WASHINGTON — A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the “super PAC” era and attackPresident Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from.
Timed to upend the Democratic National Convention in September, the plan would “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do,” the strategists wrote.
The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.
“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.
The proposal suggests that Mr. Ricketts believes the 2008 campaign of Senator John McCain erred in not using images of Mr. Wright against Mr. Obama, who has said that the pastor helped him find Jesus but that he was never present for Mr. Wright’s politically charged sermons.
Which was a brazen lie, as is demonstrated by Ogabe’s ham-handed attempt to bribe Wright out of the public eye until after he had defrauded his way into office. But leave it to the Stupid Party to daintily avert their eyes from the untidiness of modern politics:
Unlike the Obama campaign, Gov. Romney is running a campaign based on jobs and the economy, and we encourage everyone else to do the same. President Obama’s team said they would ‘kill Romney,’ and, just last week, David Axelrod referred to individuals opposing the president as ‘contract killers.’ It’s clear President Obama’s team is running a campaign of character assassination. We repudiate any efforts on our side to do so.
Then you and the rest of the Queensberry GOP are going to get your stupid asses beaten like a big bass drum. Again. And you deserve to. Again.
There’s a certain grim pleasure to be taken from their no doubt shocked and horrified reaction to this blistering response from one of the dirtiest, sleaziest, most dishonest campaign organizations in history:
This morning’s story revealed the appalling lengths to which Republican operatives and SuperPacs apparently are willing to go to tear down the President and elect Mitt Romney. The blueprint for a hate-filled, divisive campaign of character assassination speaks for itself. It also reflects how far the party has drifted in four short years since John McCain rejected these very tactics. Once again, Governor Romney has fallen short of the standard that John McCain set, reacting tepidly in a moment that required moral leadership in standing up to the very extreme wing of his own party.
See what they did there? The ads haven’t even run yet, but Obama’s minions immediately hit back twice as hard, insisting that Romney run the kind of milquetoast campaign that sank McCain, and pretending to be oh-so-disappointed that their opponent would even consider using the truth against their socialist scumbag of a candidate. They seized the initiative once again from the prissy dopes in the Romney camp. They got out in front of the issue and used the opportunity presented by the Romney campaign’s weak-sister politesse for another smear, another misdirection.
“Hate-filled.” “Divisive.” “Character assassination.” All the things THEY are, all the things THEY do, all the diabolical stratagems THEY rely on, turned back on Romney in one genius blast of hypocrisy and deceit. Before the ad had even run. While Romney and the rest of the RINO camp wring their hands and whine over how uncivil it all is, and won’t everybody please take a look at the real issue as illustrated by our latest pie chart and Venn diagram on the effect of marginal tax rates on the manufacturing sector’s continued ability to skknnnxnxxxxxGGKMNNNKKKXXXXXSNOOOOOORRRRE….
Don’t get me wrong; I understand the idea that the actual candidate should try to remain above the fray, disavowing the necessary dirty work done by others on his behalf even as he tacitly, even clandestinely, supports it. I really do. In fact, so does Romney; it’s a tactic he used to great effect in the primaries against his conservative opponents.
But there is no damned reason in the world–not ONE–that Obama’s relationship with Wright and Wright’s influence on Obama, among many other perfectly legitimate considerations that have gone largely unexamined–should be off-limits. And especially not when Ogabe camp followers are out there digging up pointless, irrelevant incidents from Romney’s high school days and trying to exploit them by any means they can find.
With all that in mind, explain to me, if you can, how an exaggerated, hyperbolic statement like this fits in with that idea:
It’s clear President Obama’s team is running a campaign of character assassination. We repudiate any efforts on our side to do so.
“Character assassination”? ALL RICKETTS INTENDS TO DO IS TELL THE SIMPLE TRUTH, a truth that was deliberately and dishonestly obfuscated in 2008 by the Obama criminal conspiracy and their Old Media fellators. “Character assassination”? It’s character EXAMINATION, character EXPLANATION, character VETTING. There is nothing whatsoever underhanded about it. The Ogabe thugocracy would very much like to see such examination placed off-limits and beyond sanction. The Romney team just agreed to that, even using the Ogabe camp’s own language in so doing.
