Friday, November 16, 2007

Smearkrieg No. 11---The Slime Machine Gets a Work-Out

Hugh Hewitt speculates that the push poll campaign attacking Mitt Romney for his Mormon religion, Vietnam draft-dodging, and other sins "was concocted by either extreme anti-Mormons unaffiliated with a candidate or a left wing 527."

In fact, there is some reason to suspect that the calls might have been pushed by a left-wing group. Unlike most right-wing smearing, most of what was said in these phone calls has some connection with reality.
Among the questions the caller asked was whether the person receiving the call knew Romney was a Mormon, that he received military deferments when he served as a Mormon missionary in France, that his five sons did not serve in the military, that Romney's faith did not accept blacks as bishops into the 1970s and that Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is superior to the Bible.
The idea that Mormons "believe the Book of Mormon is superior to the Bible" doesn't ring true. But the rest of these claims are well-known to be accurate. If the smear is a left-wing smear, it's because the smear writers did not claim things like "Mitt Romney spent five months in an insane asylum while on his draft-dodging mission to France" or "did you know that Mitt Romney is a suspect in five Salt Lake City murders from the early nineties?" The smear guys don't even accuse Romney of being a pedophile. Why's that? Real right-wing smearing has a lunatic edge and a joy in lying that might be missing from this particular attack.

Ultimately, however, this smear has to be seen as the work of the right.

The company that placed the calls, Western Wats, works routinely with Republicans. Western Watts did phone operations for Bob Dole in 1996 and "spread negative messages about Democratic candidates in a House race in New York and a Senate race in Florida" during the 2006 campaign. Western Wats has also made calls in the past for The Tarance Group, a Virginia company that is now working for the Giuliani campaign. It seems doubtful that Western Wats would want to risk their GOP clientele by doing work for a George Soros group or other people on the left.

But why such a lame, mostly truthful, smear then?

I've concluded the organization behind the anti-Romney attacks must have started the campaign to get their smear-writers some work. Like everybody else, smear writers need to practice to reach the peaks of excellence needed for high-stakes performance. GOP related organizations must realize that the Republicans are going to be relying heavily on their top smearing operations in the coming holy war against Hillary Clinton. So they gave their top attack dogs a little work-out by unleashing them on Mitt Romney.

As smears go, this one wasn't particularly effective. Obviously, they need the work.


Anonymous said...

now we all know that what happened with n'daiye was all due to discrimination. If she hadn't been a black woman this would never have happened the way it has. i'll even bet that it was white officers that arrested her. racists!

Anonymous said...

It's The Man trying to keep a righteous black woman down!

It was The Man who put that crack pipe in her hand and made her smoke it with her baby in the backseat of the car.

It's a conspiracy, I tell you! A c-o-n-spiracy!