Clarifying the deeper problems with Barack Obama

What is so unsettling about Barack Obama?
Jay Nordlinger says:

…What’s depressing, to a person like me, is that Obama has mastered the trick of coming off as perfectly moderate — even when your career and thought have been very different. Listening to Obama last night, you would have taken him to be a Sam Nunn, David Boren type. No ACORN, no Ayers, no Wright, no community-organizin’ radicalism, no nothing. He certainly knows what it takes to appeal to people in a general election. Then, once he’s in — if he gets in — he will govern as far to the left as possible…

I agree with much of what Nordlinger says but think the issue requires further elaboration.
Underneath Obama’s very liberal tax-and-spend policies which – for some of us – would be reason alone not to support him, there are some deeper philosophical problems with Obama’s world view, a troubling world view which he layers on top of a track record devoid of tangible accomplishments. The differences in his world view from mainstream American values are not like the differences between Ford Republicans and Reagan Republicans or what used to be differences between Scoop Jackson Dems and other Dems years ago.
Why is this important? Because, since no one can predict today what world events will occur in the next four years, understanding Obama’s world view offers insights into how he might approach issues should he be elected President.
There are many unanswered and disturbing questions about Obama’s radical associations, associations unparalleled in the history of a major party candidate for President. These associations have been written about in various places such as here and here. More links can be found here, here, and here. Add to that spending 20 years attending a church whose pastor preached hatred of America, including getting married there and having children baptized there.
No less significant is Obama’s prior affiliation with ACORN. More here.
Then there is his association with convicted felon Tony Rezko and questions about Obama’s house purchase.
More on Obama’s poor judgment in selecting associates here.
This heritage of radical associations translates periodically into Obama articulating an unsettling post-modern and relativistic view of the country he says he wants to lead, as he did in last Friday’s debate:

…But then Obama concludes [the first debate] by saying “I don’t think any of us can say that our standing in the world now, the way children around the world look at the United States, is the same.” CLANG. He then states, reminiscent of Kerry’s “Global Test”, that we need to “show the world that we will invest in education” and “things that will allow people to live their dreams”.
The Obama campaign spent months countering Michelle Obama’s “for the first time in my life I’m proud of my country” statement and then Obama himself suggests our ideals and values don’t inspire the world, and that we ourselves realize our values and ideals are suspect.
Criticizing George Bush or any of our other political leaders is one thing. Contending America’s ideals and values are somehow suspect is a breathtaking statement for a prospective commander in chief to make, especially when thousands of Americans have given life and limb, sons and daughters, in brave demonstration of our ideals and values.
In case Mr. Obama missed it, millions remain sufficiently inspired to try to come to America; our values and ideals still cause the rest of the world to look to us first whenever there’s a crisis. And we always respond.
Like Obama and millions of other Americans, my father also came to America from another country. Not after writing letters trying to come to a prestigious college here, but after escaping from the death squads of the Soviet empire. Once here, he saluted the American flag every single day. And although he has since passed, I’m certain he’d marvel at our ideals and values today. He’d hold Obama’s statement in contempt.
Insulting the values and ideals of America may be fashionable in the salons occupied by William Ayers and Rev. Wright. It may be a matter of course at swanky fundraisers in San Francisco attended by pampered glitterati. But it’s not something likely to fly with those who expect their president to have unwavering pride in America and the sacrifices of its best and bravest.

No less unsettling are the instances of how his campaign seeks to silence criticism from domestic opponents via Alinsky-Chicago thuggery, with the latest examples being here, here (follow the links), here, and here.
Steyn writes:

…As Stanley Kurtz, Milt Rosenberg and David Freddoso can tell you, this pattern is well established: The Obama campaign’s response to uncongenial allegations is not to rebut them but to use its muscle to squash the authors. This is especially true when it comes to attempts to lift the curtain however briefly on the Senator’s mysterious past

Even more from Stanley Kurtz here:

…As I point out in “Not Without a Fight,” what really protects free speech here in the United States is the value we place upon it, and the shame we would feel handling criticism by way of law suits. When it comes to silencing critics, on the other hand, the Obama campaign appears to have no shame. That augers poorly for the culture of free exchange. As Tocqueville reminds us, habits of the heart, even more than the law itself, stand as our most important protections against tyranny. If Obama continues to break one free-speech taboo after another, the law will surely follow.
So continued media silence on Obama’s intimidation tactics threatens not only the fairness of this election, but press freedom itself. Yet to defend the freedom of the right as if it were their own is something our left-leaning press has forgotten how to do.

