Friday, February 22, 2008

The Republican Freakshow

Kind of a nasty term, but perhaps appropriate, it appears in a post at the Politico suggesting that Obama might not realize what he's up against on the Republican side of the fence. The article notes the smears last year referencing Obama being a Muslim (he's not) and the problem this week with Michelle Obama's poorly chosen words.
Kerry and his top aides didn't want to elevate the attacks of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by forcefully rebutting them. And the Swifties didn't exactly garner much attention when they launched their campaign in the summer of 2004. The elite newspapers and network newscasts initially gave them only the most cursory mention. Plus, Kerry was riding high after his military-bedecked convention. Why dignify a few fringe voices?

But as Kerry learned too late, the politico-media world has changed. Obama may not want to play by the rules of the Drudge-Limbaugh-Fox News axis, but their influence is as real as the voters they reach.

More ominous for Obama is that his general election opponent in waiting appears to appreciate the opportunities afforded by the new media forces.

The right-wing media voices may not have any great affection for John McCain, but the senator and some of his top advisers have been around long enough to know that most of these conservatives loathe liberals even more.
It's undeniable that Limbaugh and Coulter wield a large bat with their followers. But the question is whether or not that influence can spill out into the general populace? It did in 2004 but I don't think the dynamic is the same.

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