Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The missing Obama

Richard Cohen
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In my set, I am known as the guy who always had some reservations about Barack Obama. Sure, I supported him in the primaries against Hillary Clinton and I voted for him, with both glee and enthusiasm, especially after John McCain uttered the most shocking words in American politics -- "Sarah Palin." But I had such qualms about Obama that I even disparaged his famous speech on race, which almost everyone else thought was just about the greatest ever given on the subject. I just reread it -- and I was a bit chastened (I was too severe), but mostly I was saddened. Where is the man who once gave that speech? The speech, delivered in Philadelphia in March 2008, was compelled by the rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who had been Obama's pastor and spiritual adviser. Wright, a man of a certain age with the emotional scar tissue that comes from a life in a harshly racist society, had let loose his anger -- and it had been caught on tape and YouTubed around the world. A sermon that had a context and an appreciative audience looked like sheer demagoguery and madness on the small screen. Obama had to kiss off Wright.

He did so with style and with dignity. But more than that, to reread the speech is to be impressed once again with the fluidity of Obama's mind -- his logic, his reasoning and his immense writing talent, which made a great impression on the impressionable people in my profession.

But to reread the speech is also to come face to face with an Obama of keen moral clarity. Here was a man who knew why he was running for president and knew, also precisely, what he personified. He could talk to America as a black man and a white man -- having lived in both worlds. He could -- and he did -- explain to America what it is like to have been a black man of Wright's age and what it is like even now to be a black man of any age.

Somehow, though, that moral clarity has dissipated. The Obama who was leading a movement of professed political purity is the very same person who as president would not meet with the Dalai Lama, lest he annoy the very sensitive Chinese. He is the same man who bowed to the emperor of Japan when, in my estimation, the president of the United States should bow to no man. He is the same president who in China played the mannequin for the Chinese government, appearing at stage-managed news conferences and events -- and having his remarks sometimes censored. When I saw him in that picture alone on the Great Wall, he seemed to be thinking, "What the hell am I doing here?" If so, it was a good question.

The Barack Obama of that Philadelphia speech would not have let his attorney general, Eric Holder, announce the new policy for trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other Sept. 11 defendants in criminal court, as if this were a mere departmental issue and not one of momentous policy. And the Barack Obama of the speech would have enunciated a principle of law and not an ad hoc system in which some alleged terrorists are tried in civilian courts and some before military tribunals. What is the principle in that: What works, works? Try putting that one on the Liberty Bell.

Of course, there's a difference between campaigning and governing. There is no reality to campaigning. You want Guantanamo closed, you say you'll close it. You want to close it as president, and all of a sudden it becomes a political crisis that costs you your White House counsel, an experienced and principled man named Gregory Craig. Governing is hard.

But governing has to be informed by moral clarity, by the sense that we always know the president's interior life -- his bottom lines. Obama's political career has been too brief for us to know his bottom lines by votes cast in any legislative body or decisions made as an administrator. He had little record but lots of rhetoric -- much of it morally stirring and beautifully written.

As president, though, he has tried so hard to be the un-George Bush that the former president's overweening moralism -- his insistence on seeing things as either black or white -- has become an Obama gray. Human rights in general has been treated as if it's a Republican idea. Obama should reread his Philadelphia speech. He'll find a good man there.

Reply |Janet Levy show details 3:47 AM (3 hours ago)

Date: November 15, 2009 3:33:49 AM MST (CA)


From Naval Aviator, Commander Jerry Wilson

We lived in California during the winters of 2007 and 2008. We became addicted to Fox News and watched O'Reilly and Hannity and Colmes every night. When we got back home, we upgraded our cable to get Fox. I watched the Presidential campaign very closely, initially because I thought the Democrats would nominate Hillary Clinton, and then in astonishment when they chose an even more hard-left candidate. All of last year I told everyone I could that Obama was not a Democrat, he was a Marxist. He is far to the left of any European leader and even our far left party, the NDP.

I read Saul Alinsky when I was in University. I studied him and his writing carefully. When Bill
Ayers and his idiot wife were bombing and killing people at random in the Weather Underground, Weather Underground and the Black Panthers were closely allied. I read David Horowitz's account of changing from a Marxist to a conservative after seeing that the government was afraid to prosecute members of the Panthers for murdering his personal assistant. He suddenly
understood the evil that Marxism really was.

