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April 25, 2008

Krauthammer On Obama's 'Distractions'

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on Barack Obama's definition of the word "distraction" and points out that Obama's "distractions" are the things that most reveal one's character and core beliefs - and in Obama's case, the character and core beliefs that are being revealed call his judgment into question (HT - BCB):

Real change has never been easy. . . . The status quo in Washington will fight. They will fight harder than ever to divide us and distract us with ads and attacks from now until November. - Barack Obama, Pennsylvania primary night speech
[...] With that, Obama identified the new public enemy: the "distractions" foisted upon a pliable electorate by the malevolent forces of the status quo, i.e., those who might wish to see someone else become president next January. "It's easy to get caught up in the distractions and the silliness and the tit for tat that consumes our politics" and "trivializes the profound issues" that face our country, he warned sternly. These must be resisted.

Why? Because Obama understands that the real threat to his candidacy is less Hillary Clinton and John McCain than his own character and cultural attitudes. He came out of nowhere with his autobiography already written, then saw it embellished daily by the hagiographic coverage and kid-gloves questioning of a supine press. (Which is why those "Saturday Night Live" parodies were so devastatingly effective.)

Then came the three amigos: Tony Rezko, the indicted fixer; Jeremiah Wright, the racist reverend; William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. And then Obama's own anthropological observation that "bitter" working-class whites cling to guns and religion because they misapprehend their real class interests.

In the now-famous Pennsylvania debate, Obama had extreme difficulty answering questions about these associations and attitudes. The difficulty is understandable. Some of the contradictions are inexplicable. How does one explain campaigning throughout 2007 on a platform of transcending racial divisions, while in that same year contributing $26,000 to a church whose pastor incites race hatred?

[...] But Obama needs to cast out such questions as illegitimate distractions because they are seriously damaging his candidacy. As people begin to learn about this just-arrived pretender, the magic dissipates. He spent six weeks in Pennsylvania. Outspent Hillary more than 2 to 1. Ran close to 10,000 television ads -- spending more than anyone in any race in the history of the state -- and lost by 10 points.

And not because he insufficiently demagogued NAFTA or the other "issues." It was because of those "distractions" -- i.e., the things that most reveal character and core beliefs.

Read it all ...

Blue Crab Boulevard writes of Krauthammer's piece:
This one is a must read. The excerpt barely scratched the surface of what Krauthammer pounds on Obama for in this column. From Obama's dismissal of small town Americans to his defense of the indefensibly wrong Reverend Wright, Krauthammer nails the real distractions Obama is using. Trying to distract people from his own behavior and questionable associates.
And it's Obama's "own behavior and questionable associates" that keep sounding alarm bells to those who haven't deafened themselves through blind faith, "hope," and a desire for "change" (not really knowing to what). As Peter Wehner noted in his piece on judgment, character and Barack Obama, we should always be careful about making sweeping conclusions about any individual, particularly one as interesting and compelling as Senator Obama. All of us, in replaying our lives, would change certain things if we could.
We would all hope to show more integrity, more courage, more honor. Nevertheless, in a presidential campaign we have to judge based on the available evidence. And given his deep and long-standing association with Reverend Wright, it is fair to ask whether Senator Obama -- a gifted writer and speaker and a man of obvious intelligence and appeal -- has the appropriate judgment and character to lead this nation. Spending 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ under the leadership of Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. doesn't tell us everything we need to know about Barack Obama -- but it may well tell us enough.
Indeed, what we've learned about Obama's judgement and character so far is enough for us to know that he does not have the character to lead America. The change he offers is a change we can all least afford during this time of great crisis in the world.

Related: Team Obama: Everything That Hurts Us Is a Distraction

Posted by Richard at April 25, 2008 8:30 AM



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