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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Anatomy of a smear. Via Ben Smith.

This is the '08 version of a really weird conservative urban legend that pops up every four years, The names change, but the basics remain the same: 1) It always involves the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate; 2) It always portrays the wife -- not the candidate -- committing some anti-American, unpatriotic act.

I was first exposed to this during the 1988 campaign when the line was, "There's a picture out there of Kitty Dukakis burning the American flag...just wait til that comes out..." (that one got out of hand when a GOP senator actually believed it and called a press conference to say he would soon produce the evidence -- which never materialized). Four years later, "There's a picture out there of Hillary Clinton burning the American flag...just wait 'til that comes out..." In 1996, the Hillary thing repeated itself. In '04, there was a similar one about Teresa Heinz Kerry.