Shame on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton. A Shame for Americans

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Shame seems to be the issue of the day.  The North America Free Trade Agreement is also among the topics discussed.  Health Care plans are reviewed.  As the Presidential campaigns progress, let us reflect, and recall why these matters move the media and the people.

It was a cold day in January.  The year 2007, after much debate and ample discussions, Hillary Rodham Clinton concluded the time was now.  The climate was ideal.  The former First Lady sat poised on a couch.  The colors in the room were warm.  A lamp placed behind the sofa was lit.  Sunlight streamed into the room.  Photographs of the family were visible on a table nearby.  Finally, the stage was set.  The New York Senator looked into the eyes of her visitors.  Gently she smiled.  Hillary Rodham Clinton opened her home and her heart to an American audience desirous of change.  The woman many had hoped would be the first woman President of the United States affirmed “I’m in.”

Hillary Clinton invited us all to join her in a conversation.  She mused, she had a feeling; it was going to be very interesting.  Indeed, it is.  Weeks ago, the candidate realized a deep dip in the contributions.  This drop in donations caused much clamor.  On February 21, 2008, during the Democratic Debate, First Lady Clinton offered her admiration to the man who appeared to be more prominent in the eyes of the people, Barack Obama.  Then, a mere forty-eight hours later Hillary Clinton attacked her adversary.  

The Senator from New York claimed, while in the crowd at an event in Cincinnati, Ohio, just days prior to that State’s primary, she was handed two mailers.  A brilliant woman, organized, and aware, ready to take on the responsibilities of the Oval Office the day she crosses the threshold, did not realize that ten days earlier, the Ohio Daily Blog published an essay which spoke of the brochures.  Jeff received his copies.  Yet, Hillary had not yet sampled hers.  

The experienced, professional politician fumed as she spoke, of the accounts.  As a mother scolding her child potential President Hillary Clinton shrieked, “Shame on you Barack Obama!”  The genteel First Lady pointed her finger and challenged her rival Senator Obama to “meet me in Ohio, and let’s have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.”

As Americans listen to the words of the woman we once thought would receive her just coronation into the White House, we are reminded, this political campaign has never truly been about issues.  Personality, popularity, electability, and the ability to connect to wealthy contributors have long been the focus among the candidates and by extension the electorate.  Voters are subject to the voice of those who speak of what is important to them personally.  We might recall the times a candidate or two expressed what is true.  For them, this campaign is personal, full of personal attacks.

A day later, the Clinton Camp announced they would engage in a calculated campaign of smear.  Conduct unbecoming a possible Commander-In-Chief, when named Barack Obama is quite befitting of a potential President Clinton.

In the robo-call voiced by Clinton, she said she wants to set the record straight.  “Sen. Obama has sent out attack mailers that distort my record on NAFTA, but I believe Ohio deserves the truth,” Clinton says, “NAFTA has hurt Ohio families and I have a plan to fix it.  My opponent does not.  I’ll appoint a Trade Prosecutor to enforce our trade agreements, and crackdown on China’s unfair trade practices.  I’ll eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and invest in creating good jobs right here in Ohio.”

The Clinton attack mailer cites press reports of Obama praising NAFTA and other trade deals.  “Don’t be fooled by Barack Obama.” [or Hillary Clinton?]

Might we take a moment to reflect.  Let us begin with the records.  The text of Barack Obama comments may enlighten us on the issue of tactics and behavior, the topics Hillary Clinton would like to discuss in an Ohio debate.  The background also offers insights.

(Alan Keyes wanted to withdraw completely from trade agreements.) “Keyes, the Republican nominee, said the United States should move away from negotiating multinational trade agreements, arguing the country can cut better deals by bargaining one-on-one and imposing tariffs on countries that undercut American farmers with cheap products. ‘Why is it in American economics that you say ‘tariffs’ and everybody thinks you cursed,’ Keyes said. ‘We need to make sure we get a fair deal.’ He also called for complete elimination of the inheritance taxes, as well as the income tax.

“But Democrat Obama said Keyes’ ideas could lead to trade wars that would harm farmers, who are always looking for new markets willing to buy American crops. He said the United State should continue to work with the World Trade Organization and pursue deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the country must be more aggressive about protecting American interests. ‘We don’t want to set off trade wars. What we want to make sure of is that our farmers are treated fairly,’ Obama said. ‘The problem in a lot of our trade agreements is that the administration tends to negotiate on behalf of multinational companies instead of workers and communities.'” (AP, 9/8/04)

Hillary Clinton took a stand on the North American Free Trade Agreement and has for years.  The Former First Lady spoke in support of her husband’s Bill’s legendary policy.

