“Who Sent You?” — The Coming Attack on Obama

At least one major right-wing smear attack on Obama may be gearing up. I’ll call it the “Who Sent You” campaign. As weird as it sounds — and it is weird stuff — the gist of it is that Obama’s birth was part of a secret plan by communists, Jews and one-worlders to take over the world.

As you read this it is going to sound so fanatically wingnut/John Birch Society/black helicopter/precious bodily fluids weird that you are likely to dismiss it as the rantings of crazy people. But I have learned over the years that this stuff resonates with a certain crowd, and they are remarkably effective at tapping the fears of Americans.

Keep in mind how weird and unbelievable the Swift Boat accusations seemed — and remember the powerful effect they had on the public and election results. In The Swiftboaters Are Back in the Water I wrote about the effectiveness of the dishonest accusations,

. . . [one] reason it works is because it is (excuse the pun) offensive. They say that the best defense is a good offense, and considering their candidates, the Republicans certainly needed a defense.

[. . .] So with swiftboating you spread a smear to raise questions with the public about the opponent’s patriotism or service. It doesn’t have to be true (how quaint) it just has to raise questions. This “neutralizes” the honorable record of or otherwise “discredits” the advantages that opponent has against a Republican with a poor (like George W. Bush’s) or no (like Saxby Chambliss or any number of other “chickenhawks”) record.

That post also cited the following description of the results of that smear:

Continue reading