17 September 2008

Does David Freddoso intentionally drop babies on their heads?

So there's brouhaha aplenty about David Freddoso's new book, The Case Against Barack Obama. I haven't read it, as I make it a point not to buy hardbound books if avoidable, and also not to pay good money for political reporting that I can mostly get elsewhere for free. That disclosure aside, it's looking like the Obama campaign is being hugely over-aggresive in their counterattack:
"The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don't gain credibility," an e-mail sent Monday evening to Obama supporters reads.

"David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering," the message said. "And WGN apparently thinks this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine needs a bigger platform for his lies and smears about Barack Obama -- on the public airwaves."
This is, to use someone else's words, a dishonest smear. I really want to fisk some of the more aggressive reprisals aimed at Freddoso, but reading them is just too discouraging. The first one I looked at (on HuffPo) was making the exact same errors it claimed Freddoso did within two paragraphs. Freddoso has always struck me as a man of character and substance; "hate mongering" isn't in his repertoire. His most recent work is, by most non-Obama-campaign accounts, the only critique of Obama that doesn't wallow in lunatic conspiracy theories. It's telling that it's the one that's received the most backlash from Team Changitude.

The more absurd conspiracy theories regarding Obama, and to a lesser extent McCain, drive me crazy. Conspiracy theories usually drive me crazy, but you don't need some bizarre birth certificate scam to become convinced that either one of these guys shouldn't be President.* That's what we have books like McCain: The Myth of a Maverick and now The Case Against Barack Obama for.

Freddoso, by the way, is an ND alum and son of ND Philosophy prof Alfred Freddoso. My only contact with the senior Freddoso was when I was requesting permission to take Formal Logic, a philo majors-only course. The good professor was more than a little bewildered that an undergrad would want to take logic if they didn't absolutely have to — apparently the department needed to strongly twist the arms of their own students to get them to sign up for it and had no experience with outsiders wanting in.

* Does anyone else remember that ridiculous meme that circulated in 2000 that McCain couldn't be president because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone? That was almost as lame as all this "he's a Hawaiian-Indonesian-Kenyan-Abyssinian-Zulu whose real birth certificate is carved on a limestone obelisk deep in the jungles of far-away Mu" nonsense.

In other ND/political-punditry crossover news, the Irish dealt Michigan and Alex Massie a stinging defeat last weekend. Deal with that. Massie advocates flying the Red Hand of Ulster by ND opponents, and wonders if any Irish fans would get the joke. I'm all for it, as long as he doesn't mind me playing "Rifles of the IRA" and "God Save Ireland" and "Come Out Ye Black and Tans" at tailgates, which I have been known to do until one of my friends notices and switches the stereo back to Van Halen. (Shane, I'm looking at you.)


  1. Ah, Come out Ye Black and Tans" is a grand old tune. A favourite from my days at Trinity College, Dublin. So, sure, you can have your rebel tunes and I'll fly the Red Hand and we'll all have a rare old time. 'Tis only in jest after all...

    Alex Massie

  2. Well now we have a soundtrack and banners to fly. Throw in some cold beer and a few sausages and this tailgate will be good crack indeed.