Today’s news from OFA, which stands for Obama For America (but always makes me think of that thing that Greeks say when they party):
OBAMA FOR AMERICA LAUNCHES THE TRUTH TEAM TO PROMOTE THE PRESIDENT’S ACHIEVEMENTS AND HOLD REPUBLICANS ACCOUNTABLE
Chicago, IL – Today, Obama for America announced the launch of the Truth Team, a new national effort by President Obama supporters online and on the ground to promote the President’s achievements, respond to attacks on his record and hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable. More than a million people took action as part of the Fight the Smears initiative during the 2008 campaign; the goal of the Truth Team is to double that number, reaching two million grassroots supporters who will communicate the President’s record and fight back against attacks before the Democratic National Convention this fall.
Beginning today with events across the country and continuing through the election, the Truth Team will engage grassroots supporters to spread the truth about the President’s record and respond to Republican attacks. The program will be housed at BarackObama.com/TruthTeam, with individual websites –KeepingHisWord.com, KeepingGOPHonest.com, and AttackWatch.com – serving as quick, comprehensive resources to help set the record straight. Designed to put responsibility for spreading the truth in the hands of the President’s supporters, the websites contain videos and information on the President’s record, and fact checks on Republican claims about the President and themselves. The sites also contain tools for sharing materials via Facebook, Twitter and email, and empowers supporters to take further action by volunteering, writing letters to the editor, sending postcards to undecided voters with information about the President’s record, and more. The goal is to ensure that when Republicans attack President Obama’s record, grassroots supporters can take ownership of the campaign and share the facts with the undecided voters in their lives.
Republican Super PACs have committed to spend a half billion dollars on negative ads to defeat the President. But from the start, the Obama for America campaign has relied on grassroots supporters to spread the truth, and today’s announcement builds on and expands that effort.
Truth Teams will be announced today in many states including Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin with events being held in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. National supporters including the National Education Association (NEA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the United Steelworkers Union (USW) will be participating in this effort.
To find out more about the Truth Team, please visit: Barackobama.com/TruthTeam
I really, really don’t like this kind of stuff. Yes, tell your story; argue your case. But I detest this “truth squad” nonsense that both parties have engaged in since at least the ’80s. It says “our party is the source of truth” and “the other party speaks nothing but lies” and must be “held accountable” them. This stuff oozes from the core of the rottenest assumptions that underlie hyperpartisanship.
I expect better than this from the president. The Republicans have been painting him already (with very thin justification) as having gone back on his promise to rise above such things. The best way to give the lie to what they’re saying is to avoid stuff like this. He is rightly held to a higher standard, because he set the standard himself.
My first memory of encountering this sort of thing was in 1988, at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Then-Gov. Carroll Campbell and other Republicans took turns holding press conferences at an off-site location in the city, and they called it “truth-squading.” This year, we saw practically daily press availabilities held by the Dems in an effort to grab some of the attention being devoted to the Republican primary here in SC.
Not that the Obama people aren’t providing true information, often in reply to some pretty silly nonsense on the other side. But that is often the case. I remember when Campbell appeared in Atlanta, the point was made (either by him or by Tucker Eskew or someone, I forget) that he took almost no security with him, while Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore had taken a small army with him to the convention. Which was true. You should have seen their communications center in the hotel.
But the thing that really gets me is this “truth” rhetoric that they wrap it in.
Yes, I realize each side believes that what it has to say IS the truth, while the others sit on a throne of lies. But they’re both wrong. They need to cut back on the hubris, and those of us in the middle would be more inclined to listen.