Clinton promoted her husband’s trade agenda for years, and friends say that she’s a free-trader at heart. “The simple fact is, nations with free-market systems do better,” she said in a 1997 speech to the Corporate Council on Africa. “Look around the globe: Those nations, which have lowered trade barriers, are prospering more than those that have not.”

Praise for Nafta

At the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she praised corporations for mounting “a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of Nafta.” She added: “It is certainly clear that we have not by any means finished the job that has begun.”

Clinton “is committed to free trade and to the growing role of the international economy,” said Steven Rattner, a Clinton fundraiser and co-founder of Quadrangle Group LLC, a New York buyout firm. “She would absolutely do the right thing as president.”

However, as Hillary Clinton herself reminds us, speeches are not solutions.  While at a General Motors plant, the Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton proposes, “That’s the difference between me and my opponent, I offer solutions. It’s one thing to get people excited.  I want to empower you to live your dreams so we can all go forward together.”

“Now, over the years, you’ve heard plenty of promises from plenty of people in plenty of speeches. And some of those speeches were probably pretty good. But speeches don’t put food on the table. Speeches don’t fill up your tank, or fill your prescription or do anything about that stack of bills that keeps you up at night.”  Only jobs and a stable income can keep Americans safe and secure; hence, the need for American policymakers to assess the North American Free Trade Agreement.  As Senator, Clinton could finally take actions that would rescind a policy that haunts her husband and his heritage.  Thus, she did or did not.  Please ponder the documentation.

  • Voted against CAFTA despite Bill Clinton’s pushing NAFTA. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
  • Voted YES on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (Jul 2003)
  • Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (Jul 2003)
  • Voted NO on extending free trade to Andean nations. (May 2002)
  • Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
  • Rated 17% by CATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record. (Dec 2002)

What is a voter to think?  Hillary Clinton Biographer Carl Bernstein avows, Hillary Clinton’s economics, the ones she preached to her husband in the White House are much closer to John Edwards then you would think. She argued with Bill Clinton when she was First Lady, her husband, she said ‘Bill, you are doing Republican economics when you are doing NAFTA.’ She was against NAFTA.  Yet, as the author expresses in his own assessment of the candidate . . .

A new biography’s unflattering portrayal of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton as someone who “camouflages” her real self for political gain is starting to attract attention – and not for the salacious stories, most books recount about the Clintons.

“A Woman in Charge,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein, gives scant attention to the tense days the former First Lady spent in the White House when Bill Clinton was sneaking around with his intern, Monica Lewinsky. Instead, the former Washington Post reporter, who helped blow the lid off Watergate, attempts to portray Hillary Clinton as someone who is willing to rewrite her own history to advance the political career she put on hold when she moved to Arkansas with her college sweetheart who would later become president.

“This is a woman who led a camouflaged life and continues to,” Bernstein told TODAY host Matt Lauer on Friday in an exclusive interview. “This book takes away that camouflage.”

The Bernstein book, which the writer refers to as the first “real biography” of Hillary Clinton, is a recent edition. There is ample, additional information; Hillary Clinton was for, no against, the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA].  Hence, again, we can only do as Hillary advises; look at the votes for verification.  As we observe, duplicity and a commitment to convenience, seem apparent.

This inconsistent configuration is no less obvious in the banter and behavior of Barack Obama. The expressions of Barack Obama and the conduct of Hillary Clinton are, as the First Lady imagined them to be many months ago, interesting.  

Words are not separate from work, whether we speak of one candidate or the other.  Even constituents can be considered complex beings.  We have wants, needs, among these are Universal Health Care.  Barack Obama understood this on that cold frigid day in Springfield, Illinois.  In February, on the 10th day of the month, in the year 2007, Illinois Senator Barack Obama stood in front of the Old State Capitol building.   A throng of supporters frozen; yet full of fervor positioned themselves where they could best see the man they admired.

Dignified as he spoke Presidential hopeful Obama reminded Americans that more than a century ago, on these same steps, Abraham Lincoln called on a divided house to stand together.  Barack Obama stated that in Springfield, Illinois he learned that “common hopes and common dreams still” live.  Then, the man who speaks and writes of the audacity of hope offered . . .

I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States. . .

