I'm not saying Richard Cohen is a douchebag or anything…

.. but wow, what kind of guilt by association, subliminal implication, concern trolling crap is he pulling today?!
Heck, Obama’s not even my PERSONAL (not all of Jewschool, just speaking for me) first choice (that would be John Edwards). But this is just plain garbage:

I don’t for a moment think that Obama shares Wright’s views on Farrakhan. But the rap on Obama is that he is a fog of a man. We know little about him, and, for all my admiration of him, I wonder about his mettle. The New York Times recently reported on Obama’s penchant while serving in the Illinois legislature for merely voting “present” when faced with some tough issues. Farrakhan, in a strictly political sense, may be a tough issue for him. This time, though, “present” will not do.

Sure. Smear Obama by talking about his preacher. waive all sorts of boogeymen. Use the ghosts of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney to smear the very personification of one of the things they fought for. Hint that Obama doesn’t take racism or antisemitism seriously. And then, end your last paragraph with “I don’t for a moment think that Obama shares Wright’s views on Farrakahn.” Not that you’re an intellectually dishonest hack who’s trying to spin a smokescreen my youngest niece could see through or anything like that. I wouldn’t say that about you.
Trying to push this disgusting meme that Obama is somehow antisemitic and a radical Muslim is pissing me off. And why does he have to answer questions the other candidates never get called to task on by folks like Cohen? Will Cohen write the same article on Huckabee’s Revelations and rapture ready buddies? Even though they’re things Huckabee seems to actually believe himself? Let’s see.
Apparently, I’m not the only person annoyed by this, MJ Rosenberg from Jewschool’s Best of 2007 winning website Talking Points Memo has a good take.
update: Oh look, it’s a whole genre!

15 thoughts on “I'm not saying Richard Cohen is a douchebag or anything…

  1. I think this form of scrutiny is to be expected on a presidential campaign. Especially when your up agains the Clitons.
    If Obama is associated with Farakahn at all I would consider that serious cause for concern.
    Either way how do you feel about his “Present” votes and pretty much non existent experience?
    (I think I am objective on this because I dislike them all)

  2. this is absurd! do you know how many times my shul has invited people that i have found to be abhorrent to come speak!?

  3. Hey Merliner,
    I’m not a huge Obama fan, though I believe he’d be far superior to any Republican candidate for President. But that’s not the point of this piece and I don’t want to go too far afield. I think this piece is beyond “scrutiny”. It resembles what Bush did to McCain in 2000 in South Carolina and what republican groups did to Kerry in Michigan and Florida. This isn’t scrutiny, it’s a smear tactic to turn Jewish voters against Obama.

  4. Richard Cohen writes for the Washington Post. Right now on the front of the Washington Post website there is a picture of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Now I certainly don’t intend to suggest that Cohen is a tool of the Saudi royal family, or that he had any personal involvement in harboring the 9/11 terrorists, but I’m concerned that he might be asked some tough questions about these associations, so he should be careful about the company he keeps.

  5. I dont know who Cohen is but here is an AP story directly quoting Obama’s Reverend:
    “Wright also told The New York Times in an interview published March 6: “When his (Obama’s) enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli” with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to visit Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, “a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.””
    Frankly his Reverend comes across as an antisemite.

  6. That same article:
    (Obama’s)”The roughly 8,000-member church has often championed liberal causes, from gay rights to opposition to the Iraq war. It also emphasizes its African roots and asks parishioners to accept the “Black Value System,” which includes tenets such as “commitment to the black family,” “dedication to the pursuit of education” and one critics have seized upon _ “disavowal of the pursuit of ‘middleclassness.'”
    Seems his Church believes that African American belong in the ghetto.
    This is at least as big an issue as Romney’s Mormonism which has come up numerous times to the extemnt he made a full out speech addressing it.
    Dont blame the critics. Obama should address this and HE CAN EFFECTIVELY MAKE THIS GO AWAY AND MAKE THESE CRITICS LOOK LIKE ASSHOLES! Kerry didnt have to be Swift Boated. His initial campaign strategy – to ignore them didnt work. By the time he went on the defensive the damage was done and his “reporting to duty” salute at the convention really did him in.

  7. There has been a lot of this circulating in the pro-Hillary and the pro-Israel camps (which have a fair amount of overlap, particularly among older Jews).
    My 80yo grandmother, knowing that our Iowa family members caucused for Obama, forwarded me the e-mail in this snopes page about Obama’s church after receiving it from a friend of hers who forwards her all kinds of easily-debunked e-mails (and who just happens to be a vocal Hillary supporter). She also forwarded me this one, which implies that Obama is a secret Muslim radical. Smear tactics indeed.

  8. we question bushs evangelicism, romneys mormonism, and huckabees religiosity. Yet we cant ask about obamas faith? this isnt someone who spoke at his church. this is the leader of his church.

  9. themichah:
    Despite the fact that she emails you irritating crap, I DO like that your 80 year old grandmother is an avid user of email! Go grandma!

  10. Despite the fact that she emails you irritating crap, I DO like that your 80 year old grandmother is an avid user of email! Go grandma!
    Good point! And to be fair, she IS learning. Usually she blasts the e-mail forwards she receives to the whole family, and I have to reply-all with the debunking link. This time she sent them to me first so I could debunk them.

  11. The background of all the candidates is fair game. Obama’s minister didn’t just chill with Pharaoh-con in Chi-town, the two of them went to Libya to hobknob with Kadafi. That simply is not cool. While his religious orientation is certainly problematic, of even more concern to me is his primary foreign policy advisor is Zbigniew Brzezinski.

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