Is This The President’s Fake Letter to the Editor

The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper happened upon a curious letter to the editor in support of President Obama that seems to have suddenly popped up in nearly 40 newspapers across the country all at once. Every letter claims to be written by an “Ellie Light” and all claim to be from a resident local to the newspaper’s audience — different hometowns used in each case. All are identical whether they’ve been printed in the Washington Times or the Los Banos Enterprise, a small newspaper in California.

The letter jumps to the support of President Obama saying in part that President Obama never promised that “our problems would wash off in the morning.”

But today, the president is being attacked as if he were a salesman who promised us that our problems would wash off in the morning. He never made such a promise. It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything.

The odd thing is that this letter has appeared all on the same day, all across the country, and all claiming to be from a local letter writer interested in drumming up sympathy for President Obama. The whole thing stinks of an astroturf effort — an effort to carpet the news with a fake grass-roots styled letter.

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Who had the power to get this letter placed in so many papers all on the same day? Who had the reach to do this? It certainly smacks of a coordinated effort either by the President’s staff or the national party.

To take a step back from this incident and look at the latest news of Obama’s new focus on the upcoming 2010 midterm elections, however, might help place the story in context. On Saturday, Jan. 23, ABC’s Jake Tapper reported that Democrats are bringing David Plouffe back to Washington in order to begin a coordinated effort to get Democrats elected in 2010.

Senior White House officials tells ABC news that Obama for America campaign manager David Plouffe will soon set up shop at the Democratic National Committee to oversee House, Senate, and gubernatorial races this fall, in what is shaping up to be a difficult political environment for Democrats.

Apparently, the Democrats were so shaken by Republican Scott Brown beating the approved Democrat candidate to take the Massachusetts Senate seat that they realized that they’d better re-focus on elections.

Plouffe himself wrote an op ed for the Washington Post this weekend warning the Democrat Party to “do what the American people sent them to Washington to do. ” Which, according to Plouffe, is to pass Obamacare.

So, with the Democrats suddenly aware that they and the president are losing credibility with the American voters, it makes sense that party operatives would engage in this astroturf effort. Unfortunately for their attempt to engineer an increase in their credibility, it was a ham handed effort that looks forced and fake.

Patterico of Patterico’s Pontifications has a comprehensive list of all the newspapers and other sources in which this letter has appeared. Patterico notes that this letter even appear in the Bangkok Post, though in that case the letter writer does not identify a hometown.

This is the text of what this “Ellie Light” wrote:

A year ago, if we had read in the paper that employers were hiring again, that health care legislation was proceeding without a bump, that Afghanistan suddenly became a nice place to take your kids, we would’ve known we were being lied to. Back then, we recognized that the problems Obama inherited as president wouldn’t go away overnight.

During his campaign, Obama clearly said that an economy that took eight years to break couldn’t be fixed in a year, that Afghanistan was a graveyard of empires and would not be an easy venture for us. Candidate Obama didn’t feed us happy talk, which is why we elected him. He never said America could solve our health care, economic and security problems without raising the deficit. Instead, he talked of hard choices, of government taking painful and contentious first steps towards fixing problems that can’t be left for another day.

Right after Obama’s election, we seemed to grasp this. We understood that companies would be happy to squeeze more work out of frightened employees, and would be slow to hire more. We understood that the banks that had extorted us out of billions of dollars, were lying when they said they would share their recovery. We understood that a national consensus on health care would not come easily. Candidate Obama never claimed that his proposed solutions would work flawlessly right out of the box, and we respected him for that.

But today, the president is being attacked as if he were a salesman who promised us that our problems would wash off in the morning. He never made such a promise. It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything.

As I said, this letter is identical in each of these many different papers. Only the supposed hometown of the letter writer changed from one to the next.

Finally, Glenn Greenwald noted that Obama adviser Cass Sunstein has advocated for just such a plan in order for the government to dominate the Internet.

In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-“independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists.

This purported “Ellie Light” Obama supporting letter to the editor sure fits this description, doesn’t it?

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