Let’s be the generation that finally tackles our health care crisis. We can control costs by focusing on prevention, by providing better treatment to the chronically ill, and using technology to cut the bureaucracy. Let’s be the generation that says right here, right now, that we will have universal health care in America by the end of the next president’s first term.

Yes, we can . . .  be the generation that declares we will provide medical coverage for one and for all.  Yet, Barack Obama is, as of yet unwilling to propose that we, the people be insured equally.  Senator Obama, has not worked towards Universal Health Care.  Indeed, he argues against it, and presents a proviso, the plan may changed if need be.

Like former senator John Edwards (N.C.), who outlined his health-care goals in February, Obama would pay for his plan, which could cost more than $50 billion, by increasing taxes for people earning more than $250,000 and reversing tax cuts that President Bush approved. Obama would require almost all employers to offer insurance to workers or face a tax penalty, an idea that many businesses abhor and that is also in Edwards’s proposal. This employer mandate drove much of the opposition to the Clinton plan in 1994.

Like Clinton, who in a speech last week laid out some of her health-care ideas, Obama is focused as much on reducing the costs for those who are insured as on expanding coverage to the estimated 45 million Americans who are not. He called for the federal government to pay part of the costs for patients with chronic illnesses, so that employers would not have to do so, but also emphasized the importance of preventive care. It is important to “listen to our wives when they tell us to stop smoking,” he said, referring to his own unhealthy habit.

Like many Democratic politicians, he blamed drug and health insurance companies for stopping the passage of more expansive health-care proposals.

The lack of new ideas in Obama’s health plan in part reflects his approach. He has emphasized his freshness as a rationale for his candidacy, but that freshness has been much more about his tone and his rhetoric about hope and bipartisanship than his policy proposals . . .

One concept that Obama’s plan does not include is a popular idea from both Democrats and Republicans who work on health-care issues: an “individual mandate” that would require every American to buy health insurance.  . . .

The Clinton and Edwards campaigns quickly criticized Obama for not offering a plan that would require insurance for all. ” . . .

Obama’s advisers argued that such a mandate is less important than adding subsidies and other ways to make health care more affordable.  . . .

“The key is not the mandate,” said David Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard, who advised Obama on the plan. “It’s the affordability and the accessibility.”

It seems Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, neither of whom offer a Single Payer, Not For Profit, Universal Health Care can tout as they do with credibility.  Each vocalizes, “I will be the people’s President.”  Yet, as the nation peruses the plans it remains evident, that if either of these aspirants [or the Republican rival] enters the Oval Office in 2009, all men will remain unequal.  Those who lost jobs to Free Trade agreements will likely remain unemployed or become underemployed.  Circumstances for the constituents will continue to be dire.  Millions of citizens will be unable to afford or access medical care at any cost, to say nothing of the twelve or more million migrants who go without health care.  Mailers be damned.  Shame on Barack Obama?  Shame on Hillary Clinton?  It is a shame that the people were never given a voice or entrée into the election.  

Dennis Kucinich, potential President of the people, a live-time Union member, the one person to actively propose an end to the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], the war in Iraq [remember that refrain?], and Single Payer, Not For Profit, Universal Health Care, I miss you.

Sources of Shame . . .

Barack Obama. Criticism Continues and Keeps Coming

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Please dive in, be a voyeur, and venture into the world of battering Barack.  Tucker Carlson on Obama’s church: “It’s hard to call that.  YouTube.

When you are a threat, even if a peaceful one, criticism follows you.  Barack Obama is receiving a barrage of barbs.  The Junior Senator from Illinois is too inexperienced, too fat, too thin, too handsome, too elite, and not eloquent enough.  He is “clean,” not as clean as he could be, and too conservative.  Barack is not Black enough.  Mister Obama declares that, for now, his race is perchance a novelty.  However, he surmises, the uniqueness of his tone will wear off. 

A New York Times reporter did respond to the charge of his color.

The arguments being raised about Mr.  Obama’s blackness – or his lack of blackness – seem positively antique at a time when Americans are moving away from the view of ancestry as a central demographic fact and toward a view that dispenses with those traditional boundaries.  Even so, the complaints about Mr.  Obama provide an interesting opportunity to examine the passing of the old and the rise of the new.

The claim that the candidate isn’t really black because his mother is white carries little weight under either system.  It makes no sense at all to the young Americans who checked more than one box when identifying themselves by race in the last census.  They subscribe to a fluid notion of race and seem perfectly willing to let people describe themselves racially any way they choose.

