The knives are out for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama--not because of his wishy-washy, centrist politics, but because...well, he's a closet Muslim, sources close to Hillary Clinton are muttering. (h/t Cynapse)
Or maybe he's just an uppity Black man who doesn't know his place. The discussion has certainly become heavily racialized on the Right. As one Canadian conservative commentator puts it, "Black, stupid or both: that's your only excuse for getting excited about Barack Obama." She continues, referring to Obama's mixed-race background, [T]here is nothing 'compelling' about a black man impregnating a white woman. In more than one Toronto neighbourhood, that's what they call 'Saturday night.'"
So a big hat tip today, to Candace of Waking Up on Planet X. She really says all that needs to be said.
UPDATE: (January 21) Did she or didn't she? There has been considerable debate, here, at Candace's place and elsewhere, as to whether the Hillary Dems were behind the "closet Muslim" smear. The story referenced above did appear in a right-wing magazine, using unnamed "sources within the Democratic party." Could the Repubs have indeed managed a "two-fer," slinging the mudpies at Obama and putting the blame on Clinton?
But if that were the case, why would Repub strategists do this before the Democratic nomination was secure? In answer to the following question in an ABC/Washington Times poll: "37. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of (NAME)? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?" Hillary Clinton scored 56% favourable, with 27% "strongly favourable." Obama's numbers were 44% and 21%, trailing Nancy Pelosi and John Edwards. For the opposition, Rudy Giuliani racked up 67% and 49%.
Obama as Democratic presidential nominee would be a Republican asset. A Black person with a name like his, beloved of northern liberals, would fight a nearly unwinnable battle in the red states. Elementary strategy would dictate, therefore, that the Repubs hold back until Obama wins the nomination, and then swiftboat him to oblivion. Again, therefore: why now?
So I'm agnostic on the question. I was in error, though, in uncritically attributing the smear to the Clinton camp without noting the provenance of the report. Mea culpa.
UPPERDATE: (January 21) Kathy Shaidle has, predictably and no doubt to her delight, provoked tremendous outrage over here on the port side with her brazenly racist comments about Barack Obama and Blacks in general. Some of the responses, however, seem well over the top to me (and no, I shall not link to them). Commentary about her appearance, and whether or not she is getting enough, is OT as far as I am concerned, not to mention sexist. Can't we set our standards a little higher than the other side?