Obama is a drug using Muslim terrorist sleeper agent who single-handedly brought about the current United States' financial crisis.
At least that's what several new chain emails are telling me.
Have you seen them? Have they graced your inbox too? With the McCain/Palin ticket slipping in the polls, the new batch of mud (or perhaps an old batch freshly making the rounds) has been popping up in my accounts, forwarded from breathless conservative friends trying to 'educate' me about the candidate I support for President. These emails are written in a freindly manner, as if some soccer mom in middle America has done some internet reasearch all on her own (without providing links) and come to discover a vast, Manchurian candidate scenario that also implicates the media in 'ignoring' said vast conspiracy.
Why can't all conservatives be like SAWB (and others) who keep their opposition to strictly policy and philosophical matters? His last email was a linkfest to legislation information, that I'm still doing my research on to challenge. Keeping to those, there is a strong case to be made about who to support in the election. People would be able to defend their choices on informed, intellectual levels.
But what I get in my inbox is so silly, I don't even have to google stuff to know that it is bullshit.
The Enemy Within Email
This email asks four seemingly simple questions, and then spins into a laughable screenplay of guilt-by-association circumstance that Hollywood wouldn't even make into a Vin Diesel thriller. The questions:
1. Where did his campaign money come from?
2. Where did he get the money to attend Harvard Law school and buy his home in Chicago?
3. What about his association with people who do not have the country's best interests in mind?
4. Why is the news media ignoring this?
I'll spare the long winded 'responses' that go on for two pages insinuating that the candidate is getting his money from Iraq, Iran, Syria and his well heeled supporters in the Middle East; that he made these contacts on a trip around the world paid for by Middle Easterners; that they paid for him to go to Harvard; that they paid for his house; and are now paying for the campaign.
It is a tale so fantastic in scope, that I should be laughing. But since Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin is now bringing up terrorist claims as well, I think the emails deserve some response. The folks who thought the levees were blown up during Katrina had an easier case to make. But the easiest ways to dispel myths and whisper campaigns is to bring them into the open and expose them. And, the simplest explanation is often the correct one.
1. Obama is getting his campaign money from over 2 million donors. And he had that number in August. Though much has been made of the big money donors, and over half of his campaign cash comes from those who donated over $200 or more, the 2 million number is astounding. You can do the quick math: if everyone gave $10, that's $20M for the campaign; if everyone gave $100, that's $200M for the campaign; and so on. He's actually underperformed, as if everyone gave the max, he would have rasised $9.6 BILLION.
2a. How did Obama pay for Occidental, Columbia and Harvard Law school? He was raised by a single mother who had to use food stamps!! The same way everyone who isn't a legacy goes to such schools - a mix of student loans, scholarships and Ivy League recruitment strategies. Hell, I know some folks who ran up huge government tabs for their advanced degrees, including Ph.D's, law schools, and medical schools.
2b. How did Obama afford a $1.65M home in Chicago? Call me crazy, but the cat graduated from Harvard Law school and married an attorney who worked for a firm. In my America, that's called a success story.
3. His association with people who don't have the country's best interests in mind? In life, you're going to have to work with people you disagree with. You're going to have to work with people you don't like. You're going to have contact with people who you have to interact with to acheive your personal goals. You're also going to have friends who do things you find unsavory. You cope, and that's life. This line of reasoning is the same one that linked the Bush family to the Saud family, Al Gore to the Chinese, and John McCain to the Iran-Contra affair and several genocidal dictators from around the world. Some people who have gutted houses and provided medical care to hurricane victims in post-Katrina New Orleans will forever be labeled with the same stigma because they worked with Common Ground or ACORN to do some good in this city. Few people will survive the six-degrees test based on such standards.
4. The media is not ignoring this, which is why I can refute all of these points off the top of my head. We've been dealing with stories like these since the campaign began, and to keep suggesting some sort of conspiracy to keep these things quiet demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how popular culture works in America. Almost every charge is one we have gone over before and almost every charge was either debunked by media or bloggers, or ended up being a non-story due to lack of interest from anywhere other than the fringe. You think the media would keep stories like this quiet, just look at the cover of the now famous cover of the New Yorker. Add to that how cutthroat politics are in Chicago - you think political rivals of Obama there would keep this quiet? Add to that the cutthroat nature of national politics - you think political rivals in the Senate would keep this quiet? And the kicker of kickers for the "media ignoring Obama's shady terrorist past" story: YOU THINK HILLARY CLINTON WOULD HAVE KEPT THIS QUIET?!?!
If you do, then I've got a blowed up levee and a bridge in Alaska to sell you.