Make no mistake: heading towards the general election in November, the Republican Party smells intense fear, and that fear will manifest itself into the dirtiest, ugliest, most divisive presidential election campaign in American history. The GOP's coming off of eight miserable, economically ravished, war-torn, scandal-plagued years of Bush/Cheney. Given the likelihood that Sen. Barack Obama--with his message of inspiration, hope and change--will eventually prevail in his protracted primary battle with Sen. Hillary Clinton, the reality is settling in that the junior Senator from Illinois could be the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania. Just ask neocon pundit William Kristol.
In his op-ed piece in Monday's NY Times, the rabid right-winger confides that in private meetings with leading conservatives there's a growing belief that Obama's gonna beat their presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain. And he suggests that, at least in some Repug circles, the smear campaigns are already being developed. Kristol writes: Last week over drinks, one Republican strategist not affiliated with the McCain campaign mused about how an independent advertising effort against Obama might work. "Barack Obama: He's not who you think he is" would be the theme. The supporting evidence would come from his left-wing voting record in Illinois and Washington, spiced up with fun video clips of Rev. Wright.
"Fun clips of Rev Wright?" You bet your ass they're gonna run like mad with this stuff. I've been saying that for weeks now. Remember how they vilified John Kerry over his windsurfing photo? Can you imagine what these vicious thugs are going to do with those "God Damn America" clips from the Reverend? Obama's not gonna know what hit him.
Kristol goes on to quote a Democratic operative: "Finally I think McCain's going to win. Obama isn't growing in stature. Once I thought he could be Jimmy Carter, but now he reminds me more of Michael Dukakis with the flag lapel thing and defending Rev. Wright. Plus he doesn't have a clue how to talk to the middle class..." And that's a Democrat speaking.
So there you have it: Obama's an unpatriotic, raging liberal elitist whose preacher hates America. And we haven't even thrown in his past drug use; his wife's comments about America; or his "terrifying" middle name or "Muslim heritage." Just wait. This party's only getting started. If Kristol is right about one thing, it's that the Republican attack machine is quite busy greasing its venomous gears as we speak. The question for Democrats is this: Can Obama face down this onslaught and come out victorious?
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. We're very pleased to announce that one of last year's grant recipients, Cynthia Wade, just won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for "Freeheld." We are proud of Cynthia and to have supported this film. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us continue to achieve our very important mission.