Monday, November 03, 2008

Why Not Obama? 

When looking at the choices before the American people tomorrow, I will gladly push the button for Senator John McCain. I arrive at this conclusion easily and on two basis. First comes the indictment of Senator Barack Obama, John McCain's general election opponent. Hopefully, I will have put together a strong case FOR John McCain and have that in the next post.

On October 7, Victor Davis Hanson penned one of his regular columns for Pajamas Media. In the middle of the work, was one of the best indictments against Barack Obama this cycle.

What’s the Matter with Obama?

For all those who write in adoration of Obama’s hope and change mantra, I hope that they can at least see why others are worried about his candidacy. The problem is not an Ayers or Wright per se, but the succession of such odious figures—the bomber Ayers,the racist Pfleger, the Palestinian zealot Khalidi, the crook Rezko, the hyper-racist Wright, etc.—that in aggregate cement the notion of a young hip radical who ingratiated himself with suspect characters, all of whose ideas Obama wishes suddenly to downplay rather than publicize.

Come Clean

He did not just know a Wright or Rezko, but knew them quite well for quite a long time. And in the case of Ayers, Obama has sorely misled: he apparently still emailed and communicated with him after 9/11, when Ayers, on his Fugitive Justice book tour, grandly announced that he regretted only that he had not bombed enough. At that point any further communication was indefensible, since the New York Times had widely circulated Ayers’ views. Yet Obama was emailing him at least until 2005!

A Pattern Here?

But even that coterie of fringe figures would ipsis factis not be fatal to his candidacy, if he and his wife had not serially dropped hints that they had deep reservations about this country that only reinforced the messages we hear from Ayers and Wright (“God D—mn America”)—and therefore confirm the picture of the Obamas as products of a disturbing Chicago leftist circle.

Michelle announces that the U.S. is “downright mean” and that hitherto she had no reason to have pride in America (a logical thing to say, given whom the Obamas had associated with for years). Indeed, her assertions, “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,” was not only not an anomaly, but typical of her world view: “Our souls are broken in this nation, ” or “(America is) just downright mean.”

Indeed, such declarations are in line with Obama himself when he says, “And if that child should ever get the chance to travel the world and someone should ask her where is she from, we believe that she should always be able to hold her head high with pride in her voice when she answers, “I am an American.” I think most Americans, given what they’ve seen of the United Nations and the world abroad, are already proud to be Americans and don’t need Barack Obama to restore their faith. And if it were a question of being admired by those on the West Bank, or in Russia, or Iran, they’d rather be disliked.

Still More

Even all that would be tolerable if Obama did not almost serially make the most astounding statements, from calling (before chastised) for reparations, ethnic studies charter schools, and more “Oppression Studies” to demonizing the white working class of Pennsylvania (“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”)

More Still

But even his associates and his own admissions would not be fatal, had Obama himself not been involved in suspect organizations like ACORN, like the Woods Foundation, and like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, that typically squandered someone else’s money to help radical organizations undermine existing institutions in service to some utopian vision of what they wish the United States someday to become.

Too Many Lacunae
And even then I would withhold judgment had Obama earned any record of success rather than played on identity politics. He had no distinguished record as an undergraduate at Columbia (so far as we can tell, given his refusal to release his transcripts) that would have won entry to Harvard Law School. Once there, he published nothing, in contrast to past editors at the Law Review. There is no record that his community organizing helped any but the career of Obama, and many of the Rezko projects are now boarded up. As a state legislator there is no record of legislative achievement, but plenty of ‘present’ votes to prepare for further career aggrandizement. As a Chicago Law Professor, there is not a single scholarly article of the sort Chicago insists on for everyone else. And as a US Senator, there is essentially a campaign for president from the day he was sworn in. So, yes, there is a pattern or rhetoric at the expense of achievement.

One sees that had Obama not been of half-African ancestry, or had he not used identity politics to accentuate that background, there is no reason to believe he would have ever left Chicago politics. Certainly he has no record comparable to a Rice or Powell, who excelled in their given areas of expertise, and while proud of their race, still felt it to be incidental to their professional personae. Again in contrast, when concerns about voter registration, Bill Ayers, or Obama’s experience are voiced, both the candidate and his appendages almost instinctively play the race card–we saw that today with the worries over Acorn and the attacks on Palin for raising the Ayers issue yesterday.

The Flip-flopping

And even then I would have withheld judgment had it not been for his (always later retracted after huddling with his advisers) revealing statements that an Iran was not much of a threat, that we needed to cut missile defense, that there was no need for further oil drilling should we just properly inflate our tires, that all U.S. troops should have left Iraq by March 2008, that we should leave NAFTA (later modified), that we should repeal the FISA accords (later modified), and a host of other disturbing contradictions on taxes, guns, abortion, capital punishment, public campaign financing, and almost every other position he took in the early primaries.

The Anoited Do as They Please

But even all that might be tolerable had Obama not engaged in questionable politics that reveal the Old Left’s doctrine of the noble ends always justifying the dirty means—suing to get an opponent off the ballot, his friends leaking, or in collusion with others leaking, sealed divorce records, not once, but twice to eliminate his primary and general election favored rivals, and now legions of Obamaniacs swarming radio shows to intimidate critics, fund raising millions of dollars illegally from foreign donors and the nonexistent, or his efforts to shut down free speech by seeking to sue or intimidate officials to stop unfavorable opposition ads.

Non Hic Porcus

So after a while, it adds up and becomes rather scary—and thus I still resist ‘we are the change we’ve been waiting for,’ vero possumus, and this is the moment when the planet ceased to warm and the seas subsided nonsense. And I have no apologies for such resistance, despite the swarm of emails one receives alleging racism, or worse for not bowing down in obeisance.

Victor Davis Hanson nails it precisely. Given what little we really know about the man, how can we, trust Senator Obama's judgement on judges, economic policy, war, peace and the like? Given what we really know about the man's past, what would indicate that he would battle, fight, irritate or seriously challenge more radical members of his party for the good of the country as a whole?

To answer the question, there is nothing that would indicate he put the needs of the country before himself, his ideological comrades or his political party. Given his track record, Barack Obama has not demonstrated strength of character needed in challenging times that are coming this country's way in the years ahead.

Senator Barack Obama has been put in the dock and found wanting. On November 4, I will be voting against Barack Obama and for John McCain (this case forthcoming). I urge all the readers of this post to do the same.

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