Thursday, May 17, 2012


As a kid in the 1960s, I never really understood the apocalypse-plotting-evil-zillionaire archetype (which I knew less from James Bond movies than from cartoons and MAD parodies and episodes of Get Smart that were invoking the James Bond stories). I didn't get why you'd want to bother destroying the world if you were an evil zillionaire -- you're a zillionaire! You're surrounded by luxury! Speedboats! Beautiful women! Your own island fortress/compound! Why not just kick back and enjoy it all?

But now I'm living in an ALEC/Citizens United world, and it's obvious that Blofelds are real. Case in point:

A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the "super PAC" era and attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from.

Timed to upend the Democratic National Convention in September, the ... plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr....

"The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way," says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics....

Mr. Ricketts believes he can personally blow up the race. Like so many of these guys, he doesn't just want a result, he wants to be the guy with the power to bring it about and destroy the status quo. He's a Bond villain.

However, he's less clever than most Bond villains. I don't see how it's possible that anyone could have missed all the Jeremiah Wright coverage four years ago. I don't see who the hell could watch the same damn Wright clips we all saw and suddenly decide to vote for Romney after previously planning not to. Plenty of whites won't vote for Obama who might have voted for a different (white) Democrat, but those votes are lost already. How the hell would this change anything?

Ricketts thinks he'll get cover on racism charges if he has Townhall/FrontPage Magazine/World Net Daily columnist and right-wing radio host Larry Elder as window-dressing, along with some right-wing black businessmen. Yeah, right, that'll work.

And it's odd that our Blofelds think like basement-dwelling, Cheeto-chomping Freepers:

The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an "extremely literate conservative African-American" who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a "metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln."

Why do right-wingers continue to be obsessed with the concept of "metrosexuality," long after the rest of us have stopped talking about it? They still throw the word incessantly at every winger site I've ever lurked at.


Ah, but here's a twist: the Romney campaign apparently doesn't want this to happen -- and it's possible that a Romneyite leaked this plan in order to stop it:

A copy of a detailed advertising plan was obtained by The New York Times through a person not connected to the proposal who was alarmed by its tone....

Should the plan proceed, it would run counter to the strategy being employed by Mitt Romney's team, which has so far avoided such attacks. The Romney campaign has sought to focus attention on the economy, and has concluded that personal attacks on Mr. Obama, who is still well liked personally by most independent voters surveyed for polls, could backfire.

I read that as Romney people, not evil liberals, leaking this, because they don't want to go there. Unless (and now I'm getting dangerously conspiratorial) they do want it out there but they want to position themselves as appalled that it's out there. (Maybe the Romney camp just wants to outsource the wet work.)

And possibly whoever leaked this wants it out there now. Maybe this leak is the real attack, or at least part of it.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Edward Klein, the sleazebag whose book about Obama is all over the right-wing media, is also talking about Wright. You know about Klein's claim that an Obama confidant offered Wright a bribe to keep quiet in 2008. Well, yesterday, on Sean Hannity's radio show, Klein went a step further and played the Muslim card:

KLEIN: ... in fact, the Reverend Wright told me on tape that Obama came to him and said, "I need some spiritual advice. I don't know exactly who I am." And the Reverend Wright said -- and this is on tape -- "Well, we know your Islam background, and you have that, but what you need now is some coaching on Christianity." And I asked the Reverend Wright, "Did you convert him from being a Muslim to a Christian?" And he said, "Well, I don't know if I could go that far, but I can tell you that I made it comfortable for him to accept Christianity without having to renounce his Islamic background."

Of course Hannity's main employer and Klein's principal publicist is the ultimate Blofeld threatening America -- Rupert Murdoch.


UPDATE: Yup, it's been decided somewhere in the fever swamps of Wingnuttia that it's the right time for Wright time:


Victor said...

This is why we need to reimpose the 91% tax bracket.

Let them spend money hiring accountants to try to hide their money, instead of using it to destroy representative democracy and turn America into a better-armed Haiti.

And, to paraphrase one of my favorite Bond lines:
'No, Mr. Murdoch. I expect you to die.'

Victor said...

And "Get Smart" is still probably my favorite TV show of all time!
That, or "The Odd Couple."

Steve M. said...

This is why we need to reimpose the 91% tax bracket.

That tax bracket or tumbrels. One or the other.

Arturo Ui said...

"Just offered Jeremiah Wright $150k for truth about Barack Obama."

Only wingnuts could lack the self-reflection to invent a story about Obama bribing Wright, and then publicly offer Wright a massive bribe to confirm it for them.

Susan of Texas said...

Romney can't afford to start talking about religion. Mormons don't believe in the Holy Trinity. Not to mention the Mormon atitude towards women as subservient to men, Joseph Smith's trial for treasure hunting with a seer stone, and all the wife-swapping.

Maybe they will realize that sometimes power grabs backfire.

Steve M. said...

I understand that argument, but I don't see any way that the Obama campaign, or any surrogates, can go after Mormonism without arousing widespread disgust and charges of religious bigotry. Hell, I'd be disgusted, and I'm an atheist. (I find most religious beliefs credulity-straining, including those of the Catholic Church -- I'm a lapsed Catholic -- but I believe in people's right to believe what they believe if it doesn't harm me. I think a lot of the left and center feels the same way. I think even most of the right feels that way, as long as you're not Muslim.)

M. Bouffant said...

MAD parodies
Me too. A lot of my info about the wider culture came filtered through MAD. Is that what made us the cynics we are today?

Victor said...

If not, then it was "National Lampoon" that did.

Steve M. said...

That was later. MAD got me at when I was a vulnerable grade-schooler

Susan of Texas said...

If I were Blofield I'd get the right to do it. The Catholic Church could be suckered into it, so could the evangelical right. You don't even have to attack, you can just spread the truth, designing the propaganda to be trivially amusing, which will suck in the media. Sex scandal, magic, militia--there's so many aspects that might set off a 9-day wonder.

But that would be evil.

RaymondBrogan said...

Unfortunately, they want a civil war... ok, you got one!