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Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 9 comments

Masters of Hate — The Conservative Disinformation Campaign

Stupid Tea Baggers


Conservatives love to hate President Obama.

They’re willing to resort to any means necessary to defeat the incumbent President.

They will lie.  They will cheat.  They will steal.  And, then when that’s not enough to produce a voting majority, they’ll lie even more.

Consider the wacko disinformation campaign that’s been blasted from one inbox to another over the Internet ever since the name “Barack Obama” surfaced as a serious Presidential candidate, some five years ago.  Since then, we’ve witnessed a toxic assembly line of lies almost always consisting of fabricated junk meant to create confusion and hatred for the President — about his intentions, about his character, even about his patriotism and nationality.  I suspect that most of you reading today’s column have received these same emails occasionally, which are essentially nothing more than political garbage.

Invariably, they are easily debunked as completely false.  Most of the time, a ten-second Google search reveals most of this stuff is quite simply made up.  Yet, just as it’s difficult to scrub the ring out of a toilet bowl, the filthy concoction of lies continues to get passed from one scared little person to another, circling around in the right wing’s sewer pipes, pumped from one fanatic to the next.

Every week, I receive about a dozen of these kinds of emails.  That’s right, about two per day.  They always start out the same way.  Some supposedly patriotic American (often fictional) is royally pissed off at President Obama — usually for something he never actually did or said.  The “patriot” makes up some lie about the President and then throws a temper tantrum designed to flea bite other right-wingers into a frenzy.  Then, the email concludes with the sender begging the reader to send the same email on to more Americans so the “real truth” can be known.

Problem is, when anyone actually fact checks this rubbish (and I have, numerous times) — it’s just about always completely false.  It’s often made up.  It’s not just a few speeches taken way out context.  It’s sometimes spoof material taken from TV comedy shows and then attribued to the President as something he actually said.  If I had the time or bandwidth, I could list more than 100 e-mails received during this election cycle proporting to list many horrible things the President has done.  Yet, virtually none of it is true.

Here’s just a small sample of the irreverent topics that have arrived in my inbox over the last several months:


1.  President Obama wants to change the national anthem to “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”  CLICK HERE

2.  President Obama refuses to wear an American flag pin on his lapel.  CLICK HERE

3.  President Obama’s political campaign is being financed by Hugo Chavez (Venezuala).  CLICK HERE

4.  Barack Obama received financial aid, allegedly as a college student from Indonesia (a falsehood created to cast doubts on his nationality).  CLICK HERE

5.  Barack and Michelle Obama surrendered their licenses to practice law due to some secret misdeed.  CLICK HERE

6.  Barack has the phrase “there is no god but Allah” enscribed on his wedding ring.  CLICK HERE

7.  Barack Obama is a practicing Muslim.  CLICK HERE

8.  President Obama refuses to place his hand over his heart when the U.S. National Anthem is played.  CLICK HERE

9.  The Obamas are elitists who are typically rude to subordinates and treat themselves lavishly.  CLICK HERE

10.  Barack Obama did not attend Columbia University.  CLICK HERE

11.  President Obama disrespects veterans (there are dozens of these variants).  CLICK HERE

12.  President Obama is the anti-Christ (as described in the Book of Revelation).  CLICK HERE


Sadly, this is just a partial list, an infantesimal tip of the iceberg of hoaxes by self-described conservatives.

Many people — good and decent people — simply chose to ignore ths stuff.  Perhaps they think these types of things do no harm.  They accept this rubbish as just being part of the political process every few years.  Well, I refuse to join that crowd of accceptance.  I refuse to turn the other cheek and ignore vitriol.  And neither should you.

It’s time to call these jokers out for who they are — liars and instigators of hate.  They are anything but the true “patriots” they so rightously claim to be.

As proof, when I have e-mailed the senders of this outrageous bile in an effort to correct the disinformation, my pleas are ALWAYS ignored.  Clearly, they would rather believe the lies than accept the notion that the virus they are spreading is blatantly false.  So, the only thing that kills the infestation of lies is time.  When any one of their many lies emailed to family and freinds finally runs out of steam — as it always does — they simply make up another.  And another.  I suspect it’s a grand design intended to stir up the base by appealing to the ugliest nature of these gullible people, who can so easily be motivated to hate.  It’s the same ugliness we have seen at other periods in our history, which some may believe is behind us.  Indeed, these ghosts of the past are still very much alive rearing their ugliness at every opportunity.

And don’t say that both sides do this, because they don’t.  I know.  I have hundreds of liberal freinds that I correspond with (and conservatives too, for that matter).  I’m connected to numerous leftist and progressive circles of different people — all with a gambit of ideas about our society and how it should work.  Yet in all my years parsing through emails within these discussion groups, I don’t recall EVER receiving this kind of junk mail penned by the left when it came to President Bush or the Republicans.  NOT ONCE.

