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Monday, January 28, 2008

When You Can't Win on the Issues, There are Always Lies

Barack ObamaBarack Obama took S. Carolina by an extremely wide margin Saturday. Looking at the breakdown, we see that Obama ate his competitors' lunches. Obama took 57% and Clinton had 29%, with John Edwards a distant third at 13%. It was an electoral bloodbath. It's widely reported that Barack and Hillary both now have two wins under their belts, but when you look at the actual delegate count, Clinton has yet to win a contest. Her two popular vote wins -- New Hampshire and Nevada -- were respectively a tie and a loss in terms of delegates. When looking at the numbers that matter most, Clinton still hasn't had a single primary win.

Which puts the momentum behind Obama, who isn't losing any time capitalizing on it. Depending on when you read this, Sen. Ted Kennedy either will or has endorsed Obama. Kennedy's endorsement adds dem leadership to the Obama camp, which earlier scored a big win with Sen. John Kerry's endorsement -- which assumedly comes with the "Golden Rolodex" of fundraising contacts from Kerry's '04 run.

Although Associated Press has found that it's mathematically impossible for anyone to claim the nomination even after Super Tuesday, you could argue that -- at this point in time, at least -- the primaries are Obama's to lose. The man is on a roll.

That's not stopping some from making stupid, dishonest, and -- frankly -- unamerican arguments against his candidacy. It's well-documented that there's a BS email campaign out there to convince voters that Barack Obama -- make that Barack HUSSEIN Obama -- is a radical Muslim terrorist. It seems unlikely to convince Democrats -- it's the sort of braindead crap that only those who would fall for creationism would buy. Which means Republicans. Not that it hasn't been tried by dem ops (Clinton's campaign has been tied to the rumor. Although it doesn't seem to be part of the Clinton strategy), but it seems so reactionary and ill-informed that I can't see anyone who practices critical thinking going for it.

The Urban Myth debunking site,, has the email:

If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts...this is very scary to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States...better heed this and pray about it and share it.

Who is Barack Obama?

Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white ATHEIST from Wichita, Kansas. Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii.

When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya . His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia . Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, "He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school." Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that he is not a radical.

Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta. Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background. ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegiance nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to the flag and slouches.

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.

The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level -- through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!!

Not only is this all untrue, but it requires that you confuse a Senator from Illinois with a Representative from Minnesota. It was Rep. Keith Ellison who was sworn in with a Qur'an, not Barack Obama. It was, by the way, Thomas Jefferson's personal copy.

Obama never attended a Madrasa. Where the email tells us that his father was a "radical Muslim," tells us otherwise:

Although the elder Obama was raised as a Muslim, no evidence supports the claim that he was ever a "radical Muslim," and Senator Obama's family histories note that his father was an atheist or agnostic (i.e., no longer a practicing Muslim) by the time he married the younger Obama's mother. Of his mother's religious views, Senator Obama wrote, "For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness."

It's ironic that his mother's view of religion is backed up by the lying or gullible morons who forward this email. The email campaign has been so successful that right wing news organizations had repeated it as fact. This forced Obama to add a page to his senatorial website -- "Debunked Insight Magazine and Fox News Smear Campaign." This weekend, Politico reported, "For over a year, largely out of the media glare, Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign has been fighting a determined, low-intensity conflict against the viral e-mail that forwards the myth that Obama is a crypto-Muslim Manchurian candidate." The email campaign has widely been referred to as a "smear."

What's been bothering me about this is not that being a "radical Muslim" would be a bad thing, but the idea that being a Muslim at all would be a political liability. This was what I meant when I said the emails were unamerican. People have every right to be Muslim. People have every right to vote for a Muslim. "All men are created equal," remember?

Yet the neocon and evangelical right have been using the fact that Obama's middle name is "Hussein" as a smear of its own. Media Matters gives us many examples of this, including:

During the November 28 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, Republican strategist Ed Rogers referred to "Barack Hussein Obama."

On the December 5 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, senior political correspondent Carl Cameron told viewers: "Though he's written two books about himself already, most people know very little about Barack Hussein Obama Junior's uncommonly privileged life."

On the December 14 edition of Hardball, NBC's Mike Viqueira announced "a man named Barack Obama, whose middle name, incidentally, is Hussein, running for president."

Here's a fun game -- right off the top of your head, come up with the middle name of any other presidential candidate of either party. And, no, Hillary's middle name isn't Rodham. In fact, most people don't known that Mitt Romney's real name is "Willard" (Yeah, I'd use something else, too).

Columnist Leonard Pitts, jr. has a great take on all this. "Barack Obama is not a Muslim. But, what if he were?" Pitts asks. "Same guy, same charisma, same inspirational idealism. But also, a Muslim. Not a crazy Muslim. Not a guy prone to strapping bombs to his chest in hopes of meeting virgins in heaven. A Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-type Muslim. A Dave Chappelle, Ahmad Rashad, Shaquille O'Neal-type Muslim. A guy you like and admire who just happened to be, you know... Muslim."

He writes about a "creepy, are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been attitude toward Islam" that is cropping up in public dialogue. While the Constitution clearly bans a "religious test" for public office, this only prohibits government, not voters. Voters can use whatever criteria they want. And it's this freedom that the religious right have been using as a loophole in the constitutional ban. They often claim that the US is a "Christian nation" -- and they'll do anything they can to make that true.

When Keith Ellison was sworn in using a Qur'an, the religious right freaked out. Right wing yacker Sean Hannity compared being sworn in with the Qur'an to being sworn in using "'Mein Kampf,' the Nazis' bible." Another brainless right wing blab machine, Dennis Praeger, wrote that Ellison "should not be allowed" to use the book and that the Bible is what "America holds as its holiest book." His argument was as insane as it was unconstitutional.

"He should not be allowed to do so," Praeger wrote, "Not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization." Yikes! If Ellison were to use the Qur'an, America itself would freakin' collapse!

Of course, we're still waiting light of American democracy to go out in the world. Praeger's gloom and doom forecast turned out to be just as stupid as it seemed.

If Barack Obama's momentum keeps up and he wins the Democratic nomination, it's a sure bet that these morons will continue this bigoted anti-Musim crap. For far too many on the right, the term "radical Muslim" is redundant -- "Muslim" and "radical" are synonymous. In fact, "Muslim" and "terrorist" are synonyms as well.

There are those on the right who would mine that rich vein of stupidity, hatred, and ignorance in their own ranks. They'd use it to tear down not only Barack Obama, but Muslim Americans as well. Like abortion and gay rights and evolution, whether or not Muslims are real people will be used as another idiotic wedge issue to rope in the simpleminded, the narrow-minded, and the closed-minded. All are members of the Republican base. And, as much as the Republicans need these people, they also deserve them. The religious right -- along with the pro-war crowd -- are what's scaring voters away from the GOP. The Republicans need the nuts, because the nuts have chased off almost everyone else. If the religious fanatics and the panicky security types bail, the GOP has almost no one.

Barack Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist because they need Barack Obama to be a Muslim and a terrorist. They can't possibly get the haters and the gullible up out of their Laz-E-Boys otherwise. I keep saying that you don't get people to vote for things, you get people to vote against things. And there's nothing that's so unpopular as terrorism. Convince everyone that the other guy's a terrorist and it doesn't matter how bad your guy sucks. The dopes will vote against the "Islamofascist" in droves.

If there isn't an actual terrorist on the ballot, you can create one with lies, propaganda, and some of the purest BS the world has ever seen.


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