Obama campaign manager David Plouffe accused the Clinton campaign Monday of "shameful offensive fear-mongering" by circulating a photo as an attempted smear.
Plouffe was reacting to a banner headline on the Drudge Report saying that aides to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) had e-mailed a photo calling attention to the African roots of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
"The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat front-runner dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya," the Drudge Report said. [SNIP]
Plouffe said in a statement: “On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.The dervishes started their whirl about this yesterday in conservative blogs. I remember thinking “this will be a losing proposition for anyone who runs with it.” But if this particular aspect of the Obama-is-really-a-Muslim Whisper Campaign was ginned up by the Clintons, then Senator Clinton more desperate than we may have thought.
The move is so bad that it even caused GOPAC Chairman Michael Steele to bash it.
Back to conservative bloggers and their assertions about Obama’s religion. Many of them tend to try to figure out how Obama’s religion—whatever it may be--fits into his Kenya Luo heritage, his visits to Kenya, his relationship with Raila Odinga* (his second cousin), the present political and social chaos in Kenya and all of the other issues concerning the senator’s ties to that country. The problem with much of their analysis is that they tend to shape it to fit the conclusion. Therefore, since they “know” that the man is an undercover Muslim, then anything he does points to his being a Muslim—including having the temerity to meet with a relative and not being able to predict that the person will misbehave later on; including visiting a culture and being open to wearing their traditional dress.
There’s even some clown that’s claiming that Obama isn’t even an ‘African-American,’ but ‘Arab-American.’ Still others, expound from their wealth of knowledge and logic, want to claim that the senator isn’t ‘African-American’ because he isn’t a descendant of American slaves. (This sort of legalistic Bravo Sierra is why I prefer terms like ‘black,’ ‘black American’ or ‘black African.’ Also, I heard a Tuskegee Airman used the term ‘African-descended American’—very good.)
Of the several sites devoted to exploring Obama’s background, I’ve found only one that presents uncovered facts and lets the reader come to conclusions (the preamble notwithstanding). He is also open to correction.
Don’t get me wrong. I think that it’s reasonable to check into Obama’s past—including his religion. As a matter of fact it’s crucial to question the senator’s ties to Trinity United Church of Christ—whose About page makes no mention of the Sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Salvation offered there from, and whose platform is remarkably exclusionary and similar in tone to that of the Nation of Islam. (TUCC also has ties to Louis Farrakhan, who talks up Obama whenever he can.)
I just think that it’s best not to operate from fear and the Right’s fear of Obama is palpable. Fear is what terrorists are selling and it also makes one blunder, conservatives. Ask Senator Clinton.
Learn to separate what is proven from the apparitions found in your nightmares.
And if Robert Spencer isn't worried, should you be?
*There is this document which is supposed to have been signed by Odinga. It is a Memo of Understand which promises Kenya’s Muslims—10% of the population—that, if elected, Odinga would enact Sharia law. Many Kenyans seem to think that it’s a forgery, but no answers are forthcoming. A lot of actual research was done by Eric Scheie with links posted in this comment.