Barack Obama’s campaign has launched the site fightthesmears.com to combat the forces (read: the Republican WarCampaign machine) that made “swiftboating” a commonly used verb. The Primary battle against Hillary, a bloody contest that dragged on like an extended version of “Night of the Living Dead: The Democrat’s Cut,” has taught Obama well. While he might not be willing to run around the country yelling “Keating Five” and “senile, old bastard,” Obama’s not going to back down. Gore and Kerry were gentlemanly in their quests, hardly ever showing outrage at Republican tactics, and look where it got them.
Of course, it’s one thing to put factual information out there and it’s another to get people to read it. The Hangover fears that the citizens inclined to seek out the facts and truths about Obama are the same ones who are likely to vote for him anyway. There’s also an “anti-intellectual” bent evident in much of the country, as if reading was this great super-cerebral activity. Why actively seek out information when one can scan the front page of the Enquirer in the checkout line or flip a switch and listen to the bombast of drug addict Rush Limbaugh and his cronies?
Red state voting patterns of 2000 and 2004 indicate there are plenty of voters who prefer a candidate who appears to have never read a book, rather than contenders who have actually written one (Sorry, but we refuse to give George W. Bush credit for My Pet Goat on 9/11/2001.) While Gore and Kerrywere obviously more intelligent, they were not better campaigners than G. W. Bush. Perhaps more forceful, less compliant Presidential bids would have served them (and us) better.
The Hangover takes fightthesmears.com as a good sign. In schoolyard terms, Obama is not going to be handing over his lunch money to the Republicans this fall. He doesn’t have to be a bully to win, but he can’t allow himself to be pushed around. This new site is Obama rolling up his sleeves.