Nor does the charge make sense in the black community itself.  That community has historically and eagerly embraced as black anyone and everyone with any African ancestry to speak of.  That embrace often included interracial families, who lived in black communities long before they were accepted elsewhere.  It included even blue-eyed, sandy-haired people like the civil rights leader Walter White, whose black ancestry was imperceptible to the naked eye.

While the discussion of Obama’s race may wane, adversaries can always turn to his philosophical positions.  His middle name, ‘Hussein’ was ruled a reason for concern.  Throughout cyberspace and the mainstream media, talk of the terrorist, Obama, loomed large.

Senator Barack Hussein Obama is or was said to be a Muslim.  He studied in a madrasa, a group of buildings used for teaching Islamic theology and religious law, typically including a mosque.  Perhaps, no, probably this American man is actually an insurgent.  Those on the right recounted tales declaring that obviously, Obama was trained to hate the United States and all white people.  The Senator responded.

“If your name is Barack Hussein Obama, you can expect it, some of that.  I think the majority of voters know that I’m a member of the United Church of Christ, and that I take my faith seriously,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press. 

“Ultimately what I think voters will be looking for is not so much a litmus test on faith as an assurance that a candidate has a value system and that is appreciative of the role that religious faith can play in helping shape people’s lives,” he said.

The critics looked at the religious practices of this Illinois Senator once again, this time acknowledging his Christian faith.  They assessed his spiritual affiliations.  Now, they joyously state, Obama’s Christian church advocates separatism.  Principles such as those read and heard in the United Church of Christ are certainly not Christian according to conservative talk show host, Tucker Carlson.  The Journalist joins his broad conservative coalition and fuels an inflammatory flame.

Tucker Carlson criticized Sen.  Barack Obama (D-IL), a presumptive candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, for being a member of a church that Carlson claimed “sounds separatist to me” and “contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity,” a subject Carlson said he was “actually qualified to discuss.”  Carlson was referring to the “Black Value System” advocated by the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, of which Obama is a member.

The faithful Senator assailed such claims in June 2006.  At that time, he was speaking to another conservative pundit, Alan Keyes.  The “Black” political opponent, Mister Keyes suggested in an opinionated oration, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama.”  Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has behaved in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.”  Although Senator Obama was encouraged to ignore the taunt, he concluded he could not.  I offer a portion of Barack Obama’s response to the sinister Alan Keyes.

Mr.  Keyes’s implicit accusation that I was not a true Christian nagged at me, and I was also aware that my answer did not adequately address the role my faith has in guiding my own values and my own beliefs. 

Now, my dilemma was by no means unique.  In a way, it reflected the broader debate we’ve been having in this country for the last thirty years over the role of religion in politics.  For some time now, there has been plenty of talk among pundits and pollsters that the political divide in this country has fallen sharply along religious lines.  Indeed, the single biggest “gap” in party affiliation among white Americans today is not between men and women, or those who reside in so-called Red States and those who reside in Blue, but between those who attend church regularly and those who don’t. 

Conservative leaders have been all too happy to exploit this gap, consistently reminding evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their Church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage; school prayer and intelligent design.  Democrats, for the most part, have taken the bait. 

At best, we may try to avoid the conversation about religious values altogether, fearful of offending anyone and claiming that – regardless of our personal beliefs – constitutional principles tie our hands.  At worst, there are some liberals who dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word “Christian” describes one’s political opponents, not people of faith. 

Now, such strategies of avoidance may work for progressives when our opponent is Alan Keyes.  But over the long haul, I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in people’s lives — in the lives of the American people — and I think it’s time that we join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy. 

And if we’re going to do that then we first need to understand that Americans are a religious people.  90 percent of us believe in God, 70 percent affiliate themselves with an organized religion, 38 percent call themselves committed Christians, and substantially more people in America believe in angels than they do in evolution. 

This religious tendency is not simply the result of successful marketing by skilled preachers or the draw of popular mega-churches.  In fact, it speaks to a hunger that’s deeper than that – a hunger that goes beyond any particular issue or cause. 

Each day, it seems, thousands of Americans are going about their daily rounds – dropping off the kids at school, driving to the office, flying to a business meeting, shopping at the mall, trying to stay on their diets – and they’re coming to the realization that something is missing.  They are deciding that their work, their possessions, their diversions, their sheer busyness, is not enough. 

