Monday, April 14, 2008

The Unsustainable Obama Bubble

Barack Obama’s new age presidential campaign balloon has sprung a leak. It thus far has been kept aloft largely by people eager to elevate a well spoken and physically attractive young black man (irrespective of his qualifications) whose candidacy makes them feel good by convincing them it proves they are free of racism, and by the ability of the junior senator from Illinois to play on those widespread desires and motives among idealistic but naive young people and perpetually hallucinating liberal extremists.

The bubble probably won’t deflate quickly enough to prevent him from getting his party’s nomination. But by November, assuming that Senator Obama is the Democrat candidate, it will be so flat that he will be swamped in the general election by a margin similar to that by which George McGovern lost to Richard Nixon in 1972. It is noteworthy Obama's base of support is the same elitist one that propelled Senator McGovern to the party's candidacy and led to the party's ensuing debacle 36 years ago.

The senator will reach his highest poll ratings immediately after delivering what undoubtedly will an articulate speech (or perhaps merely a glib performance) accepting his nomination and before the American electorate begins seriously scrutinizing him, his record, and his beliefs. Notwithstanding the contortions that the mainstream media will go through to obscure and put a favorable spin on these things, the seepage will gradually but inexorably become a flood once that examination begins in earnest.

Even now, the process has begun and is gaining momentum.

The initial impetus for it was the revelation that Senator Obama spent more than two decades listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright spew hatred. The hatred was directed toward America, toward America’s white citizens, toward Jews, toward Israel. The senator expressed disagreement with the Rev. Mr. Wright’s vitriol and venom only after the pastor’s vicious rhetoric became public. Then the would be president said that he would have left his church had not his former pastor done so after his racist rhetoric and bigotry became publicly known.

The nation’s big media of course sought to put the best possible face on the speech in which Senator Obama attempted to lay to rest the questions raised by his long association with the Rev. Mr. Wright. In doing so, the media were curiously uncurious enough to ask any potentially embarrassing questions. They might, for example, have asked why the senator initially claimed he hadn’t been aware of what his pastor had been saying, and expressed disapproval of the invective only after that effort proved untenable. An even mildly skeptical press might have asked the senator why he had not expressed disagreement with the reverend’s statements when or soon after they were made in his presence. Even a cub reporter might have inquired about why, after having heard what the Rev. Mr. Wright was saying for all those years he had chosen the pastor to officiate at his wedding, to baptize his children, to preach to his children, to serve as an adviser and a member of one of his campaign committees.

It appears inescapable that Senator Obama regrets not his relationship with the minister whom he has described as a close friend, spiritual advisor, and mentor, or with the minister’s despicable views. What he regrets is that those relationships and their implications have become known to the voting public.

Adding weight to the reservations about the senator stemming from the relationship with his pastor is the fact that the Rev. Mr. Wright’s views are so closely aligned with what has come to light about how his wife views our country. It is not merely her statement about becoming proud of America for the first time in her adult life only as her husband’s candidacy gained traction. Damaging attention is certainly going to focus on racially charged statements and clear expressions of angry antipathy for America contained in her college thesis.

Other unsavory associations are going to receive closer scrutiny and prove damaging to the senator’s candidacy. Questions that warrant and will receive examinations are those he reportedly has had with such unsavory characters as:

• Louis Farrakahm, the anti-white leader of the Nation of Islam,

• Tony Rezko, the shadowy Chicago dealmaker and Obama campaign contributor who is now under indictment, and

• Bill Ayers, who (i) in 1969, as a Weather Underground terrorist brought the “Days of Rage” to Chicago, (ii) in 1970,said “kill all the rich people, break up their cars and apartments, bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that where it’s really at, (iii) in 1971participated in a bombing of the pentagon, and (iv) in 2001 told the New York Times “I don’t regret setting bombs, I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Thus far, these associations have garnered only the most cursory attention, but that cannot and will not continue in the course of a general election campaign. It is not ascribing guilt to any individual by association to note that one is known by and for the company he keeps. Of greater importance in Senator Obama’s case is the fact that his associations inevitably will also bring into focus, clarify, and explain extremist views that he shares with his party's farthermost left fringe and that he has used his oratorical prowess, to obscure or, at most, keep very vague.

The same factors also will bring to the attention of the voting public that apart from his rhetorical skills the junior senator from Illinois lacks any qualifications for the presidency. His record will be recognized as being devoid of any substantive accomplishments or achievements other than those that have been bestowed upon him as racial preferences.

In any case, it is my strongly held opinion that as they become known, neither Senator Obama’s associations nor his record, nor his views will be acceptable to American voters.

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