Monday, September 24, 2007

'Intellectually Lazy?"

In a breathtaking and not-at-all subtle appeal to racism, the White House declares Barack Obama too lazy to commit to the intellectual rigor required for a successful run at the White House.

In interviews conducted for The Evangelical President, by Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon, President Bush predicts that Hillary Clinton will defeat Obama in the Democratic primary, and then go on to lose the general election to whomever the Republicans settle on from the pack of misfits seeking the GOP nomination.

Sammon then quotes an unnamed White House "senior advisor" levelling racially-loaded innuendo at Obama.

As for Obama, a senior White House official said the freshman senator from Illinois was "capable" of the intellectual rigor needed to win the presidency but instead relies too heavily on his easy charm.

"It's sort of like, 'that's all I need to get by,' which bespeaks sort of a condescending attitude towards the voters," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And a laziness, an intellectual laziness."


Nor does Obama know his facts very well, according to the senior White House official. The official said in March, Obama was flummoxed by questions about his health care plan at a Democratic forum in Las Vegas. Two months later, the candidate drastically overstated the death toll from Kansas tornadoes.

"Ten thousand people died," Obama told an audience, when the actual death toll was 12.

"Over time, we'll see other things like that," the White House official said. "I'm going to be validated on Barack. He's not done the hard work necessary to prepare himself. And it's too late to do it."
And just in time for the rollout of this nifty meme-establishing talking point, the GOP declares Obama "all style, no substance."

Razzle Dazzle

Chicago Star Obama Continues His All Show, No Substance Campaign With Event On Broadway

Tonight, Obama Will Host A "Barack On Broadway" Fundraiser In New York City:

"Tonight, Mr. Obama Is Attending A 'Barack On Broadway' Fund-Raiser At The New Amsterdam Theater On 42nd Street ..." (Grace Rauh, "Obama Due Here For Fund-Raiser, Then A Rally," The New York Sun, 9/24/07)

The Reviews Are In: Obama More Style Than Substance:

"[T]he Young Illinois Senator Is More Style Than Substance." (Matt Stearns, "Candidates Blame Missteps On Press," McClatchy Newspapers, 8/12/07)
Razzle Dazzle!

Clever. What's next? Shuck-n-Jive? Hip-n-Hop? Sleep-n-Eat?

To begin with, if I was President Bush, I'd keep my optimism about GOP electoral victories to myself. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

But how obvious - sad and obvious - can the GOP get? To try and tar Barack Obama of all people as "intellectually lazy?" To say nothing of doing so while George W. Bush sits in the Oval Office? Are they kidding?

After earning a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Columbia, Obama graduated Magna cum Laude from Harvard Law School, where he edited the Law Review. He is the author of two best-selling books, and was a lecturer at the University of Chicago School of Law.

Intellectually lazy? I think not.

But, of course, the slur plays into the pre-conceived notions that many people have about black men, and that serves the GOP's purposes just as smearing John Kerry a a coward played into pre-conceived notions about northeastern liberals in 2004.

But, here is the problem for the Republicans. The people most inclined to accept this smear against Obama are the ones least likely to vote for him in a general election in the first place: southern, white males. These are the same people who blame immigrants for the degradation of their socio-economic status. If Obama was trying to win the Republican nomination for president, I would say the thugs at the RNC would be on to something. Too bad for them that he isn't.

The suggestion that Obama is too shiftless for the White House will not have the same resonance as the weak-on-terror meme that the Republicans deployed against Kerry. The majority of people are simply not as afraid as they were 40 years ago that black men are going to deflower white women and render them incapable of ever being satisfied by white men (And have no doubt that this dread consumes Republicans in ways they would never admit even to their therapists. Well, the eight- or nine percent who are actually attracted to women, that is.).

The Republicans just confirmed that they are truly afraid of the electoral horrors that await them in 2008. This little racist smear test balloon against Obama is so over the top that it is almost a parody of itself. It reeks of desperation. I suspect it will slip in its own flop sweat and fall flat on its face. Even the flock-of-sheep media who usually go along so enthusiastically with GOP attack narratives are likely to balk at labelling as "lazy" a black man who is an overachieving success by any measure you could apply.