Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Obama's experience offers a lesson for other Dems

Well, John Kerry's officially out of the 2008 presidential race and that's probably a good thing. Like Josh Marshall, I like Kerry and hate that he's been tainted by the same Republican machine which effectively smeared Al Gore, but, the truth is, Kerry didn't fight back effectively. As I said when I got back from Afghanistan, the issue of his service in Iraq could have beaten back with the simple slogan: I Believe the Navy! It should have been on T-shirts and buttons and every conservative who gave the Swiftboaters any credence should have been force to answer why they didn't believe the Navy and why any veteran should feel their meritorious service would be safe from partisan attack.

And then there was the "botched joke."

It should be remembered by all Democratic politicians that the right wing has an extremely efficient echo chamber and all they have to do is create enough noise to confuse voters who aren't following every bit of campaign info. That's nothing new, but many Democrats still fail to push back immediately and aggressively against smears.

I am heartened, then, to see a Dem fighting back.
Obama is aggressively going after Fox News today for pushing that smear-job report claiming that he went to an Islamic “madrassa” school as a child. The report has already been completely debunked by CNN, but Obama isn't letting up.
Obama released a memo and it says:
In the past week, many of you have read a now thoroughly-debunked story by Insight Magazine, owned by the Washington Times, which cites unnamed sources close to a political campaign that claim Senator Obama was enrolled for “at least four years” in an Indonesian “Madrassa”. The article says the “sources” believe the Madrassa was “espousing Wahhabism,” a form of radical Islam.
Insight Magazine published these allegations without a single named source, and without doing any independent reporting to confirm or deny the allegations. Fox News quickly parroted the charges, and Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy went so far as to ask, “Why didn’t anybody ever mention that that man right there was raised — spent the first decade of his life, raised by his Muslim father — as a Muslim and was educated in a Madrassa?”


If Doocy or the staff at Fox and Friends had taken [time] to check their facts, or simply made a call to his office, they would have learned that Senator Obama was not educated in a Madrassa, was not raised as a Muslim, and was not raised by his father – an atheist Obama met once in his life before he died.
Pushing back with actual facts--and pushing hard no less? Good stuff.

I hope to see more of this from the Democratic presidential hopefuls.


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