"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Today's Must-Read: Swiftboating Clinton

Digny has a good, thoughtful post on the Trump campaign's efforts (with the willing cooperation of the GOP establishment and the usual suspects in the media) to get the whole "brain damage" mantra out there:

I wrote about the latest smear that Hillary Clinton has brain damage for Salon today

How do we know it's the dog days of August in a presidential election year? Swimmers and swiftboats, that's how. Actually until August of 2004, we used to call swiftboating by other names: whisper campaigns and smear jobs. But after the success of the slick, pre-packaged set of lies about Senator John Kerry's war record this tactic will always be known for the boat that first made Kerry a hero and later destroyed his reputation.

This year, we're treated to an especially ugly form of swiftboating.  The right wing smear machine is working at warp speed to convince the nation that Hillary Clinton has brain damage. That is not hyperbole or some kind of a joke. They are literally claiming that she is hiding a physical and mental disability that renders her unfit for office. And they are, as usual, being helped by members of the mainstream media who are simply unable to resist "reporting" such a juicy tale even knowing that it is absurd. And so it becomes part of the narrative, true or not, that will color the rest of the campaign and Clinton's presidency should she win. 

It's really hard to fathom how much the right hates the Clintons. Probably because, first, they were "outsiders" in the White House; second, because try as hard as they might, they weren't able to bring them down.

The sad thing is, it's going to have an effect. We've seen it work again and again, going all the way back to Willie Horton.

I guess the only appropriate response, if someone should bring this up in your hearing, is "Says who?"

No comments: