Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Characters do Count by Frank Gaffney

Suddenly, the presidential campaigns are addressing an issue that should have been at the forefront of this year’s election long ago. Call it “characters count.” We know people – especially public figures – by the company they keep. And we need to know much more about, to put it charitably, the characters that have figured prominently for years in Barack Obama’s life.

Over the weekend, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin brought the issue to the fore by observing caustically that the Democrats’ would-be commander-in-chief has “palled around with terrorists.” The Obama campaign immediately deployed talking points and a television ad conjuring up Charles Keating, a one-time friend and supporter of John McCain who was a driving force behind the 1980s-era savings and loan debacle.

The problem for Barack Obama is that convicted – and unrepentant – terrorist William Ayers is not the only person with a profound animosity towards this country with whom he has “palled around” since his youth. It is not, as the Democratic candidate maintains, a distraction or a sign of desperation on the part of his opponents that serious questions are finally being asked about the nature and the implications of the judgment he has exhibited in the past – and may exhibit in the future – as evidenced by his myriad and profoundly troubling personal ties. That is especially the case since so little is known about the junior Senator from Illinois and what he really means by “change.”

Take for example, the formative influence in Barack Obama’s youth that he calls in his memoirs simply “Frank.” As it happens, the Frank in question was Frank Marshall Davis, a well-known Stalinist Communist in Hawaii whose attachment to the Soviet Union and hatred for an America he loathed as racist and imperialistic caused the FBI to keep him under surveillance for at least 19 years. Evidently, young Obama and his father spent hours in the company of this mentor, presumably soaking in not only his alcohol but his virulent hostility towards America.

We now know that a similar view was espoused routinely from the pulpit of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Sen. Obama maintains that somehow he had not heard any of Wright’s loathing of this country – epitomized by the latter’s notorious plea, “God damn America.” When confronted with evidence of it, he could not bring himself to disassociate from his pastor of twenty years until that tie properly threatened to scupper his candidacy during the Democratic primaries.

Thanks to the intrepid Stanley Kurtz, we also have learned of Sen. Obama’s longstanding ties to another fixture of the radical left, one emblematic of its enmity towards an America seen as oppressive and racist: the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (better known as ACORN). Obama trained ACORN personnel, worked with its activists on the group’s (often problematic) voter-registration efforts and consulted with its most aggressive operatives. Preeminent among the latter has been one Madeline Talbott.

Obama also secured, through his position on the Woods Fund and Chicago Annenberg Challenge boards (he served on the former with Bill Ayers), funding for ACORN’s intimidation campaigns against banks that failed to make sub-prime style loans to otherwise ineligible would-be homeowners. As Kurtz put it in the New York Post, “It would be tough to find an ‘on the ground’ community organizer more closely tied to the subprime-mortgage fiasco than Madeline Talbott. And no one has been more supportive of Madeline Talbott than Barack Obama.” Continued...

About The Author

Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .

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Date: Oct 7, 2008 - 4:23 PM EST Subject: Death of Indignation
I think that the average American no longer has the capacity or desire to be outraged by the outrageous. I honestly don't think that any of these associations are going to bother anyone on the left. It's a pity.

date: Oct 7, 2008 - 2:42 PM EST Character Counts
The only way to gauge character in someone you don't know and one who just delivers platitudes like B.O. is to look at his record, such as it is. This article does a credible job in describing very questionable associations and "accomplishments" by this pretender.

Why is it that people seemingly discount character, substance, and a record of getting things done by McCain/Palin while giving incredible credence to B.O.'s empty palaver backed with practically no deeds worth discussing? Delivery and style of utter baloney seems to click with the majority while the much less stellar but substantive deliveries by MCain are disregarded. My view: The pathetic deficiency of the positive attributes mentioned in the general population and the desire of the masses to be entertained by a smooth-talking (when he has a teleprompter) but pathetically unqualified clown. We deserve the results we get!

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