Tennessee Republican Party Smears Obama

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Well, not that this is surprising, but with McCain publicly asking his supporters to not do stuff like this, it’s curious that they’re ignoring him…

Here’s the piece that was sent out:

If McCain can’t control these folks they’re really going to hurt him. Even Karl Rove is cautioning his brethren to not use the “Hussein” when talking about Obama because it’ll reinforce stereotypes that Republicans are bigoted.

(h/t: TPM)

Polimom weighs in…

Folks, when the chairman of a state’s Republican Party sends out a press release with the purpose of sowing religious fear in a free society, and uses Farrakhan’s denounced support to do so, there’s a problem.

And when one of our two main political parties has state-level officials promoting a picture of Obama in Somali garb as a purported example of his association with Islamic extremists in order to scare its constituents, there’s a problem.

Whatever the motive of last night’s question on the part of the debate moderator, it’s screamingly obvious that the controversy is real. However trivial it may have seemed to less-paranoid observers, there’s clearly a not inconsequential element of our society that believes all this, and dismissing it won’t make it go away.

Personally, I think the thing to do is keep highlighting it in all of it’s hacky, nonsensical glory. And I’m talking about EVERY SINGLE TIME.

At first glance, that strategy may seem counterintuitive as it would appear that we’re helping push this stuff out into the collective zeitgeist. And sure, that risk exists. However, I think the ultimate effect will be that many reasonable voters will start to get sick of it, be they Democrat, Republican or otherwise.

At that point, any lingering doubts they may have had about Obama will be overruled by disgust at seeing politicos attempting to score points by trying to trick voters into believing Obama is something he’s obviously not. And at the very least it neutralizes the issue as something they’d consider when walking into a voting booth.

That leads us back to McCain. My gut tells me that all that this constant smearing will do is push swing voters further away from the GOP so they don’t feel “guilt by association.” So he may need to come out even more forcefully against this nonsense because it has the potential to hurt his chances so much more in the long run.