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The Book Wars

In their typical over-the-top, screaming defensive style when anyone questions the One, the Obama team has overreached and probably not done themselves much good in rebutting Jerome Corsi’s book. I would join Peter and many others in positing that much of what is in Corsi’s book is wrong, sloppy or inaccurate — but the same is true of Obama’s rebuttal. There are many who have pointed this out. But why do this, rather than put out a finely tuned rebuttal and be done with it?

Part of the explanation is that the Obama camp feels compelled, I think, to attack, attack, and attack some more so that other, more respected journalists feel queasy and frankly intimidated. No need to explore the Bill Ayers relationship. No need to determine what grants Barack Obama approved as part of the Woods Fund. No need to look into his Illinois state senate voting records (where are those records?). Just move on. That’s the intent and may be the result of all the furious push-back.

While Yuval Levin has logic and history on his side in questioning whether the tactic makes sense, it has become accepted gospel in the Democratic Party that John Kerry lost the 2004 race because of the Swift Boaters. Obama’s team must therefore rage and protest.

But getting back to the facts, what is missing, of course, is much of any response to David Freddoso’s book. His description of Obama’s sharp-elbows style of politics, the entire reformer myth, Obama’s interaction with the Daley machine and his far-Left background seem worthy of the frenzied rebuttal treatment, right? Well, so far not really a peep. Perhaps the Obama team is hoping that Freddoso’s book will get lost in the shuffle, but their silence seems to suggest they won’t have such an easy time with a well-researched book by a credible journalist.

And once again it seems odd that there is no comparable analysis of Obama’s past relationships and affiliations coming from mainstream outlets. But, just as they were beaten and beaten badly by the National Enquirer on the John Edwards story, it may be that the newfound attention to Obama’s past will spur enterprising mainstream journalists to root around and begin examining Obama’s record in Illinois and past relationships. People might begin to ask: why are only these two books looking seriously into his record? People might begin to wonder if the mainstream press has essentially given up critically investigating any Democratic presidential candidate. Nah, they’ll never notice, right?


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