They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives.  They’re looking to relieve a chronic loneliness, a feeling supported by a recent study that shows Americans have fewer close friends and confidants than ever before.  And so they need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them – that they are not just destined to travel down that long highway towards nothingness.  And I speak with some experience on this matter.  I was not raised in a particularly religious household, as undoubtedly many in the audience were. 

My father, who returned to Kenya when I was just two, was born Muslim but as an adult became an atheist. 

My mother, whose parents were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists, was probably one of the most spiritual and kindest people I’ve ever known, but grew up with a healthy skepticism of organized religion herself.  As a consequence, so did I.  It wasn’t until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma. 

I was working with churches, and the Christians who I worked with recognized themselves in me. 

They saw that I knew their Book and that I shared their values and sang their songs.  But they sensed that a part of me that remained removed, detached, that I was an observer in their midst.  And in time, I came to realize that something was missing as well — that without a vessel for my beliefs, without a commitment to a particular community of faith, at some level I would always remain apart, and alone. 

And if it weren’t for the particular attributes of the historically black church, I may have accepted this fate.  But as the months passed in Chicago, I found myself drawn – not just to work with the church, but to be in the church.  For one thing, I believed and still believe in the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change, a power made real by some of the leaders here today.

Because of its past, the black church understands in an intimate way the Biblical call to feed the hungry and cloth the naked and challenge powers and principalities.  And in its historical struggles for freedom and the rights of man, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world. 

As a source of hope.  And perhaps it was out of this intimate knowledge of hardship — the grounding of faith in struggle — that the church offered me a second insight, one that I think is important to emphasize today. 

Faith doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts.  You need to come to church in the first place precisely because you are first of this world, not apart from it.  You need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away – because you are human and need an ally in this difficult journey. 

It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street in the Southside of Chicago one day and affirm my Christian faith.  It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany.  I didn’t fall out in church.  The questions I had didn’t magically disappear.  But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side, I felt that I heard God’s spirit beckoning me.  I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth. 

That’s a path that has been shared by millions upon millions of Americans – evangelicals, Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims alike; some since birth, others at certain turning points in their lives.  It is not something they set apart from the rest of their beliefs and values. 

In fact, it is often what drives their beliefs and their values.  And that is why that, if we truly hope to speak to people where they’re at – to communicate our hopes and values in a way that’s relevant to their own – then as progressives, we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. 

Because when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations towards one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome – others will fill the vacuum, those with the most insular views of faith, or those who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends. 

Thus, I suspect Presidential candidate Barack Obama will address this recent twist on an old assault.  The junior Senator has addressed others.

When attacks against the man prove to be ineffective.  Thus, those intimidated by a Barack Obama Presidency must go further.  They have.  The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, a close bud and ally of the not so popular President George W.  Bush is lashing out.  Howard spoke of the Senator’s proposed policies.

In a nationally televised interview on Sunday, Howard said Obama’s plan meant that the leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq should “be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats” in presidential elections due late next year.

Prime Minister Howard has aspirations and needs.  He too is running for office amidst much criticism.  Many Australian citizens do not favor a man closely associated with America, its failed policies, Mister Bush, and the American President’s mishandling of Iraq.  Aussies too want out of Iraq and wonder whether it was wise to have ever entered into such a war.

In the AP interview, Obama laughed off criticism Saturday from Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who said Obama’s plans for Iraq “encourage those who wanted to completely destabilize and destroy Iraq.”

“It’s flattering that one of George W.  Bush’s allies feels obliged to attack me,” Obama said.

Obama said that if Howard did not think enough was being done in Iraq, he should consider sending more Australian troops to the region.  Australia has about 1,400 troops in Iraq, mostly in noncombat roles.

Senator Obama stressed that a leader must have forethought and consider what is really being said and done.  The validity of Intelligence must be a consideration.  For him, in reference to Iraq, it always was.

“I don’t think there is a more significant set of decisions than the decision to go to war,” Obama said.  “I think the war was a tragic mistake and it never should have been authorized.”

Obama told reporters he thinks his early opposition to the war shows “it was possible to make judgments that this would not work out well” and that it speaks “to the kind of judgment that I will be bringing to the office of president.”

The senator has called for capping the number of U.S.  troops in Iraq and then beginning to withdraw them on May 1.  He wants a complete pullout of combat brigades by March 31, 2008.

The Prime minister retorts; he has no political agenda.  He merely wishes to make his position known.  Howard is protecting the interest of his prized people and the allied Australian armed forces stationed in Iraq.

