Obama as a state senator

Obama as a state senator

Thomas Lifson
A close-up look at Barack Obama’s years in the Illinois State Senate reveals someone different from the post-racial Barack Obama we thought we knew. Stanley Kurtz writes a must-read article on  “Barack Obama’s Lost Years”, and it is in the Weekly Standard.

Kurtz has gone through old issues of the Hyde Park Herald and the Chicago Defender (the nationally prominent African-American Chicago newspaper) from the period of Obama’s service in the Illinois State Senate. He appears prominently in the political coverage of both papers, and this Kurtz finds a portrait of his actual political positions and activities during those years.


It’s not the Barack Obama we knew from his national campaign. No post-racial Obama is to be found.


Two samples:


In 2004, a U.S. District Court disallowed the ordinance under which Chicago required the use of at least 25 percent minority business enterprises and 5 percent women’s business enterprises on city-funded projects. In the immediate aftermath of the ruling, Obama and Jesse Jackson were among the prominent voices calling for a black leadership summit to plot strategy for a restoration of Chicago’s construction quotas. Obama and his allies succeeded in bringing back race-based contracting.




A Chicago Defender story of 1999 features a front-page picture of Obama beside the headline, “Obama: Illinois Black Caucus is broken.” In the accompanying article, although Obama denies demanding that black legislators march in perfect lockstep, he expresses anger that black state senators have failed to unite for the purpose of placing a newly approved riverboat casino in a minority neighborhood. The failed casino vote, Obama argues, means that the black caucus “is broken and needs to unite for the common good of the African-American community.” Obama continues, “The problem right now is that we don’t have a unified agenda that’s enforced back in the community and is clearly articulated. Everybody tends to be lone agents in these situations.”

Speaking in reply to Obama was Mary E. Flowers, an African-American state senator who apparently broke black caucus discipline and voted to approve the casino’s location in a nonminority area. Said Flowers: “The Black Caucus is from different tribes, different walks of life. I don’t expect all of the whites to vote alike.  .  .  .  Why is it that all of us should walk alike, talk alike and vote alike?  .  .  .  I was chosen by my constituents to represent them, and that is what I try to do.” Given Obama’s supposedly post-racial politics, it is notable that he should be the one demanding enforcement of a black political agenda against “lone agents,” while another black legislator appeals to Obama to leave her free to represent her constituents, black or white, as she sees fit.


Now read the rest.


Hat tip: Ed Lasky

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More outrageous Obama satire

Thomas Lifson
He who must not be laughed at has some more satire to complain about. A brand new site, an offspring of The People’s Cube, has appeared: Best Obama Facts.  Lest anyone raise objections, let me stipulate that these are not actual facts, but rather satirical projections of the hype around the messiah. Examples:

  • Every now and then, Obama opens his eyes and the world springs into existence.
  • When a tree falls in the forest, Obama hears it.
  • Obama can clap with one hand.
  • Prometheus was punished for plagiarizing Obama.


Like the People’s Cube, Best Obama Facts is full of clever graphics, too.


One has to wonder if Obama was reading this site when he came up with the “fact” that properly inflating tires and getting tune ups will produce as much oil as drilling domestically. Some things are beyond satire, though.

Three Ways for McCain to Drill to Victory

Three Ways for McCain to Drill to Victory

By Bruce Walker

The time has come for serious presidential campaigns to settle into a few, clear themes.  Senator McCain has not quite done that yet, but he should soon.  What themes?  Here are three that will win him the presidency:

Drilling for Votes


Yes, this is not a particularly new story in the campaign, but it is a particularly vital story.  A substantial majority of the American people now want government to allow drilling for oil in many more places that have been allowed so far.  Americans now reject the argument of fringe environmentalists.  McCain seems to be badly placed on this issue.  Did he not oppose drilling in ANWAR?  Yes, he did.  But that apparent weakness is actually strength.


