Saturday, July 12, 2014

#1115: Lisa Schiffren

Lisa Schiffren is a former Dan Quayle speech writer (best known for writing his still infamous Murphy Brown speech in 1992), founder of Softer Voices (they worked e.g. for Rick Santorum, trying to give him a “softer” image) and writer of columns for various outlets.

Schiffren is not the only one to raise conspiratorial questions about Obama’s parentage, but she was among the first to raise the questions in mainstream (well) media (National Review Online in 2008). In particular, there is evidence that Obama is a communist, you see: “[A]ll of my mixed race, black/white classmates throughout my youth, some of whom I am still in contact with, were the product of very culturally specific unions. […] how had these two come together at a time when it was neither natural nor easy for such relationships to flourish? Always through politics … Usually the Communist Youth League. Or maybe a different arm of the CPUSA. But, for a white woman to marry a black man in 1958, or 60, there was almost inevitably a connection to explicit Communist politics.” Based on such anecdotes and an unhealthy dose of bias, Schiffren then tries to make the case that Obama must be communist since he was the intentional product of a plan that apparently goes back to Stalin himself.

Schiffren is of course dimly aware that some people might find something offensive in her musings, but she has a response: “Political correctness was invented precisely to prevent the mainstream liberal media from persuing the questions which might arise about how Senator Obama’s mother, from Kansas, came to marry an African graduate student.” I.e. political correctness was invented to keep people from asking about interracial couples’ private business. Here is the lesson Schiffren learned from the 2008 election.

Diagnosis: Perhaps not as incoherent as some, but Schiffren is a somewhat mainstream character, and the fact that some people are more incoherently crazy than her does not mean that she’s anything but crazy.


  1. I just read an article Lisa Schiffren wrote and she sounds like one of the mean girls, nasty, sarcastic, full of conspiracy theories (without proof) and totally negative ramblings. Having now read several other reviews of her writings, I realize she is thought of as one of the crazies who pretty much says anything negative she can think up. She ends up being a fiction writer and not a very good one at that. I am surprised she has any venue at all to present her "writings."

  2. Is a purely hateful right wing tool.