Sunday, June 15, 2008

Si non è vero

Scene from a capea
David Seaton's News Links
The other day I posted a version of my News Links post, "The Sword of Damocles" over at TPMCafe. "The Sword of Damocles" was a speculation about the famous/infamous, true/false, existent/inexistent, Michelle "tape/dvd".

I was gratified by the tremendous response I received. The TPM forum is a unique opportunity to take the pulse of any issue and anyone who earns his bread and cheese in political speculation has to be grateful for the opportunity.

That said, I really had to dodge the flung dung.

They called me everything but pretty.

I am pleased to share with my readers some of the choicest stuff that that was tossed my way over the "Sword" and a follow up post to it, which I'll reprise below. Enjoy.
God, Seaton, you're a fucking idiot. I NEVER call people that.

From one Obama supporter: Fuck off!

I've suspected for quite a while that you're an intellectually dishonest jackass.

This crap is just wacky with no entertainment value. Except for the freakshow.

Toss him a chicken, see what he does with it.

Seaton, I don't wish to put too fine a point on it but you, sir, are a fool.

David, you are a weasel, and either phony or demented.

Are there any DVD/Videos rumored to be out there which reveal that David Seaton is a convicted pedophile, who can not return to the USA.
So much for the "new politics".

If you are a friend, please don't be upset by any of this, I'm certainly not. "Sticks and stones," as we used to chant as tots. The Obamites haven't gotten to sticks and stones yet... but, only time will tell.

In fact, the above abuse is music to my ears. It means that my probing has connected solidly with an exposed nerve and that a fruitful path of investigation has been revealed to me.

In fact, the reaction I received to my post convinces me more than anything else that there is something to this rumor.

Or perhaps I should say that it proves that there is a tremendous fear among Obamites that there is something out there of equal caliber and destructiveness.

There is a famous Italian saying about certain rumors; "Si non e vero, e ben trovato", it means: if it isn't true, it's well made up. It sounds true because it is made up of many elements that are probable in themselves.

For example if we were going to invent scurrilous rumors about John McCain, we would probably invent things like his having incipient Alzheimer or wearing diapers. Because of his great age, some people might believe it.

However, if we spread it about that he was a shoe fetishist or a child molester or that he took drugs, or often missed his naps, very few would find that credible, again because of his great age.

I really can't imagine either McCain or his supporters mobilizing masses of people to refute any of these inventions, either the credible or the incredible.

In the case of Michelle Obama, this tape rumor is either true or it isn't.... and if it isn't, it will die a natural death, certainly long before November.

However, the hysterical reaction of the Obama campaign and the Obamites in general makes me smell a rat. It proves that as Maureen Dowd writes in the NYT.
“Michelle,” as one political observer puts it, “is a target-rich environment.”
The Obamite reaction will certainly prove to the Rovian, neo-Swiftboaters that they are close to pay dirt.

To anyone with insight, I think it is perfectly obvious that Barack Obama is Hawaii's answer to Tony Blair... a phony: a faux-progressive manipulator. I am sure that Obama's role models are Blair and Reagan... passed through Dick Daley.

The way Barack Obama needlessly sold out the Palestinians the other day at AIPAC proves to me that he'll do the same on health or anything else. He makes John Kerry's "flip flopping" look Gibraltar-like in its steadiness. Except for bare faced Blairian spin, like his race speech, I have yet to see even one moment of genuine political courage in his entire career.

Every day as the campaign intensifies more people are going to be catching on to this and as sympathetic (dog like?) as the media has been up till now in their treatment of Obama, some will be tempted to hold his feet to the fire and obviously the Obama campaign wants to intimidate them. The Spanish call this "curing yourself in health" or "applying a bandage before you are cut".

Noemi Klein writes in the Guardian:
Barack Obama waited just three days after Hillary Clinton pulled out of the race to declare, on CNBC: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." Demonstrating that this is no mere spring fling, he has appointed the 37-year-old Jason Furman, one of Wal-Mart's most prominent defenders, to head his economic team. On the campaign trail, Obama blasted Clinton for sitting on the Wal-Mart board and pledged: "I won't shop there." For Furman, however, Wal-Mart's critics are the real threat: the "efforts to get Wal-Mart to raise its wages and benefits" are creating "collateral damage" that is "way too enormous and damaging to working people and the economy ... for me to sit by idly and sing Kum Ba Ya in the interests of progressive harmony".
She was immediately brought to book by an Obamite calling him/herself, "Watching You", citing chapter and verse of "The Audacity of Hope" and warning Ms. Klein to "be careful".

