Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

I am my brother’s keeper

Well, Barack Obama is apparently not this brother’s keeper, though, according to this CNN piece, the brother doesn’t want to be kept.

Dinesh D’Souza has written about this here and here.

I have a couple of additional thoughts, beyond the obvious one that Barack Obama should be at least a little embarrassed by this. First, there is the big issue of whether assistance of this sort should come from government or private individuals. The biblical injunction Barack Obama is so fond of citing suggests that it’s an individual responsibility. Love isn’t a matter of paying taxes (which after all, isn’t voluntary or personal), but of giving willingly to those in need and entering into a relationship with them. George W. Bush got that. I’m not sure that the current Democratic ticket does (see Joe Biden’s comments about tax-paying and his own rather minuscule charitable deductions [sorry, I’m too lazy to link]).

Second, if we take George Obama’s more recent comments at face value, there is the question of the dignity of those in need. How do we manage to be "compassionate" while respecting the self-reliance of those we wish to help? Again, it seems to me that a genuine relationship would help that. A relationship isn’t likely to flow out of a job. It can flow out of contact that begins with a faith-based encounter. And, obviously, it ought to flow out of common paternity. Is there any evidence that Barack Obama has made that effort? Or is all his talk about being his brother’s keeper just that? Talk, I mean.

Discussions - 9 Comments

I don't see how Obama's lack of relationship with his brother reflects badly on him. It appears as if George Obama's living conditions are relatively average for where he lives; he is healthy; and optimitistic about his future. We should hope he does well. Perhaps Obama would have more responsibilities if George was sick or crippled, but that is not the situation here.

Obama's work with Ayers, on the other hand, is troubling. It would be good to know more about the Annenburg foundation and it will be interesting to see if Obama will address it directly in the coming weeks.

The biggest scandal of the election campaign is going unreported, for the most part, by the mainstream newspapers and TV shows.

Biggest scandal of the election, eh D'Souza? I hate that guy.

Paul and Ryan are right...this is sniping. How weird that some Kenyan is about to be the beneficiary of D'Souza's fundraising drive that he's initiated not out of compassion, but out of a desire to make this a campaign issue. When Jesus separates out the sheep from the goats somehow I don't think he's going to say to any sheep: "I was hungry, and to embarrass a prominent politician, you fed me."

Well said, Carl.

All true enough, especially regarding D'Souza's motives here. But I'm reminded of something Rousseau once wrote about the cosmopolitans who speak incessantly about loving people all over the world so as not to have to love their neighbor (badly remembered paraphrase).

Barack Obama is full of talk. Is there anything else?

Or Joe - how about that $100 million that Renzko and Obama received to fix up poor neighbors in Chicago... The neighbors are still in disarry and still poor... but Renzko helped Obama get a nice house.

Joe:


Actually, while someone should help their own family, if one followed the Bible assistance to the poor is also largely a community responsibility. And there are requirements that might be interpreted as the wealthy do have some responsibilities, ie. leaving the corners of your land fallow. As a community, we had the responsibity to support the Priests and Levites.) But we all have a responsibility to participate in that (wealthy and not so wealthy.)


There are also compassionate ways to support the needy, even those who say they don't want it. I don't know the Obama family dynamics, so I'm not going to comment on them.


Finally cowgirl, Obama paid Rezko more than the appraised value of the land he bought. The Rezko trial had zero to do with Obama. Politifact - No Proof Rezko Saved Obama Money on His Home


Politifact - "I was fighting against those (Republican) ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago."


Say what you will about Obama's generosity toward his half brother, and his political positions, but he was considered an effective organizer in south Chicago....and for that he deserves credit.

AH:


"Finally cowgirl, Obama paid Rezko more than the appraised value of the land he bought. The Rezko trial had zero to do with Obama. Politifact - No Proof Rezko Saved Obama Money on His Home"

Really - this says the opposite and believe it or not this was from ABC (one of Obama's television campaigan headquarters):

Obama maintains his relationship with Rezko was "above board and legal" but has admitted bad judgment, calling his decision to involve Rezko "a bone-headed mistake."


Rezko's behind-the-scenes connection in the Obama house deal became public as Rezko revealed personal financial details as he sought to post bail.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=4111483
or how this one...
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/124171,CST-NWS-obama05.article

Take off the blinders - Obama is a either a scam artist or just plain stupid.

"Barack Obama is full of talk. Is there anything else?"

...and what of Sarah Palin? She is positively overflowing with attitude and catch-phrases. Is there anything else to "your" Sarah?

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