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Web 2.0 + 2008 campaign = Crazy
March 8, 2007 8:38 AM   Subscribe

OppoDepot.com is the Internet's only nonpartisan, collaborative Web 2.0 source for negative information about the 2008 presidential candidates. "Opposition research," aka "oppo research" is the black art of digging up dirt on your political enemies. OppoDepot promises to allow netizens to do the same thing, Web 2.0-style. They have helpfully given us starter oppo on all the candidates, even the obscure ones. Enjoy the negativity!
posted by TheWash (42 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool. Now I can find out which one whores themselves out to corporations and special interests, which one is a ruthless bastard, which one is willing to make promise s/he never intends to keep, which one will allow handlers and speechwriters to remove any shred of humanity they have left in them, which one will suck up to the craven, self-interested media in exchange for exposure...

Oh, wait.


It's all of them, isn't it?
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:44 AM on March 8, 2007


Of course they are all going to have problems. The question is, which problems (or "problems") actually affect policy issues? For instance, how does does one compared "out of control anger" of McCain vs Obama's "Muslim roots"? I'm thinking these issues are not of equal import.
posted by DU at 8:49 AM on March 8, 2007


I'll make it simple: anyone who's remotely capable of getting himself/herself elected should under no circumstances be permitted to serve.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:50 AM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


OMFG, does that home page REALLY say "Returning the Power to the People"?

Apparently our Web 2.0 future still has depressingly hackneyed cliches.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:00 AM on March 8, 2007


This "they are all crooks" line is straight out of the GOP playbook, btw. They want to decrease the amount of goverment (which increases the ability of corporations to steal from humans). The best way to do this is to make people distrust government. The best way to do THAT is to tar all politicians with the OMGCROOKS brush. Notice that "all presidents are evil" is based on the sins of Bush (Republican), Reagan (Republican), Nixon (Republican) and Clinton (Democrat.....who got a blowjob).

FDR was capable of getting himself elected. Should he not have been permitted to serve?
posted by DU at 9:01 AM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Focusing attention on candidates' personal issues and away from meaningful, substantive debate is "returning power to the people"?
posted by Aloysius Bear at 9:02 AM on March 8, 2007


FDR got himself elected in a much different era -- with the way media works today, getting elected requires a very different (and, I would say, far more frightening) set of characteristics, connections, power, and money than it once did.
posted by cubby at 9:15 AM on March 8, 2007


First of all, FDR was in the era of robber barons and political machines, so I wouldn't put too much faith in the "in olden tymes, people were all peace and happiness" mythology/sentimentality.

Secondly, even if times were different now, "connections, power and money", while exclusionary and therefore wrong, do not necessarily equate to either evil or ineffective as President.
posted by DU at 9:18 AM on March 8, 2007


"Get Personalized Oppo Updates on Your Mobile Device with MyOppo."

That just deflated about 90% of my energy.
posted by jefbla at 9:18 AM on March 8, 2007



First of all, FDR was in the era of robber barons and political machines

Which FDR was a premier part of. He was also considered The Playboy from New York.
posted by tkchrist at 9:29 AM on March 8, 2007


"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -- Winston Churchill.
posted by scottreynen at 9:32 AM on March 8, 2007


nonpartisan
web 2.0

Anyone remember a time when these words held promise? I'm having trouble thinking back that far.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:38 AM on March 8, 2007


It would be good to have the dates that the stories were posted on the site.
posted by sswiller at 9:41 AM on March 8, 2007


They totally failed to mention John Edward's homosexuality.

Don't worry, yall. I submitted it as a tip.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:42 AM on March 8, 2007


They want to decrease the amount of goverment (which increases the ability of corporations to steal from humans).

This is a ridiculous statement. I know of only one organization with the power to take my money against my will, and it is not a corporation. It's the GOVERNMENT.

Name one instance where a company, either privately-owned or publicly-held, actually stole your money.

(If you want an example of the government stealing from someone, just look at your own tax return. Or your neighbor's. Or do a Google search on "eminent domain and private property rights").
posted by tadellin at 9:54 AM on March 8, 2007


Don't forget to check the Skeleton Closet for more dirt.
posted by TedW at 9:57 AM on March 8, 2007


"Steal" in the moral and ethical sense. Paying your taxes is not theft, it's just being non-sociopathic.

Also, I love how the libertarian anti-tax types are the first to shout "so get a different job!1!" or "shop somewhere else!!1" when a corporation is screwing a person, but fail to take their own advice and move to a deserted island when tax time rolls around. You are just as free to do so as a minimum wage peon single parent is to "stick it to the man".
posted by DU at 10:18 AM on March 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


The focus on political candidates' personal lives rather than their actual policies, financial backers, etc., is on of the many reasons why "U.S. democracy" is best used in a historical sense.
posted by signal at 10:30 AM on March 8, 2007


The dirt on Dennis Kucinich:
"Kucinich has also put forward a bill to establish an official Department of Peace in the U.S. government."
posted by king walnut at 10:37 AM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Trivia: FDR also married a cousin solely for political reasons, and had numerous affairs. He was considered to be a class traitor by the robber barons because of soak-the-rich tax policies that were more in line with Huey Long's ideology, and got him branded a commie agent. There are a litany of other scandals involving the man, true or imagined.
posted by boo_radley at 11:13 AM on March 8, 2007


BTW: Pointing out FDR's faults (whether real or just claimed at the time) strengthen my point, not weaken it.
posted by DU at 11:16 AM on March 8, 2007


oh, don't take that Scandals page too seriously. Sure, there's some truth in there, but a lot of crazy-go-nuts garbage, too. I mean, Father Coughlin's quoted in 42pt type at the top, and history remembers him as a crazy, paranoid antisemitic fascist. He gave us a lesson we never forgot; we no longer suffer crazy, paranoid antisemitic fascists on the airwaves.
posted by boo_radley at 11:19 AM on March 8, 2007


DU: Well spotted!
posted by boo_radley at 11:19 AM on March 8, 2007


Not to be confused with oppodigital, which sells nice upscaling DVD players.
posted by Muddler at 11:32 AM on March 8, 2007


This is the problem with democracy. All the candidates get dirt dug up on them to a ridiculous degree, and I'd be willing to be the vast majority of Americans could be Oppo'd just as badly if people really tried.

