mardi, janvier 23, 2007

Mud that doesn't stick

At the gym, for obvious reasons, the sound on the televisions is turned off. Good thing. Otherwise the Fox or CNN commentariat would be vying for our attention with ESPN, the one seemingly constant TV presence. Watching TV without listening to a reporter's studiously dispassionate midatlantic tones also means that you lose part of the outrage element inspired by hearing a particularly infuriating story. In this case, it was a CNN investigation of allegations that Illinois Senator Barack Obama, a bright young star in the Democratic firmament, had gone to a madrassa, an Islamic religious school while living in Indonesia as a child. In an ingenious plot twist, this rumor was apparently spread, if not initiated by Republican pond scum, and then attributed to Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign. All this the week after he and Clinton announced they starting up Presidential campaigns. There are lots of things we don't know about Senator Obama. But, at least so far, there's been no reason to doubt his word on most subjects. He's already said that he went to a Muslim school (not a religious school) while living in Indonesia as a child. But Senator Obama is also a professed Christian not shy about talking about his faith-turf which some Republicans apparently think that they own. This attack on Obama smacks of racism as much as Isaiah Washington's comment about his gay colleague smacks of homophobia. Lest someone think I'm slamming Republicans, I'm not. I'm pretty sure that some Democratic strategists who would love to spread slanderous rumors about other candidates...if they thought they'd get away with it. My only question is-does this deserve a strong response by Republicans with integrity-or would be the better response be to ignore it? We can only expect more of this malicious trash as the election gets can't get much more disgusting than this, though.

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