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Barack Obama: The Undistinguished Gentleman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject: Barack Obama: The Undistinguished Gentleman Reply with quote

[Lots of links in the original article for every point mentioned]


http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=12526


Barack Obama: The Undistinguished Gentleman

Obama, Barada Nikto!A commenter with a fondness for science-fiction writes: why does it drive u into a frenzy that ppl believe in O and admire him?

The short answer is that it doesn’t, though it strikes me as somewhat irrational and disproportionate to his supposed public accomplishments.

From June 1985 to May 1988, Obama was a community organizer with the Developing Communities Project in Chicago, working primarily to organize a housing project called Altgeld Gardens. According to the Boston Globe:

For all its impact on Obama, Altgeld Gardens today seems far from the kind of success story politicians like to tout.

Dozens of buildings are boarded up, with fences surrounding much of the property. The roads are a potholed mess. Blinking lights illuminate a series of towers where police have mounted cameras.

That’s change you can believe in. Moreover, Hazel Johnson, who has lived at Altgeld Gardens since 1962 – and was an organizer long before Obama appeared on the scene – claims Obama has exaggerated his role in getting asbestos removed from the projects. Otherwise, Obama did not get much done — and even had difficulty explaining what a “community organizer” did.

He then departed for Harvard Law School, where he was elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. The title gained him notoriety, as reported by the New York Times:

He was approached by an agent, Jane Dystel, who got him a contract for a book. Obama missed his deadline, and Dystel promptly got him another contract and a $40,000 advance for the same book.

Obama finished the book while living in Bali.

Obama returned to Chicago, where he directed Illinois Project Vote! from April-October 1992. This was a project for ACORN — an ostensibly non-partisan (but actually partisan) voter registration group often charged with voter registration fraud. Nor was his involvement altruistic; the group would later provide the shock troops for his political campaigns.

In his first race for the state Senate in 1996, Obama employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers, thus running unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district:

“That was Chicago politics,” said John Kass, a veteran Chicago Tribune columnist. “Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right? It is how Barack Obama destroyed his enemies back in 1996 that conflicts with his message today. He may have gotten his start registering thousands of voters. But in that first race, he made sure voters had just one choice.”

Nothing illegal about it, but nothing particularly inspiring about it, either.

Though Obama served in the Illinois Senate for seven years, he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year, when Illinois Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills. During this period, he lost the 2000 Democratic primary run for the US House of Representatives to incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one.

Obama then ran for an open US Senate seat in 2004, winning after Democrat Blair Hull and Republican Jack Ryan turned out to have scandal lurking in newly-unsealed divorce records.

In the Senate, Obama points mostly to his role in the 2007 overhaul of Congressional lobbying and ethics rules — a role he has repeatedly overstated. Indeed, Obama was called out publicly by his colleagues for trying to take undeserved credit on the recent immigration reform and housing bills.

Obama also points to the Lugar-Obama nuclear non-proliferation bill — a bill so non-controversial that it was passed into law by unanimous consent. Indeed, when not trying to take credit for the work of others, Obama’s Senate record is almost entirely minor legislation, usually passed by unanimous consent or voice vote.

Obama’s presidential campaign, recognizing how threadbare his record really is, and how utterly conventional his paltform is within left-leaning politics, insists that what matters is judgment, especially with regard to invading Iraq. Jonah Goldberg recently summed up the issue of Obama’s judgment:

The problem is that it doesn’t reflect reality. Obama, who was a junior Illinois state senator from a very liberal district in Chicago and a star parishioner of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s Trinity United Church of Christ when the country was debating invading Iraq, would have voters believe that he carefully weighed the pros and cons and concluded it would be a bad idea.

***

But, even if you want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, it’s hard to give him the benefit of the facts.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama said he would “unequivocally” oppose President Bush on the war. But once in office, he voted for every war-funding bill — until he decided to run for president.

After the invasion, Obama did not favor an immediate pullout from Iraq. On July 27, 2004, the day after he delivered his brilliant keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, he told the Chicago Tribune that when it came to the war, “there’s not much of a difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage.” In other words, while he opposed the war, he was now committed to seeing it through. That was hardly the position of Moveon.org and other progressive outfits at the time.

During the long battle for the Democratic nomination, however, Obama’s position evolved (or devolved) into a consistent call for withdrawal in order to differentiate himself from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I would add that his position in 2004 just coincidentally dovetailed with support for the Kerry-Edwards ticket; both had voted to authorize the invasion. But when it came time to run for higher office, he constantly attacked Hillary Clinton for having made the same votes as Kerry and Edwards. That is very conventional politics, not “change we can believe in.” His flexibility here says as much about his judgment as his 20-year membership at what he knew was a radical church from the outset.

