By: Brandon Turbeville
Recently, the Obama re-election campaign launched a website known as Attackwatch.com, a site that is designed to “set the record straight” on Obama’s performance, as well as to give Obama supporters “the new resources to fight back” against political criticisms. The website states, “When another unfounded attack surfaces, we’ll arm you with the truth so you can share the facts with friends and family. The site also offers the capability to report “attacks” against the President.
Of course, this site, complete with dramatic font and red and black lettering, is nothing new to the Obama “camp.” Remember, during the 2008 election, Obama’s campaign launched “Fight the Smears,” a website designed to do largely the same thing as AttackWatch.
However, in 2008, when Americans were weary of eight straight years of a dying economy, an increasing police state, constant war, and “stay the course,” they were also being bombarded by a “new face of politics,” claims of hope and change, and the insinuation that an Obama victory would actually alter the agenda that had been in place many years before either candidate was even born. Back then, Fight the Smears had a much more serious and urgent aspect to it.
But, after three and a half years of an Obama administration that has not only continued but expanded upon every “Bush” policy, AttackWatch is taking on a slightly less serious tone among the general public. After Mr. Hope and Change had a few years to demonstrate the direction he (meaning his controllers) intended to take the country, it’s a bit hard for anyone except for the most personality-obsessed and television-conditioned individuals to be motivated about four more years of him.
Yet, although Deputy Press Secretary Katie Hogan claims that over 100,000 people have joined the email list in the first 24 hours, the International Business Times reports that many may have joined for the comedic value more than anything else.
Writing for IBTimes, Nadine DeNinno states,
Instead of serving its purpose to “fight with the facts,” most people have made a mockery out of the Web site.
Example 1: @thorninaz: “#attackwatch I saw someone purposely squeeze the Charmin in the grocery store.”
Example 2: @Libertarian_ish: “Every time a TSA Agent gives your privates a “high five” an #attackwatch angel of death is born!”
Example 3: @JoeNYLaw: “Dear #attackwatch: After we turn in our children for thinking illegal thoughts about our Dear Leader, can we say Hi to Minister Goebells?”
The website is apparently attempting to make Obama appear to be a Centrist, a candidate who should appeal to the Kool-Aid drinkers in both parties. However, to anyone who pays even a small bit of attention to current events, virtually none of the “truths” and “fact checks” provided on the site do anything to make Obama look any better.
Most of the claims made by the site seek to shift the blame for any and every negative aspect of his administration off the back of Obama and onto the Republicans. No doubt, this is carefully crafted political theater designed to entertain and involve the uninformed masses. The site does nothing to refute legitimate criticisms by any method other than clever word play and obfuscation. Predictably, AttackWatch only shores up the false left-right paradigm of Republicans versus Democrats.
With the exception of the birth certificate issues, which is attributed to Jerome Corsi and “Conspiracy Theorists,” every “attack” on Obama is attributed to mainstream Republicans like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann or Bilderberg attendees like Rick Perry. (See here as well.) There is no mention, at least to my knowledge, of critiques leveled by true conservatives like Ron Paul or true liberals like Dennis Kucinich. There are certainly no mentions of the alternative media on the site beyond the “conspiracy theorist” statement. Perhaps this is because mention of these critiques might bring some attention to real and legitimate issues, as well as real and legitimate individuals who would be able to lead the country out of the deepening cesspit that our nation has unfortunately fallen into.
Yet, while the new AttackWatch site has been a source of derision and jokes (some pretty good ones too) since it was launched, we might do well to remember the fact that the 2008 campaign was a great source of division for the United States and that, regrettably, the 2012 campaign will most likely be no different.
In 2008, anyone who disagreed even slightly with Barack Obama was quickly labeled a racist. Likewise, disagreeing with Hillary Clinton meant you were a sexist, and disagreeing with John McCain meant you were a Socialist. The mainstream media fueled every possible fire with racism, sexism, and political polarization. Unfortunately, the average American took the bait hook, line, and sinker.
What’s scarier than mere demonization, however, is that some law enforcement agencies actually announced that they would be on the lookout for anyone unfairly criticizing Barack Obama in his 2008 Presidential campaign. Yet, although Obama’s re-election is infinitely harder to justify than his election, one would expect similar behavior on the part of media and government agencies in the coming 2012 campaign.
While, at this moment, AttackWatch is just another stupid idea by Obama that serves as a breeding ground for comedy routines, one would be justified in worrying whether or not the “attacks” against the President will face a mere debunking effort on a rather obscure website, or whether there will be consequences waiting for those who dare to speak out.
One might also wonder if this site is relegated to the mainstream Republican “adversaries,” or if it will also be used to keep tabs on more average people who aren’t satisfied with world economic depressions and six foreign wars.
At this moment, there is no real evidence to suggest that AttackWatch is anything more than a bad campaign move. However, given historical precedent and the direction in which this country is rapidly heading, one would be justified in wondering if there’s more to the story.
In the meantime, a good laugh never hurt anyone.