Karl Rove’s boys have stepped in and taken over McCain’s resurgent campaign. They want to turn the election into a referendum on Obama’s patriotism and his supposed ties to ‘60s radicals like educator Bill Ayers. They certainly don’t want the election to be a referendum on the Republican’s last 8 years in office.
So they're spreading the word that Obama is a closet “socialist” (Manchurian candidate) and have dredged up swiftboater Jerome Corsi’s trashy book Obama Nation to spearhead their assault. They've also enlisted a handful of wing-nut bloggers who continue to recycle their own lies about Obama and others (including myself) in this latest Rove-inspired disinformation campaign, reminiscent of the 1950’s red scare.
Along with trying to frighten undecided swing-state voters, the wing-nuts have also targeted school reform efforts and the old Annenberg Challenge in Chicago, which they claim were all part of the Ayers-Obama socialist conspiracy from hell. Their lies include: 1) Obama was the chair of the Annenberg Challenge Board and directed its funding; 2) that Ayers was on the board; 3) that Obama gave thousands of dollars to Ayers. Not a word of any of this is true.
School reformers and ed bloggers seem to be running scared, afraid to speak out against the swiftboaters. This is the kind of fear that gripped the Kerry campaign in 2004 and helped lead to his defeat. It’s this fear that Rove and his boys are counting on in their desperate attempt to cut into Obama’s lead.
Travelling in Massachusetts, I just read this excellent piece by Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh, who has obviously not fallen into fear’s grip. He writes:
Corsi notes that Obama was once a community organizer in Chicago, and not just any community organizer, he maintains, but one trained in the tradition of Saul Alinsky, the self-proclaimed radical organizer who died in 1972. For Alinsky, Corsi asserts, the word change "invoked radical socialism" and was "nothing more than a code word for the typical income redistribution those on the left have sought since the days of Karl Marx."
Perhaps you find it hard to believe that Obama, who declines to call for either a single-payer healthcare system or even an individual mandate for healthcare coverage, is either a radical or a socialist. Well, consider these tidbits Corsi presents about the college days of one of Obama's youthful campaign bloggers: In his Harvard suite, he hung "a Communist Party flag that he and a roommate brought back from Russia." Further, the same future blogger's bookcase "included titles by Karl Marx and Howard Zinn. . ."
Hopefully Lehigh’s needle will encourage others, especially some of the reformers here in Chicago who worked on the Annenberg Challenge with Bill Ayers and Obama, will come out of their shells.