McCain can completely flip-flip on environmental objections to drilling.  Radical environmentalists, because these people are always also radical Leftists, are not going to vote for John McCain.  Voters who McCain can win in the election campaign are voters who support more drilling.  So McCain can come out increasingly boldly in favor of more drilling for oil.  He can begin to cite not only economic issues but national security issues in the case for more drilling.  If McCain challenges Obama to “see the light” like him, then McCain can begin to peel off voters by portraying Obama as an elitist. 


Voters vote with their pocketbook.  Failure to drill for oil, McCain can credibly say, will lead to a permanent and significant reduction in living standards for all ordinary Americans.  When oil was cheap, Americans are prosperous.  When oil is astronomically high, Americans are prosperous.  It is a very easy case to make.  Oil was eight times cheaper a decade ago and Americans remember those years as “good times.”  Let Obama make the Jimmy Carter Case for cardigans and sacrifice.  Let McCain make the case for economic opportunity and general affluence.


Drilling the Media


Recent polls which show that a plurality of Democrats think that the media is in the tank for Obama.  This should be a major campaign issue.  McCain should raise it loudly, not by attacking Obama with it but by attacking the media for being gutless wonders when it comes to Obama.  How?  McCain could say something like this:


“The major news media has abandoned their job of testing Senator Obama.  Polls show enough Democrats think that there is a strong bias in favor of Senator Obama.  I have never asked the media to go easy on me and I am not asking it today, but I am asking the media to go tough on Obama as well.  Television networks, major newspapers and national magazines have a duty to us to make sure that only truly tested candidates ever become president.  If news reporters cannot think of any tough questions for the senator, then they can contact my campaign and we will tell them what to ask Senator Obama.


“Senator Obama cannot control the news media, but he can appear with me all over the nation in a series of twenty town hall meetings, with the people attending the meeting split fifty-fifty by the campaigns and the questions from the audience chosen at random.  I challenge him today to do just that.  I challenge the news media, if it cannot ask him tough questions to at least let the American people ask him tough questions at these town hall meetings.  An election should not be a coronation.  The news media should not be the retinue of a noble. “


The jolt from this sort of direct attack on the media will make them very defensive and also very conscious about how they treat Senator Obama.  It will almost compel the mainstream media to be tougher on him than it has been which will push his numbers down.


Drilling Obama


Senator McCain has a well deserved reputation as a needler.  Senator Obama was a well deserved reputation as needle shy.  The two fit together into a perfect campaign scheme for McCain.  Barack is used to getting a free ride from the media.  He is used to being hailed as the Messiah.  He is used to being treating him like the Duc d’Obama and not Barry Obama.  Senator McCain should start to needle him, even as the cost of McCain appearing less than presidential.  Why?  Because Obama becomes angry and confused when subject to attack.  He does not know how to deal with it.


What sort of issues might McCain raise?  He should drill Obama as a reformer who flip-flopped on public financing of the presidential campaign.  He should drill Obama’s gross ignorance of basic facts of history – and McCain should have a list which includes “57 states,” “The President of Canada,” “The Bomb falling on Pearl Harbor” (especially since Obama grew up in Hawaii), and the like.  He should drill Obama for lying to Americans about Jeremiah Wright – and that should be the issue, not Wright but Obama’s lying about Wright.


What McCain should want, of course, is a mini-Obama meltdown:  A temper tantrum, a fumbling answer like Hillary’s answer about driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, a long dull stare into the camera:  In other words, the real Obama, an empty suit running for the most important job in the world.


Begin Now


Americans will soon begin to focus in earnest on the presidential race.  The mainstream media and its protégée, Obama, are counting on gushing coverage of Obama, public weariness with an almost endless presidential campaign, and the yearning for change to carry Barack Obama into the White House.  John McCain cannot, and should not, let this happen.  This is his last hurrah.  This is his chance to prove not only to conservatives but to ordinary Americans that his years of Hell in Hanoi were motivated by love of America.  That takes guts and risks. 


I have never been as off on McCain as many of my fellow conservatives.  I thought, and think, that he is a patriot who has been wrong lots of the time, but well intentioned.  Allowing Obama to waltz into the White House shows no love of our nation.  It is time for Senator McCain to begin to play to win.