The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Obama/Clinton smear is dead-- bring on Wes Clark!

CNN has, thankfully, done their job and debunked the story about Barack Obama being educated by 'Islamofascists.' Now, I said many times over the course of 2006 that the November elections would be really ugly. And for mid-term elections, there was no shortage of ugly tales from the campaign trail. Now, I think I can safely predict that we havent seen anything yet. In the same week that Clinton and Obama declare that they're 'filing paperwork to form a presidential exploratory committee,' the right-wing press pushes a false story about Clinton as an amoral spy and Obama as a likely terrorist.

Wes Clark hasn't even made an announcement, but this week the reactionaries are piling on with a predictably bogus accusation. But they're certainly masters of feigning outrage.

The worst that can truthfully be said about Clark is that he expressed himself in a slightly odd way. This, it seems clear, he did because it's a sensitive issue and he worried that if he spoke plainly he'd be accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism. So he spoke unclearly and, for his trouble, got … accused of trafficking in anti-Semitism.

James Taranto, who writes the hack "Best of the Web" column for the online version of The Wall Street Journal's hack editorial page, likened Clark's views on this to the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Scott Johnson of the influential and moronic right-wing Power Line blog argued that "Clark's comments are not simply 'anti-Israel,'" and asked "[i]s it a only a matter only of parochial concern to American Jews that they are now to be stigmatized without consequence in the traditional disgusting terms -- terms that used to result in eviction from the precincts of polite society -- by a major figure in the Democratic Party?"

Needless to say, Clark did not stigmatize American Jews. Indeed, he went out of his way to note that the American Jewish community is divided on the issue. Michael Barone's sneering attack on Clark also managed, almost incidentally, to reveal Barone's own understanding that Clark's remarks are substantially correct. Barone observed that it's "interesting to see a Democratic presidential hopeful denounce 'the New York money people,' people whom Clark spent some time with in 2003-04."