This leaves Obama’s organizational skill, which I have praised before — though not without noting that his campaign was seeded with venture capital from George Soros and the usual Wall Street wheelers and dealers. He was able to defeat Hillary Clinton — another candidate with much more name recognition than record — by putting together a coalition of Hart and Jackson voters against the remainders of a Mondale coalition, with a strategy lifted from the 1972 McGovern campaign. It was no small feat, though the incompetence of the Clinton campaign was also a factor here.

Finally, there is his oratorical skill. Much of Obama’s lofty message of unity and hope really came from campaign consultant David Axelrod, who “long ago hatched the idea that Democrats’ campaigns should revolve more around personality than policy.” Indeed, much of the rhetoric was already test-driven in 2006 by one of Axelrod’s other clients, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. Not that such themes are in any way unique to American presidential politics, as demonstrated by Bill “The Man from Hope” Clinton and George W. “Uniter, not a Divider” Bush.

As I have repeatedly noted here at pw, the candidacies of Obama and John McCain are driven by voters pursuing a mirage of changeyness where bipartisanship reigns and the “moneyed special interests” vanish. And we should Hope that it is a mirage:

The appeal is vague precisely because it is illusory… The Framers of the US Constitution recognized – as James Madison explained in Federalist No. 10 – that factions are one of the costs of liberty. There is nothing high-minded about selling the notion that faction can be magically eliminated — a notion that is equal parts snake oil and tyranny.

Again, there is not much to admire in either snake oil, tyranny or flowery speeches trying to sell either. Moreover, remove Obama from a TelePrompTer and he is every bit the gaffer as any other average politician, though few have had the audacity to base their foreign policy on a debate gaffe.

In sum, Barack Obama’s record, judgment and message are at best entirely undistinguished in the field of presidential politics. At worst, we have Axelrod’s campaign of personality attracting a cult of followers so creepy that even many Obama backers are put off by it, to a man who admits he is a “blank screen,” with a message that is either illusory or tyrannical. It is in those people that I find little to admire.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Catholic Case Against Barack

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=27992

In the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama rolled up more than 90 percent of the African-American vote. Among Catholics, he lost by 40 points. The cool liberal Harvard Law grad was not a good fit for the socially conservative ethnics of Altoona, Aliquippa and Johnstown.

But if Barack had a problem with Catholics then, he has a far higher hurdle to surmount in the fall, with those millions of Catholics who still take their faith and moral code seriously.

For not only is Barack the most pro-abortion member of the Senate, with his straight A+ report card from the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He supports the late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion, where the baby's skull is stabbed with scissors in the birth canal and the brains are sucked out to end its life swiftly and ease passage of the corpse into the pan.

Partial-birth abortion, said the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, "comes as close to infanticide as anything I have seen in our judiciary."

Yet, when Congress was voting to ban this terrible form of death for a mature fetus, Michelle Obama was signing fundraising letters pledging that, if elected, Barack would be "tireless" in keeping legal this "legitimate medical procedure."

And Barack did not let the militants down. When the Supreme Court upheld the congressional ban on this barbaric procedure, Barack denounced the court for denying "equal rights for women."

As David Freddoso reports in his new best-seller, "The Case Against Barack Obama," the Illinois senator goes further than any U.S. senator has dared go in defending what John Paul II called the "culture of death."

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.

How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her -- but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath?

How is it essential for the life or health of a woman that her baby, who somehow survived the horrible ordeal of abortion, be left to die or put to death? Yet, that is what Obama voted for, thrice, in the Illinois Senate.

When a bill almost identical to the one Barack fought in Illinois, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, came to the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2001, the vote was 98 to 0 in favor. Barbara Boxer, the most pro-abortion member of the Senate before Barack came, spoke out on its behalf:

"Of course, we believe everyone should deserve the protection of this bill. ... Who could be more vulnerable than a newborn baby? So, of course, we agree with that. ... We join with an 'aye' vote on this. I hope it will, in fact, be unanimous."

Obama says he opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act because he feared it might imperil Roe v. Wade. But if Roe v. Wade did allow infanticide or murder, which is what letting a tiny baby die of neglect or killing it outright amounts to, why would he not want that court decision reviewed and amended to outlaw infanticide?

Is the right to an abortion so sacrosanct to Obama that killing by neglect or snuffing out of the life of tiny babies outside the womb must be protected if necessary to preserve that right?
Obama is an abortion absolutist. "I could find no instance in his entire career," writes Freddoso, "in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion."

In 2007, Barack pledged that, in his first act as president, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would cancel every federal, state or local regulation or restriction on abortion. The National Organization for Women says it would abolish all restrictions on government funding of abortion.

What we once called God's Country would become the nation on earth most zealously committed to an unrestricted right of abortion from conception to birth.

Before any devout Catholic, Evangelical Christian or Orthodox Jew votes for Obama, he or she might spend 15 minutes in Chapter 10 of Freddoso's "Case Against Barack." For if, as Catholics believe, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, and participation in an abortion entails automatic excommunication, how can a good Catholic support a candidate who will appoint justices to make Roe v. Wade eternal and eliminate all restrictions on a practice Catholics legislators have fought for three decades to curtail?

