Obama Followed by Legion of Demonic Orbs!

Damon Winter/The New York Times
Damon Winter/The New York Times

Ok, I was going to leave this just with the headline.  But I take this opportunity to comment on the tail-end negativity of the campaign.  Am I wrong?  I don’t think I’ve seen anything remotely like this in any previous campaign.  Kerry and Dukakis really took a beating and plenty got thrown at Clinton.  But I’ve encountered mainstream sources reporting how Obama’s been called (and sometimes calling him ) a socialist/marxist and the like, a fascist, a Muslim, or uppity, and a ton of other loaded and alarmist kinds of names.  (Somebody must have called him the Anti-Christ or minion of Satan, I just haven’t seen it.)

Of course, the breadth and the reach of the MSM is so much greater than it used to be, as is the breadth and reach of alternative media.  (I don’t recall ever seeing anything quite like the appearances of convention and rally attendees, as well as residents of Wasilla, AK, on shows like The Daily Show either.  Give almost any American the opportunity to be on TV and candid entertainment is sure to follow.)
But I don’t recall the naming calling ever reaching so far past the candidate as to try to scorch his or her associates (even in cases of association of the most basic collegial sorts).  Never mind freedom of association, nevermind the memory of McCarthyism, nevermind the idea of paid debts to society, nevermind freedom of expression, nevermind freedom of religion, nevermind ….
The latest is the Alaska Disasta’s condemnation of some association between Obama and Rashid Khalidi.
From CNN:

“It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years,” Palin said. “This is important because his associate, Rashid Khalidi, he, in addition to being a political ally of Barack Obama, he’s a former spokesperson for the Paliestinian Liberation Organization.”

Khalidi — whose name Palin mispronounced — is currently a leading scholar of Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University, and was a contemporary of Obama’s while on faculty at the University of Chicago.

Khalidi has been a stern critic of United States foreign policy towards Israel and has accused the country of “occupying” Palestinian territories, but he has denied acting as a spokesman for the PLO.

The Los Angeles Times reported in April that Obama praised Khalidi at a 2003 going-away party for the professor when he left Chicago. The McCain campaign has pressured the Times to publicly release a videotape of the event, but the newspaper has refused, citing the request of a source.

Palin said the public has a right to know what Obama said at the event.

“And the twist here is that there’s a videotape of a party for this person, back in 2003, a celebration of him, and Barack was there, and we know some very derogatory things were said there about Israel and America’s support for that great nation,” Palin said.

“And among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism instead of the victim. What we don’t know, what we don’t know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he now professes to support, and the reason is the newspaper that has the tape, the Los Angeles Times, refuses to release it.”

Palin accused the Times of being Obama’s “pet newspaper” and said the paper would win a Pulitzer Prize for “excelling in cow-towing.”

If I were teaching in America I might just get a tad (more) paranoid.  I’d be a little more worried that the barbarians were on the verge of breaching the walls and about to lay waste to the academy, and all the rest of them eeleet pinhead-type institutions.  Say whatever you want about Khalidi and his politics (I honestly don’t exactly what they might be, unique to him), but when a simple academic and social connection with the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, who has been a guest of The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, and Nightline,*** is so publically condemned, so publically condemning of both associates, I get really creeped out.


  1. jackrroo said

    What I’m saying everywhere on the so-called infomercial: Kennedy-esque as a happening, but I really was hoping to hear an, “esque naut watt yore conn tree ken doo,” statement to punctuate the live ending, to render the whole thing immortal. And it just wasn’t there; the whole thing was otherwise pretty safe, no?

  2. jackrroo said

    From a reader of the Daily Dish on Khalidi.

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