And if Stalinist-type intimidation isn’t used against its domestic opponents, the Obama campaign has been willing to play the race card all while claiming it is the other side which is playing the race card, a cynical move that would make George Orwell smirk.
While he tries to silence domestic opponents in a most un-American way, Obama has said he is willing to meet with Castro, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, etc. – dictators committed to destroying freedom and America – and to do so without preconditions in the first year of his presidency.
Furthermore, even as he is willing to meet with the tyrants of this world, it is particularly disturbing that Obama is unwilling to come out and stand up for America’s interests in the broader world:

…Saturday, before the Sportsmen Alliance, John McCain had this to say:

I noticed during our debate that even as American troops are fighting on two fronts, Barack Obama couldn’t bring himself to use the word “victory” even once. The Obama campaign saved that word for the spin room, where they tried to convince themselves and others that their man had left the stage victorious. Well, maybe this attitude helps explain why it wasn’t such a good night for my opponent. When Americans look at a candidate, they can tell the difference between mere self-confidence and an abiding confidence in our country. They know that the troops who are bravely fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan want to come home in victory and in honor. And we need a president who shares their confidence — a commander in chief who believes that victory for America will be achieved.

McCain has a point. With the help of the nifty “Speech Wars” tool, I checked on Barck Obama. It appears that Obama didn’t use the word “victory” in his Denver speech either. It is simply not something he says much. (You have to go back to the Berlin speech to find “victory” in an Obama speech – generally referring to what we did in the past.)
Should that concern voters? Only if you think our national security requires victory over determined enemies. If you think it’s all about getting along and making ourselves understood or convincing others to like us, this should be of no concern.

Just to add a bit more to the picture, Charles Krauthammer documents all of Obama’s recent policy flip-flops and concludes:

…When it’s time to throw campaign finance reform, telecom accountability, NAFTA renegotiation or Jeremiah Wright overboard, Obama is not sentimental. He does not hesitate. He tosses lustily.
Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in Philadelphia — only to haul her back on deck now that her services are needed. Yesterday, granny was the moral equivalent of the raving Reverend Wright. Today, she is a featured prop in Obama’s fuzzy-wuzzy get-to-know-me national TV ad.
Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he’s finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.

On top of all these issues, Peter Robinson comments on the personal character issue of Obama’s lack of any sense of humor:

…What Barack Obama lacks is simple–and a lot more important than it might seem: a sense of humor.
Evident throughout his campaign for the Democratic nomination–can you recall a single Obama witticism?–this proved especially striking at his party’s convention. In an acceptance speech of some 4,600 words, Obama provided not a single good laugh…
Gov. Palin’s performance undermined Sen. Obama in two ways. It made him appear prim and self-serious by comparison. And it thoroughly unnerved the man…Even now, more than two weeks later, he has yet to employ humor effectively. Instead he has “sharpened his speeches,” to quote the Associated Press, adding “bite.” Obama can take a blow. What he can’t take is a joke…
Humor reveals character. It shows voters that a candidate possesses a certain fundamental confidence in himself and in the country. It demonstrates that he’s in command…

Newt Gringrich offers another take on Obama’s non-existent track of record of accomplishments, noting how all Obama has ever done is talk and write about himself.
And when talk by Obama about his candidacy includes messianic wording like this

…I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.

it is enough to make one agree with the commentator who stated: “Maybe Obama thinks he is running for dictator or he thinks he is the messiah. Does he even know that our system of government was not designed for this type of radical change?…This is just Kool Aid Cult stuff.”
If you had asked me how I was going to vote just over one month ago, I would have told you that I was seriously considering sitting out this election. That I had no particular liking for either presidential candidate. I still don’t care for McCain.
But now I must say that the more I learn about Obama, the more frightening it is to consider him leading our great country in an increasing hostile world.
In the Comments section, TomW provides a link to this IBD series about Obama.
A friend writes these words after reading the post: “Very nice. But I must say that nothing is more convincing of the danger of Obama than reading the Audacity of Hope, which I did a week ago. Anyone who can suffer through that and not be persuaded that this is a very dangerous, if slyly talented man, must be a pre-determined convert.”

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Tom W
Tom W
15 years ago

I despise the RINO McCain, but when one examines Obama’s background he is out and out frightening.
Investor’s Business Daily has been running a great series exposing his radical background and beliefs (and thus true agenda should he fool the electorate and slide into office). The series is called “The Audacity of Socialism” and is available here:
Read this series and what Don has posted / linked to, and then query why the “mainstream media” has placed a self-imposed gag order on itself regarding Obama’s background and worldview … and compare with the kind of “scrutiny” they’re deploying against second on the ticket Sarah Palin.
Let us hope that in October some stalwart “527’s” begin running ads exposing this, dare I say, communist mole.

