insinuations, guilt by association

The anti-Obama book, Obama Nation, by Joe Corsi (who helped “swiftboat” John Kerry), is at the top of the New York Times best-seller list.  The many factual errors and unprovable assertions are beside the point for the author’s goal, to damage the candidate’s image.  The following is a sample:

Our argument is that Obama’s experience with Islam predisposes him to Islam in a way that is reflective of his political associates, his political advisors, and his specific policies regarding the Middle East. This is a very different argument than to claim Obama is a Muslim, something no one can prove one way or the other, except for Obama himself.

(See Nick Kristoff’s response on today’s op-ed page) In the McCarthy case we’ll take up, the big lie could never be disproved before it unfairly ruined lives.  You could substitute the term “communist” for “Muslim” and see how similar the dynamic operates.  Is it any wonder that a significant number of voters continue to think the Christian Obama is a Muslim?  That such books can become bestsellers only underscores the importance of legitimated news organizations that can provide an anchor to the truth, and operate with that as their primary motivation.

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6 Responses to “insinuations, guilt by association”

  1. Ben Freed Says:

    I think that the worst part about this entire “scandal” is the fact that it’s such a scandal that Obama would be Muslim. I am not Muslim myself, but I have many muslim friends who say that the number one most troubling thing for them is not that Obama is accused of being a Muslim, but that he as not come forward and said “yes, I’m a christian, but so what if I was a Muslim?” I think that Kristof does a terrific job in his article of stating the point that it is simply another way to “other-ize” Obama, but the real question, is why do we have such a fear of the “other.” Shouldn’t a Muslim be able to grow up in America dreaming of one day becoming president. After this election cycle, I’m pretty sure that boy’s (or girl’s) vision has taken a big hit. If the fact that Obama is “possibly muslim” has generated such interest, and affected so many votes, I think that shows not only that we are a mis-informed public, but one severely suffering from “other-phobia”

  2. W. Anderson Says:

    Have to agree in totality with Mr. Freed above.

    Since when is it deplorable in America to seek peace abroad, especially in the Middle East, as opposed to armed confrontation?

  3. Jordan Thomas Says:

    I think the comparison of this situation to McCarthyism is spot-on. Many conservatives seem that they won’t give up until they get a “confession of religion” whether it is true or not. Just like in the 50’s, they don’t care if he really is what they claim he is, they just want him to claim it. And the paradox is we live in a country built on diversity where anyone one should be able to be a muslim (or a communist) and be treated just the same as anyone else, yet we won’t allow it.

  4. Brandon Greenspan Says:

    At this point I would probably rather him be Muslim than be a follower of Jeremiah Wright.
    In all honesty, whether Obama is a Muslim or Christian shouldn’t be a debate. And I also agree in the sense that I can see how this compares to McCarthyism. The fact that his middle name is Hussein is not a big deal. It’s not like it’s his last name. I’m just kidding, but you get the point, a middle name is a middle name.

    There is only one solution to this mess:
    Colbert ’08!

  5. Miles Luna Says:

    I could not agree more with the comments posted above. This article reminded me of yet another episode of The Daily Show, in which John Stuart talks about all of the media buzz surrounding Obama’s name. Surprisingly enough, I’m not talking about his middle name.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=177436&title=Osama-or-Obama

  6. Dylan Clement Says:

    I also agree with the above statements. However, addressing Ben Freed’s initial post, I would like to make a (perhaps cynical but sobering) comment: I do not believe the required majority of American voters are open minded enough to vote a muslim into the presidency 99.9% of the time (at this precise moment in our history at least).

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