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The Enigma Of Obama

I have a piece today at Pajamas media, on the lies and spin of the Obama campaign, and his enablers in the media.

[Update late morning]

I should note, of course (though shouldn't it go without saying?) that because I wrote this piece, like Roger Simon, I am a racist.

[Afternoon update]

I have to confess that I'm perplexed by the foolish comments that I, or John McCain, should be "going after" Walter Annenberg, or the Annenberg Foundation, or "charging them" with...something. What does that mean?

There is nothing illegal about funding leftist activities with philanthropy. I don't even think that it should be. But I do think that the voters are entitled to know when one of their presidential candidates is involved with it. If Walter Annenberg were running for president, and doing the same things that Barack Obama is, and has done, I'd be saying exactly the same things about him. But he's not.


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ken anthony wrote:

Well done Rand, you put every brick in it's place.

Reading the post and the comments I realize that it will have little if any impact. It's frustrating. It seems to be an attention span problem. History just doesn't matter anymore. There is no sense of perspective. They can point out McCain's weaknesses which are undeniable and neglect to see the greater evil.

They have been making steady progress for decades, controlling education, the media, keeping people poor while building a cadre. This has been the most amazing political year I have witnessed in my life.

It's as if history never happened and these ideas have never already been discredited.

We already know the abuse of power that will come, they haven't hidden it. The only difference will be the complete coverage of it outside of rural areas that don't matter to them (for now.)

I expect reeducation camps are not far off.

3.. 2.. 1.. delusional! What a surprise that will be.

The Russians love Putin, but I never thought I'd see it in America (other than a fringe which is about to go mainstream.)

III wrote:

They have been making steady progress for decades, controlling education, the media, keeping people poor while building a cadre. This has been the most amazing political year I have witnessed in my life.

It's called demographics. The world is changing. Maybe people are tired of even a hint that there will be "more of the same".

Anonymous wrote:

If John McCain cannot stand up to Barack ("Say it to my face, John!") Obama how can he possibly stand up to Vladimir Putin?

Chris Gerrib wrote:

Rand - I read your linked article with interest. A few comments.

Rezko - one of the reasons you've not heard much about him from McCain was that Rezko was heavily in bed with Illinois Republicans as well. Bob Kjellander (pronounced "Shellander") was the (so-far) unindicted co-conspirator at Rezko's corruption trial. Kjellander was the State Republican Party chairman, immediate past treasurer of the Republican National Committee, and ran McCain's nominating convention. In short, there's a real risk of blowback to McCain.

Clinton and Lewinsky - I too was disappointed at Clinton's zipper problem. However, as President, Clinton delivered peace, prosperity and a balanced budget.

Ayers - you do realize that the Annenberg Challenge was funded by Walter Annenberg, a noted Republican and close friend of Nixon and Reagan? Is Annenberg a friend of terrorists for giving money to Ayers?

You will probably dismiss these items as irrelevant, but I wanted to put them on the record.

Anonymous wrote:

John McCain won't seriously push the William Ayers business or these other issues because he isn't actually supportive of the demographic that reads Pajamas Media.

If you all get fired up about NoBama, well good. But McCain won't be giving you anything in return.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Bill Clinton had a lot more than a zipper problem. And the only reason he balanced the budget was because he managed to get a Republican Congress two years into his term.

And yes, if Annenberg is funding Ayers, he is a friend of terrorists, or at least radical leftist revolutionaries, regardless of his party affiliation. Why in the world would you expect me to defend Walter Annenberg?

As for blowback to McCain, yes, both parties are thoroughly corrupt in Illinois, but John McCain has hardly been a Republican Party stalwart.

Bob wrote:

Rand, comparing Obama to Bill Clinton seems like an approach won't do McCain any favors. Don't you think that if President Clinton was able to run for a third term right now, he'd win in a landslide?

Is John McCain really serious about questioning Barack Obama's association with William Ayers?

The evidence suggests he is not.

To truly drive Ayers into the public conversation, to trick what they consider an irredeemably biased press corps into biting, McCain has three vehicles gassed up and ready to go.

(1) He could put lots of money into an Ayers ad -- video press releases don't cut it.
(2) He could devote a stump speech to Obama's associations and Obama's associations only
(3) He could mention Ayers in a debate.

So far, McCain has done none of those things. On top of doing none of those things, he has declared Obama's association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright as off-limits.

Joe Blow wrote:

Clinton is the most corrupt President? More so than Nixon? C'mon...

Jeff Medcalf wrote:

Part of the problem, of course, is that for partisans (which seemingly include the vast majority of the Left and a non-insignificant fraction, probably a majority, of the Right), winning is what matters. Moral questions about the candidate only matter in the primaries, and after that it's fair game. This is the problem with elections that mean something, and it's part of the reason why the Founders so limited the government's powers as to make elections effectively meaningless. Until we reduce the size and scope of government, dramatically, these spirals of corruption and counter-corruption will continue. If we are not very lucky or very careful, it will lead to serious violence. Imagine if Obama is elected, and it turns out that it was very plausibly due to ACORN's voter fraud, and then Obama is a bad president. In that case, how would Republicans react? If the shoe were on the other foot, how would Democrats react?

Rand Simberg wrote:

More so than Nixon?

Much more so.

Mike Gerson wrote:

Yeah yeah, yadda yadda.

Here's Chris Buckley:

If McCain is serious, he should work to have Annenberg and Ayers arrested or posthumously charged. That is if he is serious. Or he could continue to give free rein to the rabble rousing gibberish spewer that is his running mate.

I like it when the slap across the face comes from the back page of the National Review. There is something sweet about that. It points to the continuing blessing on the USA, where decent individuals can sift the wheat from the chaff and draw us together in rational discourse.

