Monday, April 21, 2008

Barack Obama--known by the company he keeps

If he becomes the Democratic Party's nominee for President, Sen. Barack Obama will lose the general election for this reason: When the smiles and platitudes are set aside, Obama's campaign and the philosophy of his cadre amount to one big put-down of America.

Anomalous among Western leaders, the president of the United States serves as head of both state and government. Moreover, he is elected nominally by the voters, unlike in a parliamentary system whereby a leader attains power through the success of his party. As such, the president represents something very personal to Americans. He is, for four or more years, the personification of their country, embodying the aspirations and goodness of the land that they love. A president may disappoint after assuming office, but America is not in the habit of electing candidates who hold their country in contempt.

Not only have the comments of Obama's wife, Michelle (who has referred to America as "downright mean" and stated that she was not proud of her country until her husband started winning primaries) and his minister, Jeremiah Wright (whose hateful, anti-white, anti-American diatribes are available for sale in Obama's church, or for free on YouTube) revealed the tired, leftist scorn for America that Obama represents -- the Senator's own remarks have exposed this ugly, unelectable side.

Speaking to a fundraiser in San Francisco, Obama attempted to explain his persistent deficit in Pennsylvania primary polls by describing small-town Americans as "bitter" people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." This is hard stuff, and patronizing, besides. Add to this Obama's characterizations of the "typical white person" (in the context of describing his grandmother, whom he had originally tossed under the campaign bus in order to create a false equivalence with Wright's racism), and one finds something far more damaging than a simple series of gaffes --it is a window into how the Senator sees his countrymen.

Obama's associations, even beyond Wright, speak to this unappealing point of view. William Ayers, a domestic terrorist of Weathermen infamy, enjoys a friendly relationship with the Obamas. As general-election voters will learn, Ayers bombed the Pentagon on May 19, 1972, and fondly recalls, "The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them." Ayers and his accomplices also bombed the U.S. Capitol, the State Department, as well as banks, police stations and courthouses.

In one's associations, as in other aspects of life, mistakes are made. But a hallmark of a leader is the willingness to make them right. For this, Obama has shown little talent or enthusiasm.

Obama has defended Wright by insisting that he merely represents the convention of "Black Liberation Theology," as though this were just some quaint offshoot of traditional Christianity. One need not pore over the tenets of Black Liberation Theology or its founder, James Hal Cone -- although a Google search of either would provide a world of clarity to the undecided voter -- to recognize that a would-be President who cannot utterly disassociate himself from such racist, anti-American rubbish lacks sufficient character and affinity for his country's ideals to be its leader.

The bumper-sticker slogan "dissent is patriotic" has for decades been employed to legitimize any insult to America, no matter how hateful or moronic. But Americans understand that their president's instinct ought to be to defend the nation against unfair invective, not embrace those who purvey it -- or, in the case of Ayers, seek to blow it up altogether.

With his demonstrable view of America, and considering his cohorts, Obama would be wise to make himself very comfortable in the Senate.