David Seaton's News Links
I was surprised that Maureen Dowd, of all people, led me to a encyclopedic page of virulently anti-Obama material. Was this advance damage control or just subtly presented, advance damage? Who knows.
The Internet, as I'm sure you all know by now, is buzzing with rumors of the famous Michelle Obama, "whitey" tape, of which the link of Maureen Dowd's provides this description:For about 30 minutes, Michelle Obama launched into a rant about the evils of America, and how America is to blame for the problems of Africa. Michelle personally blamed President Clinton for the deaths of millions of Africans and said America is responsible for the genocide of the Tutsis and other ethnic groups. She then launched into an attack on "whitey", and talked about solutions to black on black crime in the realm of diverting those actions onto white America. Her rant was fueled by the crowd: they reacted strongly to what she said, so she got more passionate and enraged, and that's when she completely loses it and says things that have made the mouths drop of everyone who's seen this.The first question is, does the "tape" actually exist?
The "tape" is a DVD that Trinity United sold on its website, and possibly offered free for download up until March 2008 when Trinity's site was scrubbed and the DVDs were no longer offered for sale.
I would imagine it does, because, strictly as a rumor, this thing would have very short legs. It certainly wouldn't affect the election if the tape never appeared.
There is a certain plausibility in Obamfile's version, if you situate yourself in July 2004, at a conference of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/Push Coalition, when according to Obamafile, all this is supposed to have happened, then some of the things she is accusing Bill Clinton of are quite reasonable and part of progressive discourse at that time.
For example, it is true that Bill Clinton never moved a finger to stop the massacres in Rwanda. The information became known in April of 2004, and quite a few well informed black people... and not so black people, rebuked him bitterly for it.
However if the rest of what the website says is true and the tape exists, when and if it is released, then that will be the end of Barack Obama's campaign. It will all be over but the shouting.
I think the United States is certainly ready to elect an African-American, Obama's success to date proves that, but probably they are not prepared to elect one who appears to be of the radical left to boot.
And if, as the website Maureen Dowd links to says,Her rant was fueled by the crowd: they reacted strongly to what she said, so she got more passionate and enraged, and that's when she completely loses it and says things that have made the mouths drop of everyone who's seen this.Then middle-America will have nightmare visions of Obama's Inaugural Ball... and frankly, I don't think middle-America is ready for that yet.
Middle-America has up till now been enchanted with someone who seems to them to combine the gravitas of Colin Powell and the unthreatening charm of Will Smith, with just a dash added of Doctor King's noble rhetoric and delivery. In short someone who embodies all that white America loves in black America and none of the things they fear and loathe. Catharsis. We all live happily ever after.
That the Obama camp is taking so seriously what is only at the moment a rumor, (and a rumor that will fade and die harmlessly if no tape, in fact, exists) then it would appear that the tape's release is imminent. (For what imminent release means, see below.) Otherwise they are only giving body to baseless calumny. Some of what they are planning to do is frankly a little sinister. According to Time:Obama is enlisting his millions of supporters to help him hunt down and quash these stories, just as those supporters helped him turn his insurgent campaign into a history-making juggernaut.How exactly are these "millions of supporters" going to "hunt down" and "quash"? Are we talking about out and out intimidation?
Time continues:Near each rumor will be a fight-back button, offering suggestions as to where and how Obama supporters can call or e-mail to counter the rumors. The site will also have a spot where Obama supporters can alert the campaign to any new rumors they may be seeing on the Web or in their mailboxes or hearing on the telephone.I think the "fight-back button" is a huge mistake, this is a Skinneristic wet dream for every electronic prankster in America. This would be like an electronic version of a village bullfight, called a capea in Spain, (what they call in South America, a pachanga), with all the local boys risking their lives to lure the bull.
Assuming the tape exists, who are "they" and when would "they" release the tape?
I see four possibilities:
- Hillary: If she has it, she'll find someone to release it in time for the super-delegates to change their minds with decorum. If the tape appears very soon, shedunnit.
- McCain: If he has it, he'll release it in the fall, probably the classic "October Surprise". In time for the voters to see it and digest it, but not early enough for Obama to make a Checkers Speech.
- Reverend Wright: If as they say, the tape was in the Trinity Church catalog, Wright will have some copies lying around for sure. He has access and motive. If he releases it, he'll will do it either right before or during the Democratic convention. So that all hell breaks loose and he can sit back and laugh and laugh as those super-delegates tie themselves into knots.
As I said, either the tape exists or it doesn't... If it doesn't, the rumor itself won't hurt Obama because, as they say in Spanish, "what doesn't kill you makes you fat". DS
- Some fifteen year old kid will launch it from his bedroom computer to impress his friends... Any time he and they get bored. Thus is history written.
BTW: Now even Muammar Qaddafi is getting into the act. Here is this from the BBC website:"The statements of our Kenyan brother of American nationality Obama on Jerusalem... show that he either ignores international politics and did not study the Middle East conflict or that it is a campaign lie," he said.How is that for perverse? Qaddafi has strange taste in clothes for sure, but he is very shrewd and I am sure he knows how his remarks will play on Fox. DS
"We fear that Obama will feel that, because he is black with an inferiority complex, this will make him behave worse than the whites."
"This will be a tragedy," Qaddafi said. "We tell him to be proud of himself as a black and feel that all Africa is behind him."