Sunday, April 27, 2008

Who is Barack Obama? Part 2

Fred Barns has hit upon an important distinction in trying to understand the Senator from Illinois. Obama calls himself a "uniter" rather than a "divider." He speaks in platitudes, and states these thoughts and ideas with an excellent grammar, a sonorous voice and a winsome style. And, as Barns notes, these are exactly the kinds of traits people most desire in their political leaders (in an ideal world). Since not much is really known about Obama, his record being a rather short one, the question is really this: if he says he represents these ideals, is there any evidence that he can deliver on them? Barns answer:

Senator Obama, the most exciting presidential candidate in decades and the likely Democratic nominee, is ... running a strikingly personal campaign that places far less emphasis on ideology or a partisan agenda than on the man himself, Obama the person. He's running as a new kind of national leader who rejects "the same old politics" and intends to change the way Washington works and the country is governed.

This self-description is idealistic, lofty, and extravagant. He further characterizes himself as someone who unites political foes, rejects partisanship, will end polarization, and is neither a liberal nor an elitist. If what he says is true, he comes close to being what most Americans say they seek in a president. But is he telling the truth?

Let's look at Obama's claims for himself without either flyspecking them for flaws or setting the bar too high. No one should expect a politician to be brutally candid in talking about himself. That's asking too much. Exaggeration is acceptable. Dishonesty isn't.

After which comes a healthy laundry list of challenges the Senator faces in living up to the claim. You can read the rest here.

Along comes Andrea Mitchell on NBC's Meet the Press today. Her view of the world (BTW, she is married to Alan Greenspan, believe it or not), is that any question about Obama in any category from Democrat or Republican alike, can only be interpreted as one thing: a latent racism.

Don't like Obama's plan for this or that? Ask why he stuck with a pastor who over 20 years of preaching would on occasion say things "that divided the nation" etc.? Oppose him on his plan to run out of Iraq? All these complaints are latent racism, you see.

Mitchell gives no one any ground to oppose Obama on any point in any manner. And she says, racism is a real problem in the country and in the campaign. This is after over 70% of Americans say they have no problem with an African American president, and BTW the largest percentage on record since the question was raised.

It seems to me the MSM is NOT color blind like they should be. If someone were to overtly oppose Obama on the color of his skin rather than content of his character, I could understand a charge of racism. But Red, Yellow, Black and White - all - should be allowed to come under the klieg lights of the democratic process for the examination for their ideas, proposals, and behavior when coming before an American voting constituency.

It is "racist" NOT to treat all the same in this regard.


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