Michelle Obama “often refers to what she calls the ‘fear bomb‘ that was used against her husband in his [2004] Senate race, as rivals questioned whether someone with his name could be elected,” wrote NBC’s Mike Memoli earlier today from Canton, Ohio.
“Today she acknowledged that it is happening again in his presidential race, and said it’s an example of why America can’t wait for a leader like him to be elected.
“‘They threw in the obvious, ultimate fear bomb,’ Obama said of her husband’s 2004 Senate race. ‘We’re even hearing [that] now…when all else fails, be afraid of his name, and what that could stand for, because it’s different.’ She said rivals use innuendo to play on fears. ‘Just as they’re saying it now,’ she said.”
Interestingly, it’s been reported that Karl Rove, a master right-wing demonizer, warned against this kind of thing at a GOP state executive director gathering in late January, where he reportedly said the safest way to refer to Obama would be “Sen. Obama.”
“The context was, you’re not going to stigmatize this guy…you shouldn’t underestimate him,” one of the executive directors told The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder. “Rove said that the use of ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ would perpetuate the notion that Republicans were bigoted and would hurt the party.”
It’s a game, right? Rove and other high-ups get to say “don’t go there” while scores of right-wing talk radio guys get to play the the fear-bomb record all through the spring, summer and fall. The lowest, most despicable card you can play. And tens of thousands of under-educated Americans are going to lap it up.