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Blame the Messenger

If you haven't heard by now, Jerome Corsi, the same individual who gave us "Unfit for Command," in 2004, a fact-light book designed to derail John Kerry's bid for the Presidency, has a new book out called, "The Obama Nation; Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality," which, similarly, is light on facts, heavy on lies and conjecture, and is intended to paint Barack Obama in the worst light possible. "Unfit for Command" relied heavily on accounts of John Kerry's military service by individuals who did not serve directly with Kerry, and whose "testimony" was debunked by those who actually did serve with Kerry.

So, how fact-challenged is Corsi's new book? FightTheSmears.com, the Obama campaign's website designed specifically to counter Right-wing lies, tells us that, for starters, Corsi can't even get the basics, such at the year the Obamas were married right. Corsi wrote that the Obama married and bought their first home in 1995, when, in fact, they were married in 1992 and bought their first home in 1993. Corsi also suggested that Obama could apply for dual American/Kenyan citizenship if he wanted to when, in fact, Kenya does not accept dual-citizenship applications for individuals over the age of 21. (Obama's father was Kenyan.) Other fallacies promoted in Corsi's book include the usual Obama-is-a-secret-Muslim and Obama-is-a-radical-leftist tripe. But one fallacy designed perhaps to be the most damaging is the assertion that Obama is (today) a regular drug user. Corsi didn't bother to offer any proof of his assertion. As noted in a piece at Salon.com, "in an interview with The Associated Press, Corsi defended raising the issue of drugs without any evidence, 'I don't need more,' he said. 'I'm putting this question forward. I'm putting the evidence forward. Voters can make up their own minds.'"

A point-by-point refutation of the lies in "The Obama Nation" can be found in the cleverly titled "Unfit for Publication."


Corsi is no stranger to discredit. He endorses theories such as "abiotic oil" – basically the "theory" that oil is not derived from fossil/organic matter, but self generates. He even accuses George W. Bush of planning to eliminate the borders between America, Canada, and Mexico in the creation of a North American Union which would use a new currency, the amero. Corsi is even a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, as he insists that explosives, not burning jet fuel, brought down the World Trade Center.

But enough about this clown Corsi. Since the McCain campaign has not, to my knowledge, denounced this error-riddled hit-job on Obama (and why would they, from a campaign strategy standpoint?) and Right-wing media outlets will be sure to treat Corsi's work as all of the "evidence" they need to smear Obama, theres's a larger point to be made. Specifically, given the Right's adherence to the idea that free markets are the best means to determine which competing products or ideas deserve to be adopted by the public, the Right relies character assasination based on flimsy or inaccurate evidence (when they bother with evidence at all) as a means to discredit Obama. The Right does this to avoid stepping into the marketplace where Obama's and McCains policy positions directly compete with each other. The idea is to move the goalposts, so to speak, and make the election a referendum on personality, not on the candidates' positions on the issues that impact us all. Of course, given where conservative policies have gotten us, perhaps it is no wonder that they would rather that voters focus on just about anything else.

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