Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Joe Wilson's Smear

Joseph Wilson: Sen. Barack Obama's promise of transformation and an end of partisan politics has its seductive appeal. The Bush-Cheney era, after all, has been punctuated by smear campaigns, character assassinations and ideological fervor.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the few who fully understood the stakes in that battle. Time and again, she reached out to my wife -- outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson -- and me to remind us that as painful as the attacks were, we simply could not allow ourselves to be driven from the public square by bullying. To do so would validate the radical right's thesis that the way to win debates is to demonize opponents, taking full advantage of the natural desire to avoid confrontation, even if it means yielding on substantive issues. Hillary knew this from experience, having spent the better part of the past 20 years fighting the Republican attack machine. She is a fighter.

But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being "disingenuous," to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, "The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you." Then McCain said, "Obama wouldn't know the difference between an RPG and a bong."

Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground.

How will Mr. Obama respond to charges made by the Kenyan government that his campaigning activities in Kenya in support of his distant cousin running for president there made him "a stooge" and constituted interference in the politics of an important and besieged ally in the war on terror?

Senator Obama claims superior judgment on the war in Iraq based on one speech given as a state legislator representing the most liberal district in Illinois at an anti-war rally in Chicago, and in so doing impugns the integrity of those who were part of the debate on the national scene. In mischaracterizing the debate on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force as a declaration of war, he implicitly blames Democrats for George Bush's war of choice. Obama's negative attack line does not conform to the facts.

It is not credible that Senator Obama would not have succumbed to Secretary Powell's arguments had he been in Washington at the time. Why not? Obama himself suggested so in 2004. "I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports,' Obama said. 'What would I have done? I don't know." He also told the Chicago Tribune in 2004: "There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage." According to press reports, Powell is now an informal adviser to Mr. Obama.

Obama's overtures to Republicans, or "Obamacans" as the Senator calls them, is a substitute for true national unity based on a substantive program. His marginal appeals have marginally helped him in caucuses in Republican states that Democrats won't win in the general election. But his vapid rhetoric will not withstand the winds of November. His efforts will be correctly seen by the Republican leadership as a sign of weakness to be exploited.

Barack Obama claims to represent the future, but it should be increasingly evident that he is not the man for this moment, especially with Mr. McCain's arrival.

---- Ummm. According to Wilson's assessment of Obama, he is a man easily intimidated, fails to stand his ground, uses a negative attack line by blaming Democrats for Bush's war. That Obama is an informal footsy associate of Colin Powell (and we know Powell stood before the UN and lied). Wilson says Obama's vapid rhetoric will not withstand the winds of November, that he will be seen, correctly, as weak. Even that Obama's connections to the Kenyan government makes him a "stooge."

I'm sure Obama knows the difference between an RPG and a bong (you usually don't put a bong on your shoulder) - just as Bill knows the difference between his penis and a cigar. Just as I know the difference between a genuine outing and the phony Wilson/Plame saga of distraction.

Joe claims to have withstood the winds of character assassination and is himself above such tactics, and as Hillary reached out to him he prevailed against the bullies - so he diplomatically warns us Obama is a negative, vapid, weak, meek, and intimidated stooge, and Hillary is the one who will fight for us.

Wilson doesn't bother to explain how Hillary will fight for us but assures us she is "battle-tested." I guess I'm to believe she battled that vast rightwing for us and won - for us, she stood up against .... against .... against ... well whatever it was she battled for us; and rewarded the nation with 8 years of BushCo policy.

Even the hardcore democrats I talk with here in Heartland, USA will not vote for Hillary or Obama when the winds of November blow. Your next president will be McCain.

Oh, by the way Joe, how's the Jarch Capital Sudan oil business? Will Hillary in the WH carry more force to make the Sudanese behave via UN peacekeepers? You know Jarch's oil grab is creating a lot of misery over there Joe.

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