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Crossing the Rhetorical Line: An Update

Posted By Rory Cooper On September 3, 2009 @ 1:42 pm In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

Earlier this week, The Heritage Foundation uncovered a disturbing posting [1] on President Barack Obama’s perpetual campaign website, barackobama.com. Under the Organizing for America (OFA) banner, a user of the site had created an event urging fellow Obama supporters to use 9/11 as a day of action for Obamacare. The message urged Americans to call their U.S. Senators and “fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders.” It went on to call conservatives the heirs to Bin Laden.

Since then, liberals have defended the post as merely the work of one person who had no connection the White House or the DNC. DNC Spokewoman Hari Sevugan said: “I’m sure the Heritage Foundation or Fox don’t agree or condone some of the things posted in sections of their website open to the public.” Comments on our blog, The Foundry, have also likened the post to nothing more than a craigslist.org posting. Yesterday on the O’Reilly Factor [2], Newsday columnist Ellis Henican referred to the poster as “some dope” and said the minute the “grown-ups” saw it, they took it down…”what’s the problem?” We’re happy to address this confusion.

User Generated: It appears that this post was generated by a registered user of barackobama.com, however their identity remains unclear. If this were simply some salty language on a blog post, we would not have spent five minutes addressing it. However, this was an event that was organized, and then distributed to members of OFA in Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina and possibly other states. If Heritage took comments from our blog and distributed them en masse to our members, we believe we should be held accountable for the content as well.

Grown-Ups: Many commenters, as did Ellis Henican, credited the site with cancelling the event once it was discovered. However, it must to be noted that they only did so after The Foundry brought light to it. Without this intervention, were there sufficient filters to keep this hateful language out of the mainstream, and if not, was this event simply scrubbed to prevent a public relations disaster?

The OFA Banner: Here in The Foundry, we take special pride in our forums for reader feedback. We do our best to moderate a thoughtful and deliberate discussion on issues, but there is no mistaking that emotions do sometimes get the better of folks, and when reader comments go too far, there is no mistaking whose voice they represent…their own. This event listing was distributed under the Organizing for America banner with official tone and language without disclaimers.

Organizing: Soccer Moms, Nascar Dads and Senior Citizens have spent four weeks being assaulted by liberals for ‘organizing’ against Obamacare. They have been likened to brown shirts by Congressman Baird (D-WA), called un-American by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and called fascists by former White House Chief of Staff Lanny Davis. The reality was that this was a bottom-up organization rooted at dinner tables across the nation. But when the President’s campaign arm distributes this call for mobilization on 9/11, there is no such condemnation.

Perpetual Campaign: This episode is the result of the President choosing to run a perpetual campaign rather than lead the nation through difficult economic and geo-political times. There is a time for campaigning, and now is not that time. By embracing barackobama.com as his method of interaction with the American public he continues to divide the nation in a way that makes this rhetoric flourish. He needs to immediately put to rest the OFA website and leave the campaigning to political parties.

The President has a tough road ahead. He cannot continue to bring us together in one speech, and divide us in the next. By organizing his campaign volunteers into a frenzy and orchestrating them to act out on his behalf, he ensures that no consensus will be possible on health care reform. We want to work together on real solutions for American’s health care needs, but when barackobama.com is creating this toxic environment, no winners emerge.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/09/03/crossing-the-rhetorical-line-an-update/

URLs in this post:

[1] uncovered a disturbing posting: http://www.foundry.org/2009/09/01/obamas-team-crosses-the-rhetorical-line/

[2] O’Reilly Factor: http://www.foxnews.com/oreilly/

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