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.
…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.”