I guess I have a different take from most conservatives on the issue of anti-Semitic remarks on Sen. Obama’s web site.
As I understand it, BarackObama.com is somewhat like Daily Kos in that the site allows a wide range of participants to publish posts. (Why, at least one daily newspaper — you’ll never guess which one — has referred to it as a “social networking site” without even bothering to note that it is also an official campaign web site!) There is no official approval needed before content may be posted.
If you have a set-up like that, it’s going to get abused. Period. It’s as certain as the rising of the sun.
What’s more, we don’t even know who’s behind the anti-Semitic postings. I’ll assume that it’s a genuine Obama supporter for purposes of this post — but it could be a right-winger trying to make Obama look bad. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t suspect something similar if the tables were turned.
So, assuming that the content was posted by an Obama supporter: so what?
Barack Obama attracts some anti-Semitic supporters. That’s hardly a surprise, nor is it his obviously his fault. In my opinion, he’s been too cozy with supporters of the anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan. So criticize him for that. But the fact that he has anti-Semitic supporters, standing alone, says no more about him than the fact that there are white racists supporting John McCain.
The issue is how he and his campaign react to that support.
I understand this material stayed up on his web site for two months. This might be significant if there were any evidence that he knew it was there. But evidently, as soon as conservatives pointed it out, it was scrubbed from the site.
Yes, and they erased it from Google cache and the Internet Wayback Machine. So would I, if someone posted that kind of junk on my site, and I could figure out how to scrub it off that thoroughly.
I understand the impulse to ding Obama for anything possible. He’s incredibly liberal. He will appoint terrible judges. He plans to cut and run in Iraq, sparking a possible civil war. And so on.
But there are undecided voters out there who are watching the competing arguments — and if your argument is silly, they’ll notice. This one, in my opinion, is silly. I’m actually surprised to see so many conservatives trying to make something out of it. There’s no “there” there.
UPDATE: OK, here’s the best argument I’ve heard contra my position: Obama’s campaign, having raked in $300 million, could spend $50,000 to have someone police this stuff. Not a bad point.