Republicans, as always, lack intellectual resources to reply to obvious leftist intimidation

Howard Sutherland writes:

Here is a surprisingly frank column from the left by Eugene Robinson in Investor’s Business Daily about how the Obama campaign is pre-emptively heading off “racial” attacks against the Agent of Hope and Change (which, in English, means how they plan to forbid criticism of Obama and his candidacy). It is paired with a column from the right by Brent Bozell pre-empting the left’s bogus pre-empters, with a good look at their M.O. and fine examples of the Democrats and their candidate’s sanctimonious hypocrisy.

Robinson quotes the Obamassiah telling the believers Republicans are “going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. ‘He’s young and inexperienced, and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?’ He went on to predict that Republicans would say that “he’s got a feisty wife” as a way of attacking Michelle Obama.” The Democrats’ candidate-apparent says four things about himself and one about his wife in those two quotes—every one of them true. But we must take no notice of those five facts and anything they might imply. Oh, no.

Robinson then insinuates that Republicans will “appeal to latent racial prejudice” as follows: “more subtly—[with] the suggestion that there’s something of the “other” about Obama, that he might not share traditional American values, that there’s some question about his love of country.” Robinson says three things about his candidate in this quote, the first and last unquestionably true, the middle one very likely given his upbringing and what he has spent his adult life doing. But we must take no notice of those two facts and that likelihood and anything they might imply. Oh, no.

These Leftist pre-emptive strikes against non-existent Republican attacks, equating criticisms of Obama with hatred of non-whites, will intensify as this sickening campaign wears on. As they do, I hope conservative commentators like Bozell will keep calling the left on such lies. The question is how white voters will react to these insulting attempts at social programming. Will they feel insulted by these gratuitous accusations of racism, or will they submit to the left’s dictated paradigm, make a multicultural mea culpa and refuse to let themselves look at the real Obama? And what will McCain do? Reject such insults, or—as the liberal he unfortunately is—handicap himself by not fully engaging his ‘diverse’ opponent?

I cannot support McCain or Obama, but I hope McCain won’t be cowed by racial arsonists into shrinking from this fight.

LA replies:

According to an editorial in National Review yesterday on the same subject, McCain has already been cowed by Obama’s pre-emptive strike:

Commenting on campaign tactics has become one of Barack Obama’s signature campaign tactics. On the night he won the North Carolina primary, Obama predicted that John McCain would “play on our fears,” “exploit our differences,” and stir up “fake controversy” in running against him. It was a smart, if cynical, move by Obama. It made McCain look dirty. It inhibited him from criticizing Obama, since anything he said could be portrayed as a fake controversy or fear-mongering. And the press was unlikely to call him on it.

Now this is (in political terms) as old as the hills. Republicans lack the wit, comprehension, principles, and courage (they lack it ALL) to reply effectively to left-wing intimidation. Instead of attacking the intimidation tactics, the Republicans go silent, allowing the intimidation to succeed. If they had half a brain (which they don’t have), they would reply along these lines:

“According to Obama, any opposition to him is “playing on fears.” Meaning that there is no legitimate criticism of Obama possible. Such tactics, aimed at ending all political debate in America and allowing only the Democrats to speak, are descipable and have no place in America.”

And then they would keep making that point, until the Democrats backed down.

But of course the GOP and McCain in particular lack the wit and understanding to say this, because they don’t even have half a brain. Further, McCain himself has played the same game, repeatedly seeking to silence political opponents by saying that their criticisms of him were an attack on his honor, or by saying that because of his military and POW experience any disagreement with his positions was invalid.

This election is between two of the most despicable people ever seen in American politics. It is simply not in me to care about which one of them is outsmarting the other, or what McCain should say in reply to Obama. Whichever one of these contemptible candidates gets elected president, then that will be the time to oppose him. Right now, I just don’t care.

Hannon writes:

Your assertion here—“According to Obama, any opposition to him is ‘playing on fears,’”—mirrors perfectly what I have heard from irredeemable liberals recently, namely the accusatory citing of the “fear factor” as the core value of conservatives. “Why are you so afraid of Muslims? What are you, chicken? I don’t let fear rule me—you need to lighten up!” These communications typically have a more defensive or mean spirit than I have indicated here.

This so-called preemptive strategy, implemented by both candidates as you note, obviously goes a long way to help band-aid the gaping hole left by the absence of any substantive or serious dialogue. I think that’s really what it is about. Voters are being, or have been for some time, led away from principle as a means of assessing politicians. We don’t expect it in them any more since we get our moral affirmations from Hollywood productions and tv. Still it is rather astounding that folks can rally around the imperfect B.H. Obama the way they do, motivated in particular it seems by the opportunity to defend him from the bigoted criticism they just know is lurking everywhere. Surely this brings more soul satisfaction than believing in his policies or vision!

If any criticism of Obama’s views or attributes is effectively out of bounds, even when they are so underdeveloped as to make one wonder if we are in a trance and he is really just running for national class president, where does that leave us? I think your t-shirt link says it all.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 27, 2008 02:09 PM | Send

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