Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com The Barnyard: Is Obama Really The Post-Racial Poster Boy?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Is Obama Really The Post-Racial Poster Boy?

When Obama rose onto the national stage with his keynote speech at the Democrat convention in 2004 his most remembered and repeated line was that we are not a hyphenated America but a United States of America and that theme has been repeated in his campaign for POTUS. He is somewhat an enigma though since his speeches while grandly delivered offer little more than fluff and the press has largely given him a pass about what he stands for now and what he stood for in the past. One can get a clue about who Obama is by looking at the people he has chosen to associate with most notably the clergymen he worked with and learned from as a community organizer in Chicago's largely black south-side. Another angle to look at Obama from is what he worked for, stood for or against in those rarely mentioned years he spent as a state Senator and the platforms he ran on then and his losing race for the US House.
Stanley Kurtz calls them his "Lost Years" in a must read expose` for the Weekly Standard in which he goes digging into Obama's writings for a couple local newspapers during those years and other stories covering his state Senate district. What he finds is not a post-partisan, post-racial man but one obsessed with race, social justice, income redistribution through welfare and a typical big government, hyperpartisan, uber-liberal, indeed Obama's fingerprints are all over the fiscal problems Illinois now faces and is what we could expect if he wins the White House.

What they portray is a Barack Obama sharply at variance with the image of the post-racial, post-ideological, bipartisan, culture-war-shunning politician familiar from current media coverage and purveyed by the Obama campaign. As details of Obama's early political career emerge into the light, his associations with such radical figures as Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, Reverend James Meeks, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn look less like peculiar instances of personal misjudgment and more like intentional political partnerships. At his core, in other words, the politician chronicled here is profoundly race-conscious, exceedingly liberal, free-spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan. Elected president, this man would presumably shift the country sharply to the left on all the key issues of the day-culture-war issues included. It's no wonder Obama has passed over his Springfield years in relative silence.

Barack Obama's resume` may be glaringly thin as Richard Cohen points out in a WaPo editorial but what is there is very disturbing and not at all like the portrait that he and his followers in the MSM have tried to paint. Obama knows this country will never elect a far left radical so that is why he is so vague in his speeches and avoids tough questioning by the press and why he has tried to maneuver back to the center after winning the primary running to the hard left of the more pragmatic Hillary Clinton. Kurtz calls Obama's policies socialism by incrementalism, starting with small feel good innocuous proposals and then constantly growing them with further with more small feel good measures that add up to big government programs.
Illinois's fate may foreshadow the nation's. Obama's small and carefully targeted spending bills were expressly designed to win passage by a Republican-controlled state senate. But if Obama takes the presidency with a Democratic Congress at his back, we'll likely see a grand-scale version of the fiscal mayhem Obama and his colleagues brought to Illinois.

Obama's overarching political program can be described as "incremental radicalism." On health care, for example, his long-term strategy in Illinois was no secret. He repeatedly proposed a state constitutional amendment mandating universal health care. Prior to the 2002 budget crisis, Obama's plan was to use the windfall tobacco settlement to finance the transition to the new system. That would have effectively hidden the huge cost of universal care from the taxpayer until it was too late. Yet Obama touted his many tiny expansions of government-funded health care as baby steps along the path to his goal. The same strategy will likely be practiced-if more subtly-on other issues. Obama takes baby-steps when he has to, but in a favorable legislative environment, Obama's redistributionist impulses will have free rein, and a budget-busting war on poverty (not to mention entitlement spending) will surely rise again.

This is also evident in Obama's recent proposal for another "stimulus package" paid for by taxing windfall profits of big oil, Jimmy Carter II but much worse. Anyway read the whole thing as Kurtz does a masterful job at laying out where Obama has stood in the past on issues concerning race, crime, welfare and other social issues like abortion and forward it to your friends that think Obama is something new. He isn't and the country cannot afford to have someone like this as President and even Hillary admitted that.


Donald Douglas said...

Great posting, Goat.

I this new Kurtz piece is the best I've read on how truly stealthy is Obama's radicalism.

Goat said...

Thanks Donald, Kurtz has done a yeoman's job of exposing the glaring deficientcies in Obama