For some, the election of Barack Obama as President was a major event in shaping current views of America and American politics. In Obama we had a person with little experience or credentials elected on the vague promises of” hope” and “change”. We also had a person that had radical Left-wing tendencies who associated with people of questionable character.
For those that saw Obama as a radical Left-winger, our worst fears have come to pass. Those that saw him as a middle of the road Democrat were just wrong and didn’t properly read the tea-leafs.
One guest to this Blog, Jim Mahoney, circulated a lengthy letter (include below) with his concerns about Obama a few weeks before the election. It is a useful piece for recalling the euphoria that many had going into the election, as well as the despair of at least one voter. It is fair to state that Mahoney was right. We have in Obama a Radical Leftist whose lack of experience has resulted in a disaster for the Country for the past year and a half.
Thoughts on the Election, by Jim Mahoney, 10/15/08
As I write this we are less than three weeks away from the conclusion one of the lengthiest and most expensive presidential campaigns in the history of our nation. It has also been one of the most divisive, literally pitting friends and family members against each other. We are now left with two candidates who are neither particularly inspiring, nor the first choice of their respective party’s base. This lack of inspiration has led some people to believe that John McCain and Barack Obama are merely two sides of the same coin and there would be little or no difference in electing either of them president. This would prove to be a grave error. The United States is faced with a series of challenges that are unprecedented in our history and the character and integrity of the man occupying the Oval Office is vitally important. This is the most consequential election of our lifetime with the potential to irreparably change the very foundations of our economy, our national security and our American culture.
At a time when character and candor are so important we simply cannot trust Barack Obama to be leader of the free world. Little is known about him and even after two years of campaigning he is still very much a stealth candidate. Even those who support him are hard pressed to name a single legislative accomplishment or articulate a clear understanding of his positions and plans for where he wants to take this county. His public persona has become an odd combination of a deity figure and old school Marxist icon complete with “spontaneous” performances by young school children singing about his virtues and young men in paramilitary uniforms chanting about the opportunities he has provided for them.
Let me preface this by saying, as one must these days, that I have nothing personally against Barack Obama. He seems like a nice enough individual and he is an effective speaker when he stays on script, but when you strip away the façade it is clear that the clothes have no emperor. Every aspect of Obama’s career appears to have been calculated to prepare him for running for president. Indeed, it seems as if every office he has held as been used only as the stepping stone for the next office. From voting “Present” over 130 times in the Illinois State Legislature to the wall of secrecy surrounding his associations with radicals, racists and felons, he has avoided taking positions on any issue unless it is with the benefit of polling and focus groups. He is also being aided and abetted by a press corps that is more lapdog than watchdog; but I’ll have more to say about the press later.
The thing that scares me the most about Barack Obama is the way he tells lies with such apparent ease. In his book and in a video shown at the Democrat convention, he told a charming story that happened when he was nine years old. As he tells the story he was sitting on his grandfather’s shoulders at a parade in Hawaii honoring the Apollo astronauts when they splashed down after a moon landing. He was waving a small American flag and his grandfather told him, “Boy, Americans – we can do anything if we put our minds to it!” This is a very heartwarming moment; the only problem is that it could never have happened. First of all, there were no parades in Hawaii for any of the Apollo astronauts who landed on the moon. Secondly, in the early moon landing missions that occurred about the time Obama was nine years old, there was a concern that the astronauts might bring back some sort of contamination. When the astronauts boarded the aircraft carrier after splashdown they immediately entered an isolation trailer that was taken directly to the Johnson Space center in Houston for three weeks of isolation; again, no opportunity for a parade.
In another story he reveals that his Uncle was with the first American troops to liberate Auschwitz and was so profoundly affected by the experience that when he returned home he went in the attic and died a short time later. This is another touching story that turns out to be another lie. Auschwitz was liberated by the Russians not the Americans. After they were called on it, the Obama campaign said that his uncle was actually part of the unit that liberated Buchenwald. If you had a family member who had gone through such a profoundly troubling event, wouldn’t every single detail be indelibly etched in your mind? If he can make an error on such a key detail it shows either his lack of historical understanding or that he completely fabricated another life event. Some may quibble that these are small details when examined in the context of the whole, but if Obama is so willing to lie about these relatively small things it makes me wonder what other things he is willing to lie to us about.
The late, great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Even in the dark days of World War II there may have been differences of opinion on how to achieve goals but there was fundamental agreement on our need to achieve victory. I am afraid that we have now reached the point in this country where there is no longer a concept of a single objective truth. We have slipped into an alternate reality in which the “correct” position on any given issue is both dictated and reinforced by the media, and the American Electorate is too preoccupied watching “American Idol” to even notice the deception.
I like to think of myself as an informed individual who does research before reaching a conclusion. I obtain information from a variety of sources such as newspapers, radio, television and websites to identify the relevant issues. So it is more than a little disconcerting to realize that my vote can be cancelled out by someone whose entire grasp of the issues consists of repeatedly chanting “Yes We Can” like a Parrot on Prozac. Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but “Hope” is not a public policy and “Change” for its own sake is potentially destructive. As I watch it all unfold I can no longer stand the frustration of watching the very real possibility that we could hand over the reins of power to an empty suit Socialist who speaks in bumper sticker slogans while leaving out any details that would allow us to make an informed choice about his qualifications and policies. This is a man who was described in the Democrat debates by both Hillary Clinton and his own running mate Joe Biden as unqualified to be President.
I have reached the point where I can no longer stay engaged in this campaign and hope to maintain my own sanity. I can either start yelling at the television like an old guy in Miami, or I can do something about it and move on. I began writing this as a thought piece to myself to blow off some steam and it quickly grew to over 4,000 words. I have decided to release it to people whose opinions I value, regardless of their position on the political spectrum. Why am I doing this? Well, for one thing it’s much cheaper than therapy. Maybe I have a compelling need to tell everyone that I can see the man behind the curtain so I can’t be blamed if it all comes crashing down on Election Day. Or maybe I just wonder if I’m the only one who sees what’s going on here and how dangerous it is for our future. Regardless, after releasing this I am going dark and avoiding all news broadcasts, political blogs and electoral maps. If we are indeed about to slip into Socialism, I’m not going to spend the next three weeks beating myself up about it.
Is it just me, or is anyone else tired of hearing why we should care what the “Independent” and “Undecided” voters think about this election? To me it all just amounts to massive pandering to a group of people who have no core convictions. Why does somebody who puts more thought into what they want from the salad bar than their choice for President get to decide for the rest of us? Even more frightening is the prospect that people are voting for Obama without even knowing or caring about his positions. Howard Stern recently aired an unintentionally enlightening piece in which Obama supporters were asked if they agreed with his positions on certain issues. Even when the positions described were actually John McCain’s, they were all still enthusiastic in their support for Obama. Behold the ACORN voters!
The average American who receives their information only from newspapers and the network news is missing out on a lot of information that would shed some light on Barack Obama. For example, the media have failed to examine Obama’s fascination with Saul Alinsky, a 1960’s activist who is known as the “father of modern American radicalism”. Alinsky wrote a book called “Rules for Radicals”, a handbook on how to bring down American institutions. The Obama campaign has adopted many of Alinsky’s tactics and he and his wife Michelle frequently use Alinsky quotes in their speeches.
Then there are the troubling questions about the extent of Obama’s connections with William Ayres, a member of the Weathermen who bombed New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, the United States Capitol building in 1971, and The Pentagon in 1972. Ayres remains unrepentant to this day and, in a New York Times interview ironically published on September 11, 2001, regrets that he wasn’t able to do more.
Ayers is a fixture in liberal Chicago politics and Obama launched his campaign for the Illinois State Senate at a reception at Ayres’ home. During the current Presidential campaign, Obama initially claimed not to know Ayers and said that he was “just a guy in the neighborhood”. In fact Obama and Ayers had worked closely together for seven years on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Project, an attempt to “transform” the Chicago school system and radicalize students at an early age. Attempts to research the exact connection between Obama and Ayers have been unsuccessful since the University of Illinois is blocking access the all records pertaining to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Obama and Ayers also worked together in another non profit organization, the Woods Fund. Some recipients of Woods Fund grants included an Arab group that calls for the extermination of Israel and providing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and Jeremiah Wright’s church. If Obama were applying for a government job he couldn’t receive a security clearance based on his relationship with William Ayers alone, yet he is poised to receive the ultimate security clearance of the Presidency.
The Obama campaign would also have us believe that he sat in the pew for 20 years listening to the racist sermons of Reverend Wright without having it affect his world view. Obama initially denied ever having heard Wright deliver a racist sermon and said he could “no more deny Reverend Wright than I could deny the black community.” After several videos of Wright’s inflammatory sermons (produced by Wright’s own church) came to light, Obama quickly threw Wright under the bus by denouncing his words while still not admitting to having heard them himself.