After the student radicals failed in creating a Marxist revolution in the United States by violent means, they embraced Alinsky. You would be wise to read "Rules for Radicals" because it outlines how Hillary and Obama planned to get into power, and what they intended to do when they got it.

Socialism is not the correct descriptor for what Obama and the Democrats are doing. They are
going to be much more far reaching than anything Sweden has ever been able to do. Obama is following Alinsky's plans, those set out in "Rules for Radicals" and his other writing. The
Democrats are attempting to create one party rule in the U.S. and in achieving that, will create
crisis after crisis by their own actions and use those crisis to nationalize the means of production
in the U.S. You are in the middle of a Communist revolution and few in the U.S. can actually see it for what it truly is.

The U.S. is now on the path of financial destruction. The Constitution has been shredded and individual human rights are being trampled. In less than 8 months. Obama has used a recession to take over the two largest industries in the U.S. He will debase the Dollar and is on the road to creating an incredible energy shortage that will allow him and Congress to take over the energy industry.

But by and large I think that by the 2010 elections, the Democrats will have gerrymandered electoral districts to the point that it will be impossible for them to lose control of both houses of Congress. The incredible increase in the money supply is going to create Zimbabwe and Venezuela style inflation, and with it, controls on the currency and the amount of money that can be taken out of the country.

I love America , I cannot believe how the ignorance of the American public has created a situation
whereby they are going to lose their Republic and slip into an age of repression and tyranny.
I may be nuts, but so far I have been 100% correct in my predictions of what Obama was going to do, because I merely had to look at "Rules for Radicals" to see what was coming next.

I read Glenn Beck's book, "Common Sense" and in it re-read Thomas Paines pamphlet with the
same name. I recommend the book.
When the storm finally hits (and it will), those of you who supported the Obama administration will
be affected as well. It won't just be us gun owners or Flat-Taxers, or Pro-Lifers that get hit. You'll
be right there next to us.

You all thought the Conservatives were nut cases. You know, all of us who believe in God, small
government, the Second Amendment, etc. You thought you could just go back to sleep after the
election was over. In your world, America will continue as before. You'll still have the same rights, the same nice house, the same big screen television. After all, your high school football team won and the other team lost - go team! Even if you have bothered to look up from the daily grind since Nov 4th, you dismissed everything that has occurred as "politics as usual - the same old stuff". In the end, it'll all be OK won't it? Not this time.

There are a growing number of citizens in the US that are ready to fight to shut down the
government's grab of personal freedom, it's blatant abuse of the constitution, and it's attempt to replace the American way of life with socialism. You have to listen carefully to hear them, but they are there. I won't start that fight, but when it goes down I will join it.

As for you, why, you'll be shocked because you didn't see it coming. And eventually you'll be
saddened when you see that we have truly lost the way of life with which you grew up. You'll be
saddened that your children and grandchildren live in a socialist, government-controlled gulag
where their every movement from cradle to grave is tracked by the government. But most of all, you'll be saddened by the death of friends and relatives who are brave enough to fight and die for
something they believe in.

You know, McCain wasn't much of a candidate. I'll give you that. He was the lesser of two evils for
most of us. I don't blame you for not voting for him since, at the time, you didn't know what we all
know now. But at least John McCain was an American. He was a supporter of the American way of life and he understood that you can't negotiate with terrorists. He understood and appreciated the sacrifice made by my father and other members of the Greatest Generation.

Mark my words friends. All across America groups are forming. They are forming out of anger and out of desperation at the thought of losing America . They're not militia groups, terrorists as the Department of Homeland security would have you believe; they are Americans, loyal to the constitution. They are mothers and fathers and grandparents. They belong to groups like the
Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, the Peaceful Resistance, the Constitution Party, the Young
Conservatives, the 9/12 Project, and Grassfire. Right now they are fragmented, each focused on
their own cause. But sometime in the next two years, our government is going to do something
really stupid and these groups will come together. Watch for it, wait for it-get ready. It will happen.
When that event happens, whatever "it" is, our great country is going to plunge into chaos for a while. I pray to God that we make it through that time and emerge a stronger, smarter country.

Naval Aviator, Commander Jerry Wilson,

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