Even though — according to a number independent fact-checkers — Obama has been running around for the past month using $100 million in ads to hit Mitt Romney with lies; even though Obama’s top surrogates have been using the word “felon” to describe Romney — The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank is now demanding that Romney shut up.
We saw this in 2008, when the desperate and desperately corrupt media attempted to silence legitimate criticism of Obama by equating and tying that criticism to racism, crazies, and extremists. And what this is is nothing more than a form of New McCarthyism, by means of which you smear, terrorize, and marginalize those you disagree with by drawing a very long and dark line from what they’ve said or what they believe in to portray them as scary, freaky, wacko lunatics who might be dangerous.
Here’s Milbank at work. Tell me this isn’t a bald-faced act of McCarthyism against Mitt Romney:
On an official Mitt Romney campaign conference call this week, former New Hampshire governor John Sununu tested the latest effort to paint the commander in chief as disloyal to his country.
“I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” the Romney surrogate said.
Sununu, challenged, later apologized for the words — but not the sentiment. And that’s not good enough.
It’s not good enough because Sununu, like other prominent Republicans, is winking at those conservatives who continue to make the claim, often race-based, that President Obama is something un-American, something “other” than the rest of us. On Thursday, two days after Sununu’s attack, Romney himself said that Obama lacks “an understanding of what it is that makes America such a unique nation.”
Sununu and Romney are legitimizing people such as Cliff Kincaid. Also on Thursday, Kincaid convened his annual conference at the National Press Club for conspiracy-minded conservatives, this one about Obama and “Radical Islam.”
First off, Sununu apologized, something Obama never did for the “felon” claim that fired from the mouths of two of his top surrogates. And I don’t remember Milbank ever needing smelling salts in 2008 as Barack Obama traipsed around the country declaring George W. Bush’s deficits “unpatriotic.”
What Milbank is up to here is not commentary nor is it opinion. It’s a brazen and un-American attempt to protect Obama from perfectly legitimate criticism of his failed record, extremely unpatriotic (by Obama’s own definition) deficits, and an abject and dangerous failure to understand how the American style of free markets work to make us all prosperous.
To make a leap from something Sununu apologized for and Romney’s speaking of the truth to nut-job conspiracy theorists is no different than making a leap from Obama’s anti-capitalist, anti-free market, oppressive equality clap-trap to communism.
Were I to dare write an opinion piece doing to Obama what Milbank just did to Romney, you can bet McCarthyists like Milbank would freak out and scream RacistLiarExtremist!
But here’s the thing. The line between Obama and the likes of extreme leftists like Bill Ayers and the Occupy movement is plain as day and not at all a piece of fiction like the McCarthyist smear Milbank just hurled. We don’t have to make anything up to tie Obama to violence and lunacy because Obama endorses and enjoys barbecue with it.
Late last week, it was obvious the left was resurrecting this tactic. Let’s just hope that, unlike Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Romney doesn’t fall for Milbank’s tired old McCarthyist Handbook.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC