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Obama Steals Orwell’s Style, As Well As Substance

By Greg L | 15 September 2011 | National Politics | 14 Comments

Team Obama has been having a very tough week.  Amidst the dribble of terrible economic news and polls showing Obama’s approval numbers are spiraling out of control, they get thumped in New York City where a Republican wins in a Congressional District that hasn’t elected one since 1923.  To make matters worse, the Obama campaign launches a website which spectacularly backfires, becoming an avenue for ridicule and mockery the likes of which have never been seen before.

Reports of the results of Tuesday’s special elections in New York and Nevada were rather heartening to many conservatives like myself who could feel that the electorate was decisively turning against Obama, but hadn’t seen much hard evidence yet.  As the analysis came in about how voters in Brooklyn had repudiated Obama, another, rather strange item started to pop up about some website Team Obama had launched called “Attack Watch.”  Was this some sort of clever prank being played on Obama?  Or could this possibly be for real?

Report anyone who says uncharitable things about the President, and obtain “attack files” to strike back at them.  How utterly Orwellian.  How insanely tone-deaf, and just plain stupid.  Does Obama really want to crowdsource a network of political spies so they can build dossiers on Americans who think he’s a terrible President?

Visitors were immediately struck by the strident tone of the website and the color scheme which is not only reminiscent of anarchists, Marxists and socialists, but one that bears a striking resemblance to propaganda used in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984.”

Good Gawd almighty!  Not only has Obama been thoroughly Orwellian in substance, but in style as well.  If you made this kind of stuff up as a parody, you’d be criticized for over-reaching, for going too far, and pushing the boundaries of parody well into the realm of utter silliness.  But in another stunning case of reality being stranger than fiction, Obama’s highly-paid and vastly experienced campaign team that was such a juggernaut just a few years ago actually did it.  Did they not have any clue that ripping off content and imagery from an Orwell story would fail to be noticed?  Or are they so in the tank with radical leftist ideology that they don’t care, and are going to blindly push forward as they remake our society into “Animal Farm?”

Given the stories about flag@whitehouse.gov and “Fight The Smears” one might well conclude the latter.  It’s not like this hasn’t been done before by Team Obama, it’s just never been so incredibly blatant before.

The utter stupidity doesn’t even stop there.  About a week ago a friend of mine in the IT business went to an event at the White House called the “White House Tweet Up”, where about a dozen social media addicts got invited to the White House for an afternoon to meet Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney and other administration staff to talk about how twitter can help prop up this rapidly diminishing presidency.  Carney clearly was impressed with how twitter can be used, tweeting “Enjoyed the first ever #WHTweetup briefing. Good people, good questions. Thanks to all who came. Am newly committed to tweeting. swear!” after the event.  You just knew something heavily involving twitter was going to happen.

Four days after #WHTweetUp the Obama campaign launches Attack Watch, telling everyone to use the hashtag #AttackWatch to file their reports via Twitter.

On a website, you get to control the message.  On twitter, you hand total control over to millions of people and hope you’ve inspired them the right way that they’ll do what you hope they will do.  In this case, given the utterly bizarre way this was launched, they ended up handing control over to Obama’s critics.  Yahoo News summed up the bad decision well, with this: “The Obama team has been heralded for its revolutionary use of Twitter in conducting voter and constituent outreach. But by going on offense with #AttackWatch, Obama — carrying a 33 percent approval rating according to a Bloomberg poll released today — inadvertently gave the public a campaign-approved outlet to mock him in 140 characters or less.”

And mock him they did.  Andy Parks at The Washington Times compiled a few of thousands of funny tweets that flooded out starting on Wednesday, and probably ended up getting about as much done that day as I did, which is to say, not a whole lot.

Hey #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATM’s in an alley, killing a Job. It looked like a hate crime!

So I have nearly 7 times more followers than #attackwatch. I think I deserve a nice gold attackwatch.

Hey, @attackwatch, somebody said Guantanamo is still open. But I know better because you promised you’d close it. #attackwatch

@Attackwatch there’s an awful rumor Obama is using Gestapo-like tactics 2 gather information on citizens who disagree w/ him. #attackwatch

RT @AtackWatch See a new attack on the President or his record? Use #gestapo to report it and discuss attacks as they happen. #attackwatch

#attackwatch Gibson Guitars are 100% American made..have DOJ raid them..oops u did that already

RT @trevgardner: #attackwatch. I’m an unemployed strawman. Can Obama please put me to work in his next speech?

RT @x_1013_x: Hey #attackwatch, I just saw a kid eating tater tots, can we get one of Michelle’s goons on that pronto?

Drawing a blank here…. What do you call a leader who encourages people to inform on neighbors, co-workers… Don’t tell me… #attackwatch

Does #attackwatch include malodorous ppl nxt to you on Metro?

Dear #attackwatch: Orwell’s 1984 was a cautionary tale, not an instruction manual.

Hey #AttackWatch. Wow, this turned out to be not such a good day to launch, huh? #BigFatLoserFaces

Dear #AttackWatch. I noticed you used Media Matters and Think Progress as trusted sources. May I also recommend Dr. Seuss and peyote?

So glad #attackwatch is here to dispel those unfounded attacks involving Solyndra, Gibson, Fast and Furious, Gulf moratorium, NBPP, etc.

I hear the media shop at Solyndra has been snapped up by #attackwatch

#AttackWatch There’s a new Twitter account making President Obama look like a creepy, authoritarian nutjob: @AttackWatch

Has anyone reported Jimmy Hoffa to #AttackWatch ?

RT @NationalDebt $14,711,737,198,477.91 (+) #nationaldebt#AttackWatch

President Obama created a Transparency Czar. Then folded the position, giving the duties to an open critic of transparency. #attackwatch

So, something called #AttackWatch is scouring Twitter to see if anyone is criticizing Obama. Are taxpayers being forced to pay for it?

Watch out, monthly jobless report. @AttackWatch is onto you. #attackwatch

RT @stephenkruiser: Gosh, color scheme for #AttackWatch doesn’t scream “creepy totalitarian WE’RE WATCHING U regime” at all. #p2

RT @diggrbiii: OMG! #attackwatch Someone is going around saying Obama saved or created a few million jobs. We must stop these lies!

Dear #AttackWatch, I wish to report an attack on @BarackObama. Michelle Obama won’t let him smoke, and God knows he needs one…

(You can see what’s being said in real-time here)

Thousands of tweets an hour are being posted with the hashtag #AttackWatch, and virtually all of them are mocking this ham-handed effort.  They’re hilarious, they’re brutally mocking, and after two and a half years of disgust and anger, voters can finally engage in a bit of politics with a smile on their face and a laugh in their hearts.  If it weren’t for an utterly tone-deaf, out-of-touch, blithering idiot making such a stunning political gaffe, we’d still be upset and frustrated.

Instead, we get to have some fun and laugh a bit.

The worst thing for a political candidate is to have people laughing at you.  Now, that’s all we’re doing.

UPDATE: You just knew this was coming, didn’t you?

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  1. James Young said on 15 Sep 2011 at 2:23 pm:
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    I refer to him as “President Barry,” demonstrating all DUE respect.

    Can someone please report me?

  2. Classic Rock said on 15 Sep 2011 at 5:32 pm:
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    One of your better posts, Greg. Good work.

  3. Disgusted said on 15 Sep 2011 at 5:54 pm:
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    Went to the AttackWatch twitter and didn’t any of these post you quote.

    [Ed note: the link is http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23AttackWatch ]

  4. Greg L said on 15 Sep 2011 at 8:04 pm:
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    The WashPo weighs in:

    Nothing says, “Wow, we’re feeling really good going into the election season” like “HERE IS AN ANGRY PREEMPTIVE WEBSITE WITH ATTACK IN ITS NAME.”

    Who designed your page interface? George Orwell?

    But seriously, 1998 sent an AOL Instant Message; it wants its page design back.

    “Join Attack Wire – and help stop the attacks on the President before they start.”

    Before they start?

    I’m fine with stopping them after they start.

  5. Lovettsville Lady said on 15 Sep 2011 at 11:04 pm:
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    Great stuff here Greg.

  6. Citizen12 said on 15 Sep 2011 at 11:22 pm:
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    News flash…….

    Prof that the zombie apocalypse is in full swing as president Obama tells the Congressional Hispanic Caucus he would like to use a magic wand to restore their zombie queen Nancy Pelosi back in her old perch.


  7. Lloyd said on 16 Sep 2011 at 8:28 am:
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    Well done, BVBL. I linked to this in my story on TC

  8. AttackWatcher said on 16 Sep 2011 at 9:10 am:
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    You are now on zee enemies list! Seig Heil, Obama!

  9. Greg L said on 16 Sep 2011 at 12:18 pm:
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    James Carville is telling Obama to take a lesson from the Soviet 64th Division at Stalingrad and “fire” some people. Had a hard time digging up what he was referring to, but it apparently references a scene from “Enemy At The Gates” where Kruschev (head of the NKVD at the time, which later bacame the KGB) was screaming at his political officers of the 64th Army that they weren’t getting results. One political officer suggested they execute commanders who failed, and another suggested they execute the families of commanders who failed as well. Kruschev lamented that they were already doing this and that it hadn’t produced the results he wanted.

    So here’s a top-tier Democratic strategist who is telling Obama to adopt the tactics of the Soviet KGB in order to win re-election. I’m stunned at how out of touch this is, and where Democrats go to find inspiration about how to solve problems. With 234 years of utterly inspiring American history to draw on, they veer instead towards the Soviet Union’s utterly brutal history as a beacon of hope.

  10. Dittyman8 said on 16 Sep 2011 at 7:26 pm:
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    Greg L, here’s another fact about Kruschev from his KGB days. Wallenberg was last seen alive (confirmed) when he was arrested by Kruschev and his KGB goons in 1945. So who’s going to be thrown under the bus next to save Dear Leader?

  11. Citizen12 said on 16 Sep 2011 at 8:06 pm:
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    Obama and the people who engineered his assent to the throne march on.

    “The Ford Foundation’s personnel are continuing to operate under directives from the White House to so alter life in America as to make possible a comfortable merger with the Soviet Union.”

    H. Rowan Gaither, President
    The Ford Foundation (1953)

    Their plan will never stray.

    American Socialist group leaks names of house members in their ranks


  12. Wolverine said on 16 Sep 2011 at 10:51 pm:
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    Nikita Khruschev was never head of the NKVD (KGB). He was not even a member of the NKVD. The NKVD chief during that period was the notorious Levrenty Beria. Khruschev was strictly a CPSU careerist and a favorite of Stalin who, after a successful stint in the Moscow oblast, was assigned before the war to run the party apparat in the Ukraine. From there he was sent personally by Stalin to Stalingrad as a political commissar to serve as the principal liaison between the military and the CPSU (read Stalin) in Moscow. His job was to keep the military commanders in line, and those military commanders tried to gain influence with Stalin by kissing Khruschev’s ample behind.

  13. Harry said on 17 Sep 2011 at 10:21 am:
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    Hehe - Just signed up at AW. I reported that I heard the $800 trillion stimulus did nothing for unemployment and massively increased the debt. Oh…wait…

  14. Harry said on 17 Sep 2011 at 10:21 am:
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    Whoops - billion….

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