As I write this, polls have just closed and returns are coming in from locations in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. At this point, America’s Right–with all of its staggering credibility–is calling those three primaries, as well as the Democratic nomination as a whole, for Illinois Sen. Barack Hussein Obama.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet your adversary …
… and his movement :
In a time when cosmetic surgery is the norm, when the latest exploits of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan and Heather Mills and Simon Cowell lead news broadcasts, I worry that the increasingly superficial nature of the country will lead people to dismiss steak in favor of sizzle.
I challenge anybody to listen to the entire speech from New Hampshire and not be inspired. Then again, I challenge anybody to tear that beautiful speech apart and find the facts within the phrasing, the policy within the promises, the actual means to Obama’s wonderfully described, idealistic end.
It’s not that I somehow think that America is not ready for Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States. His name and his skin color have nothing to do with it.
Everywhere you look, people seem to be more and more enamored by the impassioned yet empty rhetoric employed by the Illinois senator, yet even the most ardent supporters I encounter on a daily basis do not seem to know what is behind the flawless curtain. Others simply don’t care – Obama connects with them on an emotional level, and that’s all that seems to matter.
Truth be told, Obama caucuses to the left of just about everybody in Washington, D.C.; indeed, the nonpartisan National Journal rated him as the most liberal member of the United States Senate in 2007. While in his short career on Capitol Hill he has yet to personally author any legislation, Obama has made some telling decisions:
- He voted against a measure which would have permitted law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if the officer had probable cause to believe that the immigrant was in the country illegally.
- He voted against eliminating a program legalizing illegal immigrants.
- He voted in favor of allowing certain immigrants to remain in the United States while renewing their visas (Hillary Clinton voted against it).
- He voted against a measure that would have put more weight on job skills than family ties for visa applicants.
- He voted against making English the official language of the United States of America.
- He voted against further debate on the McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill.
- He voted against further debate on a bill which would raise the federal minimum wage without providing offsetting tax relief to businesses.
- He voted against repealing the minimum wage and giving the authority to set such wages to the individual states. (Incidentally, look for “minimum wage” in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which details the limited powers given to Congress. Keeeeeep looking … it’s gotta be in there somewhe–no, it’s not. If anything, taking the power away from the states with regard to the minimum wage may violate the Tenth Amendment.)
- Again, he voted against further debate on another minimum wage issue, this one a proposal which would have provided $8.3 billion in tax breaks to small businesses adversely affected by the minimum wage increase.
- He voted in favor of funding a study of the effects of federal water projects on global warming.
- He voted against further debate on an energy bill which would increase fuel-efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a bill which will have disastrous effects upon the already ailing American automakers and add about $6,000 to the price tag of every new vehicle.
- He voted in support of embryonic stem-cell research, destroying life en masse in an effort to save it.
- He voted against a measure to define a fetus as an “unborn child.”
- He voted against renewing, for six months, authority–pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act–to review communications of suspected terrorists without a court order.
- He voted against all aspects of the troop surge.
- He voted against a measure limiting debate on a proposal which required progress reports for the Iraqi government and the withholding of economic aid for failure to meet “benchmarks.”
- He did not participate in the vote to condemn the personal attacks on Gen. David Petraeus. (How noble of him. Hillary, of course, voted against condemning the personal attacks.)
- He voted for all sorts of timelines and immediate withdrawals and pretty much everything else that would hinder the effort in Iraq.
As much as his liberal—and, in some cases, downright dangerous—stances on just about everything worries me, what frightens me most are the exact characteristics that attract people to his candidacy – his youth, and his natural gift of oratory.
I worry that the idealism which runs hand-in-hand with youth—and not to mention liberalism—will cause Obama to become something that, under other circumstances, would be absolutely welcomed. I worry that, unlike Hillary Clinton, who would use her power to position herself for greater wealth and greater power, Obama would actually work tirelessly to advance his ideals and get things done. If he were a conservative, this side of Obama would have me jumping for joy.
Barack Obama is truly the perfect political weapon for this time. I worry that his natural gift of oratory–he recently spoke to a sold-out crowd of 16,000 in Boise, Idaho, hardly an epicenter of liberal thought–will grease the wheels of Congress and government. Where democrats and republicans alike would automatically scrutinize any and all ideas put forth by Hillary Clinton due to her disingenuous nature if nothing else, Obama’s likeable personality and ability to communicate might temper dissent. Furthermore, his ability to create ambiguous rhetoric to advance his ideals without actually saying anything of substance could allow him to take certain issues above the collective heads of Congress and right to the American people.
No matter how much I ramble on about the history and tendencies of the Supreme Court, no matter how much I drone on and on about the threat we face from fundamentalist Islam, no matter how much I try to coherently make arguments about the pending economic downturn or share information about and developments along our porous borders, I cannot adequately convey just how important the 2008 election is to America.
We need to elevate the political discussion. We need to ensure that people are voting with their brains and not their hearts. I have nothing whatsoever against people who support Barack Obama for president–if I were still a democrat, I would be ecstatic–but all people of all parties need to be aware that sizzle alone cannot feed those who hunger. Sizzle, without steak, can only serve to make the hungry more hungry.
Meet thy worthy adversary. His name is Barack Hussein Obama.