Twenty-Two Reasons To Vote Against Obama
By: Herb Denenberg, The Bulletin
The mainstream media continue to deteriorate into a world of slime and sleaze with their assault on Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for vice president. They are picking up on lies manufactured in the blogosphere by hate groups such as the Daily Kos, and are transmuting rumors, speculations and outright lies into front-page smears disguised as hard news. As usual, the New York Times (September 2, 2008) has led the way with two front page storie s and a third on a full-page inside. The journalism of the New York Times now makes the supermarket tabloids look good by comparison.
Yes, the biased, slime merchants at the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the rest of the mainstream media have spent more time vetting and investigating the 17-year old pregnant daughter of Sarah Palin then they have investigating Sen. Barack Obama, a candidate for president. They have spent more time investigating a 22-year old DUI incident of Mrs. Palin's husband than they have spent investigating Sen. Obama's illegal use of cocaine and his admitted boozing and his long-time association with terrorists and racists. They give Obama a free pass but look at Palin's daughter as if the daughter is on the ticket.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson was right on target when he said the mainstream media and its partner, the Democratic Party, are so in fear of defeat after the announcement of the McCain/Palin ticket that they are going ever deeper into the journalistic sewer to discredit Gov. Palin. I keep saying the mainstream media has hit rock bottom, but it conti nues to sink lower into the journalistic sewer. They are now clearly so devoid of journalistic principles, honesty and fairness that they will do anything. They are at bottom and can't sink lower.
Now here's 22 reasons to vote against Mr. Obama and for McCain/Palin.
- Sen. Obama gives flowery speeches on change and hope. But he's part of one of the most corrupt political machines of all time. And instead of fighting and trying to reform the corrupt Chicago Cook County political machine, he used it to rise to power. When reformers tried to fight it, Mr. Obama refused to help them and actually was instrumental in defeating the reform movement. He preaches a new kind of politics but supports and uses one of the worst political machines in the U.S.
- He led the battle in the Illinois legislature to assure that born-alive infants would not be treated as persons and would not be entitled to medical care. Instead, if Sen. Obama had his way, such babies born alive after a botched abortion would be left to die, thus legalizing what apears to be infanticide and murder.
- When he first responded to Russia's invasion of Georgia, he said that aggression was wrong, but the U.S. would be in a better position if we set a good example. Thus he made it clear he was drawing a moral equivalence between Russia's aggression and the U.S.'s liberation of Iraq, which had violated 17 United Nations resolutions. This reaction alone, suggests not merely bad judgment but apparently no judgment at all. Then after giving it more thought, his second response was turning the matter over to the United Nations. That of course was a stupid idea as Russia has a veto in the Security Council.
- He sat in the pews of the Trinity Church in Chicago, listening to a notorious racist, bigot and anti-American, Rev. Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright, without a peep of protest. He did not leave the church until Rev. Wright said Obama is just another politician who says what he has to say. And that move was dictated by political considerations, not any moral outrage.
- He started his political career in a fund-raiser in the home of William Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist and anti-American. He still hasn't denounced him but says Mr. Ayers is now a member of the Chicago Democratic mainstream. He still maintains a friendly relationship with him, has served on a board with him, and has participated in speaking panels with him.
- He refused to wear a flag on his lapel, claiming he viewed it as a symbol of false patriotism employed after 9/11. He started wearing the flag only when he was embarrassed into doing so under political pressure. At that time he suddenly started ending his speeches with the words "God Bless America."
- He got an earmark appropriation from Congress for his wife's employer, the University of Chicago Medical Center. When questioned on the appearance of conflict of interest, he said there was nothing improper about that but he should have gone to his fellow Illinois Sen. Dick Durban, to put the appropriation through. In other words, if there is an appearance of conflict of interest, you should hide it somehow instead of avoiding what creates such appearance. This is a pattern: saying one thing and doing the opposite. When he started to run for the presidency, he stopped putting in earmarks. As is his usual pattern, he started doing the right thing for election purposes only. So judge him by his record, not moves that are merely campaign calculation.