15 years ago

“Obama has said he is willing to meet with Castro, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, etc.”
Yet military action is apparently the preferred course in Pakistan. How does the senator know when to talk to bad guys and when to turn to military force?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

Monique-he doesn’t.
If elected,Obama will reveal himself as a weak man to the wrong people and they will take it to mean America is weak-and they will do something so drastic that Obama,backed into a corner will overreact.Bad,bad scenario unless you find nuclear devastation enjoyable.
McCain is perceived as a lot of things,but not weak.Like Reagan,the bad guys will think”he might just fire a smart munition up our very own personal rectum”(remember Gadaffi?)and their behavior may become more temperate.

15 years ago

Donald B. Hawthorne
It seems that Obama performed fairly well in Washington and Missisippi and that has the right wing upset. Their worry about the election will mean more and more surrilous attacks against Obama dredging up old statements like the one you have included attributed to Michelle Obama the candidates’ spouse. This is all meant to hide the appeal to racism that will undoubtedly have a roll in this election. The authors of the smears will be careful not to cross a line where they may come under attack themselves. They will certainly try to make the case that it’s the Obama campaign that has brought race into the campaign so its open season. The appeal will not be overt. The “otherness” of Obama will be theme. His name , his heritage, his world travel, his associations , his religion will be twisted to scare and alienate readers. The more Obama sounds reasonable the more these avid ideolouges will focus on his “otherness”. The stories that continue about Obama,s faith is a cover for racism. The stories of flag pins, ministers, hands over hearts, and his spouses words are all playing to the distrust and fear that the right wing hopes to exploit. McCain’s campaign will without doubt want to raise questions of reliability, judgement, experience and that is their job. But if things get desperate for that campaign I think they will exploit these “otherness” themes in key states. Jerry Landay in today’s Providence Journal thinks that racism may influence elections by 7 percentage points. Although McCain has not been the emotional choice of the right wing racists they will help him get elected. And I think I know how they will try to do so.

15 years ago

Anybody wanna start a pool on what day the inevitable “Obama accused of affair with white woman” tale turns up in the MSM?
My guess: it’ll happen before the National Enquirer’s claim of Palin’s alleged fling with the First Dude’s ex-business partner hits the MSM.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

Rhody-there you go again-reaching into the dictionary of “progressive” talking points for an issue that doesn’t exist to bring up.
No one who is offended by interracial relationships would vote for Obama to begin with,and the rest of us don’t care about such things.
I can vote against him for a large number of valid reasons-I don’t have to go in the gutter to justify a position.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

Phil- you need spellcheck-okay,okay-I need the space bar,so we’re even-but tell me,what did you find in my comment that played to anything other than my lack of confidence in his ability to deal with the despotic maniacs who are unfortunately very well armed and angry?

Tom W
Tom W
15 years ago

>This is all meant to hide the appeal to racism that will undoubtedly have a roll in this election.
Are your referring to the racism of those who will not vote for Obama simply because he is (one-half) Black?
Or are you referring to the racism of those who will vote for Obama simply because he is (one-half) Black?

15 years ago

Nothing I wrote had anything to do with your comments. I don’t throw racist labels at people and certainly not you. Many who will vote against Obama will for reasons that in their own minds has nothing to do with race. The fact that there are those who will seek to exploit fear of change and differences and appeal to an unconcious form of racism is evident in the stories about Obama that persist. By the way I don’t care about your lack of use of the space bar but I’ll try to check the spelling if it distracts from the content. Phil
Tom W
I believe that Obama is of mixed race. The history of race in this country includes the fact that those of mixed race did not choose their own status. It was chosen for them. Miss the good old days.

Tom W
Tom W
15 years ago

>Tom W I believe that Obama is of mixed race. The history of race in this country includes the fact that those of mixed race did not choose their own status. It was chosen for them. Miss the good old days.
I don’t take issue with that.
My point is that there seems to be a “conventional wisdom” that there are people who will vote against Obama because he is Black, and that is bad … but there are people who will vote for him because he is Black, and that is good, or at least OK or understandable.
Major double standard. In the end, both are “racism.”
There are several legitimate reasons to support or oppose a candidate, but their race or ethnic makeup is not one of them.

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