Sean Hannity is still obsessively intent on painting President Obama as a secret (black) radical who has somehow hidden his real self thanks to a lapdog media. As I wrote in a previous post, it's very telling that this big Fox News star has been unable to persuade his own news network - the only one not "in the tank" for Obama - to assign a single reporter to the task of unearthing these radical connections once and for all. So last night, Hannity trotted out yet another Breitbart-esque figure, in this case National Review author Stanley Kurtz, to offer up some shred of long-irrelevant Obama history and call it proof that he's an anti-American radical. And Fox News, of course, continues to sanction this smoke and mirrors hate mongering.
Kurtz has a new article in the National Review saying:
Barack Obama formally joined the New Party, which was deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic party and even to American capitalism. In 2008, candidate Obama deceived the American public about his potentially damaging tie to this third party.
It's an old variation on an old Hannity theme. Previously, we've "learned" how Obama tricked us when Hannity aired a video of him hugging a "black radical" Harvard Law professor. And thanks to Hannity, Obama can no longer hide the fact that he attended a play about Saul Alinsky - and then participated in a panel discussion about it afterward! We can also thank Hannity for repeatedly advising America that Michelle Obama was once on a magazine cover with Mrs. Louis Farrakhan.
Media Matters has a nice deconstruction of this particular blast from Obama's past.
Questions about Obama and the New Party arose during the 2008 election, and in a Politico blog post, Ben Smith accurately described where the New Party fell:
[T]he New Party was a attempt to build a model of political fusion. It dissolved after losing a Supreme Court ruling aimed at making fusion -- a system under which more than one party can run the same candidate, which exists in some states -- universal.
It's strongest heir, run by another New Party founder, is New York's labor-backed Working Families Party, which cross-endroses (mostly) Democratic candidates in the hopes of pulling the party to the left. Such noted socialists as Hillary Clinton and various Republican state senate candidates have run on the line. There are running arguments over whether they're good for the political process, but no particular taint of radicalism.
At the risk of sounding like an armchair psychologist, I can't help but think that Hannity's fixation on uncovering "hidden extremism" may be a reflection of his own ties to extremism that he'd rather not be known. Such as his association with white supremacist Hal Turner - which Hannity has pretended did not exist. There's also Hannity's viciously stalwart advocacy on behalf of police officer Justin Volpe - until he pleaded guilty to sodomizing a Haitian immigrant. More recently, Hannity has tried to pass off his slavery-loving, woman hating pal, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson as a mainstream pundit.
So what's next to dredge up in Obama's past? Did he trade a box of paper clips for a stapler with a socialist, "proving" that he works to subvert capitalism? Give up his seat on a bus to a woman who once knew a member of the New Black Panther Party? Whatever it will be, one thing is for certain: There won't be much talk about the substance of Obama's actual record as president. You know, the one that's perfectly visible for all to see.
Video via Media Matters:
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This is just another frantic attempt to smear Obama with stuff that was previously discussed four years ago. As though John McCain didn’t bring these ideas up in the public debates that he lost. (Nobody today seems to remember McCain trying to smear Obama with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers references during a debate only to watch Obama easily bat them aside.)
The public heard all of this in 2008, and they elected Obama. This wasn’t a disputed election like 2000, where it was clear something reallly nasty had happened in Florida. This was a clear victory for Obama and a loss for the GOP on top of the beating they received in 2006. Clearly this has never sat well with the GOP. They have spent the last 3+ years doing anything they could to obstruct and hound this president with an almost unending stream of nonsense and personal attacks. For many of these people, their extreme personal dislike for this president has led them to hold a grudge that’s finding a new voice for this election.
(In fairness, there were plenty of people on the left who had an extreme personal dislike of GW Bush and his cronies, but the difference was that the Dems mostly rolled over and allowed Bush to do what he wanted, where the GOP has opposed everything done by Obama in lockstep.)
Fortunately, Sean Hannity isn’t limited by such outmoded concerns. He just keep throwing mud, hoping SOMETHING will stick.