Obama would also like us to ignore his relationship with convinced Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko who assisted Obama in getting his house at a below market rate. Obama reciprocated by rewriting the Chicago low income housing rules to allow Rezko to make millions of dollars by providing substandard low income housing units which now lie boarded up and vacant. Is there any doubt that if John McCain had engaged in any one of these activities he would have long since been forced to withdraw from the campaign. Why is it too much to ask that the networks take a few reporters off of the very important task of digging up dirt on Bristol Palin’s pregnancy or interviewing the prison camp commander of the Hanoi Hilton prison camp and send them to Chicago to look into Obama’s relationships?
Despite the ample evidence of Obama’s shady associations, the recent events in the credit market may serve to be the final game changer in this campaign. The unfortunate fact of political life is that economic uncertainty will usually favor the party that does not currently hold the Whitehouse. However the subprime mortgage meltdown, precipitated in large part by the failures in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were caused precisely by the policies that Barack Obama would perpetuate. While some are ready to describe the credit meltdown as a failure of Capitalism, the real failure lies in the government’s manipulation of the financial markets in order to enact social policy. Based on the faulty premise that home ownership is a right regardless of ability to pay, banks were required under Fannie and Freddie to make loans by a government policy that any third grader on the playground knows is doomed to failure; you don’t lend money to someone who will not pay you back. Fannie and Freddie hid their activities with fraudulent accounting practices that would have landed the CEO of any public corporation in prison. They also bought some influential friends in Congress with large campaign contributions, including the Democrat Presidential candidate. Barack Obama is the second highest recipient of Fannie Mae campaign contributions over the last 10 years although he has served in the Senate for only a little over three years. How, exactly, does this qualify him to clean up the mess?
If you believe nothing else about who is truly culpable in the Fannie and Freddie debacle, ask yourself the following question. Our current congress has shown a willingness to call for an investigation of wrongdoing in the Dog Catcher’s office if a conservative or republican is in any way involved. Why are they so reticent to get to the bottom of the single largest financial failure in U.S history?
I also have to wonder why same media that two years ago were providing nonstop coverage of every detail of the allegations against Congressman Mark Foley are now strangely silent on what caused the greatest financial collapse in American history. I guess it’s probably the same reason they told us in 2004 that we absolutely needed to elect a president who had served in Viet Nam while imposing no such requirement in this election; they need to help their chosen candidate. The media are determined to get Obama across the finish line even if they have to drag him. This just in; Florida Democrat Congressman Tim Mahoney (no relation) who defeated Mark Foley in 2006 by promising “a world that is safer, more moral” is himself involved in a sex scandal. Mahoney agreed to pay $121,000 to a former mistress who had worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him He also promised the woman a $50,000 a year job for two years at the agency that handles his campaign advertising. What’s that? You didn’t hear anything about this on the evening news? I’m not surprised.
This is just a small part of the shameful conduct the media has displayed in this election cycle. When looking back, future historians will note that journalist dropped any remaining pretense of objectivity during this election cycle and shamelessly and openly supported a presidential candidate. We saw one reporter who went from raising legitimate concerns about Obama’s lack of experience back in February 2008 to having tingles going up his leg upon hearing an Obama speech only a few months later. We had another reported who has an actual financial interest in seeing Obama elected to help sales of her book being allowed to moderate the Vice Presidential debates.
John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate has forced the media and liberals into providing us with a number of through-the-looking-glass moments that reveal their true character. For example, we have now been told that a woman who got ahead by means of her own ambition and drive and (not on her husband’s name) to serve two terms on city council, two terms as mayor and currently as governor is unqualified to serve as Vice President while a man who was a “community organizer” and served a total of 143 days as a U.S. Senator is unquestionably qualified to be Commander in Chief. After lecturing us for the past 30 years that women can have it all with both a family and a career, liberals are suddenly concerned that Sarah Palin might not be able to give adequate attention to her children because of the demands of being Vice President. Finally, Obama supporters openly call her the most horrible of names that would never be tolerated if said by conservatives about women or any other minority.
That’s it for now. In my next installment I’ll examine what an Obama Presidency would mean for our country. Let me know your thoughts about the election and feel free to share this with your friends if you like. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.