Let me make it clear — I’m hardly afraid of reading alternative points of view.  In fact, I welcome all ideas.  I’ve even gone so far as to write directly to some of these same sources of disinformation.  I begged them to place me on mailing lists of material that is actually fact-based criticism of President Obama (and liberals, progressives, et. al.).  But I rarely get any reasonable links in return, say the kind of thing that might be written by a George Will, the Wall Street Journal, or another legitimate conservative source of criticism.

Moreover, I actually welcome hearing different points of view.  When someone has written to me — as has happened many times — explaining why they oppose President Obama or leftist policies (which are not one and the same), I’m eager to read and hear these voices.  Occasionally, I get some very thought-provoking feedback.  I’ve even been compelled to change my mind on some things when the evidence was overwhelming.

But engaing in political dialogue with people I may disagree with but respect is something completely different from plowing through the pollution of lies and disinformation which are clearly intended to destroy constructive debate within our society.  By villifying someone you disagree with, as the right has done with President Obama, they block out all potential for dialogue.  Perhaps that’s what some on the right are afraid of.  Since they can’t win arguments with simple logic, they must now resort to name-calling, fear-mongering, and even race baiting.

Indeed, at times I’ve gone so far as to respond to the entire e-mail distribution list when I read this garbage.  I’ve put up direct links to websites which demonstratively prove the posts are false.  Never once — I repeat NEVER ONCE — I have seen a correction issued, an apology made, or some kind of responsibility taken.  Isn’t that odd?  And to think that the proud members of the politcal right are usually the ones so insistent upon taking “personal responsibility”  In reality, they would much rather believe their own lies.  It’s a cozy comfort zone, a sort of looney bin where all the malcontents can gather amongst themselves bitching about the world, much like a sad row of losers who camp themselves each night on barstools at the local pub.

Alas, engaging in politics can and should be fun.  Politics can and should be interesting.  Politics can and should be something that attracts us and brings out the best in all of us, even when we may disagree.  Many of the fondest moments of my life were times when I was surrounded by people with many different ideas and we were able to talk, to listen, and to learn.

I think most people prefer it that way.  They’d like to engage in honest debate and dialogue if they had the opportunity.  But instead, their inboxes are infused with a sort of cyanide to the entire notion of honest deliberation.

Instead, lies destroy us.  They destroy us all.  After all the lies have been exhausted, after all the fabrications have been disproven, and even after all the myths have been exposed, we are all still tainted for having been subject to such unnecessary ugliness.


  1. Get a Brain! Morans! No half-breed white cotton cloth for me!

  2. I have “friends” who bombard me with this crap. I read, research, and then refute them. There are many that are not as nutty or as far out as the ones you list. I have received things they get from “news organizations” which deal with energy, various aspects of the economy, defense, foreign policy, etc. Of course these “news organizations” are Breitbart, Newsmax, etc. Mostly they only give part of the story. Half a quote here, a partial statistic there, or maybe, as I have found in many, attributing to Obama things that were implemented or happened before he took office. I do the research and then refute their email. And then… nothing. No correction, no dispute, just on to the next distortion. Amazing.

    I always ask them if they realize that the people they follow, like Etch-a-Sketch Romney, and these news organizations think they are some of the stupidest people to walk the planet? How stupid do you have to think your readers are if you feed them “information” that some bumpkin in Maine can refute with facts in two minutes? Do you really think they respect you? But yet, they blunder on and on with every new serving of misinformation.

    As for #8 above, the link says it is true. But what a foolish and trivial matter. How many unpatriotic scoundrels have stood before our flag and held their hands over their heart? Would this mad-genius who weaseled his way into the White House fail to keep his cover in this one area? How slow can they be? The answer is clearer every day.

    • Good points, all John. Actually in the case of #8 I wanted to show that even when they may have “facts” correct, they misrepresent and misdlead what really happened.

      Glad to see you and others are out there fighting and exposing the liars. Keep up the good fight.

  3. Sorry. Screwed up the HTML.

  4. Great post. I’m interested in the juxtaposition between these emails we get and the top of the Republican party.

    Obviously conservatives would want us to believe these are fringe groups that don’t represent them. Their intrusion into mainstream conservatism is undeniable though. There have been dozens of cases of local and national Republican legislators caught passing around birther emails and disgusting photoshop Obama pics. There is also a widespread refusal for any prominent Republican to disavow this crap.

    Now we are seeing it play out in the campaign. Romney is free to completely change all his positions and feign moderation because the base doesn’t care about him. They just want Obama gone. His recent reversals would be the equivalent of Obama stating in the 08 foreign policy debate that he actually did support the Iraq war. It goes way beyond a traditional shift to the middle during a general election.

