Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 25, 2008

THE PENNSYLVANIA GOP.... It's not as if one state Republican Party office is known for being especially well respected, but the Pennsylvania GOP seems to be competing for some kind of prize in absurdity.

A new e-mail making the rounds among Jewish voters in Pennsylvania this week falsely alleged that Mr. Obama "taught members of Acorn to commit voter registration fraud,'' and equated a vote for Senator Barack Obama with the "tragic mistake" of their Jewish ancestors, who "ignored the warning signs in the 1930's and 1940's."

At first blush, it was typical of the sorts of e-mails floating around with false, unsubstantiated and incendiary claims this year.

But where most of the attack e-mails against Mr. Obama have been mostly either anonymous or from people outside of mainstream politics, this one had an unusually official provenance: It was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Republican Party's "Victory 2008" committee.

And it was signed by several prominent McCain supporters in the state: Mitchell L. Morgan, a top fund-raiser; Hon. Sandra Schwartz Newman, a member of Mr. McCain's national task-force monitoring Election Day voting, and I. Michael Coslov, a steel industry executive.

After the email caused an uproar, leaders of the state party repudiated it, telling reporters that some of the email was "accurate," but some of the attacks couldn't "substantiated."

This is the same Pennsylvania Republican Party that recently issued a press release describing Obama as "a terrorist's best friend," and the same Pennsylvania Republican Party that apparently was involved in promoting the Ashley Todd hoax.

That's a lot of nonsense in a short period of time for one state party.

Steve Benen 3:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Comments

When a political party is that dumb, you don't criticize them: you egg them on! I'm still hoping they try to arrest Obama, but seems unlikely now, damn.

Posted by: Bob M on October 25, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

This kind of allegation borders on Slander/Libel. Where are the legal minds on this one? I am outraged that anyone would allow this to go unchallenged in the courts. I don't expect Obama to take his time to respond to such ridiculous characterizations, but I do expect people with legal knowledge to step in. Where if Professor Fried on this one? Now that he is on board for Obama, doesn't he have some standing in the legal and judiciary community to put some pressure on the perpetrators of lies and threatening speech?
I'd love to hear someone step forward beyond those of us with opinions but not "stature".

peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on October 25, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. Wasn't it just last week, before all this stuff hit the fan, that the national McCain campaign said Pennsylvania was their do or die state? Hmmmm.

Posted by: dalloway on October 25, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

If only Obama had done those durn town hall meetings, none of this would have happened!

Posted by: Lew Scannon on October 25, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK
"tragic mistake" of their Jewish ancestors, who "ignored the warning signs in the 1930's and 1940's."

Jesus Christ, these people know neither shame nor history. Or their audience.

Wow.

WOW.

What next, a letter to African-American voters that President Obama would re-institute slavery?

Posted by: tAwO 4 That 1 on October 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Does Michele Bachmann think we've assimilated enough?

Posted by: BroD on October 25, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

And of course, they all remember how the Republican party came right to the defense of the Jews during WWII. Oh, but they're not xenophobic isolationists anymore. Right?

Posted by: Danp on October 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's just unbelievable.

Posted by: on October 25, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think Danp said it exactly right @4.34p

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on October 25, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Here is what is being said in the Miami Beach Jewish community. Michelle Obama disowned her Chicago Rabbi cousin. Where did they get that from?

Posted by: Lendme50 on October 25, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

equated a vote for Senator Barack Obama with the "tragic mistake" of their Jewish ancestors, who "ignored the warning signs in the 1930's and 1940's."

I thought they couldn't shock me at this point. I was wrong.

Posted by: shortstop on October 25, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

It is funny that the GOP has no sense of the climate. I can't but help think they may be doing unrepairable damage to the party.

If they really put Palin out front going forward, it will be the end.

Posted by: TBone on October 25, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, besides Jewish voters, Democrats in general are making the same mistake of the 1930's. Namely, that we are not loudly condeming hate-spewing facists among us.

Let's hope that the election results show these two-bit Hitler wannabes that America repudiates the politics of hate and division.