Paul Hsieh wrote:

If you're against Obama, you may not necessarily be a racist.

But clearly you must be against hope and change....

Rand Simberg wrote:

What form of dementia resulted in your bizarre fantasy that I would care what Christopher Buckley thinks?

If McCain is serious, he should work to have Annenberg and Ayers arrested or posthumously charged


On what charge? This seems like a pretty brainless comment to me.

ken anthony wrote:

It's called demographics.

No, it's a reeducation as this post points out.

The world is changing.

Is certainly has this year, but I've been watching it change (for both better and worse) all my adult life.

Maybe people are tired of even a hint that there will be "more of the same".

This is the key point! You hit it right in the center of the bulls-eye. You know what's funny (frightening) about that? No historical perspective!!!

Being tired of 'more of the same' is going to result in... 'more of the same' a return to an ideology that has been thoroughly discredited. Read the link above and you may begin to understand why. This is an anti-liberty, anti-freedom ideology.

Do you wonder why some call it Carter 2? I remember the seventies; this will be much worse.

Carter lead to Reagan, but also the beginning of Islamo-fascism. Perhaps Obama will lead to the next Reagan? That is really too much to hope for.

BTW, Reagan was a great president. But you couldn't tell that from what kids are taught in schools today. Winning the cold war without firing a shot was only tip of the iceberg. He made mistakes (all do) but he completely turned this country around from the malaise that was the Carter years. He loved America. Obama hates America. Big difference.

Anonymous wrote:

Why aren't you interested in the management of the Annenberg challenge and the other members of those various committees?


An 8-member Board of Directors made up of representatives of organizations that had no vested interest in Annenberg money was recruited to approve grants, hire an executive director and project staff, and determine which funds could count towards the required $98.4 million match.[19][35] The Board of Directors was handpicked by Adele Smith Simmons, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who was asked by Gregorian to "work with foundation leadership to create a board that would be diverse, including people from the community, business interests and civic leaders, and include no more than nine people."[19][35]

If it's such a lefty plot, wouldn't it make sense to go there?

Hound them out now!

Carl Pham wrote:

It's a pretty decent article, Rand, but there's one point I think you missed that's important.

The President doesn't run the Executive Branch himself. He doesn't make all the decisions, or a majority of them, or even a majority of the important ones. He simply doesn't have time.

What the President does, above all else, is hire the right people to manage the huge Federal engine, with its $2 trillion budget and 2 million employees. He may make a few really major decisions personally, but generally what happens during his Administration is controlled by the decisions and character of whom he appoints to be the Cabinet Secretaries, SEC or Fed Chairman, National Security Advisor, commanding general of this or that geographical area, and so on.

For example, the Iraq War is not being won because George Bush is directly ordering brilliant tactics in Baghdad. Any ideas George Bush has about tactics in Baghdad are almost certainly naive, and quite probably wrong. If he said I know how to win this war, and here is my detailed plan he would almost certainly reel off a load of fantastical crap. No, the war is being won because George Bush had the good judgment to appoint the right commanding general: David Petraeus. It's Bush's judgment of men that has won the war, not his understanding (if any) of how to run a counter-insurgency.

In short, the single most important characteristic in a Presidential candidate is the quality of his judgment of people. Does he size up people accurately and quickly? Does he instinctively attract and build relationships to honest, smart, capable men and women? Does he drop weirdos, narcissists, and liars like hot potatoes, so they won't embarass him (or, later, the country)? A President who is a poor judge of men will be a disastrous President, no matter his other qualifications, no matter how wonderful his "ideas," because he will pick poor associates who will be ineffective, or effective in the wrong way.

Hence voters should be asking themselves about Obama's associations and friends, because of what it says about his judgment of men. The "issues" -- meaning what kind of fine-sounding speech Obama's speechwriters can craft on whatever the worry of the day is, or what his pure personal philosophy of life is -- are by comparison unimportant.

Carl Pham wrote:

And the only reason he balanced the budget was because he managed to get a Republican Congress two years into his term.

You're overlooking Clinton's gutting of the DoD budget, and the (temporary, as it turned out) boom in Federal tax revenue during the mid to late 90s due to the dot-com bubble.

Chris Gerrib wrote:

The Annenberg issue is this: Bill Ayers was so respected at the time that all kinds of people, including conservative Republicans, were willing to give him money. Ayers in fact was awarded "Citizen of the Year" in 1997 in Chicago.

Were all these respectable people wrong? Maybe they are. Although I live in Chicago I've never met Ayers, so I don't know.

But if all these respectable people are willing to hang out with Ayers, it suggests that (at least) Ayers was doing a hell of a job keeping his terrorist activities under wraps.

Bill Maron wrote:

How many of those people are running for President? How many "citizen" awardees can I list for you who neither deserved it and or were found to be criminals? Look at how Chicago treated Al Capone. If you live in Chicago, you either are ignoring the power of the political machine or are naive. Which Republicans are you calling conservative?

Scott Noble wrote:

Chris, liberals hold that Chavez, Castro, Mao, Stalin, etc., are wonderful "men of the people," so why do you think they would think differently about Ayers? Like Hollywood giving awards for trash like Brokeback Mountain, Ayers getting "Citizen of the Year" is not unexpected.

By the way - Carl Pham, you're ready to take over Thomas Sowell's column when he retires.

Andy Freeman wrote:

> Ayers in fact was awarded "Citizen of the Year" in 1997 in Chicago.

By whom?

I awarded my cat "braniac of the universe" this morning.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on October 10, 2008 6:20 AM.

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