    Obama, and most other politicians, don’t dramatically shift their core positions like that because they are counting on a base that supports those positions. Romney doesn’t have that problem because his base just wants Obama gone. They’ll figure out the rest later. This does a great disservice to us all because we have a guy who could easily be president and we have no idea what he really believes.

    I’m also very interested in why. Why do they hate him? Most of their reasons are easy to prove false and nonsensical. Surely they know most of these things are made up, and irrelevant even if true.

    It would be really easy to say its just race. I think thats only half right though. The first black president doesn’t bother them as much as who voted him in. He lost by 10 points with white people in 08 and won by a landslide. He’s losing with white males by 30 right now and he’s a 2-1 favorite to win the election. If you broke it down into white males over 40, he’s probably down 45 points, yet still a 2-1 favorite.

    The fact is that white people, especially older white males, are having a decreasing impact on elections every single year. This is terrifying to those who think its “their country”. We see evidence of this in the shameless voter ID laws, set up to disenfranchise the very voters that are shifting the demographic and marginalizing white voters.

    Some see these laws as a response to Obama, proof they’ll do anything to beat him. Thats half true, they desperately want to beat him, but those laws are about artificially preserving the impact white people have on our elections for years to come.

  5. I’ll be so glad when this election is over. Curious, how you would categorize those that must serve this Commander in Chief with disdain for murdering innocents with drone drops creating incredible tensions in foreign lands. Crazy how our media doesn’t report such things while military family and friends pour their hearts out to anyone that will listen. Makes it close to impossible for those attempting to serve, protect, and support fellow comrades and desperate civilians seeking shelter. What about those who cried mayday for seven hours while our consulate was being attacked? Where exactly does the buck stop when he flies to Las Vegas and knowingly misleads the public while campaigning. I didn’t dislike this president until he failed to do the one thing to which he has sworn. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin. It is his total incompetence as a leader. I’m sure he made a great lawmaker. I’m also convinced he is a good husband and father. However, he is a disgrace as a president, no matter his color.

    • We may disagree in our views of the President, but I see nothing objectionable in your comments. They are simply a matter of opinion, and I respect the fact you have taken the time to come to some kind of position.

      However, you will see from my writings and from this article that my contempt is for OUTRIGHT DISTORITION, which is making things up which are not true.

      You may indeed think of this President poorly and even be outraged by his actions and policies. I support your right to hold those views. Where others cross the line is with the outlandish garbage that has circulated for years. I suspect that even if you despise the President, you agree that outright lies and distortions must be repudiated, whatever our political views and whatever the source.

      — Nolan

      • Not sure if the lies and distortions will ever be repudiated. Hoping that we, as a country, can eventually move forward. You will always have my respect Mr. Dalla, even if we don’t agree on certain matters.

  6. Nolan I posted the below comment yesterday but I still do not see it showing. I am wondering if you received it or not. Thank you

    I agree with the basic premise of your writing, there is an abundance of misinformation forwarded daily on the Internet, and it is incumbent upon the reader/receiver to do his/her own due diligence and part in preventing the furtherance of such refuse.
    HOWEVER, I find it odd that you say “in all (your) years parsing through emails within these discussion groups, (you) don’t recall EVER receiving this kind of junk mail penned by the left when it came to President Bush or the Republicans. NOT ONCE.”
    REALLY??? NOT ONCE????
    Well I ask you then, what sanitary bubble have you been living in? I could probably list more than 100 emails received during the last and current election cycles but here is just a sampling:
    On G.W. Bush’s IQ (or Lack Thereof)

    Photograph of Bush holding book upside down in a classroom


    Pundits strike again, George W. Bush doesn’t actually care about Yale presidency

    Circulating via email, a series of preposterous quotes attributed to Repubican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the subjects of evolution, oil drilling in ANWR, and Alaskans serving in the military in Iraq.

    From G.W. Bush: Urgent & Confidential Business Proposal

    Sarah Palin in American-Flag Bikini w/ Rifle

    Rumor: Sarah Palin Faked Pregnancy to Protect Teenage Daughter

    Netlore Archive: Forwarded email purports to list books Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin attempted to have banned from the public library when she was Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

    Urban Legends: Sarah Palin Hot Pictures

    Gone Fishing: G.W. Bush in New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina

    Ann Romney on Equal Pay for Women

    Romney Family ‘RMoney’ Picture p://

    Don’t Tell It to the Marines
    Email tale of disrespect for Clinton is false

    Nolan I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. If you really have NEVER ONCE been exposed to this crap than I say you must either live in a sanitized bubble or just be extremely lucky. The truth of the matter is that this garbage exists on BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE. To single out the right and blame them solely for the circulation of lies and misrepresentations is just out and out wrong! While you are 100% right in condemning those on the right for spreading this hatred, you must acknowledge the fact that there are hate mongers on both sides and equally condemn those on the left…
    Thank You

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