Hopefully people are going to learn to just tune it out.
posted by delmoi at 11:32 AM on March 8, 2007


First of all, FDR was in the era of robber barons and political machines

Which FDR was a premier part of. He was also considered The Playboy from New York.


Not only that, he couldn't even walk right!

Ooooh. Too soon?
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:46 AM on March 8, 2007


Hey, it's equal opportunity mudslinging.

If the candidates themselves would simply state their views and policies and leave the dirt to sites like this, I could be a very happy girl for the next two years.
posted by konolia at 11:46 AM on March 8, 2007


Depressing. I don't suppose there's an inverse version of this site somewhere?
posted by zennie at 12:01 PM on March 8, 2007


I'd be willing to be the vast majority of Americans could be Oppo'd just as badly if people really tried.

I disagree; I suspect the personality type with an insatiable lust for power (public sector, private sector, clergy, it really doesn't matter) tends to feel more entitled and more invincible than the average shlub.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:04 PM on March 8, 2007


This is the problem with democracy. All the candidates get dirt dug up on them to a ridiculous degree

That's the problem with democracy in the US. Other, less puritanical countries don't give as much play to this kind of mudslinging.
posted by signal at 12:33 PM on March 8, 2007


I disagree; I suspect the personality type with an insatiable lust for power (public sector, private sector, clergy, it really doesn't matter) tends to feel more entitled and more invincible than the average shlub.
You'd be surprised how even the most seemingly benign character flaw could be turned into an effective hanging-rope if spun and lit properly.
Why do you think we don't get more "regular people" running for office? All one has to do is look over your life and it's probably a good bet there are at least one or two items in your past that wouldn't look too good, if illuminated properly. They look at the mudslinging that goes on, even for low-level local offices, and they take a pass. And we lose out.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:10 PM on March 8, 2007


He gave us a lesson we never forgot; we no longer suffer crazy, paranoid antisemitic fascists on the airwaves.

That's a laugh. But I suppose you get some slack because a few have moved on to television and hollywood movie producing.
posted by IronLizard at 1:26 PM on March 8, 2007


Why do you think we don't get more "regular people" running for office?

Because regular people don't have the lust for power that motivates them to put up with political bullshit.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:56 PM on March 8, 2007



Name one instance where a company, either privately-owned or publicly-held, actually stole your money.


Well, in a metaphorical sense, I think whenever a corporation exploits natural resources (say by drilling for oil or minerals) from a country, they are stealing from people.

Or to be less obtuse Say Blockbuster, Netflix or Record Labels.
posted by drezdn at 2:18 PM on March 8, 2007


Why do you think we don't get more "regular people" running for office?

Because most people are more or less content with the way things are and would prefer to spend their time doing other things>
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:00 PM on March 8, 2007


Why do you think we don't get more "regular people" running for office?

Because it's fucking expensive
posted by spiderwire at 3:53 PM on March 8, 2007


At the time I write this, oppodepot.com doesn't have the Freedom Trust or the Boston Parking Ticket quasi-scandals on their Barack Obama page, and those are both a day old since the story break and have been heavily reported in Old Media.

If this is the future, I want the past back.
posted by pokermonk at 4:39 PM on March 8, 2007


If this is the future, I want the past back.

MetaFilter, how would you react if you discovered that pokermonk had fathered an illegitimate black child?
posted by spiderwire at 5:42 PM on March 8, 2007


Oh Jebus H. Christ, tadellin, you're not really that naive, are you? I keep forgetting that people like this exist. I can't decide which is more hard to believe, that someone could believe that somehow society could function without a government supported by the people (financially) or that businesses don't steal? Really?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:59 PM on March 8, 2007


On topic (sort of), I thought that a really neat system for getting a feel for candidates really political standing would be to require anyone who is running for office to answer 20 yes/no questions and have them published. Like: "if there was a bill passed that banned abortions, would you veto it? y/n"

Both sides could agree on the questions or some other such system.

It would get rid of a lot of mealie mouth answers to questions that politicians love to give.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:08 PM on March 8, 2007


Zennie said: Depressing. I don't suppose there's an inverse version of this site somewhere?

There appear to be two major pro-politician portals: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

Better refill your Cymbalta.
posted by cenoxo at 8:22 AM on March 9, 2007


Smells like a Jonah Peretti project to me.

Not for the least reason of which is: yet another good idea with a weak execution... and he does love short-lived experiments in buzz building (previously), as opposed to a project to be used for Good -- like his rockin' FundRace site, which I hope will be dusted off again for '08.

If the OppoDepot.com site got legs, it could legitimately deflate the 2008 mudslinging -- which is rarely effective because of the quality of the scandal itself, but instead because of proper, shrewd timing. Can't be a surprise when everyone's already heard (and blogged) the story months prior; voters will become desensitized to anything, over time.

Instead, I predict that it's just going to generate traffic for BuzzFeed, thereby generating cash for Peretti/Contagious Media... and then be all but abandoned by Labor Day, complete with a "LOL the Interwab got PWNED...AGAIN!" post-it on the home page.

...Or the 2004 presidential race turned me into a cynic of highest order. Could be either, really.
posted by pineapple at 7:47 PM on March 9, 2007


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