Well, it took a little time to fully develop, but the Boston Globe has gone fully in the tank for Barack Obama. And they're laying the groundwork for the spins and deceptions and outright lies that they will trot out to push their candidate.
This morning, they feature three columns on Barack Obama, but the one I'm going to focus on is by longtime Democratic activist Dan Payne.
It's such a predictable, by-the-numbers piece I almost could have written it myself, just so I could smack it down.
BARACK OBAMA can deliver a brilliant speech tonight, but its impact could evaporate within days. John McCain and his allies have opened the 2008 Swift Boating season. Four years ago, a smear outfit called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth began trashing John Kerry's Vietnam War record. Kerry was never the same.
True enough. He had to admit that he'd made up at least part of his story about his service in Vietnam, and never -- NEVER -- released his full service record to the general public, as he repeatedly promised. In other words, he had to admit that he'd made up some details (the "Christmas in Cambodia" fairy tale) and make sure no more embarrassing details were made public.
Helter Skelter. What the GOP does is throw out so many attacks that the target and voters get confused and disoriented. This all-out Helter Skelter Republican attack machine is something Obama has never experienced.
Oh, poor Bambi. He's a veteran -- hell, a product -- of the Chicago political machine; he's seen up close and personal how dirty politics can be. Also, he's surrounded himself with experienced Democrats who've been through the process numerous times, so they know what to expect -- precisely the same things that they'll do to McCain. It's called "politics."
It always starts small. A small lie. First, they say he's like Paris Hilton. Then he's why gas prices are high. Then he'll raise taxes on the middle class (Funny how powerful Obama is for a man who lacks experience.)
What, saying that Obama's famous for being famous? Sounds pretty accurate. Lord knows he has no lengthy record of accomplishments to run on.
And it isn't Obama that is so powerful, it's the office of the presidency. Look at all the things Bush has been accused of doing to the nation and the world. Some of them are even true, and that is the power of the presidency. That is the office Obama aspires to.
The escalation. McCain's part of the attack machine quickly ginned up a TV spot showing newly minted VP candidate Joe Biden at an early debate saying Obama wasn't ready to be president. Next they found video clips of Hillary Clinton criticizing Obama - imagine, one Democrat knocking another in the middle of a heated primary! Such things never happen to Republicans.
Um... minor problem here, Mr. Payne: those video clips are TRUE. Biden and Clinton actually said those things.
The last time I recall a presidential candidate tapping a former rival for the veep slot was 1980, and I recall a LOT of ads featuring George Bush's describing Reagan's plan as "voodoo economics" in that race. And when Bush ran again for president to succeed Reagan, a lot of his own clips from 1980 came back to haunt him.
Should McCain choose one of his primary opponents for his vice presidential nominee, then we can fully expect to see clips from the debates and ads that candidate ran about McCain, and vice versa. The main difference is that there will be a lot less of Payne-style whining about it, because that's how the game is played.
McCain vs. the Pig. During the Republican primary, John McCain and Mitt Romney tangled over immigration. McCain said this about Romney: "Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it."
Case. In. Point. Thank you for proving my point so quickly, Mr. Payne.
The book of lies. Four years ago his book smeared John Kerry's war service. Now Jerome Corsi has a book out on Obama, published by none other than Mary Matalin, longtime hit-woman for the attack machine for the Bushes and Dick Cheney.
Corsi regurgitates every ugly rumor about Obama. He even asks if Obama has continued to use drugs since high school and college. The book contained so many lies and distortions that the Obama campaign had to issue a 40-page response.
Corsi's a nut, a 9/11 Truther. He's actually doing the Obama camp a favor -- while everyone dismisses HIS book, it draws attention away from another book that has far, far more credible -- and damaging -- stuff on Obama. The Democrats ought to keep this book on the top of the charts for as long as they can, just so it sucks up all the attention Freddoso's book would otherwise get.
And it was one of Hillary's national co-chairman, Bill Shaheen, who pushed the drug angle -- and had to resign for it.
The weirding begins. The favorite move of the GOP attack machine is to define an opponent as weird, outside the mainstream of America's Brady Bunch self-image. Michael Dukakis was weird because he was an ethnic, Northeast liberal who carried an ACLU card, and as governor vetoed a bill making the pledge of allegiance mandatory. Obviously, Dukakis hates America.
Again, just part of the game. McCain's weird because he spent five years as a prisoner. Because he has a temper. Because he married a wealthy woman who owns a lot of stuff. Because he's OLD.
I, too, remember the 1988 campaign, Mr. Payne. And you're right about most of the things, but I don't recall Mr. Dukakis' ethnicity being much of an issue. Indeed, I recall it was just the opposite -- he was held up by his backers as the embodiment of the American dream, the child of Greek immigrants who would grow up to be president. Well, maybe. And, thank heavens, not.
Obama is weird because of his race, name, upbringing outside the continental United States, and a host of malicious lies: He doesn't put his hand on his heart during the national anthem (wrong). He's a closeted Muslim (false). He attended an anti-American madrassa school (nope). He was sworn into office on the Koran (untrue). He snubbed hospitalized veterans while in Germany (bogus).
Yup, and it's been a lot of Democrats who pushed those crocks, during the primary season. I lost count of how many Hillary Clinton campaign people "resigned" after being caught pushing them.
And Obama DID snub hospitalized veterans in Germany. It appears to have been an accidental snub, a series of errors and whatnot, but that just shows that Obama's "judgment" and priorities and competence are not what they claim to be.
Michelle Obama, according to attack machine gunner Rush Limbaugh, was seen on a video berating "whitey" at some meeting. Supposedly she wasn't referring to Bulger. Regardless, no such video has ever been found.
Um... minor problem there, Mr. Payne.The earliest and biggest pusher of the "whitey" tape story was Bob Beckel, longtime Democratic activist and Hillary Clinton supporter.
Got surge? The right-wing Vets for Freedom has started a $1.1 million TV campaign in key states that uses three veterans of the Iraq war who knock Obama for not supporting the surge in Iraq.
So? It's true. And those veterans aren't being "used" as Mr. Payne wants you to think. They CHOSE to make the ad, of their own free will, with no deception or manipulation involved.
The Ayers TV spot. The American Issues Project is running a TV commercial making it seem as though Barack Obama and Bill Ayers, an unrepentant radical in the 1960s and '70s, are best friends and that Obama supports his violent acts.
No, Mr. Payne, Mr. Ayers is an unrepentant TERRORIST. When the prosecution against him fell apart due to government malfeasance, Ayers himself proclaimed "Guilty as hell, free as a bird--America is a great country."
And Obama has repeatedly tried to minimize his relationship with Ayers, only to have to go back and revise it as more and more details of their history together come to light. The reason that the Obama camp finds this ad so frightening is that it not only shows a pattern of Obama choosing to surround himself with people of extremely dubious character (Tony Rezko and Reverend Jeremiah Wright come to mind), but that goes to their single strength of Obama's they tout -- their judgment.
And just how badly to they fear attacks like this?
Get some Justice. Obama's campaign has demanded that the Justice Department investigate the Ayers spot, claiming it's electioneering, not issue advocacy. Dallas megamillionaire Harold Simmons is bankrolling the ad. By himself. Simmons was a major donor to the Swift Boat smear job against Kerry and has raised more than $50,000 this time for McCain. Hard to call this an independent expenditure.
Hey, Mr. Payne, unless you can show that McCain had anything to do with the ad directly, it's "independent." The issue of the ad is "keep terrorists and buddies of terrorists out of the White House."
But if you wanna play that game, Mr. Payne, can we take a look at those who are spending literally millions on behalf of Obama? Let's start with George Soros, and MoveOn down the list. Careful what precedents you might set.
Yet another hit man, who shall go nameless because he thrives on publicity, created the infamous Willie Horton TV spot that attacked Dukakis for a weekend prison furlough program that resulted in a convicted murderer traveling to Maryland where he brutally beat a man and raped his fiancee.
The nameless one is now attacking Obama in a TV spot for opposing in the Illinois state Legislature a bill to extend the death penalty to gang murderers, after the killing of innocent Chicagoans during gang gunplay.
Hmm... who could this be? As I recall, it was Al Gore's campaign that first made Willie Horton a campaign issue.
And in both cases, the charges have the virtue of being true. If Obama felt so strongly about that law, why shouldn't he have a forceful defense of his opposition?
Formula for defeat. White bigots + lies about Obama + Hillary holdouts = President McCain. Nothing Obama says tonight can change that. Enjoy it because the next 68 days won't be fun.
Alternately, it's more like "guilty whites + lies about Obama + willful blindness = President Obama."
Obama can change that. Literally anything can happen in the next 68 days.
I've often spoke of my disregard for polls, and I'm going to make my own analysis about how the election: it's a dead heat. There's a 50% chance that Obama will win, and a 50% chance that McCain will win.
And it's going to stay that way right up until the actual election -- the only poll that counts.
Oh, and one last thing, Mr. Payne: there's a very good chance that the next 68 days could be very fun. For example, your "analysis" gave me some great belly laughs.