Right Wing Launches Erroneous Attacks on Obama

One sign that Obama has an excellent chance of winning the Democratic nomination is that he is becoming the target of a number of ridiculous attacks from the right wing. Here’s a few of the latest.

Attack Number One: Obama can’t speak without a teleprompter

This one comes from Dean Barnett at the Daily Standard, which is already a clue that this one is nonsense. Dean claims that Obama cannot speak without a teleprompter:

Shorn of his Teleprompter, we saw a different Obama. His delivery was halting and unsure. He looked down at his obviously copious notes every few seconds throughout the speech. Unlike the typical Obama oration where the words flow with unparalleled fluidity, he stumbled over his phrasing repeatedly.

While we would expect the use of a teleprompter to make somewhat of a difference, Obama has spoken in public many times before without a teleprompter, making this one hard to believe. The video of Obama’s speech at the Virginia Jefferson-Jackson dinner shows that Barnett’s criticism doesn’t hold up:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hUngQ8-wLU]

Besides, if we want to criticize politicians for their speaking style, check out George Bush, with or without a teleprompter.

Attack Number Two: The Che flag

There’s a Cuban flag with Che Guevara on the wall of an office in Barack Obama’s Houston campaign headquarters. This comes from a report on a Fox affiliate which actually reports, “The office featured in this video is funded by volunteers of the Barack Obama Campaign and is not an official headquarters for his campaign.” Although this flag has nothing to do with the campaign, many right wing blogs are claiming that this is a reflection on Obama. James Joyner presents a run down of conservative blog reports on this:

  • Matt Bramanti: “Obama office adores psychotic Marxist thug”
  • Ed Driscoll: “Sixties Radical Chic, Frozen In Amber”

Attack Number Three: The High Tax Candidate

National Review distorts Obama’s tax policies to exaggerate the tax increases and claim he would raise taxes more than Clinton:

This is disturbing news on the taxation front. The Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore says Obama’s tax plan would add up to a 39.6 percent personal income tax, a 52.2 percent combined income and payroll tax, a 28 percent capital-gains tax, a 39.6 percent dividends tax, and a 55 percent estate tax. In other words, Sen. Obama is a very-high-tax candidate. Whether Wall Street has fully discounted this, I have no idea. Probably not yet. But somebody in the investor class ought to be thinking about it, because it’s not good.

Interestingly, at least two of Obama’s top economic advisors — Austan Goolsbee and Jeffrey Liebman — are highly regarded free-market economists. Goolsbee from Chicago, Liebman from Harvard. But somehow their candidate has a very punitive high-tax campaign plan for the economy.

The first important fact that this leaves out is, as The New Republic points out, “This year, the top marginal rate applies only to income above $349,701.” Conservatives are tying to scare many voters who wouldn’t be impacted. Another error is that these numbers assume that Obama would totally eliminate the Social Security cap, but Obama has not advocated this. He has discussed possibly raising the cap, and has also discussed including a donut hole so that those earning under $250,000 wouldn’t be affected. It is also erroneous to claim that Obama supports higher taxes than Clinton as both are advocating rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans, and both have discussed the possibility of increasing the Social Security cap.

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7 Comments

  1. 1
    What's a "precinct captain"? says:

    Maybe someone can tell me whether “precinct captain” is an official title because the flag lady from the video uses it at Obama’s site. Details at my name’s link.

  2. 2
    Christopher says:

    Bush can’t speak with a teleprompter.

    The idiot’s comment reeks of racism. Who the hell is Dean Barnett?

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    A precinct captain is a party volunteer who does things like get out the vote among members of a party in a precinct.

    A precinct captain is in no way a party official. Their personal views do not represent the views of the party. They are also a volunteer for the party, and are not officially affiliated with the actual campaign.

    If this person is a precinct captain, it means no more than being a volunteer and their views and actions in no way reflect upon the actual campaign organization.

  4. 4
    plum says:

    This is all they’ve got? No gay hookers? No pyramid schemes? No Chicago organized crime links? ROFLMAO!!! You know, I’ve always thought Obama was just a politician, not a god — more decent than most politicians, but still bound to have flaws. (Frankly, the open worship of him by some political neophytes and younger voters is mildly creepy, but if it gets them into politics, I say, hang it. Let them scream and shout!)

    Still, I always knew the right wing attacks would come, and dreaded the thought of what they would be. But this? Give me a break. They’re so pathetic, I’m almost starting to believe he really is too good to be true. (Don’t worry, my cynicism will kick in soon enough.)

    BTW, there’s an excellent David Sirota column that answers a question that’s always been bugging me: Why doesn’t Obama, a former community organizer who struggled to lift working class people out of the poverty trap — why doesn’t he speak more like John Edwards? An unbiased column, worth reading in full.

    Link

  5. 5
    Christopher says:

    Delegate Count

    OBAMA: 1,223
    CLINTON: 1,161

    Obama’s delegate advantage: 62

    Stunning!

  6. 6
    Bill Wages says:

    You People are not patriots. You shouldnt be
    allowed to take advantage of the rights and
    liberties provided by our constitution.
    Yo’mama will never, ever, at all, no way, be
    the president of the U.S. He’s already your
    leader. He will never be ours.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Here we see the difference between liberals and conservatives such as Bill. While we believe all people are entitled to the rights and liberties provided under the Constitution, some conservatives oppose this.

    Such rights are only meaningful when the rights of all are respected, not when they are limited to those whose opinions you agree with.

    Understanding this is one reason why we are patriots, but Bill Wages certainly is not. You cannot be a patriot if you oppose the principles of liberty which this nation was founded upon.

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