On Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted an email I received from Obama For America -- I forgot to mention the subject line, which was "In honor of the GOP" -- that encouraged readers to give $3 or more to Barack Obama's reelection campaign and become entered to win dinner with the president and his wife. The email also promised donors that OFA would taunt (my word) a Republican acquaintance on their behalf with the fact that they just gave if they provided an email address to which to send the taunt. As will be shown later, establishment press coverage of this uniquely odious twist in campaign financing and conduct has been virtually non-existent.
In his commentary on the Obama campaign's childishness, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto revealed that he had been forwarded a related OFA email targeting Facebook and Twitter users with another intensely annoying nuance. It reads as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Know someone on Facebook or Twitter who, day after day, populates your feed with the latest right-wing talk-radio chatter? Or your cousin who won't stop forwarding those chain email hoaxes? It can be frustrating.
So what do you do about it? You can go round and round in circles arguing with them--or you can have a little fun and make them pay. Literally.
Here's something new: Today, we're offering you the opportunity to make a donation to the Obama campaign inspired by your favorite conservative friend or relative.
You can choose to send them a note and let them know they've moved you to help build President Obama's 2012 campaign. You can let them know a donation was made in their honor, but not that it's from you (it will drive them nuts!). Or you can keep the satisfaction to yourself.
Whatever works for you.
By giving, you're focusing your efforts on making sure we spend the next year having conversations with voters on the issues that matter, rather than the same old arguments that no one wins.
So while your Republican friends are busy anxiously waiting to see what happens in Iowa and New Hampshire next month, make a donation today--and kindly remind them we have our candidate, and we're proud of it.
So now you can not only taunt your Republican or conservative acquaintance, you can be a complete coward and do so anonymously.
The people gave me grief for calling Obama "the Punk President" on Election Night 2008 clearly owe me an apology (which I'll never receive).
Since it doesn't involve the actual extraction of money from said Republican target, the "make them pay" part of the email must be referring to the idea that the target will suffer from anxiety attacks wondering who they inspired to give $3 to Obama. Really? Do they think most Republicans will even care? More likely, it will "inspire" them to tell others what jerks the Obama people are. Or is the "make them pay" part planting the seed that Team Obama now has their email address (perhaps collected illegally) and may decide to do something with it down the road?
A reader communicated his reaction to Mr. Taranto, at least as it relates to taunters with the integrity to reveal their names to their targets:
Mr. Postpartisan is encouraging people to derive satisfaction from deliberately antagonizing members of their own families, for Christmas. To the extent that there can be said to be a single meaning of Christmas across all denominations of the church and even among non-Christians who have come to enjoy the holiday, it's the exact opposite of what Barack Obama is calling for here. For most of the planet, Christmas is a season of good will--the season when we donate to the Salvation Army, the season when carols were sung across the trenches of the First World War, the season when we always get together with loved ones and mute our disagreements while we share a celebration of more important things.
For Barack Obama and the people who like his horrible letter, it's a time to make themselves feel a little bit better by making other people feel a little bit worse. They worship a mighty God in the blue states, and they commemorate the birth of his Son by punching back twice as hard. Totalitarian overtones aside, this is a very sad letter.
From all appearances, the Obama White House and the Obama campaign are being run by petulant adolescents who never grew up.
As I mentioned in the original post, a Republican or conservative campaign engaging in tactics such as these would be properly called out by the media for boorishness and arrogance, completely with nightly lectures on proper campaign etiquette and discussions of legal ramifications from dozens of TV and radio talking heads.
Not so with the establishment press and Obama For America. Though comprehensive searches are difficult to obtain in this case, I can say that searches on "obama email" (not in quotes) surfaced nothing relevant at the Associated Press's main national site, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. How utterly sad -- and typical.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.