Obama associations foretell his political ideology


By: Robert E. Meyer

This election season, the editorial staff of my local newspaper has departed from their usual tradition of endorsing presidential and lower tier congressional candidates. During the past two presidential cycles, they took much flak in their editorial section for their choices.

In a recent staff editorial they remained consistent with that non-committal position. They issued a statement suggesting that readers check out the truths about candidates’ past associations by doing research at the website www.factcheck.org.

Factcheck is an objective and useful tool that I frequented while doing research for the 2004 election. But Factcheck has its own limitations. At best, it can only reveal the factual nature of each candidate’s past associations, but it cannot interpret the current ideological ramifications of those associations.

The point to observing and emphasizing these connections is very simple. If controversial figures keep surfacing as past associations, and the ideological views of these associates are similar, it is reasonable to assume they had some formidable influence in shaping that individual’s present policies. That seems to be confirmed by Obama’s status as a legislator with one of the most liberal voting records in the U.S. Senate. My assertion about ideological mentoring is true whether those associations continue at present or not.

It is easy for a polished candidate to move to the center to attract a popular, broad-based following once the party nomination is secured. That was the posture of Obama during the three presidential debates. But again, are people like Jeremiah Wright departures from Obama’s liberal positions, or further confirmation of them? Look at more than the very recent past.

Among the more lame defenses offered by the Obama camp, is that the terrorist actions of Bill Ayers occurred when Obama was eight years old.

But how is that objection a relevant defense of that association? Nobody is accusing Obama of having planned or of carrying out any terrorist acts. But suppose someone dug into my past and discovered that on a number of occasions, about 20 years ago, I had visited Charles Manson in prison. Would I be exonerated from the pejorative implications of that association because I happened to be 10 years old when the Tate murders took place? Talking about Obama’s youthful age when Ayers did his bombings is a big red herring.

But there are at least two important distinctions in the case of comparing the past associations of Obama with those of McCain.

First Obama’s political and activist past is less well known and scrutinized than is McCain’s.

Secondly, Obama’s party could sweep Congress with a veto proof majority, that would permit “rubber stamping” of left-leaning legislation. That makes analysis of his character and past even more vital, since McCain is not in that position of power. McCain would have his mandate impeded by gridlock, but not so with Obama if political pundits have correctly forecasted a filibuster-proof majority for liberals.

Any thinking person must consider that the implications of that aspect as well.

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