In terms of political beliefs and ideals last year was the most trumatic of my life. It pales in comparison to 2000 when the will of the people was thwarted and George W. Bush was selected over Al Gore by a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court. 2008 was divisive, vile and nasty and was a nightmare that seemed like it would never end. Here are what I think were the ten worst events of the ugliest presidential primary campaign in modern history:
10) The “3am ad” fauxrage – Hillary ran an ad questioning Obama’s experience as a leader. Obamanation reacted with allegations of racism and party treason. The 30 second ad showing sleeping children was even compared to the racist movie epic “Birth of a Nation.” Really – I shit you not – in the NYT’s no less.
9) The “Muslim Garb” fauxrage – A picture turned up of Obama getting dressed in traditional Muslim clothing during an earlier trip to Somalia. Hillary’s campaign was falsely accused of being responsible for distributing it. Obamanation alleged that distributing a photo that he had willingly posed for was racist because it made him look like he had Muslim roots. The allegations originated from online tabloid scandalmonger Matt Drudge, who was reborn as a progressive hero and paragon of honest news reporting.
8) The NAFTA fauxrage – An Obama advisor (Austen Goolsbee) told the Canadian government that they should ignore Obama’s NAFTA rhetoric during the Ohio campaign because he was just lying to get elected. The Obama campaign denied the story, then claimed it was a Hillary advisor instead, and then admitted the story but blamed Hillary anyway. It later turned out Obama really was just lying to get elected.
7) The “not as far as I know” fauxrage – Hillary was interviewed by Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes and was asked several times if she thought Obama was a Muslim. After repeatedly denying that she thought Obama was a Muslim she finally qualified her answer with “not as far as I know.” Obamanation went postal and claimed that by repeatedly denying the allegation she was implying that Obama was indeed a Muslim.
6) The “darkened video” smear – Obamanation (led by the head cheeto himself) claimed Hillary had intentionally darkened Obama’s image in one of her ads to make him look “more” African American. It turned out that the darkening was due to the video being compressed when a copy was uploaded to YouTube. When the truth was revealed, Markos pulled an Emily Litella (“Nevermind“) and never mentioned the subject again, not even to apologize. (Later on he would exercise his powers as self-appointed Democratic Party membership chairman and declare that Hillary was no longer a Democrat.)
5) The “ding-dong the bitch is dead” media celebration – Following the Iowa caucuses the media (especially at MSNBC) gleefully declared that Hillary’s campaign for the nomination was over and even questioned whether her political career was finished. Their over-the-top behavior spawned a backlash that was dubbed “the Tweety effect” after the nickname of Chris Matthews. The media spent the rest of the campaign fluffing Obama and presenting him as the “inevitible” winner. (WWTSBQ)
4) The RFK assassination fauxrage – During an interview with a local paper Hillary was asked why she was still running and in her answer she mentioned that RFK was assassinated in June 1968 which was the night of the California primary. Obamanation interpreted that to mean that Hillary was calling for Obama to be assassinated. Keith Olbermann even made it the subject of one of his rare daily spittle flecked rants.
3) Playing the “race card“ – Following Hillary’s unexpected win in New Hampshire the Obama campaign blamed racism on the part of the voters for his loss and in the following weeks and months repeatedly accused Hillary, Bill and her campaign of racism for anything and everything. The truth is the racism was a fairy tale.
2) The DNC nomination roll call vote – Rather than allow an honest open vote that reflected the will of the voters in the primaries, the DNC conducted the vote “the Chicago way.” State primary and caucus results were ignored and the votes of delegates that were pledged to Hillary went to Obama instead. It is unknown how many graveyard delegates voted.
1) The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting – If I have to explain this one you haven’t been paying attention.
That’s my list. There’s lots of stuff missing but I tried to restrict it to things directly connected to the candidates and their campaigns. That left out things like the meltdown of the so-called progressive blogosphere, Randi Rhodes and the “Hillary Nutcracker.” I also left out run of the mill stuff like posturing, flip-flopping and lying. The ones that didn’t quite make the list were Obama’s recycled “Harry and Louise” ad, his “periodically” comment and his flipping Hillary the bird.