Posted by: tomeck on October 25, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Stupid is as stupid does.

Posted by: noncarborundum on October 25, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

2% of the Pennsylvania population is Jewish. Even assuming that the undecided fraction of them is as large as 15%, and susceptible to this kind of message, that's still only .3% of the population of Pennsylvania.

Unless the Republican party is running similar smears targeted at other micro-slices of the electorate, I don't see why there is so much focus on who the Jews will vote for, or whether Obama is "good for the Jews".

Posted by: flubber on October 25, 2008 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

This is the second comparison I've seen comparing Obama to Hitler based on, it seems, wild popularity.

I suggested that Ronald Reagan was wildly popular too and that popular candidates are not automatically inclined to be dictators.

Ironically, the fears of fascism projected on Obama mirror the actions of Bush who is markedly UNPOPULAR and Obama's opponent has shared the views of the current fascist 90% of the time.


No response yet.

They hate when you give them facts.
Talk radio softens their brains.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on October 25, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Unless the Republican party is running similar smears targeted at other micro-slices of the electorate, I don't see why there is so much focus on who the Jews will vote for, or whether Obama is "good for the Jews". -- flubber, @18:19

Republicans seem to be in the mode which we used to call, in Polish, "the drowning man grabs a straight razor, to save himself". Perhaps they're micro targeting, perhaps they're just scatter-shooting, who knows.

I got a mailing today from McCain, urging me to contribute to his Victory Fund *immediately* (up to $28.5K), the good Repub that I am. Very puzzling, since we don't register pour party affiliation here in Virginia.

But I think I know how come. Last year (here in VA, we have electioneering non-stop, because our *state* elections are in odd-numbered years) we had Repub primaries for the *state* house delegate but none for the Dems. I work at the polls (for the Electoral Board) and one of the saner Repubs encouraged me to vote also, seeing as I was there anyway. I did; the Dem had no earthly chance and the Repub incumbent was being attacked -- fairly successfully -- from the right. It was essential that he should lose in the primaries. In the general, I voted for the Dem but my name -- as an activist (who else bothers to vote in the primaries?) must have been entered into the Repub database.

I think I'm gonna photocopy my Letter to the Editor of the local weekly, which was published this past Wednesday and send it to them instead of a check (it's a pre-paid envelope; when will they learn?). That should take me off their list pronto.

Posted by: exlibra on October 25, 2008 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Here is what is being said in the Miami Beach Jewish community. Michelle Obama disowned her Chicago Rabbi cousin. Where did they get that from?

No idea. Most current stories say they haven't spoken since the presidential campaign started, which was long after he became a rabbi. They were apparently very close as children but both have busy lives right now (her cousin is on the Chicago Board of Rabbis along with running his own synagogue). There's certainly no indication that there was a breach when he converted to Judaism.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on October 25, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

I think these tactics show that the McCain campaign's internal polling isn't painting the rosy picture they're telling the media about. They speak of growing desperation.

Posted by: Kevin S. on October 25, 2008 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sincerely, how is anyone supposed to take this party seriously anymore?
This is the kind of cooky shit dreamt-up by minor parties without any mainstream support.
Do the republicans still consider themselves a major party or not? I guess the Gingrich/Delay/Rove revolution is complete. They got what they wanted, a major political party married to and run by a minority of wingnuts.

Posted by: Jim on October 25, 2008 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Why hello there, Pennsylvania. I've always thought you looked best in Blue...

Posted by: Limbaugh's Diabetes on October 25, 2008 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

My 13-year old summed up the whole "Obama suppoter beat & cut me" hoax perfectly.

He asked, "isn't that 'B' gonna leave a scar?"

Posted by: UncaPaul on October 25, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

The point out about Michelle's rabbi cousin is funny, because I recently got hit with the exactly opposite view from an extreme winger- that Michelle was closely tied to this guy, who is the Jewish equivalent of the Reverend Wright and is running around preaching hatred against white Jews.

I've got to admit, at this stage of the game I couldn't even be bothered to Google to correct another set of what were sure to be wingnut lies.

Posted by: MikeN on October 25, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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