Just read between the lines...

Red Text is the real story hiding between the lines.
Violet Text is a notable quote from a specific blogger.
Blue Text is my own personal commentary.
Gold Text is a link to the original sources.

One word of advice I would offer to everyone who reads this blog;

....Each and every day, take just a moment of your precious time to pray for Peace and Justice.

Monday, September 1, 2008

US election: It's the most vicious election campaign ever

From "The Guardian"

As he bids to be president, Barack Obama is feeling the force of the mighty Republican propaganda machine. TV and radio hosts, authors and well-funded lobby groups have joined forces in a sophisticated and aggressive smear campaign.
Paul Harris reports on the attack dogs

The Republican war room in Denver looked harmless. It was on a busy road in a neighbourhood of modest motels and petrol stations. Only a handmade sign, emblazoned with an arrow and the words 'John McCain', pointed the way.
But looks can be deceiving. More than two dozen Republican staffers were camped in Denver last week, spearheading the latest assaults on Barack Obama who was addressing the Democratic convention nearby. 'We came here to piss the Democrats off,' said one Republican aide with a grin.
They have largely succeeded. Each day new adverts have hammered a relentless drumbeat of negativity, painting Obama as too liberal, too inexperienced and practically a danger to America's future. Leading lights of the Republican universe have paraded in front of the cameras in a disciplined display of party message-making. A typical performance came from former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. 'There are still a lot of serious questions about Barack Obama's preparedness to lead the country,' Giuliani said, before stepping aside to showcase the latest ad on a huge flat-screen TV.
The ad attacked Obama as being so ignorant of foreign affairs that he was virtually a security threat himself. It touched on scare issues such as Islamic terrorism and Iranian nukes. Then it represented Obama's positions on national security as naive and weak. 'These are contrast ads,' Giuliani said afterwards. 'And both sides do them.'
That is only half-true. Democrats do launch attack ads and campaign negatively but no one does it like the Republican party. Under a succession of dark geniuses, the party has perfected the black art of negative campaigning. It has created the most effective attack machine in the Western world, with the sole purpose of destroying opponents and winning elections. For opponents it is a source of shock, misery and more than a little envy. Its tentacles stretch from the McCain campaign into the murky corners of talk radio, the internet and shadowy groups willing to use any outlandish smear.
Now that machine is focused with laser-like intensity on Obama. The clamour is loud and shrill: Obama is vain, inexperienced, liberal and dangerous. It is backed by a clandestine chorus whispering that he has a secretive Islamic past and it uses racially loaded language. It is also only going to get louder. This week, as McCain and the Republicans gather for their party convention in the Minnesota city of St Paul, the noise will become deafening. It has one purpose - to keep the White House in Republican hands at all costs and against the odds.
The current mastermind of the Republican attack machine is known as the Bullet. He is Steve Schmidt, a protégé of Bush's guru, Karl Rove. Nicknamed for his results as much as his bald head, he made his name as commander of the war room that wiped out Democrat John Kerry in 2004. Brought in to shake things up in July, Schmidt imposed discipline on a disorganised campaign. He dissuaded McCain from his off-the-cuff chats with reporters, and honed the focus solely on making Obama unelectable.
Schmidt works on the principles of repeating simple messages loudly and often. Ads attack Obama as a 'celebrity' or a faux-messiah. By doing so they hope to turn Obama's greatest strength - his ability to inspire - into a fatal flaw. That is backed up by another line: that Obama is simply not fit to be president. NotReady08 is the name of a website set up by the campaign. The language can be harsh. 'We are in the hunt for the White House. Barack Obama is going to have to step up with more than a smart tongue, snappy words and a nice suit,' said Maryland Republican politician Michael Steele.
The campaign will happily twist words. In the ad that Giuliani showed, Obama was hit for referring to the 'tiny' threat from a nuclear Iran. In reality Obama had been pointing out that the problem of Iran was '... tiny compared to the Soviet Union'. Others have interspersed footage of the Democrat candidate with images of Britney Spears. One jokey advert painted him as a Moses-type figure capable of parting the Red Sea. Mocking his message of 'hope' and 'change', radio host Rush Limbaugh has taken to referring on-air to Obama as simply 'the Messiah'.
The attack dogs will eagerly embrace formerly hated targets. All last week Republicans lauded the achievements and brilliance of Hillary Clinton, seeking to exploit divisions in the Democratic Party. It has rounded up former Clinton supporters who now back McCain and paraded them like captured prisoners of war. '[McCain] really does admire and respect her and honours the campaign that she ran,' said Carly Fiorina, a top McCain adviser. Those are astonishing words from a senior figure in a party which spent two decades demonising Clinton as a left-wing uber-feminist. But that is the key to the success of the Republican attack machine: the past does not exist. What matters is what works now. Democrats know more of the same is coming. 'This is going to be the most vicious campaign we have ever faced,' said Terry McAuliffe, Clinton's former campaign chairman.