The Obama Overreach: Refuting A Few of Corsi’s Smears By Re-Writing History

By Natalie Gewargis

Aug 15, 2008 5:42pm

Don’t get me wrong – I half expected to see anti-Obama author Jerome Corsi at today’s Bigfoot press conference.

But not everything in the Obama campaign’s 40-page refutation of Corsi’s shoddy and dishonest book “Obama Nation” is fair.

Much of what Corsi writes in his book is demonstrably false, irresponsible, and feverishly conjured. The book is indefensible, as are Corsi’s many bigoted remarks about Arabs, the Pope and others.

But the Obama campaign got a little greedy in their refutations.

First of all, on the front of the response, is a labeled stamped “Brought to you by Bush/Cheney Attack Machine.”

Corsi has actually called for the impeachment of President Bush. Corsi’s a 9/11 Truther who thinks the Bush administration is covering up what “really” happened at the World Trade Center.

That said, the Simon & Schuster imprint that published this book is run by former Cheney aide Mary Matalin. So those looking for evidence this is part of a larger "Bush/Cheney Attack Machine" hit can point to her presence in this literary atrocity. But I don’t think it’s fair to blame this nasty screed on the President, considering the anti-Bush venom from Corsi.*

One item the Obama campaign labels a “LIE” is the claim that when Obama ran for state senator, “(i)nstead of stepping aside in deference to (then-state senator Alice) Palmer, Obama decided to fight her for the nomination.”

This is not a lie, this is true. Palmer had decided to run for Congress, and Obama was tapped to run to replace her. When Palmer lost in the primary, she wanted to stay as a state senator. Obama said no. He had every right to do so, but he decided to fight her for the nomination instead of stepping aside in deference to her.

Nonetheless, the Obama campaign calls it a lie and quotes a state representative who said Palmer “pulled her own plug”

Read more about what really happened HERE in the Chicago Tribune.

Speculating about how Obama ended up using the words of Gov. Deval Patrick in some of his speeches, Corsi speculates that Obama strategist David “Axelrod most likely liked how the speech worked with his client in Massachusetts and so decided to try it once again with Obama, perhaps thinking no one would notice.”

Corsi has no way of knowing that, but the Obama campaign’s response — “REALITY: PLAGIARISM ATTACK WAS A “BASELESS AND DESPERATE PLOY” – is over the top.

As backup, the Obama campaign points out that writing in The Nation, Ari Melber wrote that “The Clinton Campaign’s attack on Obama’s use of the line ‘just words’ was widely panned as a baseless and desperate ploy. Her coverup might go over even worse.”

But that’s one man’s opinion.

Certainly it’s not “baseless” to question why Obama was using Patrick’s words as his own without crediting him, as we wondered about HERE.

Whatever you think of the incident, it doesn’t belong alongside the more unhinged Corsi smears, however much the Obama campaign would like it to be considered a non-event.

In another refutation, Corsi’s assertion that Obama adviser Air Force General Merrill ‘Tony’ McPeak (Ret.) has “anti-Israel views” is characterized by the Obama campaign as “SMEARING MCPEAK AS AN ANTI-SEMITE.”

Obviously holding anti-Israel views and being an anti-Semite are not the same thing (though they often go hand in hand.) But more to the point, plenty of Israel supporters have thought McPeak’s views on Israel  — in which he seemed to blame the stalled Mideast peace process on “pro-Israel” voters in New York and Miami – as highly inflammatory.

Again, I’m not defending Corsi. Much of what he writes is troubling and fictional. But that doesn’t mean that the Obama campaign shouldn’t hew closer to the truth.

And yes, I do have higher expectations of them.

- jpt

* This part was added on Saturday.

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