- He favors increasing the capital gains tax, even though he admitted it will not raise tax revenue, but cut it instead. He justifies such an irrational move, out of what he calls a sense of fairness. That would mean less tax revenue, higher deficits and less incentive for saving, investment, capital formation, economic growth, and creation.
- He called for negotiations without preconditions with the Ahmadinejad of Iran, Chavez of Venzuela, and Castro of Cuba. Even Senator Obama recognized the folly of this idea, so he backed off of it after an explosion of criticism. He thinks sweet talk solves all problems, and when a problem calls for something beyond sweet talk, he 's stumped. He speaks loudly and often, but carries a toothpick-size stick which he is afraid to use. Another example of Mr. Obama's naiveté was his comment that Iran is a small country not to be feared.
- He opposed the surge, said it would fail, and even after it was almost universally acclaimed to be a success, he refuses to admit the surge succeed ed.
- He called for withdrawal from Iraq, in effect, calling for retreat and defeat, which would have turned over the Middle East and much of the world's oil supplies to terrorists and their supporters in Iran.
- He associated with and made a land deal with convicted felon, Tony Rezko, even knowing he was under serious investigation. He admitted this was what he called a boneheaded mistake. Mr. Obama seems incapable of judging his associates, as his close and friendly encounters with the hate-America and terrorist crowd suggests. Even an otherwise friendly biographer, said he is at home with the hate-America types.
- He claims he will bring all sides together but he has never shown any signs or symptoms of bipartisanship. His record is that of a far-left liberal, the most liberal of any member of the U.S. Senate. He goes down the party line, and never reaches across the aisle.
- He claims he will bring change to Washington, but picks a long-term Washington insider, Sen. Joe Biden, who has been in the Senate for decades, and is rated the third most liberal in the U.S. Senate. He claims he'll be the agent of change, but in his acceptance speech he catalogs the tired left-wing Democratic agenda, that has been regurgitated every four years for decades. He talks change but dishes up only the old liberal dishes, which have been rejected by voters many times from McGovern to Carter, and which have failed when implementation was attempted. If Mr. Obama wins the White House, he is likely to have a veto proof Congress, which mean all of his left-loony proposals would probably become law. Electoral history suggests Americans don't go for such unrestrained power. Beware of an Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate that would bring us radical liberalism in its worst form.
- He says he wants to bring us energy independence but refuses to drill and extract our huge reserves, greater than those of Saudi Arabia. He wants us to check our tire pressure instead of drilling. Give me a break! He also advises everyone to tune-up their cars, even though most cars no longer need tune-ups.
- He never sticks with a job. For example, when he became senator he started writing his book. Then within two years of becoming a senator, he started running for president. It is not surprising that he has no legislative accomplishments. This has been the pattern of his entire career. He never sticks with anything long enough to chalk up significant achievements. That's why when asked about his accomplishments, his supporters seem to be stumped. Dean Barnett, in an article in the Weekly Standard (Sept. 1, 2008), entitled "Would You Hire Barack Obama? The resume of a chronic underachiever," writes, "You'd have to conclude that Obama's failure to commit himself to any career sufficiently to excel at it suggests some unexplained restlessness." I'd say it suggests he's a dilitante, who flits from one project to another, but never stays long enough to deliver a satisfactory end product.
- As talk show host Michael Medved has pointed out, the people vouching for him at the Democratic National Convention were mainly relatives, such as his wife and brother-in-law. There were not major figures vouching for him, because they could not vouch for a classic empty-suit. Even Hillary Clinton, in her convention endorsement speech, said Democrats must support him, but in no way vouched for his character or judgment. Contrast that with the people at the Republican National Convention who vouched for Sen. McCain - Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Sen. Fred Thompson.
