By: Ronald Kessler Article Font Size
Two events made Condoleezza Rice switch from being a registered Democrat to a Republican.
The first was when she watched the 1984 Democratic National Convention that nominated Walter Mondale for president. Rice, who grew up during segregation, was turned off by an endless refrain of appeals to “women, minorities, and the poor, which basically means helpless people and the poor,” she has said. Rice decided she would “rather be ignored than patronized.”
The second event was Jimmy Carter’s professed shock at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, demonstrating naivete and spotlighting his feeble approach to national security. The spectacle sickened her.
Substitute the name Barack Obama for Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter and you have a good summation of this presidential candidate’s approach.
To be sure, Obama is a master at seeming to appeal to all sides. But his voting record makes it clear he is a doctrinaire liberal who sees minorities as victims and the government as the solution to all problems — except when it comes to protecting us from terrorist attacks.
According to the National Taxpayers Union, Obama has proposed at least $287 billion a year in new government spending. That does not include his more recent $150 billion “green energy plan.” He also co-sponsored a Senate bill to spend at least $845 billion a year to fight global poverty.
Obama would pay for these increases with much higher taxes, including by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010.
Americans for Tax Reform gives him a lifetime rating of 7.5, compared with 82.7 for John McCain. Indeed, the National Journal has ranked Obama the most liberal senator for 2007.
“He’s a bleeding heart liberal, but he’s smart enough not to put it in people's face right now,” says Republican Illinois State Sen. Bill Brady, who worked with Obama in the Illinois State Senate and calls him that body’s most liberal member.
When speaking out against tax cuts, Obama has likened the Ownership Society, which includes such measures as personal Social Security accounts, health savings accounts, incentives to expand home ownership, and tax cuts to encourage growth of small businesses, to “social Darwinism.”
Speaking to the National Women’s Law Center in November 2005, Obama said, “The idea here is to give everyone one big refund on their government — divvy it up into some tax breaks, hand them out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own healthcare, their own retirement plan, their own unemployment insurance, education, and so forth.”
In Washington, he said, “They call this the Ownership Society. But in our past, there has been another term for it — social Darwinism, every man and woman for him or herself.”
In other words, instead of helping people to help themselves and grow the economy at the same time, Obama’s approach would keep them dependent on government handouts, encouraging them to think of themselves as victims. When it comes to keeping America strong against terrorist threats, it’s quite a different story.
Like a 6-year-old kid who wants to be friends with everyone on the block, Obama has said he would offer prompt negotiations with anti-American despots. More frightening, Obama voted last August to give Osama bin Laden and other terrorists the same rights as Americans when it comes to intercepting their overseas calls in order to pick up clues needed to stop another attack.
Obama recently avoided voting on extending the Protect America Act, thus putting America at risk when immediate interception of terrorist communications is required.
Obama would withdraw immediately from Iraq, leaving that country to morph into a haven for al-Qaida and a staging ground for attacks on America.
While Obama has portrayed himself as a candidate for all Americans, his closeness to his minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, tells a different story. For more than two decades, Wright has been Obama’s friend and sounding board, a man he consults before making important decisions like whether to run for president.
In December, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan as a man who epitomizes greatness. Farrakhan has blamed blacks’ troubles on Jews, America, and whites, whom he calls “blue-eyed devils.”
Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago espouses what it calls the Black Value System. While the Black Value System encourages commitment to God, education, and self-discipline, it refers to “our racist competitive society” and includes the disavowal of the pursuit of “middle-classness” and a pledge of allegiance to “all black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System.”
The Black Value System defines “middle-classness” as a way for American society to “snare” blacks rather than “killing them off directly” or “placing them in concentration camps,” just as the country structures “an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.”
Contrary to Obama’s portrayal of himself as a unifier, on every bipartisan effort in the Senate to forge compromises on tough issues, Obama has been missing in action.
In sum, Barack Obama’s voting record, the comments of his close friend and sounding board, and his own statements suggest that the dazzling orator from Illinois represents everything that Condoleezza Rice rejected about the Democratic Party.
If Obama is his party’s nominee, we will all applaud the symbolism of a black man achieving so much. But if they are aware of his radical agenda, it’s doubtful most Americans will buy entrusting the country’s future to him.
Faced with a press that adores Obama, the question will be whether Republicans can portray the stark difference between the man and the myth.