Posted by Peter W. Schramm
Lucas Morel makes clear what some of us have only alluded to: Barak Obama is a serious person and his Lincolnian speech to the Democratic convention on the appeal of American exceptionalism gives Morel hope.
When dealing with politicians, even well-spoken black politicians with admirable personal stories, it is best not to let appearance overwhelm reality.
It is best to watch their hands, not their honeyed words. Obama is at least as far to the left as Kerry, Dean, et al. The fact that hes a smoothie should not matter to a serious political commentator in evaluating him -- except in terms of political skill. To draw any conclusion about
Mr. Obamas real beliefs from his spin-speech is to fall into the Straussian occupational hazard of assuming that politicians, like political philosophers, generally mean everything they say. Since politicans are almost never political philosophers, its a very poor assumption.
We live in the Univ of Chicago neighborhood and have good friends (with whom we disagree on most political issues) who are actively involved with Obamas US Sen campaign. Our friends are serious transnational progressives and do not work with Obama simply because he is black and articulate. Obama has not yet had to deliver much in the way of positions on national issues, but I think you will be surprised at the concrete politics lying behind his positionless articulateness. Also, the Chicago Tribune has an OpEd today by Terrence Barnich on Obamas voting record in the Illinois Senate.
From the op-ed in the Tribune that Leda just mentioned: "If the Illinois plan [proposed by Obama] had been enacted it would have created an enforceable legal claim by anyone in the state to full, free medical care. Legislative budget analysts from Obamas own party calculated the plan would cost between 2.6 and 4 billion." Double the state budget deficit.
Leda, with all due respect, I would not be the least bit surprised by any actual position of Obamas. Nor would I be surprised by almost anything he says.
In the one case, because he is a left-wing liberal. In the other, because he is slick politician.
Since I have little interest in anything that left-wing liberals say, and even less interest if theyre also slick politicians, it follows that I dismiss Mr. Obama out of hand. His skills and personality are of no interest to me. Since his politics are absurd, it follows that, for political purposes, he is absurd. The fact that a majority of Illinois voters either dont know this or dont care is a sad commentary on democracy, and probably
also on "white guilt" feelings. It says nothing whatsoever about Barack Obama.
The people I like are un-slick right wingers. Few others in politics are worth a damn.
At last! There will be someone to task Barak Obama to come out of the "Left Wing" closet, and tell us what his positions on national issues really are. Thank goodness there will be a debate to discourage his un-opposed "ordination" to the U. S. Senate. His positions are so far out of the mainstream Illinois and national thinking, that exposure by a credible Republican candidate such as Alan Keyes, is sure to make them untenable. Keyes is right for Illinois, and he is right for America. And hopefully, the GOP can hold on to its slim margin of control in the U. S. Senate. Is Alan Keyes the "Barry Bonds" of Illinois politics? Go ahead! Knock one out of the park Alan.
Ashbrook Center at Ashland University | 401 College Avenue | Ashland, Ohio 44805 | (419) 289-5411 | (877) 289-5411 (Toll Free)