Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fox drops all pretense.

Fox News runs a front page story titled "Obama Affinity to Marxists Dates Back to College Days." It reads like a McCain campaign press release, including guilt by association, out-of context quotes from Barack Obama's biography, and deliberate mischaracterizations of Obama's positions. Take this gem, for instance:

But the debate intensified Monday with the surfacing of a 2001 radio interview in which Obama lamented the Supreme Court's inability to enact "redistribution of wealth" -- a key tenet of socialism. On Tuesday, McCain said Obama aspires to become "Redistributionist-in-Chief."
This, of course, is a deliberate misrepresentation of what Obama actually said which was that:
...the supreme court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the warren court it wasnt that radical 40;30 it didnt break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the constituion at least as it has been interpreted and the warren court interpreted it generally in the same way that the constitution is a document of negative liberties 40:43 says what the states cant do to you says what the federal govt cant do to you but it doesnt say what the federal govt or state govt mst do on your behalf and that hasnt shifted and i think one of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that 41:01 the civil rights movement becaem so court focused i think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities 41:12 on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change 41:20 and in some ways we still suffer from that
In other words, Obama does not lament that the court never pursued redistribution or was unable to pursue redistribution of wealth. Rather he laments that the Civil Rights movement focused too many of its energies on a court that was not designed to advance the goals of social justice and redistribution of wealth. This distinction is essential, given that Conservatives love to push the notion of un-elected courts pursuing left wing agendas. Yet here, Obama is siding with those who deny such power was ever invested in the courts by the nation's founders.

The rest of the piece is just as ridiculous, featuring a picture of Karl Marx as well as "expert opinions" that are attributed to unnamed "analysts", as in this absurdity:
Obama has been widely criticized for choosing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, an anti-American firebrand, as his pastor. Wright is a purveyor of black liberation theology, which analysts say is based in part on Marxist ideas.
Ultimately, the absurdity of the piece, mirrors the absurdity of this whole line of attack generally. Barack Obama is guilty of nothing more than espousing a progressive tax policy of startified tax brackets. If that is evidence of Marxist leanings, then the U.S. is already a Maxist country and one must accept the unavoidable conclusion that Marxism is the most effective political and economic system known to man and the one that grants him the most freedom.

Somehow I doubt that's what Obama's critics mean to say.

But the piece does prove one thing: the McCain campaign and its allies at Fox are getting desperate.

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