The Russians Again? The GOP's Latest Obama Conspiracy Theory Debunked
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The campaign is barely telling you anything about these GOP hyper-partisans. The GAI tried to smear Obama’s foreign policy credentials in September by falsely accusing the president of not attending enough intelligence briefings. The lead author of that attack in the Washington Post did not disclose that his former business partner, Schweizer, was now heading the "think tank" whose report on the briefings was the basis of the attack. Schweizer’s resume also includes writing speeches for Donald Rumsfeld and for the Bush White House. The intelligence accusations were called flat-out false by the Washington Post’s fact checkers.
Schweizer, who was also an “editor” of a Breitbart Web site, also called for military strikes on North Korea in 2010 and helped ghostwrite a political biography for GOP Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, the Shreveport Times reported in late 2010. That the Florida-based GAI describes itself as “a team of investigative researchers and journalists committed to fairness and fact-driven reporting,” is a political fiction.
These Republicans are hyper-partisans making baseless accusations that are intended to fortify the Right’s hatred of Obama by playing another version of the race card. We have seen this before. In 1996, Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole and the GOP attacked Bill Clinton by tarring his campaign with a single illegal foreign donation. In 2004, Republican presidential candidate John McCain attacked Obama by trying to link him to ACORN, a now-closed low-income advocacy group that ran voter registration drives in communities of color.
Last week, another rightwinger, filmmaker Joel Gilbert supposedly mailed 2.7 million copies of his full-length documentary DVD, Dreams from My Real Father, to voters in key swing states, with 1.5 million going to Florida, 700,000 to Colorado and 500,000 to Iowa. In September, he allegedly sent 1.38 million DVDs households in Ohio and an additional 100,000 to New Hampshire and 80,000 to Nevada. This racist tirade purports to tell people that Obama’s father was a radical poet, journalist and Communist—not the Kenyan in the president’s popular autobiography.
This ugly propaganda is only going to increase in intensity as the 2012 election nears. Another right-wing video claims that Obama has sanctioned all kinds of security leaks from the White House for political gain. That line is no different from the GOP going after John Kerry’s Vietnam War record, saying he was a fake war hero.
We can laugh at the buffoonery of RedState.com’s Erick Erikson. As he found out, the campaign’s online banking operation might not be as fast as Citibank, but it’s about as fast as a local restaurant—taking a few days to deduct a tip on the original bill.
But the bottom line is more serious. What’s common to all these accusations is that the truth is being intentionally falsified to smear Obama and try to elect Mitt Romney. And it is no accident that they are coming as Romney must defend his weakest credential to be president—the utter lack of foreign policy experience. It’s no surprise that the GOP is fabricating fake "foreign" issues. What’s surprising is that the mainstream media is giving it attention, when the slightest scrutiny shows how silly the attack and the attackers are.