Apparently the Obama Administration's latest tactic for their 2012 re-election bid involves pre-empting any opponents bid to portray him as amateurish, petty and thin skinned by....well, acting amateurish, petty and thin skinned.
The latest such example this week is the launch of a website paid for by Obama for America called Attack Watch.
Attack Watch,a website started by President Obama's campaign organization, was intended to be a repository for supporters to report "attacks" on Obama's record and get the facts. But its rollout has been met with scathing mockery by conservatives, who call it a second-rate version of previous Big Brother sites created by Team ObamaThis video began circulating on conservative blogs within a day of Attack Watch's rollout.
Conservative critic Mark Steyn, a native of the U.K., then cheered that he was the only foreigner with a designation on AttackWatch.com.
Both were met with comment after comment from readers offering the type of "attacks" they were going to report to the Obama re-election site. The #attackwatch Twitter page was immediately spammed with tweet after tweet heavy on sarcasm regarding the president's stimulus and jobs creation plans.
"hey #AttackWatch I heard the only good 'Cash For Clunkers' did was get all the obama stickers off the roads, thank you," tweeted @speedyjerry.
"Hey #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATM's in an alley, killing a Job. It looked like a hate crime!" wrote @thorninaz.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan told the Washington Post that 100,000 people had signed up for the site in the first 24 hours.
"This site is a tool providing our supporters with the facts they need to fight back against lies and distortions about the president's record," she told the newspaper.
But syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin said this site, the fourth one launched in three years attempting to respond to political attacks, has backfired on the Obama team.
"What this is really about is some sort of campaign against their opponents, and it's not working anymore," she said.
"Back in 2008, the Obama campaign had claimed this mantle as the tech savvy geniuses, and what's happened is that conservatives on Twitter and on YouTube and all the social networks have been able to strike back, and humor is always the best revenge," she said.
In an opinion article published in the International Business Times, Nadine DeNinno argues the site is pointless, saying it is counterproductive and has become a laughingstock.
"The website has become simply an instrument used by opponents to rail the president by conservatives, using it as their personal punching bag," she wrote. "The people who monitor the site will be quite busy, as Attack Watch only warrants more attacking."
She also wondered how many jobs the site created, "or how long it took to conceive, in which case jobs could have been created instead?" She then quoted @BradThor who tweeted, "If only the #Obama administration could create an atmosphere where jobs materialized as quickly as #attackwatch jokes!"
OK- I'll go ahead and ask- what was the Obama 2012 brain trust thinking when they came up with this? "Hey, I know! Let's create a webpage encouraging citizens to inform on one another. And let's use colors and an austere layout evocative of a totalitarian regime!" I'm wondering in what parallel universe might this even be in the same area code as a good idea.
I did go ahead and check it out for myself- truth be told, the parody video wasn't that far off. There's a subcategory called Gun Control Gossip in which Attack Watch claims former UN Ambassador John Bolton and others are spreading false rumors that President Obama will sign on to a UN Small Arms treaty that could lead to firearms confiscation here in America [frankly, I think this particular rumor is at least as old as the internet and given new credence when a politician from a city priding itself on strict-but-ineffective gun control regulations is in the White House- NANESB!].
Interestingly, there's no mention of his executive order requiring sales of multiple long guns in US states bordering Mexico be reported to the ATF. The order comes after revalations in the media and sworn testimony before the House Oversight committee that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ordered field agents to allow guns to 'walk' into Mexico from the USA and beyond the jurisdiction of US federal agents.
Also, while on the topic of gun control, I noticed that Attack Watch hedged his support of gun owner's rights with the following requisite boilerplate:
President Obama believes in common sense gun control laws compatible with Second Amendment rights.or
Public figures have made outlandish claims that President Obama is planning to use a United Nations treaty to take away legal firearms from gun owners in the US.Notice the rather odd qualifier of 'legal firearms'. During the Clinton years, entire categories of firearms with certain design features were declared illegal with the stroke of a pen thanks to President Clinton's executive order. It's a little like the rationale behind the felon-infested Mayors Against Illegal Guns- give it a benign sounding name, but continue to implement laws and regulations incrementally on the local level that make owning just about any kind of firearm legaly untenable and nearly impossible, and pretty much all guns are illegal by default [see Chicago or Washington D.C for an example of this kind of logic in action and its overall effectiveness in preventing crime- NANESB!]
To go with the Attack Watch website is the official Attack Watch twitter account, which has been noticably quiet since the avalanche of ridicule began cascading down on late Tuesday afternoon. I must confess that I'm a little late to this particular party, but that hasn't stopped me from having fun with it.