You know the desperation is thick when the other side has to stoop to talking about someone’s mama to lure voters.
Yet that’s the latest tactic that wing-nuts are deploying in their war to destroy President Obama’s chances of being re-elected.
They can’t win by lying about his record, as too many fact-checking organizations have exposed outright lies, and out-of-context lies, told by Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.
And the film “2016: Obama’s America,” a propaganda film heavier on innuendo rather than truth, hasn’t made a dent in the polls – probably because the people who went to see it were mostly angry white folks who wouldn’t have voted for Obama anyway.
So now, they’re forcing a DVD on voters – namely those who live in swing states which, each day, keep swinging more toward Obama. It is perhaps the vilest appeal yet to prejudices about the president’s origins; to show that, no matter what, he’s still an “other,” masquerading as a real American.
And they’re defiling his dead mother to do it.
In a scurrilous, pseudo-documentary titled, “Dreams From My Real Father,” right-wing filmmaker Joel Gilbert claims that Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was a freak who posed for bondage photos in pornographic magazines while she was pregnant with him.
To drive home the point, it also features pictures of a woman posing in various stages of undress. There is no proof, however, that the woman in those photos is the president’s mother.
It also claims that Obama’s father wasn’t Barack Obama Sr., but Frank Marshall Davis – a labor activist who Obama knew, but who Gilbert claims ingrained him with communist teachings. He also claims that Dunham married Obama’s father to cover up her pregnancy by Davis.
All of that is unsubstantiated.
Still, Gilbert told The Daily Beast that more than a million copies of the DVD had been mailed to voters in Ohio – courtesy of an anonymous donor – and that another 80,000 to 100,000 voters in Nevada and 100,000 voters in New Hampshire would be receiving DVDs as well.
Now in a sane, not to mention respectful, political environment, Gilbert’s piece of salaciousness would be widely condemned by both sides. Yet it seems to be finding an audience among some GOPers.
Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, urged its members to watch the DVD. He called it “frightening.” Tea Party groups and conservative churches are showing it.
And Romney has yet to denounce it.
All of this speaks not only to how low our political discourse has sunk, but how Obama-haters still believe, or rather still hope, that people will buy any wild accusation they make against a black person.
Think about it.
Conspiracy theorists like Gilbert, birther queen Orly Taitz, and assorted members of the Tea Party rarely try to persuade people against Obama based on facts or on policy issues. That’s probably because once their claims are fact-checked – claims like, for example, that the president’s health care law will lead to death panels – they end up being exposed as liars.
So instead, they appeal to bigotry and fear.
Alleging that Obama’s mother was a whore – a transgression that might have anyone else opening up a can of whup-ass on Gilbert – appeals to old racist notions in which white women who prefer black men are viewed as trash.
By insinuating that the president’s real father was a black man who his mother wasn’t married to plays not only to that idea, but it bolsters misgivings about his legitimacy – and plays into the narrative about him not being as American as everyone else.
And of course, no conspiracy piece about Obama would be complete without accusations of him being a communist, and how, given the chance, he’d have us calling ourselves comrades instead of citizens.
Chances are, though, we’ll see more of this between now and November, as Obama-haters cling to the hope that enough folks are dumb enough to believe that their first black president secretly plans to destroy the nation that gave him so much opportunity.
Hopefully, most voters will grasp just how breathtakingly stupid that is – and toss those DVDs where they belong.
In the trash.
Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist who is based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her at tonyaajw@twitter. Or visit her webpage and blog, “Tonyaa’s Take,” at www.tonyaajweathersbee.com.