Barack Obama must be the most gaffe-prone politician in memory. Today, he delivered a Memorial Day speech in New Mexico. After greeting the local Democratic Party dignitaries, he began:
On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.
Memorial Day honors those who have died in our nation's military service. Is it possible that Obama does not know this? Sometimes the things that come out of his mouth defy understanding.
What was really offensive about Obama's New Mexico appearance, however, was what followed his very brief, but generally appropriate, tribute to America's war dead. He continued with a town hall-style question and answer period that cast veterans in the only role with which the Democrats are comfortable--victims--and sought to politicize the holiday. ....
All in all, a shameful performance. President Bush, meanwhile, gave a moving Memorial Day speech--not a partisan stemwinder--at Arlington National Cemetery. You can read his speech, and watch a video of it, here. The contrast is not, to put it politely, favorable to Obama.
Barack Obama Continues to Blame America First
The more you get to know Barack Obama, the more you get to know that he is just another typical Leftist who blames America first for all of the world's problems.
It's not the fault of Hamas terrorists, or the Iranian regime, or Marxist Hugo Chavez. It's is the fault of George Bush and America that these extremists have kept their word and continued their extremist agendas.
Barack Obama on the dangerous Islamic regime in control of Iran:
"[Bush and Republican nominee John McCain have] got to answer for the fact that Iran is the greatest strategic beneficiary of our invasion of Iraq. It made Iran stronger, George Bush's policies," he said.
Barack Obama on the dangerous Islamic terrorists in control of Gaza:
"He blamed Bush's policies for enhancing the strength of terrorist groups such as Hamas..."
Barack Obama on the radical Marxist in control of Venezuela:
Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples' lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region. No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum.
(Barack Obama says this as he continues to attack America's staunch ally in South America, Colombia.) Barack Obama is sounding more and more like the last America and Israel hater who sat in the White House.
Gloom and Doom?
By Victor Davis Hanson
When Barack Obama talks about avoiding the "money culture" and the lifestyle of suits and big houses, there is nothing per se wrong with such a call to public service.
By the same token, he makes many fine points in his frequent recitals of U.S. history in which the Underground Railroad, the freedom riders, women suffragists, and icons of the civil-rights movement figure prominently.
The problem is different and twofold: First, in almost every allusion to our collective past there is mention of reform and protest, all of it needed of course. But after a while, whether inadvertently or not, our only heroes become those who found the system wanting and took it on. Yet there were many other elements of the system that are responsible for our current freedom and prosperity, and plenty of wonderful Americans outside of social activism.
At some point as he continues to offer us primers on our past, Obama should also include men and women of genius who were not social activists, whether an Edison and Bell, people of action and courage like Lewis and Clark or Lindbergh, political figures such as Teddy Roosevelt, and military heroism at places like Gettysburg, the Meuse-Argonne, Okinawa, Chosun, or Hue.
Otherwise the aggregate effect is Carteresque - more lectures about the old gloom and doom, and more reminders that the unique Americans of the past were only those who followed paths of activism - not surprisingly like those claimed as well by Obama himself.
Second, this is especially important for Obama who now emerges out of Chicago and Illinois politics onto a national stage, and must shed dubious figures like a Wright or Ayers, who clearly are on record as seeing their country as largely pathological.
When one combines Michelle's "pride" speeches and asides about a "mean" country, and Obama's own call for more "oppression studies" in our schools, then the need to remind Americans of concrete examples of our exceptionalism, of good works, and of men and women of singular accomplishment becomes even greater.
Otherwise by summer, each time he evokes American history, millions of Americans are going to wince, tired of either a sermon from a very materially successful person on the evils of, well, being very materially successful - coupled with the same old, same old race/class/gender take on American history that leaves out much of what was good and noble and led to our own fortunate circumstances.
And it doesn't help that the once forgotten Carter of the past is no longer building houses for the poor, but once again quite prominent on the political scene, de facto shilling for Obama, meeting Hamas and Syria, and in his 1970s-mode once more lecturing the world on the misdemeanors past and present of his own wonderful country, while quiet about the felonies of repugnant others.
McCain invites Obama to Iraq
Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain has offered to take his likely Democractic counterpart Barack Obama to Iraq to "educate him" on the real situation there. Senator McCain has said Senator Obama has not been to Iraq in more than two years, since before the so-called troops surge announced by President George W. Bush at the start of 2007. He has said the country has been transformed since then and Senator Obama cannot have a credible policy on Iraq unless he returns there to see the improvements in security.
"Look at what happened in the last two years since Senator Obama visited and declared the war lost," Senator McCain has told the Associated Press. "He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time." "If there was any other issue before the American people, and you hadn't had anything to do with it in a couple of years, I think the American people would judge that very harshly."
Senator McCain supports a long-term US military commitment in Iraq, but Senator Obama wants to start withdrawing troops. The Republican candidate once spoke of a "100-year" deployment, but later claimed he was just using the figure to make the point that he was thinking many years ahead. A supporter of Senator McCain floated the idea of a joint visit over the weekend. On cue, Senator McCain said he was supportive of the idea. "I would also seize that opportunity to educate Senator Obama along the way," he said.
Iraq policy is shaping up as one of the key battlegrounds between the two sides in the November general election. Polls show most Americans oppose the war and its handling by Mr Bush. Senator McCain, a former PoW, will seek to run as the national security candidate and paint Senator Obama as too inexperienced for the top job.
But before he deals with that, Senator Obama must fight his way past Hillary Clinton to formally claim the Democractic nomination. She too is painting him as too inexperienced to be trusted with the presidency. A spokesman for Senator Obama did not directly accept or decline Senator McCain's offer.
