Blogland,  Stateside

The Saga of the My Barack Obama Blogs

Democrats: who did you want to win the nomination?

Certainly, Hilary was far from flawless. Dynastic politics has an unhealthy whiff to it. But I had no doubt that she’d prove a capable and shrewd President. By contrast, there’s a rather appealing fairytale quality to the rise of Obama. Yet, as the campaign progressed, the Wright affair called into question the candidate’s political judgement. It seems unlikely to me that Barack Obama is a fan of the lunatic racist and alien abductee, Louis Farrakhan. However, his close association with an ally of Farrakhan really is worrying.

Put it this way. I’d be worried about a Republican with links to the KKK. So I really should be antsy about a Democrat who is one step removed from the NoI.

I think on balance, I would have liked to have seen Hilary win the nomination, and pick Obama as her vice president. Eight years on, his association with the murky world of Chicago ethnic politics would be a distant memory. But that’s not how things have panned out. And so, I want Obama to win.

Obama’s greatest strength is also his greatest weakness. Because his candidacy is driven by optimism and hope, anything which suggests that he is associated with viciousness or fringe politics will hit him doubly hard. You expected Hilary to be a bit unscrupulous. But it is clear that the association with Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright was utter poison for Obama, precisely because he appears to be fundamentally good.

That is why Michael Pugelese is absolutely right to be worried about the saga of the My Barack Obama blogs. Barack Obama’s campaign website allows supporters to create their own blogs. The blogs do not appear to be moderated, but their creation must be approved by the Obama team.

Over the last few days, the pro-Republican website, Little Green Footballs, has uncovered blog upon blog upon blog on the Barack Obama website which present what Michael Pugliese calls “extremist pov’s”. That’s precisely what they are. They include a large number of “9/11 Truth” blogs (including a blog claiming that Israelis were “forewarned” of 9/11), blogs by revolutionary socialists, blogs supporting terrorists (here’s one which praises the Weatherman, Bill Ayers and here’s one supporting Jemaah Islamiyah), blogs supporting the New Black Panther party, blogs ranting about Jewish Power, blogs praising Louis Farrakhan, blogs supporting Iran’s right to nuclear weapons, and a blog entitled “may God have mercy on apostates”

Some have suggested that Republicans have ‘planted’ these blogs on Barack Obama’s site. That is possible, but it is much more plausible that people who actually have these political views, and support Obama, have written them themselves.

The Obama camp were fools to have created a blog site which was largely uncontrolled. Anybody involved in politics knows that even the most mainstream of parties attract some people with extreme views. Sensible candidates work hard to keep these sort of people away from their campaigns. An unmoderated blog site, branded with the Obama name, was a suicidally stupid thing to do.

It isn’t Obama’s fault that he has attracted nutters. He hasn’t courted them: as Ron Paul courted the lunatic fringes of the Right, or as Kucinich invites the support of their counterparts on the Left. However, unless Obama implements procedures to keep the loons out, the Republicans will beat him with this stick until Election Day.