No words better sum up the fashion by which Barack Obama’s campaign handles criticism than “the politics of personal destruction.” Although popularized by Bill Clinton, the phrase embodies the political left’s timeless approach to securing victory in elections. Destroy your foe and hope that his ideas never become the issue, as ideological debate is not something at which they excel. Yet this year was supposed to be different. The junior senator from Illinois promised an end to divisiveness, partisanship, and “politics as usual.” Recent events illustrate the emptiness of these platitudes. Since August, Team Obama has fought a covert war against their opposition and muzzled them by any means available.
Legal methods appear to be their response of choice. When a commercial from the American Issues Project linked Obama to former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, the campaign filed a complaint with the Department of Justice requesting that the 527 be criminally investigated. Simultaneously, they contacted “stations running American Issues Project’s ad in an unsuccessful attempt to compel them to pull the spot.” The same tactic was used in the primaries in regard to Hillary Clinton. Luckily, the Department of Justice does not — as of yet — deem the free expression of speech a felony or a misdemeanor.
More licit chicanery ensued with John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin. Rather than combat her popularity with disputation, the man who lauds himself a catalyst for hope and change “airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators, and opposition researchers into Anchorage, the state capital Juneau, and Mrs. Palin’s hometown of Wasilla to dig into her record and background.” What they will turn up is unknown but largely irrelevant. Quixotic endeavors and profligate spending are integral to Obama’s maneuvers. The same is true of ad hominem argumentation. Indeed, the bombarding of faultfinders has become a cause célèbre this year.
Attempts to critique Obama are met with vitriol from partisan loyalists and members of the mainstream media. Respecting diversity is anathema to his legionnaires. The arguer, rather than the argument, becomes the focus for their irrational blowback. In their minds, the only acceptable way to describe the Democratic nominee is as the savior of our polity. Deconstructing his associations is forbidden. That Obama knows more radicals than moderates is blatantly obvious, but bringing it up is an act of hate. This practice showcases how rooted in emotion the political left is. Their willful abandonment of logic is perplexing until one contemplates how much their hysterics confuse independents.
The Obama campaign is aware of this eventuality and has created a site called “Fight the Smears.” It sends out emails via a “live action wire,” a tocsin alerting the faithful that someone somewhere has besmirched the name of The One. Like Sauron in The Lord of the Rings, their wrath is terrible and their retribution swift. Soon after their leader is challenged or merely inconvenienced, all contentions which contradict him are systematically recast as “smears” or personal assaults.
I personally witnessed this transpire upon the release of Dr. Jerome Corsi’s The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality. Operatives sent out a “Push Back Now” component wherein supporters initiated a nefarious attempt to damper the author’s legitimacy and sales. They derided Corsi as a “vile smear-peddler” who published “a book of lies.” The senator’s sycophants were so terrified of its contents that they put together a 41-page pamphlet purporting to refute it. Corsi counterattacked with a rejoinder of his own and elucidated those positions that the campaign conceded.