super-delegates to Clinton.

Larry Johnson, the former CIA operative and zealous Clinton supporter, was the first to raise the tape allegation at his blog, http://www.noquarter.com/. Yesterday morning, Johnson gave a more definitive description of the tape (though he has not seen it). He claims it shows Michelle Obama and Louis Farrakhan together on some sort of panel.

When this story first broke, I contacted Kip Tew, the chair of Indiana’s Obama effort. He was extremely skeptical, but he said he would inquire with Obama HQ. I don’t know whether he ever did, but I can tell you I never got a reply from the campaign.

This is somewhat interesting because today Johnson adds, “I also have learned some major financial backers are asking the Barack team about the tape and are being stonewalled. It is a wild card in the political campaign that has not yet played out.”

This might be because the Obama camp doesn’t want to spend a single minute “proving negatives” and being taken “off message.” I certainly get that, and as an Obama guy, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt until I see an actual tape (rather convenient how nothing has materialized in a Youtube age).

Having said that, I predicted some time ago that this rumor (unlike the insane Larry Sinclair variety) would “get legs” in light of all the other religious controversies and comments by Michelle Obama. I urged the campaign to denounce “desperate tactics” and to make an outright denial. To date, this hasn’t happened.

And that’s okay, if they know no such tape could exist. But IF a tape materializes in October, Obama will be unelectable, and he has to know it right now. That means he will have let his drive for the Presidency overtake his common sense, and he will have handed the election to John McCain. If that transpires, I promise I will go to Illinois to work for whatever Democrat runs against him to make sure he never serves in public office again.

I am a huge fan of Obama and a donor of his, but anybody who helps elect John McCain deserves the scorn of every Democrat. And, I might add, that includes Hillary Clinton, whose continued fight has kept the party from coalescing around Obama. Her prolonged campaign and “woe is me, I’m being beaten up by pundits” attitude has generated such profound anger, a lot of “Hillary Clinton Democrats” will NOT be voting for Obama in November.

It would be a tragedy if her scorched earth campaign transforms a situation where the Democratic Party goes from two exceptional candidates to two unelectable ones. Of course, that would be par for the course.

To quote Will Rogers, “I am not a member of any organized party. I’m a Democrat.”



Anonymous said...

Sorry, but every day that this goes on, gains steam, and still no denial, I worry. You hit the nail on the head.

And if you think about, Obama's past record indicates this is a possibility. He has a habit of waiting, hoping the scandal doesn't catch fire, it catches fire, he waits some more, hoping it dies down, and then finally confronts it.

He should know that the Republicans are masters of digging up the dirt. If Michelle was stupid enough to say this on camera, I am going to be livid. Because all of the blog posts and editorials justifying this and "trying to start a dialogue" about the topic aren't going to mean shit to the average voter.

It would be stupid of the Republicans to release this now. I honestly think that after the number crunching, they believe their chances are better against Barack than Hilary. I don't think they can keep a lid on it until October, but think they will try to wait until the nomination is formalized.

Anonymous said...

As a Clinton supporter, I have grown very, very tired of the "scorched earth" phrase.

Many of us do not think that Hillary is perfect, as a matter of fact we have been reminded of her faults (some real and some fabricated) for 15 yrs. They have tried to knock her out over and over but she gets up every. single. time.

We also know what the republican smear machine can do, they impeached her husband after years of a great economy and a balanced budget for lying about a blow job.

It is funny how that blow job doesn't seem nearly as important since we are involved in a war that cannot be won, the economy has tanked, people are struggling to get decent health care and we are losing good paying jobs on a daily basis.

I will support Obama and I will do it happily in November but I can guarantee you that your definition of "scorched earth" is about to change. I hope that he is prepared.

"Scorched earth".......whatever.

Anonymous said...

I call bullshit. If the alleged tape existed, it wouldb on Youtube.

legaldiva said...

I'll admit (reluctantly) that there may be a possibility that the tape exists, but a part of me just can't believe it wouldn't have surfaced on youtube at this point. Seriously, it's from an event some years ago and it's certainly not the only copy, if it exists. I also worry that even if the tape to were surface, it will be some grossly misconstrued segmented statements. I can't yank support behind that b.s.