Prime Minister John Howard of Australia denied Monday that he had a political motive when he said terrorists in Iraq would be praying for Senator Barack Obama, a Democratic hopeful, to become U.S.  president.

Howard, a steadfast supporter of President George W.  Bush in the Iraq war, insisted that his criticism of Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S.  combat troops in Iraq by March 31 next year was in Australia’s national interest because Obama’s plan would represent a defeat for Australia’s most important military ally.

One must wonder; what will come next.  It seems America and even Australia has substituted the well-known Mac Attacks for the barrages against Barack, battering on Obama.  Admittedly, Senator Obama may be too much of a conformist for me; however, I am impressed that this man does not let criticism stand.  He does not avoid addressing the assertions; nor does he wait for moss to grow beneath his feet. 

You go Barack; be real.  Call upon your challengers; ask them to substantiate their claims.  I am certain criticism will continue to come.  Perchance that is good.  I might not have considered your positions as thoroughly as I am were you not there, actively speaking to the allegations.  I thank you for exemplifying what for me is a “great communicator.”  Might I say, you are quite “articulate,” unlike many that state you are such.

Update: Dear Earl Ofari Hutchinson . . .

I thank you for digging up the real dirt, the treasures that truly threaten the “Right.”  This information is valuable.  Barack Obama’s Illinois State Senate record reveals he might be a viable Progressive candidate.

Please review the evidence the Conservatives are sure to use against Barack Obama  . . .
The Senator . . .

  • supports a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons.
  • endorses severe limits on handgun purchases
  • approved initiatives to impose 300 new taxes and fees on businesses in his last year in the State Senate
  • voted to raise taxes
  • consistently sponsored pro-labor stands
  • received a perfect rating from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council
  • is pro-life
  • voted for legislation that required police to videotape all interrogations of murder suspects.
  • took action against the death penalty after several death row inmates were wrongly convicted.  Ultimately, they were exonerated
  • is pro-civil liberties

    This record will give Republicans much to criticize.  An entrant that votes to raise taxes surely will not be popular.  maintaining a healthy infrastructure is not an American priority, or at least it has not been for decades.  No one remembers that with sufficient funds, we could perhaps preserve our schools, sustain quality libraries, police, and fire services.  This nation has not focused on these fundamentals for quite some time.

    Therefore, our fellow citizens might not understand an aspirant suggesting we support our offspring and ourselves by allowing reasonable levies.  They may not understand the need to save our communities before they crumble further. 

    For these stances, Barack Obama will certainly be skewered.  A few will say he is a thinking candidate, not a pandering politician.  Others might assess these policies and work to protect their personal pocketbooks.  Yes, in Barack Obama there is much to condemn, or is there?  Stay tuned.  This is the Election 08.

    Refer to the references for rants and rages against Barack Obama. . .

  • Obama says voters are curious about his race, religion, By Henry C.  Jackson.  Associated Press.  San Diego Union Tribune.  February 11, 2007
  • Decoding the Debate Over the Blackness of Barack Obama, By Brent Staples.  New York times. February 11, 2007
  • pdf Decoding the Debate Over the Blackness of Barack Obama, By Brent Staples.  New York times. February 11, 2007
  • United Church of Christ
  • Tucker Carlson on Obama’s church: “[I]t’s hard to call that Christianity”  Media Matters. Friday February 9, 2007
  • pdf Sticks, Stones and Mr.  Obama, Misleading aspersions about the senator’s background only make the perpetrators look bad.  Washington Post  Sunday, January 28, 2007; Page B06
  • Sticks, Stones and Mr.  Obama, Misleading aspersions about the senator’s background only make the perpetrators look bad.  Washington Post  Sunday, January 28, 2007; Page B06
  • ‘Call to Renewal’ Keynote Address, By Barack Obama.  US Senate for Illinois.  Wednesday, June 28, 2006
  • Australian leader stands firm on Obama comments, Bipartisan rebuke from U.S. politicians.  The Associated Press.  International Herald Tribune.  February 12, 2007
  • pdf Australian leader stands firm on Obama comments, Bipartisan rebuke from U.S. politicians.  The Associated Press.  International Herald Tribune.  February 12, 2007
  • Madrasah or madrasa  The Free Dictionary.
  • Can Obama Really Win? (Part 2) By Earl Ofari Hutchinson.  New America Media. AlterNet. February 12, 2007