Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth


The Obama campaign has had to fight an intensive e-mail spam campaign that claims Obama is secretly a Muslim, and his wife is a black radical. Campaign spokesman Bill Burton called the New Yorker cover over the top.

“The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create,” Burton said.

First off Burton isn't giving much credit to the readership of the New Yorker. Not to sound elitist, but I suspect the vast majority of the subscribers of this magazine are sophisticated enough to recognize satire when they see it. Burton would have us believe that subscribers to the New Yorker are of the same mentality of those that drool over the National Enquirer.

Secondly, Obama missed the train on a potential political knock out punch. That being the opportunity to address the tedious "conspiracy" theories that, because of the debunked "fact" that Obama attended a madrassa in Jakarta and the fact that his middle name is identical to that of a fellow named Saddam (a virtually secular Baathist tyrant whom Osama bin Laden hated) he is some sort of Islamic 007. That he'll steer the US into the flames of Wahhabist rule or whatever nonsense the uber Obama haters espouse these days.

Obama could have spent 15 seconds in front of a camera and taken artist Barry Blitt's explanation, accepted it and utilized the free media attention to both add momentum to his campaign and directly address the nonsense of conspiracy without the guilt of "sinking to their level." Instead we're left with Obama the "victim" and the New Yorker cover is "vilified" and so becomes a contentious issue rather than a productive boon. Certainly hindsight is 20/20 but Burton appears to be straggling through ideological jungle here without a compass. Given the very recent exposure of one of America's greatest intellectual sadists, Obama would do well to steer clear of the tedious ideology of "victim" and instead concentrate on a more forward thinking platform when faced with such media conundrums.


Anonymous said...

The only reason that this Mr. & Mrs. Obama satire DOES have impact — and may very likely spread — is because like all good satire, or good humor for that matter, there’s more than a germ of truth in it. Otherwise, the satire would utterly roll off the Obamoids’ backs, having no impact.

Anonymous said...

They're running scared of anything involving Obama and the inference he's a Muslim, even jokes or satire.

Too many people believe that bullshit. There are several "learn the truth about Obama, the betrayal of America" billboards on highways I've noticed in NC & SC. I go to church and have to listen to people rant about how he's really a Muslim and he hates America.

They're pissed that Michelle Obama (mother of two and successful professional) says a few things that are stupid, gets blasted for it (Rightfully so in some cases) in the media, and yet Cindi McCain, an ex-druggie who beat the legal system because she was rich and was screwing around with a married man who is now her husband, barely gets mentioned at all, and if so, in fawning profiles.

It drives them nuts.

Do I agree with you this uproar and "outrage" is stupid? Absolutely. That the Obama camp reacted in a seriously wrong way politically on this? Definitely.

Yet do I understand why they've acted this way? Certainly. Their candidate is still presumed by 10% of the population to be a Muslim (or higher because people lie to pollsters on embarrassing questions like this) and probably more than 10% think he hates America. Anything that suggests this or puts it out in the media more drives them up a wall.

Anonymous said...

Jon Alter does a better job than me of explaining why this is so bad for Obama.

Anonymous said...

I agree it might hurt him, but still it's really funny. I want a poster-sized copy.

Jay@Soob said...

Hi eddie,

Like you the childish conspiracy theories are frustrating. I'd much rather take on a candidate on more concrete venue (Obama's domestic policy, for example.) Thanks for the link, I'll give it a read.

Stephen, I agree and todays various mainstream commentary (such as Maureen Dowd in the NYT) point to both a humorless Obama and a fanatical, nearly cult like following. If McCain can find a crack, get his fingers in and produce some leverage the damn near fanaticism of Obama's supporter's will prove some excellent political ammo. Obama's sailed on foreign policy and his everyman approach rhetorically. His followers, however, being a very galvanized and targeted sort may become a problem for him in both the swing states and the fence sitting demographics.

Jay@Soob said...


sorry for the late correspondence. Perhaps you can present some evidence beyond contextual media talking points to support your claim. I'd be very interested to read of it.