I'm beginning to wish Obama does win, just for the fun I'll have taking the piss out of his starry eyed supporters as he triangulates the conservatives on every issue in true, Clinton (Bill)/Blair fashion and slows down and dilutes every transformational initiative from the left of the Democratic Congress and Senate.

I am beginning to think that I might have as much fun with Obama as I have had with Bush.

If McCain wins, I know I will disagree with him most of the time, but I don't think I'll feel the sort of contempt I feel for Bush or Blair... or Obama.

Back to the rumorology and its effect on the election.

This election is about Barack Obama. How he wins it or how he loses it.

In a certain sense McCain is an "innocent" bystander.

The center of my thesis is that while McCain can't "win", Obama can lose it and the weakest link he has is his wife Michelle. That is because she is a real person, with real opinions, who has spoken her mind without calculating the effect her words might have years later on her husband's fortunes.

She is also a person who belongs to what, in the United States at least, might be called the left.... and the USA is a solidly right wing country by world standards.

With much media complicity, Obama has been able to distance himself from embarrassing associations... up till now. Obama can throw Wright, Trinity, Johnson or the Palestinian people under the bus, but if he tries to throw Michelle Robinson under the bus, she'll cut his effing heart out.

As to the rumor itself... there is one detail that is either true, or the work of master rumor monger: that is the bit about Michelle's denouncing Bill Clinton's inaction on the Rwanda genocide. That is a story that surfaced a couple of months before her supposed speech to the Rainbow/Push conference in 2004 and which quickly dropped out of the public eye, it is a political junky's collector's item, it is certainly something too old and too obscure for a crude forger to either understand or use today. DS


RC said...

I think there is a pretty good argument to make for McCain being a shoe fetishist. One need only study Cindy's foot gear to further that story line. On the other hand, is there anything terribly wrong with that?
Also, again again, I detect that the dirty pool, not cricket, game just is not going to be all that successful for the Party Of Rove any more. The cry of wolf has lost
it's effect.
And also, whereas her feet are not at all problematic, Cindy has some dreadful stories that would lend themselves to wonderful embellishment in and out of the press.
The Rovian game, by the way, is not that any of these blackenings need be true, only that they be, as you state, plausible, that they receive sufficient public airing {repetition}, and that's all that is needed to complete the process is sufficient willingness to adopt the concepts as fact, and if anyone doubts that these are the steps then please study how many US citizens still believe that there were WMD in Iraq just before the invasion, how many believe that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam were tea time pals and how many are convinced, yet, that Barack Obama is a Muslim.
So the beauty of the Rovian evil is that facts are not important, proof is not a necessary element and the process works wonderfully well with an electorate that may not be all that sharp or would just prefer to have their prejudices reinforced by innuendo.
It seems at this stage there are those who will go to vote based on believing whatever they want to believe and those who will do their best to find a reason based on reason. Sincere partisans and true believers of both candidates already know how they will vote.
I think the fence sitters may be swayed by some ideas or events, but not by dirt, not this time. I also think that we can predict how the bigot vote will go too.
It's really all about getting the electorate numbers up and to the polls, and not much else.
It is really too bad that we have no means of actuating simultaneous political universes. How nice it would be if in January, McCain could start running Political Universe "A" and Obama running P.U.
"B" and at the end of 4 years we could compare. Imagining that contest I know how I would vote.
Incidentally, Michelle's shoes are also pretty jazzy.

Forensic economist said...

Sometimes mud doesn't stick.

Look at Ronald Reagan. Race baited, had a corrupt cabinet, confused movies with reality, broke the law funding the contras, negotiated with Khomeini, was in favor of cutting the last redwoods, thought star wars would be an impenetrable shield, debauched the credit of the United States -- etc, etc.

He was one of the most popular presidents, and still is. Could smile and say "there you go again" and everyone thought that whatever problems happened weren't his fault.

Obama can have similar Teflon -- as long as he does not directly counter attack the smears, or throw mud at McCain. He will be the candidate of "Hope". I think he knows this very well.

I perceive him to be the smartest, most educated, knowledgable and aware -- and crafty -- candidate. I also don't think we really know what he thinks or will do. I'm still voting for him as better than the alternative.

PS don't let the idiot snarks at TPM get you down! I do respect Josh Marshall as a reporter.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Apparently, the word is that Obama gets lost without a teleprompter, that he's really not that good on his feet, that he messes up when confronted one on one with a well prepared journalist that is not pitching softballs.

This is why McCain wants to get him to the unrehearsed town hall meetings, where spontaneous things happen.