Such tactics are difficult to fight. They won't go down by simply using the Google, as some on the left suggest. (Not that there's anything wrong with having Obama ads on Google services. Just don't over-estimate the effectiveness of Web tactics in an e-mail world.)
There are ways to fight back effectively, minimizing the number of people who believe these lies, isolating them, and keeping an eye out for any escalation.
- Traceroute -- There are ways in which to tell where spam e-mail originates. It's worthwhile to go to the sites hosting these people, expose them, and if they don't stop know who they in fact are.
- Treat Spam as Spam -- All the tools in the anti-spammer arsenal need to be deployed by supporters of democracy. We can know where this is originating and, in their knowing they're known put some real fear into them.
- Reply -- Obama supporters need the tools with which to respond, in their own words, to these lies when they're confronted with them, and tools with which to seek out both lies and truth. We need to find the victims of these hoaxes and present the truth to all who will listen.
- Understand -- While e-mail remains the most common Web activity, it's far more popular among dial-up users than those with good broadband connections. As my connectivity has improved I find myself using e-mail far less and RSS far more.
- Database -- As important as it is to have databases of your friends, it's just as important to know who the enemy is. Anonymous enemies need to be identified, tracked, traced, and exposed for what they are, liars and cowards. Those who won't listen to reason need to be seen for what they are, potential terrorists.
Let's not pretend any of this will end the matter. Assuming Democrats take the government in November, all the tools developed over the next few months need to be applied from within the government, to keep us safe from black terrorism.
And there will be black terrorism. What followed the 1932 election was the rise of Nazism inside our country. What followed the 1968 election was the time of the Weather Underground. The labor and anti-labor violence of the 1890s is a matter of history. And then there was the Civil War.
The arrival of a new political thesis always breeds violence in those who refuse to accept it. Violence starts with words, and then (in some) becomes action. Let's not be naive. It's no joking matter. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and the price of change is always high.
The extreme end of any political pole is violence. The only way to fight a counter-insurgency is to differentiate between true enemies and fellow travelers, reserving the power of the government only for the former, proving the case so the end result is seen as justice.
This is how we should have fought in Iraq. This is how we'll be forced to fight, next year, on the home front.