A much milder statement to the effect that Ricketts’ group “is not affiliated with and does not reflect the views of the campaign” or something equally bland and dry would have been more than enough. But no, the Romney stupes opened fire with both barrels…against their own side, just as they did in the primaries but would never dream of doing against Obama.
Which, I dunno, I guess tells us who Romney considers his real adversaries to be. Sad as that is.
Who knows, maybe Romney’s handlers do intend to go after Ogabe hammer and tongs at some later point in the campaign, and are trying to generate an above-the-sleazy-fray image now to fall back on later. But this fraud of a pResident is eminently attackable, on many fronts. And he damned well ought to be attacked, on all of them.
Whether Romney and the Gentry GOP deign to sully themselves and their sacred honor by acknowledging it or not, they’re in a tooth and nails, knife and chain fight to the finish here. They won’t win unless and until they start generating a strong offense. I don’t believe that repudiating the efforts of their own supporters this vociferously, using the terms of debate set by the enemy–yes, I said enemy, and I meant it–is the way to go about it. McCain’s stinging defeat ought to have demonstrated that clearly enough; just another lesson the GOP establishment refuses to learn, I suppose.
Update! Petition for unconditional surrender filed:
Joe Ricketts distances himself from Wright plan. A spokesman says it “reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects.”
And the Ogabe junta’s seizing of the initiative pays off yet again. The ad will never be seen. Wright will remain concealed under his slimy rock. And the Gentry GOP wins another Pyrrhic victory.
Updated update! They just don’t get it.
I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they’ve described. I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity — particularly for those in the middle class of America. And I think what we’ve seen so far from the Obama campaign is a campaign of character assassination. I hope that isn’t the course of this campaign.
Hope on, dumbass. See what it gets ya. Ed repeats a notion that I’ve railed plenty against already:
I agree with Romney and Rubin that the Wright issue is a loser in this election. Republicans have this notion that people are unaware of Jeremiah Wright’s ranting, but the truth is that voters largely didn’t care in the economic collapse; they just wanted a change. The best argument against Obama will be Obama’s record, and every moment spent by the Romney campaign or major outside PACs talking about anything other than the core issues of the 2012 campaign — jobs, economy, deficits, debt, and Iran — play into the distraction strategy that Team Obama is desperate to use.
However, it’s ridiculous to put the onus on Romney for the action of an outside super-PAC that might focus on Wright while the media has been pursuing the “Mormons are strange” trope for the last twelve months, at literally more than a story a day.
Sure, it’s ridiculous–and they’re going to do it anyway, no matter how nice you agree to play, no matter how shocked–SHOCKED–you profess yourself to be when they do, no matter how many times you declaim that they mustn’t, they couldn’t, they shouldn’t, they dasn’t. They’ve been doing such all along; it’s more than past time to stop assuming a sense of honor and fair play on their part that they demonstrably do not possess.
And it is by no means a “distraction” strategy on Ogabe’s part; it’s an “all of the above” strategy. He’s going to use anything and everything he possibly can, and it isn’t as if there just aren’t enough minutes in the day to do it. “Every moment spent” by the GOP attacking Ogabe–on his record, his beliefs, his shady associations, his character, everything–is a moment spent attacking Ogabe.
For all the talking we do about the fallaciousness of “zero sum game” thinking in certain contexts, we sure seem to have a problem grasping it ourselves in others.
Update to the updated update! Moe’s take is a quite different one than my own. It’d be nice if he was right, but I don’t think the GOP is either that smart or that ballsy; it goes against all the prior evidence. I’m sticking with Ace’s notion: “All Democrats need do is cry ‘hatred’ and everyone falls into line, like good little conditioned monkeys.” Pretty much, yeah. Let even a sotto voce mention of the word “racist!” be heard and it’ll send the Gentry GOPers diving under the bed in teeth-chattering, leg-wetting terror every time.