And which Catholic priests and prelates will it be who give invocations at Obama rallies, even as Mother Church fights to save the lives of unborn children whom Obama believes have no right to life and no rights at all?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, in some pretty emotive writing, we discover that Obama exaggerated his own efforts in doing good, voted for war funding even though he said he opposed the war, makes peronality-filled but otherwise empty political speeches, and supports even late-term and partial birth abortion?

(Did I miss anything?)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's the Anti-Christ. I thought we covered this.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, stabbing babies in the head with scissors...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I thought we had gotten away from the old One Issue Rhetoric this year. He probably likes The Gays as well.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And once again, the Obamistas use ridicule to divert attention from the fact hat they can't answer these questions.

Been studying the GOP playbook I see. My, how you've grown.....
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um, he's a Pro Abortion Dem. What's to answer?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What questions? Statements of opinion based on (apparently) known facts. There aren't any questions about these, other than, (I imagine) the usual ones about whether he should be president or not. (And the obvious, but I'm assuming it's all true.)

It's not putting anyone on the spot that I can see. It's just another "reasons not to vote for him."

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
And once again, the Obamistas use ridicule to divert attention from the fact hat they can't answer these questions.
I could equally point out that, once again, the McCaingelicals are using quantity of posts to compensate for issues-related data. I could flood the Tank with every anti-McCain article I could find, too. There's really no point in it, unless your fishing for an argument.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I could equally point out that, once again, the McCaingelicals are using quantity of posts to compensate for issues-related data. I could flood the Tank with every anti-McCain article I could find, too.


Two posts each citing Obama's voting record and seldom mentioned (that I've seen anyway) background history is hardly a "flood".
And you might want to check my previous posts before giving me a "McCaingelicals" title.
I doubt I've even voting this year he depresses me so much.

wayfriend wrote:
There's really no point in it, unless your fishing for an argument.


Is that what I'm doing Wayfriend?
"fishing for an argument"?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plissken wrote:
Yeah, I thought we had gotten away from the old One Issue Rhetoric this year. He probably likes The Gays as well.



I thought posting about his voting record would be of interest.
Obama supporters can put their heads back in the sand now I guess.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, a thread is a thread, easy on with the labels guys.

To be honest though, there's only two comments on his voting record...the stuff about the war-funding and the abortion issue. And a whole lotta other stuff. It's little wonder that the articles don't come across as being about that. Hell, they don't even pretend to be about that.

A little bit of posting about what in the articles you thought was important woulda made it easier too...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
What questions? Statements of opinion based on (apparently) known facts. There aren't any questions about these, other than, (I imagine) the usual ones about whether he should be president or not. (And the obvious, but I'm assuming it's all true.)

It's not putting anyone on the spot that I can see. It's just another "reasons not to vote for him."

--A


I found his stance on abortion and his paucity of experience illustrated in the two articles I posted above interesting.
Neither of which I had read about too much, (the abortion part not at all) in the media or the Tank.
If this was already discussed in exhaustive detail so that everyone is tired of talking about it in other threads that I missed then I apologize.
Still it sums it up rather nicely (and emotively Wink ) what others might not have read before.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very emotively. Very Happy No worries...just had no idea what the focus was supposed to be on, hence the general assumption that it was nothing new. (I don't think it's been discussed elsewhere...)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, just so we're covered:

1) Obama has very little experience at the Federal level. If Dubya got to use the phrase "Washington outsider," it was just because Daddy liked Jeb better, so we'll let Obama use it as well.

2) Obama is Pro Choice. And a Democrat. He also likes Universal Healthcare, Equal Rights, Civil Rights, Unions, etc. This is not news.

3) We get it. No one actually likes McCain. Except the more rabid Hilary supporters. In lieu of actually posting something positive about the 'Pub candidate (which no one really expects), the Righties will be throwing up negative OpEds about Obama on topics as wide-ranging and diverse as His Secret Gay Murder Scandal, His Secret Foreign Citizenship, His Jacket Jewelry, and Whatever Else Might Stick.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roll on bloody November...LOL At least then we can talk about something else.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not dismissing the warts on Barack Obama. Frankly, I assume that anyone who has risen as far as he has almost certainly has got some kind of dirty laundry.

Neither do I consider that a bad thing. Every single great president this country has had has deserved the title "sneaky son of a b*tch".

The man is not a saint. He is an inspirational person who has managed to run things under his purview quite well. While I've no reason to think he'll be a great president, I do think him a clearly better choice than his opponent at this time.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Persoanlly, I'm in favour of him just for the change...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'd really like is to focus on policy issues. I'd like some articles about the candidates the Righties are actually enthusiastic about. There are 30 some odd seats in the Legislature up this November as well, you know.
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