ARE THE WINGNUTS EVEN TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE REST OF US?
The second and third excerpts from gutter-dweller Edward Klein's new anti-Obama book appeared in the New York Post this weekend ... and it's not clear who the target audience is. You'd think it would be swing voters, but really -- an interview with Jeremiah Wright? Most of the public just got bored with him after the press had mined as much of his story as there was to mine back in '08; the people who remained embittered about Wright -- wingnuts and racially unenlightened whites -- are still angry, but they've been angry forever, and their votes are just not in contention. We know the wingers' hatred of Obama was at a maximal level long before the Klein excerpts were published; it's not as if the Wright stuff is going to make them any angrier at Obama than they already are. As for non-Republican white racists, well, Appalachia was the only region where McCain did better in '08 than Bush did in '04, and this year, before the Klein excerpts appeared, West Virginia Democrats gave 40% of their votes to a white felon rather than Obama in the Democratic primary. There's your conservative-white-Democratic-racist vote, already lost to Obama. So how is Klein's Wright story going to move any votes?
The story quotes Wright as saying that "one of Obama's closest friends" offered Wright a bribe in the low six figures if he'd be silent throughout the '08 campaign. Will anyone turn against Obama for this who wouldn't have otherwise? The supposed scandal is that some ally of Obama tried to silence a guy who wasn't actually silenced, and tried to get us to ignore a guy who certainly wasn't ignored. That's all you got, righties?
Well, that and some sort of convoluted supermarket tabloid story involving Michelle Obama, Oprah, Gayle King, Valerie Jarrett, and a lot of very sharp claws. Michelle keeps tabs on Barack because she thinks otherwise he's going to go slipping off with some other woman! Especially Oprah! He really might get nasty with Oprah! Who's just a big fatty -- or so "sources" say that Oprah says that Michelle says! Oh, and the White House, with Jarrett as gatekeeper, didn't give Oprah the red-carpet treatment when she visited -- she had to communicate through intermediaries! She had to wait when she showed up!
I guess I don't know much about people who read supermarket tabloids. Do they believe what they read? Do they think less of the people who are portrayed badly (however implausibly), or do they just continue to find them fascinating? The interesting thing about the nasty Albert Goldman portrayal of Elvis back in the '70s is that everyone accepted the notion that he was a tacky, gluttonous, burned-out drug addict with odd sexual kinks and a fondness for shooting TVs -- and they never stopped loving him regardless. Even if some people do believe these stories, to some extent, don't the stories just make the Obamas seem larger than life?
I just think this stuff serves no purpose other than to make haters feel the pleasurable sense of even greater hate. I think it's supposed to move the electoral needle, but I think it's going to do that at all.