Not a "Smear" to Call McCain a Warmonger?

Plus: Writing While Whiny, and Expect Racist GOP to Assault Obama
Not a "Smear" to CallMcCain a Warmonger?
"This advertisement tries to define Mr. Obama and his life story in the face of smear e-mail and Internet innuendo about his heritage, questions about his patriotism and accusations about his liberal record." - Julie Bosman's June 20 "Ad Campaign" feature on Obama's first general election campaign ad.
If Mr. McCain has developed a reputation as a warmonger, with his strong support of the Iraq war and his campaign-trail jokes about bombing Iran (to the tune of the Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann"), this advertisement is an effort to smooth over that perception." -Julie Bosman's June 7 "Ad Campaign" feature on John McCain's first general election campaign ad.

Dishonest ChargesBy Sleazy Swifties "Undermined" in 2004 Campaign
"Extensive news media accounts undermined the Swift boat charges in 2004, pointing out that some of the Swift boat critics had written statements in Vietnam lauding Mr. Kerry for extraordinary bravery in the incidents they later said he made up. One critic had himself received a medal for heroism during a hail of gunfire he later claimed Mr. Kerry had concocted to win his third Purple Heart. But that did not blunt the political impact." - Reporter Kate Zernike, June 22.

Expect Racist Republicans to Assault Obama
"But pride - in Mr. Obama and in white voters who had looked beyond race, in the view of many blacks - was tempered for many African-Americans by an unsettling concern. There remains a fear that race, which loomed large in some primaries and has previously been successfully employed as a political wedge by Republicans, might yet keep Mr. Obama from capturing the White House." - Reporter Marcus Mabry, June 5.
"In other words, Mr. Obama was black, but not too black. But where is the line? Does it change over time? And if it is definable, then how black can Mr. Obama be before he alienates white voters? Or, to pose the question more cynically, how black do the Republicans have to make him to win?" - Reporter Marcus Mabry, June 8.

How About "Writing While Whiny"?
"Clearly, in an age when the dangers and indignities of Driving While Black are well-acknowledged, and properly condemned, Striving While Female - if it goes too far and looks too real - is still held to be a crime." - Judith Warner in her June 5 online column about Hillary Clinton.

How Can One Confront Global Warming Without Raising Fuel Prices?
"How will the United States, after seven years of damaging inaction, confront global warming and rising fuel prices?" - From the June 5 lead editorial.

Brings a Lump to the Throat, Doesn't It?
"Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday evening, prevailing through an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a primary campaign that inspired millions of voters from every corner of America to demand change in Washington." - The lead sentence to Jeff Zeleny's lead story of June 5.

What More Can the Poor Man Do?

"Now that Mr. Obama has addressed his ties to the church and pastor in a long speech and fully broken with both, it is not clear what else he can say or do to ameliorate the continued concerns of some voters about those associations." - From a June 1 story by Michael Powell.

Danger! Danger! Alessandra Attempts a Sci-Fi Simile
"On his own turf Mr. McCain is a little like the Sci Fi channel cult hit "Battlestar Galactica." Just as some hard-core followers of the original 1978 science fiction series about a fleet of starships fighting a robot insurrection could never accept today's reworked version, many voters who supported Mr. McCain as an anti-establishment maverick in the 2000 Republican primary cannot accept him in his new incarnation as a conservative Republican courting the evangelical right. And like the Sci Fi series, Mr. McCain, with occasional puckishness, can tap in to voters' darkest fears of terrorist aggression and apocalyptic doom. " - TV-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley, June 8.

An Inconvenient Truth About "Whitey"
"But the final straw for Mr. Obama, his aides said, was the story circulating on conservative blogs that a video existed showing Mrs. Obama making a racially tinged speech at their former church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago." - Julie Bosman and John Broder on the Obama campaign web site, Fightthesmears, June 13. The "whitey" rumor originated on Hillary supporter Larry Johnson's blog.

What Evidence?

"...Karl Rove was asked if he had a role in the Justice Department's decision to prosecute Don Siegelman. The former Democratic governor of Alabama was convicted and sentenced to more than seven years, quite possibly for political reasons, and there is evidence that Mr. Rove may have been pulling the strings." - June 2 editorial. There is no evidence that Rove had anything to do the prosecution.

ERA Failure Made Republican Wives Passive

"It is a familiar pattern. Democratic candidates' wives - from Rosalynn Carter and Kitty Dukakis to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Teresa Heinz Kerry - are almost invariably characterized by opponents as too feisty and too outspoken, a little too radical for mainstream America. Betty Ford was an early exception to the Republican rule of bland, self-effacing homemakers; as the Equal Rights Amendment faded as a cause and conservatism made a comeback, Republican spouses became ever more careful to stay three steps behind their men and the times. And some have become so intent that they are accused of playacting.... Early on, Mrs. Obama was likened to Jackie Kennedy for her youth and fashion style, but lately, the strong and assertive African-American career woman is experiencing the kind of antifeminist hazing that Mrs. Clinton endured in the 1992 campaign when she made her "baking cookies" faux pas. " - TV-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley's June 8 profile of Michelle Obama's appearance on the woman's talk-show "The View."

"[Sen. Reed] is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, but his diminutive height - 5 feet 7 inches on a good day, he says - makes his Special Forces background seem both improbable and all the more intimidating. He has taken frequent trips to Iraq on which he goes out in the field with troops and surveys territory and operations that would most likely be off limits were it not for his close relationships with so many commanders." - David Herszenhorn's June 17 profile of liberal anti-war Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

Either That, Or a Passing Understanding of Biology
"Yet as the first pregnant transman to go public, [Thomas] Beatie has exposed a mass audience to alterations in the outlines of gender that may be outpacing our comprehension. In the discussions that followed his announcement, what became poignantly clear is that there is no good language yet to discuss his situation, words like an all-purpose pronoun to describe an idea as complex as a pregnant man.....[CUNY Professor Kosofsky] Sedgwick said that if you look at postings on Web sites like Oprah Winfrey's and The Huffington Post, 'It seems as though there are lots and lots of comments saying: 'That's not a man having a baby. That's a woman having a baby.'' Partly that reaction results from what Ms. Sedgwick calls a phobic response to changes in identities that for most people seem God-given and settled at birth." - Fashion writer Guy Trebay June 22 on Thomas Beatie, who was born female and has a uterus and two X chromosomes.