ALLAN JEFFERYS: It's Right to Ask Questions About Character of Obama
Whenever the McCain camp brings up some of Obama's close ties to unsavory people, the opposition snorts and accuses McCain of avoiding the real issues.
It happens every time as the Democrats try to do the standard political thing of answering questions with questions and spinning into other issues. Sorry. For some of us, it won't work. Character is an issue and should always be, notwithstanding the adulation of some people for Bill Clinton, whose character was down in the gutter.
Questions that center on character are not merely forays into skeletons in the closet. Nor are they simply "gotcha" tactics. They are what they are intended to be: insights into who the candidate is.
In the case of Obama, questions about associations with known anti-Americans are more than germane; they are needed.
Bill Ayers is a case in point. Ayers was a 1960s leader of Weatherman, a Communist-driven splinter faction of Students for a Democratic Society. Ayers summed up the group's ideology as follows: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the Revolution home. Kill your parents."
OK, Obama was only 8 years old when Ayers went on a bombing spree. But in 2001, Obama was 40 years old when Ayers said, "What a country (referring to the United States). It makes me want to puke."
In that same year, referring to the 30 bombs he and others set, he stated, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."
The facts remain that Obama had more than a passing relationship with this terrorist, including Obama's political coming-out party, which was held in the living room of Ayers.
Nor can we overlook Michelle Obama's anti-American and thinly veiled racist comments. In seeking to find out just who Barack Obama is, we cannot ignore the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's 20-year relationship with the Obamas. This is the same pastor Wright who uttered vile remarks about America.
The argument that Obama resigned from the church following those remarks doesn't wash; surely, he heard variations of hate-the-USA sermons down through the years. He resigned only when the foul words of Wright received worldwide media attention.
It is natural that Obama would like to sweep these character-revealing questions under the rug. But it is equally natural that they be asked over and over again until honest answers are received. This is a man running for the office of president of the United States. Would you want someone so closely aligned with non-patriotic anti-Americanism as our commander in chief?
Then there is ACORN. Barack Obama has long supported this far-left community organizer. ACORN stands for Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now. It is currently under investigation for voter fraud based on accounts of harassing and pressuring people to register to vote dozens of times (as much as 72 for one voter.)
ACORN follows people home and threatens them even if they claim they have already registered. ACORN's protesters have disrupted a bankers' dinner and sent four busloads of profanity-screaming protesters against a mayor's home, terrifying his wife and children.
Heavily involved in the rise of ACORN's power is Barack Obama who helped fund the organization and trained ACORN leaders in how to play the game. Naturally, one of Obama's biggest supporters is this radical pressure group.
With John McCain, what you see is pretty much what you get. If he seems awkward when he raises his arms, chalk that up to five years of torture as a prisoner of war when his arms were routinely broken.
In a face-to-face meeting with the slick, smooth operator that is embodied in Obama, McCain will seem to come in second. But that is only a surface illusion.
Barack Obama spins and dodges and pretends to address real issues, yet his proposals for solutions are made of soap bubbles. Hear him promise the moon and stars if only he is elected president and ask yourself (and him) how it can possibly be done without gargantuan raises in taxes. He will respond that no one earning less than $250,000 per year will see one nickel increase in his or her taxes. The Pied Piper of Hamelin could not have expressed it better.
Now, ask him about his association with terrorist Bill Ayers and convicted felon Tony Resco. Try to pin him down on his close ties over two decades with a pastor who spews hate toward the nation Obama wishes to lead. Obama and his advisers will slither around the subjects and cry foul, demanding that we stick to the issues.
But that is just it. These associations reflect Obama's character. And character is the issue.
Allan Jefferys, a former New York theater critic, entertainment editor and newsman, lives in Pinehurst. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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