AS THE NATION CONTEMPLATES WHETHER BARACK OBAMA BELONGS IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS BRITNEY SPEARS AND PARIS Hilton, a more fruitful question suggests itself: Can Barack Obama go the rest of the campaign without demeaning the country he seeks to lead?
Backlash over John McCain’s “Celebrity” advertisement and Obama’s playing the race card (who would have seen that coming?) drowned out far more significant words from the lips of The Anointed One this week. “There’s no doubt that when it comes to our treatment of Native Americans as well as other persons of color in this country, we’ve got some very sad and difficult things to account for,” he said. “I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged.” The media’s favorite candidate then underscored his belief in reparations: “I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it’s Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds.”
B.H. Obama’s comments came just as the House of Representatives passed a meaningless resolution condemning the “fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow.” The gesture was meaningless, in part, because Bill Clinton apologized for the American role in the slave trade during a visit to Uganda a decade ago. (Ironically, it was Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, who put the blame on “black traitors,” saying: “African chiefs were the ones waging war on each other and capturing their own people and selling them. If anyone should apologize, it should be the African chiefs.”) However, in American textbooks and college classrooms across the nation, the “tragic elements of our history” are not merely acknowledged but expounded upon in great depth.
More troubling than those historical bits Sen. Obama chooses for private meditation, however, is the seemingly omnipresent emphasis on the ills and maladies of the nation whose presidency he seeks.
As David Horowitz and I relate in our new book, Party of Defeat, a phobia of the United States has been a sin qua non of the American Left since the time of George McGovern, and since 1972, it has been linked inextricably to a defeatist foreign policy. After all, how can one hope for the advancement of a cause he disbelieves, or believes is harmful?
McGovern’s 1972 acceptance speech exemplified the Blame America First model, blaming America for “Asian children running ablaze from bombed-out schools.” He charged, “Let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad.” The Left’s rallying cry, “Bring America Home,” was not a prescription to conserve America’s strength; it was an attempt to quarantine a virus.
As we note, Jimmy Carter raised this to a high art form, isolating American allies like the Shah of Iran while courting enemies like Daniel Ortega. At the time, liberal Democratic Senator Pat Moynihan, D-NY, surmised Carter was “unable to distinguish between America’s friends and enemies,” because he shared “the enemy’s view of the world.” As a result, the nation endured the first successful Islamic revolution since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the spread of Communism to its furthest point, and the humiliation of the United States as fanatics kidnapped innocent civilians for 444 days.
Bill Clinton voiced such views in his speech to Georgetown University students shortly after 9/11, saying those “from various European lineages are not blameless” in the “long history” of “terror,” because of the Crusades, slavery, and occasional racial animosity:
Here in the United States, we were founded as a nation that practiced slavery and slaves were, quite frequently, killed even though they were innocent. This country once looked the other way when significant numbers of Native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights or because they were thought of as less than fully human and we are still paying the price today. Even in the 20th century in America people were terrorized or killed because of their race. And even today, though we have continued to walk, sometimes to stumble, in the right direction, we still have the occasional hate crime rooted in race, religion, or sexual orientation. So, terror has a long history.
This president gave us the shameful exit from Mogadishu, and a series of unanswered terrorist attacks from Osama bin Laden and other jihadists. David and I use insider accounts to explain how his politically correct worldview left America vulnerable to al-Qaeda.
Now, enter Obama, who first raised the issue of why he wore no flag pin, a man who refused to place his hand over his heart during the national anthem and belittled small-town Americans’ religiosity.
Add to these spectacles Obama’s defense of Jeremiah Wright and Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers – equating them with his grandmother and pro-life U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, respectively.
Then add the other Obama, Mrs. Michelle Obama. In February, she revealed, “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.” The following month, in a speech she wrote herself and delivered at least four times, she branded the United States as a whole “just downright mean.” Then on May 2, in North Carolina, the First-Lady-in-Waiting drew a less-than-flattering portrait of America:
We’re still living in a nation and in a time where the bar is set – I talk about this all the time – they set the bar…and then you work and you struggle, you do everything that they say, and you think you’re getting close to the bar, and you’re working hard, and you’re sacrificing. And then you get to the bar. You’re right there. You’re reaching out for the bar. You think you have it. And then what happens? They move the bar. They raise it up…it’s always just quite out of reach…The sad irony is that’s exactly what’s happening to most Americans in this country. (Emphasis added.)
Together, these mix a volatile cocktail of anti-Americanism through which emerged Obama’s desire to dwell on a 150-year-old institution destroyed through the most deadly war in our nation’s history. Perhaps someone should investigate: just how obsessed is Obama with the ills and evils of his country’s past?
Famed political scientist Larry Sabato wrote in his book Feeding Frenzy that an individual’s “subtext” – the general assessment of his character – determines much of a candidate’s public perception and media coverage. Why, then, has this not become the dominant image of Obama – pushing aside accurate assessments of his paper-thin resumé and even-thinner list of achievements. (At least John Kerry loitered in the Senate 20 years before running for president.) Could this scene have anything to do with it?
When Obama walked on stage at the McCormick Center, many journalists in the audience leapt to their feet and applauded enthusiastically after being told not to do so. During a two-minute break halfway through the event, which was broadcast live on CNN, journalists ran to the stage to snap photos of Obama.
As Tammy Bruce commented, “Yeah, no bias there.”
The media refuse to see, but all Americans with a heart for their country’s well-being in a time of war should discern the significance of this bias – of the media for Obama, and of Obama against his country.
This article originally appeared as the weekend lead on Friday, August 1, 2008, on FrontPage Magazine