Jun 16, 2008

Obama dirt

Kaus quips that the new anti-smear Obama website is 'the new go-to place for Obama dirt'. Althouse complains that it hasn't given her anything new since last week. This confirms a suspicion I have been nursing about the nature of political smears, at least this cycle: that they do not correspond to actual beliefs but are rather more in the nature of calculated insults. The person who says he believes Obama to be a muslim is not professing a belief in the same way that he believes the sun will rise in the morning. Rather he is saying something he believes to be insulting, much in the vein of 'I think you stink, turn around, touch the ground, bagsy-not-it'. That is why the notion of an anti-smear campaign, which hopes to arm people with 'the facts', is so sadly quixotic: these people are not looking to be persuaded otherwise for the simple reason that they do not think it in the first place. That is why they are saying it: because it is untrue.

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