The Candidates' Communist Connections
Senator McCain's communist connections consist of bombing the communists during the Vietnam War and then being shot down, badly injured, captured, and tortured by them. On the other hand, Senator Barack Obama was mentored by an identified Communist Party member in Hawaii who had functioned as a Stalinist agent. That was before Obama developed cordial relationships with communist terrorists who openly supported the communist regime that tortured McCain and killed 58,000 of our fellow Americans.
Can we have some coverage of the contrast between the two candidates on Memorial Day? It's not just a matter of McCain serving in the military and Obama not doing so. It's a matter of which side they were on.
McCain was on the American side during the Vietnam War. He personally risked his life and carried out the U.S. policy of resisting the communist military conquest of South Vietnam. Obama had friendly associations with those who had been on the other side and they helped launch his political career in Chicago. Obama can't solve this problem by occasionally wearing an American flag lapel pin.
Keep in mind that we are not talking about associating with those who simply opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Obama's friends, such as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, cheered for a communist victory and visited Havana, Cuba and Hanoi, North Vietnam to bring that about. Like his comrades in the communist Students for a Democratic Society, Tom Hayden of "Progressives for Obama" wrote a letter urging a communist military victory over the U.S. These were people who actually supported the enemy.
In the case of Frank Marshall Davis, Obama's childhood mentor, we are dealing with someone who was on the communist side long before the Vietnam War. Davis supported Stalinist Russia even after the Hitler-Stalin pact. This relationship may help explain why Obama would leave Hawaii, associate with Marxist professors and attend socialist conferences in college (as he admits in his book, Dreams From My Father), and then associate with terrorists, communists, and socialists in Chicago, where he would launch his political career. Davis was a key influence over the young Obama, filling his head with anti-American thoughts.
Thanks to Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily and his excellent reporter, Jerome R. Corsi, many people are learning the basic facts about these relationships. Corsi covered the release of two reports on the subject through my America's Survival, Inc. organization.
At our event, an audience member wondered what the media reaction would be if it were discovered that a Republican presidential candidate had been mentored by a Nazi or fascist during his growing-up years. You and I know that it would be enough of a story that the candidate would be forced from the race. The candidate would be peppered with questions about this relationship at every turn. Reporters would be scrambling to dig up more details about this relationship.
But rather than focus on Davis, some in the liberal media are making fun of McCain's war injuries. Brent Baker reveals that, during a report on the release of McCain's medical records, Dr. Jon LaPook asserted on CBS News that "people" notice that McCain is "not able to raise his arm" and think "doesn't that look funny?" Baker asked, "Who thinks McCain's limitation, caused by an attack on him after his plane crashed in North Vietnam and he was denied medical care, looks funny? In what circles does CBS's doctor travel?" The answer, of course, is the circle of Obama's friends, where veteran correspondent Linda Douglass has now ended up. She has taken a job as a press secretary and adviser to Obama and previously worked for CBS News, ABC News, and National Journal.
Significantly, the basic facts of the Obama-Davis relationship were originally disclosed by Professor Gerald Horne, a contributing editor of the Communist Party journal Political Affairs, who talked about Obama coming under the influence of Davis during a speech at the reception of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) archives at the Tamiment Library at New York University.
Horne, a history professor at the University of Houston, noted that Davis, who had moved to Honolulu from Kansas in 1948 "at the suggestion of his good friend [and secret CPUSA member] Paul Robeson," came into contact with Obama and his family. As Horne describes it, Davis "befriended" a "Euro-American family" that had "migrated to Honolulu from Kansas and a young woman from this family eventually had a child with a young student from Kenya East Africa who goes by the name of Barack Obama, who retracing the steps of Davis eventually decamped to Chicago."
However, in Obama's 1995 book, Dreams from My Father, Frank Marshall Davis was identified only as "Frank." Among other things, according to Obama's own account, "Frank" told him that blacks had a reason to hate and that he should not believe all of that (expletive deleted) about the American way of life.
When one of Senator Hillary Clinton's supporters brought up the issue of Davis's influence over Obama, by circulating an article I had written for AIM about Davis playing the role of Obama's mentor, he was pilloried by the left-wing blogs. The reaction suggests awareness that the role of Davis in the formation of Obama's political views could sink the candidate. They are desperate to keep this information suppressed.
Horne is not the only significant figure to talk about the influence of "Frank" on Obama. Dr. Kathryn Takara of the University of Hawaii, who knew and interviewed Davis and wrote a dissertation on his life and career, confirmed to me that the "Frank" is, in fact, Frank Marshall Davis.
Takara, an Obama supporter, confirmed that Davis was a significant influence over Obama during the three or four years that he attended the Punahou prep school. These would have been the years 1975-1979. She said Obama had been introduced to Davis by his grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who considered Davis a "strong black male figure" and thought he exerted a "positive" influence over the young man in his high-school years.
Asked why she thought Obama didn't identify Davis in his book by his full name, she replied, "Maybe he didn't want people delving into it." She said that this could have had something to do with Davis's lifestyle, rather than his politics. "Frank's was a place where you could have drinks," she said.
Yet, Obama has been open about some things-such as his past drug use. It is difficult to understand why he would not name "Frank" as Frank Marshall Davis simply because "Frank" drank or hosted people who did. It is apparent that Obama covered up his full name because of the notoriety surrounding Davis's political views. Remember this was a black communist who stayed with the CPUSA even while others, such as Richard Wright and Langston Hughes, broke with it.
So how long will Obama's cover-up persist?
There are many in the liberal and conservative media who want desperately to avoid this subject. The liberals want to protect Obama. The "conservatives" avoiding the subject don't want to be accused of "McCarthyism" if they mention it. But thanks to Farah's WorldNetDaily and other new media outlets, the story is coming out and won't be ignored.
(For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)