- To bolster his foreign policy credentials, he picked Sen. Joe Biden as vice president. Sen. Biden voted for the war in Iraq, which vote Sen. Obama views as the symbol of bad judgment. So even Sen. Obama admits Sen. Biden ha bad judgment. Sen. Biden also comes up with wacky ideas of his own such as splitting Iraq, a sovereign nation, into three parts for the Kurds, Shias, and Sunnis. He also voted against the first Gulf War, even after Iraq had invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. I'd think most would consider that the height of bad judgment. He opposed the surge. He opposed Reagan's build-up to fight international communism, so his bad record is long and unbroken. Biden has judgment bad enough to match that of Sen. Obama's.
- He flip-flops on matters that suggest he has no principles except the old Chicago machine principle of do anything you have to do to get elected. He promised to take public financing, something that the great reformer and change artist claimed to be committed to. Then when he saw it was to his political advantage to stay with totally private contributions, as that would bring in more money, he went back on his promise and rejected public funding. He said that his wide array of contributors to his campaign made his approach into public financing, one of his more nonsensical pieces of logic. He think if he uses sufficient oratorical powers he can make two and two equal ten, or private financing equal public financing.
- He constantly uses such expressions as, "I would be glad to debate my opponent on that issue anytime, anywhere." But that is just for oratorical effect. In practice, he refused Sen. McCain's offer of a town meeting every week to debate the issues. He is clearly afraid of unscripted sessions. If he is not smart enough to go off the teleprompter and script, he is not smart enough to be president. When he participated in the Saddleback debate with Pastor Rick Warren, he demonstrated again he doesn't make sense when confronted with tough questions without the answers on a script. When asked when does life begin, he said that was above his pay-grade. If that question is above his pay grade so is the presidency of the United States.
- He would like voters to view him as a man of great political courage, but he has a documented record of political cowardice. For example, when in the Illinois legislature, he voted "present" over 100 times and was well known for taking that route, of neither a yes or no vote. Present is a classic sitting on the fence and waiting to find out which way the wind will blow. As William Kristol of the Weekly Standard (Sept. 1, 2008) has pointed out, " Has he shunned the easy path or broken with the conventional liberal pieties of those around him? Has he taken on his own party on a major issue? Nope."
- Mr. Obama bases his campaign on his superior judgment, and that in turn is based on his speech against the war in Iraq. Of course, he never made a vote against the war, as at the time he was in the Illinois legislature, not the U.S. Senate. He gave the speech at an anti-war rally in the liberal Hyde Park section in Chicago. But votes are more important than speeches. And since he's been in the Senate, he's been wrong on every issue related to Iraq. These mistaken positions were summed up in an article by Emery in the Weekly Standard (Sept.1, 2008) entitled "Misfortunes of War: Success in Iraq Confounds the Democrats." It isn't easy to be wrong on every vote and pronouncement on Iraq, but don't underestimate Sen. Obama's ineptness in the foreign policy area. Mr. Emery writes: "He claimed that the Anbar Awakening took place as a result of Democrats' congressional victories, but it began in September 2006, two months before before the voting took place. He opposed not only the troop surge, but also the strategic changes that took place along with it, that did so much to enable the victory. He said the American military had noting to do with the Anbar Awakening or with the retreat of the Sadr militia, something denied by the Iraqi military and by the Iraqi Sunnis themselves. He was also wrong in his predictions that none of this would occur."
Sen. Obama not only has judgment bad enough to make him wrong on every foreign policy question, but he also has the knack of picking advisors and close associates who have a strong record of being wrong. For example, his choice for vice president, Sen. Biden, and one of the senators that accompanied him on his trip to Iraq, Sen. Chuck Hagel, introduced a resolution in opposition to the buildup that was the surge that turned the tide in Iraq.
Sen. Obama's inexperience in foreign policy is perhaps his most dangerous deficiency. But don't underestimate his ability to wreck our economy, destroy the incentives for entrepreneurs to take risks and build jobs, and to wreck our health care delivery system.
Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.