I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Corruption By Association

We are in the home stretch of the never-ending campaign season. It is a little more than 3 weeks until election day, when the voting public will decide which candidate will lead our nation either further into the financial abyss or out into the bright shining sun of recovery. The campaigns have pitched their proposals and we have the records of the candidates to aid us in the decision making process. One other tool we have to decipher what a particular candidate will perform is the company that they keep.

The past week has brought a firestorm of media criticism upon the McCain campaign for daring to bring up the relationship between Senator Obama and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. Ayers, for those who do not know, co-founded the radical socialist organization, the Weather Underground. The group under Ayers leadership bombed the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol building, the State Department building, banks, and police stations. They also coordinated jailbreaks and riots during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Ayers has since become a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. On September 11, 2001 the New York Times published an interview with Ayers where he expressed dismay that their bombs didn’t do more to affect the Vietnam War. He expressed no regret or remorse for his terrorist acts.

Barack Obama claims that Ayers is just a man that lives in his neighborhood, but the truth is quite different. Obama held his first political fundraiser at Ayers home in 1995. Also in 1995, Obama was named as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a self-proclaimed school reform organization. Ayers formed this organization, in addition Ayers was the co-chairman of one of the operational arms of the CAC. Obama claims that Ayers was not involved in his hiring as the chairman, but the CAC’s own meeting minutes show Ayers was indeed involved in Obama’s hiring. Obama has said that what Ayers did 40 years ago is irrelevant to their relationship today. If Ayers ugly past were truly in the past then it would not be an issue. The fact that Ayers is stridently unrepentant about what he did 40 years ago. The Obama campaign then claimed that Obama did not know about Ayers past when he held the fundraiser in his home in 1995. Does anyone really believe that Ayers would not be spouting his anti-American diatribes when Obama was in his presence? Even if Obama somehow missed the obvious in 1995, why did Obama serve on the board for the Woods Fund until December of 2002? That would make it more than a year since Ayers interview with the New York Times went public.

Obama’s attendance at Jeremiah Wright’s church made headlines earlier this year until Obama was forced into denouncing Wright. It still does not excuse his sitting in the pew for more than 20 years while Wright ranted and raved against the United States. He also had to distance himself from Father Phleager, another man of the cloth fond of racist rants in the name of Obama.

Obama also has very close ties with the controversial community-organizing group ACORN. ACORN has made news this past week for their fraudulent voter registration drives. In one case, the entire starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys football team registered to vote in the state of Nevada during an ACORN voter registration drive. Obama and ACORN have worked closely for years, dating back to Obama’s days as a community organizer. He ran the Project Vote campaign in 1992, which is the voter registration arm of ACORN. Obama claims that Project Vote is not part of ACORN, but all major media outlets credit Project Vote as being an arm of ACORN. Obama also paid $800,000 to ACORN to register voters during this election season.

Lastly, Obama has attempted to point the finger of blame for the economic crisis anywhere but back at his economic advisors. Obama has as his advisors Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson of Fannie Mae fame. Raines and Johnson soaked Fannie Mae for millions of dollars while running it into the ground. They exaggerated the value of the mortgages that they held in order to score huge bonuses. To add insult to our injuries, McCain and the Republicans called for reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2004 and 2005, but the Democrats blocked that effort. In fact, Barney Franks even went as far to say that there was no evidence to call for reform. He claimed that the reform calls were strictly politically motivated. Now Franks is being touted as a savior of our financial markets because of the colossal $700 billion pork laden bailout.

If Obama had just one or two ties to unsavory people, we could understand, but he has developed a pattern of behavior of cultivating relationships with controversial people. His ties to convicted felon Tony Rezco are yet another example of his lack of judgment. All of these examples have one major thing in common, they all had a unique ability to elevate Obama’s political career. Obama’s reaction to each scandal has developed into a routine for him. He first tries to downplay the relationship. Then he claims he did not know anything about the scandal surrounding his friend. Next he attempts to weakly condemn the act or statement in question. Finally he claims that this “is not the man that I knew 20 years ago”. All of his questionable relationships bring into question his ability to make a sound judgment of one’s character. Are we supposed to trust his judgment while negotiating with Ahmedinejad?

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