Obama Announces FightTheSmears.com. Forget the Smears, Fight McCain!

Obama launched a new website FightTheSmears.com to combat the well funded Republican misinformation campaign being waged in cyberspace against him. As his campaign sent out in a statement:

It is time to stand up for a new kind of politics and combat the dirty smears and baseless attacks.

As we move toward November, those who seek to use fear and lies to divide us will only become more desperate in their attempts. To combat their efforts, we have released a new website to equip you with the right information to fight smears and rumors about the campaign.

Officially, the site debunks such claims as Michelle Obama used the term Whitey (a term I actually find endearing personally), Obama is a Muslim, and that Obama ever said if you send him $2,000 for a wire transfer fee, he’ll give you 25% of a $40 million sum of money locked up in a Nigerian vault. (Okay, that last one hasn’t been making the rounds yet)

While I applaud Obama for proactively attacking these innuendos, taking the defensive is always a flawed campaign strategy.  In politics, the best defense, is offense.  The only time a campaign should ever defend itself, is while simultaneously taking the offensive.   

Fact is, the truth is practically meaningless in the modern political era – and anyone who is telling you otherwise is lying!   Opinion and innuendo passes for political journalism, not just frequently, not just constantly, but entirely!   Political journalism is delving to lower lows than *gasp* celebrity journalism – and while I like to say I’m happily riding the wave, my ethics as a journalist extend beyond those of mainstream political reporters as I don’t portend to be anything but an entertaining partisan hack!   (Truth in representation is true integrity.)

FightTheSmears.com will prove valuable in the new era of blog oriented rapid response and better arming “viral arm chair, DIY surrogates,” nevertheless, creating a site like this bespeaks a potentially critically flawed campaign strategy from the Obama Camp – that of believing you need to answer the opposition and maintain the high road.   If this is Obama’s gameplan, this is a recipe for disaster.  

In 2004, John Kerry’s camp got so enmeshed in defending Kerry’s impugned  honor as a war veteran, they stopped attacking Bush.    Every press release sent out defending Kerry’s record took the place of one attacking Satan’s George W. Bush’s atrocious record.  The campaign’s fate was sealed when they used the Convention to bolster Kerry’s lagging credentials, rather than hammer Bush… consequently Kerry suffered one of the weakest post Convention bounce in the polls (3-4%) in modern televised election history.  

This brings us to Obama.  Fact is, the media operates without facts!  They report whatever is said and by the time the truth comes out, American’s have lost interested and move onto the next scandal that’s been thrown at them.  

The one concrete truth in politics is that there are no concrete truths!  There is only what you can get American’s to believe – hence the reason American’s still think Gore claimed to invent the internet, still think there was something fishy about John Kerry’s war medals, and why some South Carolinians still think that McCain had a mixed race bastard child (which I’m pretty sure is entirely true).  All of these pseudo-facts were the brainchild of one of the few political minds who has successfully realized politics has moved beyond objective truth – Karl Rove.

The only way to suffer any consequence from outright lying, is if the rival campaign successfully calls you to task – an unbelievably taller task than it might seem – because no one pays attention to defenses when they can instead pay attention to the next attacks!  And even if Campaign A does claim a lie was perpetrated by Campaign B, all that Campaign B must do is say Campaign A is lying, and unless absolute bombshell evidence is released, Campaign A is still worse off because – and here’s the best part – Campaign B merely has to suffer the fact its been accused of lying while Campaign A has to suffer the combined effects of the original lie by Campaign B, plus the effects of subsequently being accused of lying about lying as a counter!  

And the irony, since media increasingly refuses to take sides on “He Said, She Said” issues in politics, unless there is overwhelming evidence, the lying campaign almost always makes out better.  The media will only take a side in light of overwhelming evidence, and in the time it takes to accrue overwhelming evidence on concrete issues or vague innuendos, the public has made up its mind for one side and bored of the original argument.  

The strategy is beautiful in both its simplicity and its efficacy.  If you attack fast enough and hard enough, you never have to answer for the veracity of any of it!  

The moral of the story, Obama should NEVER go on the defensive.  No campaign should ever go on the defensive.  The only defense is an attack!   If Obama wanted to defend himself on the charge that Michelle Obama used the term “Whitey,” he should have used a 501c3 hit squad to pay a Hispanic woman to come out claiming that Cindy McCain used a racial epitaph against her.  (watch his pole numbers in Florida after that one!)  Sure, it wouldn’t be a defense per say, but it would effectively diminish the “whitey” debate and do more damage to the McCain cause.  

Ironically, it would cost $10,000 to arrange a stunt like this, but cost McCain $10M in campaign damage.  (Yes, I will take black ops donations)  

In closing, this is the new age of politics.  One in which campaigns are viewed as what they are, wars of attrition in which truth is increasingly rendered more irrelevant by the lack of a media with any back bone.  Unless media exalts the ideals of great journalists like Walter Cronkite by eschewing unprincipled reporting and passing of opinion off as fact – we are doomed to succumb to the smears.  
The good old days of journalism

 

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1 Comment

  1. Talking about racist, The Obama’s are racist and now using the race card against a nice person that really did not say anything wrong! She lost her show!
    Time to speak out about Obama’s race attacks!

    http://goodtimepolitics.com/2008/06/13/terrorist-fist-jab-racist-cry-babies/


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