Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Gauntlet Has Been Dropped

The upcoming strategy for the Republicans for the fall campaign is beginning to take shape. The bulk of the campaign will revolve around the lack of patriotism of Senator Obama. He is already being cast by the Republican nominee and the Republican minions as being unpatriotic and a hater of America. Let the swift boating begin. The goal of this strategy is to scare the rural and working class white Americans who are being targeted because of the final weeks of the Hillary rural strategy. The belief is that Obama is vulnerable amongst these voters because of race, class, and patriotism. The Republicans have to get the debate away from the issues and focus on divisiveness. If the Republicans were to run on the issues this election would be over tomorrow.

The conservative editorial writers have already begun the onslaught. The latest to weigh in is one of my all-time favorites William Kristol. Now how this guy is still in print is beyond me. Mr. Kristol has a long and storied career of embellishing the lies of Republican administrations from the Reagan years until today, as well as his anemic war reporting of the pre and post Iraq invasion. It seems now that Mr. Kristol believes that after listening or reading the commencement speech of Senator Obama given at Wesleyan University in place of Senator Ted Kennedy who was ill at the time that the Senator is un-American. In his speech the Senator expounded on the virtues of service to one’s fellow man. In a time of unprecedented greed and selfishness in America it was an important topic and was delivered not with condemnation, but on the contrary with grace and personal examples.

Leave aside the fact that two years elapsed between Obama’s graduation from Columbia in 1983 and his heading off to Chicago in 1985. Dramatic foreshortening is, after all, sometimes necessary. And leave aside whether $14,000 in 1985 was really such a shockingly low salary for someone recently out of college — in inflation-adjusted dollars, it’s about what we pay entry-level editorial assistants today at The Weekly Standard.[1]

The Republican slime machine continues to mimic the same lines no matter who the target is, whether it is a “renegade” insider turned snitch or any objective voice in the face of their dishonesty. This line is similar to the one being promoted by another conservative rag which states that poor people in America are not really poor, just look at all the food they have to eat and whether earning less than the minimum wage is poor. Show me how many graduates from Ivy League schools who make the kind of money Mr. Kristol is talking about upon graduation. I know of Ivy Leaguers who make more than that while still going to school. If you can’t attack the message, then attack the messenger. What Mr. Kristol really wants to attack is the notion of someone from a top university being willing to give up making money for the service of their fellow man. This attack is not palatable to the masses, so it is disguised as an assault on the factual basis of the story.

My questions are simply these. If Mr. Kristol thinks that serving our nation in the military is such a fine calling why didn’t he nor any of his right wing counterparts partake of the honor? Also, why is it that no one questions the credentials of these hacks after they spew this crap? Because it plays to the false patriotism and fears of some Americans who believe that patriotism is a commodity that you can buy or display like so many flag lapel pins. True patriotism, like true love cannot be purchased. Instead like true love it is a verb and an action, not simply words espoused by warrior sheep who have no trouble debating the glory of war knowing that neither they nor their children will ever have to experience it.

But at an elite Northeastern college campus, Obama obviously felt no need to disturb the placid atmosphere of easy self-congratulation. He felt no need to remind students of a different kind of public service — one that entails more risks than community organizing. He felt no need to tell the graduating seniors in the lovely groves of Middletown that they should be grateful to their peers who were far away facing dangers on behalf of their country.[2]

These “peers far away facing dangers” on our behalf are in this position because Iraq attacked the US? No they are facing danger because Bush and in a large part Mr. Kristol chose to attack Iraq. While he played no role in the actual decision to attack Iraq, his writings on behalf of the invasion and in defense of President Bush’s decision to invade have been well documented. The goal of the Republican strategy against Senator Obama will be two-fold. They will openly attack his and his wife’s patriotism and secretly they will attack his race. They will attempt to exploit the fears of some whites of a black candidate. Of course it will be done couched in the usual code words with nods and winks. The southern strategy is about to take on a whole new manifestation as it is exported to all the small towns and rural areas of America.

These attacks must be exposed and dismantled by all true patriotic Americans regardless of Party affiliations. How can one man lynch another man? He can’t without the acquiescence of other so called “good people”. We are or we could be at a major turning point in America. We are at the crossroads of either moving forward as a nation or reaching backwards. The reason that Obama has been able to rally the young of America is because they recognize more so than older Americans where we are at this moment. This is no time in America to turn back the clocks based on fear and divisiveness, but to move forward as a nation towards inclusiveness and tolerance.


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