Before I go any further its worth noting, that I, and I would imagine countless others who are independent of party lines, view Senator Obama as a positive and inspirational force on the political landscape, and I truly believe that he doesn’t subscribe to Wright’s incinerating, divisive and hate filled views. However, it does bring into question Obama’s judgment, and perhaps even his truthfulness.
For almost two decades, Senator Obama, along with his wife and children attended the Trinity Unity Church of Christ, a Chicago based church, headed by his “spiritual mentor” the Reverend Wright. It would be safe to assume that at some point (in that 20-year span) those hateful and divisive words uttered by Reverend Wright would have caught the ear of Senator Obama?
And that’s the dilemma; I believe that faces Obama. One can’t help but question his judgment and perhaps his truthfulness, as to weather he was in attendance when Reverend Wright was denouncing America and its principles.
These are legitimate questions that need to be asked again, of a presidential candidate, and while the Senator has repudiated those hateful words, one can’t help but feel uneasy, at the initial responses offered by Obama.
It took several days of murky responses and parceled denials, then recanting slightly those denials, before his impassioned speech on race relationships. It was by all accounts a frank and candid overview on what divides us racially, as a nation.
However, the speech itself was more of a dissertation, rather then a simple act of contrition, and the central issue of Obama’s judgment and credibility, was skillfully and lightly sprinkled within the overpowering text, similar to that of a chef adding a little salt and incorporating it within a complex dish.
Yet one needs to ask, “Why now”? Obviously, this incredible speech would not have been given; if it were not for the continued negative backlash, on Rev. Wright and plunging poll numbers that spiraled downward at an alarming rate …it was damage control at its finest, pure and simple.
Ironically, Obama has run on a platform of “trust me”, his message of hope and change resonates with his audience; his ability to redefine the political landscape is breathtaking, and not since JFK, has the Democratic Party witnessed such transformation. As I’ve stated in previous articles I believe that Senator Obama is a charismatic and talented politician.
Even the mainstream media seems to have fallen under the Obama spell, so much so, that they’ve collectively looked the other way, when it comes too scrutinizing his Senatorial record. One need only imagine the continued media frenzy if a “spiritual mentor” of any other candidate would have made similar remarks as the Rev. Wright. The fallout I suspect, would have been incredible, and perhaps would have ended that candidacy, then and there.
In his inspirational speeches, Obama speaks of unifying a troubled and divisive nation, of bringing together both Democrats and Republicans, about reaching out across the political divides. He speaks of bipartisanship and transforming a divided nation into one.
Yet upon further scrutiny, one finds that his words sadly don’t match his deeds. In fact, his voting record within the Senate demonstrates just the opposite. Astoundingly, he has voted over 96% of the time, straight party line, and when given an opportunity to reach out to the opposition, he has declined. While McCain has also voted overwhelmingly straight party line, he has a far better record in reaching out to the opposition, and has risked his political future, time and again, on principled issues. By contrast, Obama’s record is indistinguishable.
“The Gang of 14” was a bipartisan attempt by both Democrats and Republicans to work together, in an attempt to move forward on key legislative issues. Simply put. It was an attempt to highlight accountability of each Senators vote, and to reduce the use of filibusters that tied up the legislative process.
John McCain was one of the key participants in putting together this loose group of “swing” Senators. His attempts to end the deadlock in confirming judicial nominees proved successful, and while Senator Obama eloquently speaks of compromise and reaching out, Senator McCain has actually done just that.
The McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill is another example of deed vs. talk. The bill however, became a political nightmare for McCain and it almost derailed his presidential bid, and unlike Senator Obama, McCain as repeatedly reached out to the opposition, irregardless of the political fallout.
Why then the discrepancy, between fact and fiction? My sense is that most of us, simply don’t do our homework, we allow others to define the candidates, rather then take the time and research a candidates voting record and where they actually stand on the issues.
Most of us gauge a candidate by how they “perform”, rather then what they’ve actually done. Obama has been successfully able to defuse Hillary Clinton’s campaign because of his ability too articulate and frame the debate, and because of Hillary’s high negatives among Democrats, and while she has a tad more experience in terms of national issues, she like Obama, is a relative lightweight, when it comes to experience.
Of course, the media itself, has played a key role in Obama’s success, they’ve simply not asked the tough questions of Obama, however in fairness to the media, Obama doesn’t have much of a record to run on.
The question then needs to be asked, “What qualifies Senator Obama to become the next chief executive”…If not his record, then what…perhaps his judgment? Obviously, we’ve seen and heard two very different views of America, from two skillful and impassioned speakers, one from Senator Obama and others from his “spiritual mentor”, Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright…you be the judge.