As I noted before, when speaking about rumors and urban legends (actually, I can’t remember if I did say it), the Big Lie is the coolest technique for slandering our current presidential candidates. I’ve been wondering how the lies are going to play out this campaign.
The book “Obama Nation” (which is a great title, just say it out loud) starts to go down this path by providing a layer of sly insinuations as mulch from which harmful storylines about Obama can grow nice and strong. Personally, I think that Obama’s drug use has not been played upon nearly enough.
The man has already admitted to doing blow back in college. And that’s basically all we know. The New York Times ran a story where they went back and interviewed his high school and college buddies. But most of them seemed to indicate that Obama had, if anything, exaggerated his drug use. None of them could recall him doing cocaine. But that’s the New York Times! Of course they’re not going to unleash the first volley against Obama’s shady past. Look what a great job they did with the Edwards baby story.
Anyway, there’s this vast information deficit out there. What drugs did he do? How often? How much money did he spend? Was he cashing checks his hard-working single mom sent him and spending the money on booze and snow*? Did he ever sell drugs? Did he ever get a [white] woman high and have sex with her? How did he act at these parties? What kind of remarks did he make? And, most importantly, how many white women has he had sex with?** Most importantly, when did he stop using drugs?
We don’t actually need or want the answers to those questions, since they are likely to not be as horrific as what we can otherwise insinuate. What we want is to use these gaps in the record to build up a picture. And the key picture we’re trying to go for, the Big Lie…is that Obama is using drugs right now. We want people to think he’s cutting out a line at this very minute!
What we have to do is shade this ridiculous allegation with these very selective (and possibly made up) hints. For instance, “Obama has always been very skinny. But sources close to the senator say that he lost alot of weight right after he became good friends with [some shady democrat]”
Cherry-pick newspaper sources that describe him as having inexhaustible energy and getting by on very little sleep (there are bound to be some)…and then say “I wonder where he found that energy?” Also find sources that describe him as irritable. Show those great photos of him with lines under his eyes, and say “Guess it’s finally getting to him, ehh?”
Ooh, and play up on the appeal he has to young, white coeds. You’re bound to be able to find tons of pictures of blondes swooning for him. After all, Slate recently ran a quote from Scarlett Johannsen talking about how “approachable” Barack is and how he always returns her messages. And they suggested, as an explanation, that he had a crush on her. Sensing dynamite, Barack turned on her and said that she’d exaggerated their relationship.
Ooh, you know who would be perfect to use as “an anonymous source”…a secret service agent. Talk about how this agent, assigned to Obama’s detail, is sworn to protect his charge and his secrets, but he’s become sick at the thought that he’s putting his life on the line for a drug-addicted sex-fiend.
Alot of the democratic joking about McCain revolves around how old and out of touch he is, for instance the site thingsthatareolderthanmccain.com. This is an alright tactic. But every time you make a joke like that, it reinforces the idea that he is old and wise while Obama is young and callow. Instead, I think democrats will start cutting him down to size. Let’s attack that Prisoner of War biography that he’s so proud of.
Here’s how a potential McCain storyline might go. He was a terrible student (nearly last in his class at the Academy) who only got into the academy and into pilot training because his pappy and grandpappy were four-star admirals. He only got into flight-training by hanging onto their coat-tails. He was a terrible pilot who ditched out of his craft several times, finally getting captured through his own ineptitude. Once he was in the camps, he broke under torture (as he has admitted he did), and cooperated with the North Vietnamese.
Once he got back to America he cheated on his wife, who had just been through a crippling car accident and had waited for him, faithfully, for seven years. He divorced her and married someone much younger and richer. He demanded a soft, cushy job as the navy’s liason with Congress. And finally he ditched the navy entirely, moved to Arizona (a state he had no ties with), and ran for Congress. He pulled strings to get his wife’s theft of drugs, an offense punishable by twenty years in state, down to probation.
Once he got into the Senate he almost immediately caught up in a bribery scandal (the Keating Five) and only narrowly squeaked by. He’s spent the last twenty-five years in the Senate not really doing much, mostly just talking a good game, until he finally saw the chance to be President and turned his back on everything he had claimed to believe.
You paint McCain as a phony hero, little kid who always wanted to be like the heroes in his family but could never quite match up. A guy who cares more about the swash-buckling maverick image than he does about actually accomplishing something worthwhile.
*That’s another trick, never say ‘alcohol and cocaine’. Always use slightly-dated street names. They need to be slightly dated so old fogeys get them and they need to be street so we can associate Barack with the people who scare you in metro stops.
**White men percieve black men as being more virile than them (and having larger penises). I think this old-fashioned fear of miscegenation kind of has its roots in a sort of inadequecy.