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The Obama Re-Election Smear Machine

by | Aug 16, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama and Pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden

It’s all “faux outrage,” an Obama operative told the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, a dismissive putdown of Mitt Romney’s demand that President Obama takes “your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.” To Milbank, this signified not genuine anger but a sign that “The umbrage industry is working overtime this week.”

Milbank’s basic tactic in a column that ran yesterday is “he who is without sin cast the first stone.” But there is a difference between Big Boy Politics—you give as good as you get—and what Obama’s re-election team (and particularly Vice President Joe Biden) is practicing—character assassination and seven-degrees-of-separation guilt by association.

I doubt even Milbank truly believes what he is writing. But the narrative—hoorah: Democrats “have ceased their traditional response of assuming the fetal position when attacked”—is too tempting to resist.  Giving tit for tat (and then some) is just payback, he suggests, which just happens to conveniently provide cover no matter WHAT they accuse Romney and Ryan of.

So, for example, when Biden suggests to an audience that had many African-Americans in attendance that Romney would “put y’all back in chains,” lots of people with no axe to grind were outraged.

But not Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, who “said the campaign had ‘no problem’ with Biden’s chains claim and said Obama ‘probably agrees with Joe Biden’s sentiments,’” Milbank writes.

An even more outrageous smear came via an ad from a pro-Obama super PAC. It was a lie from beginning to end, although Milbank manages not to engage the question of the ad’s truthfulness. Instead he explains approvingly how Democratic leadership went from saying they had “no idea” about the political affiliation of the group, “which is run by two former Obama staffers “ to defending the ad’s accusation which have been disproven over and over.

All this is good, according to Milbank. Democrats “are no longer simply whining about the other side being reckless and unfair: They are being reckless and unfair themselves.” (And, as he writes elsewhere in the column, “and then some.”)

Well, we will see. The poll numbers are moving in Romney’s/Ryan’s direction, there is speculation that Biden will be dumped (having exhausted his smear credibility?), and the crowd enthusiasm for the new pro-life ticket is undeniable.

Suggesting, don’t you think, that what goes around, comes around?

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Categories: Politics