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Will Barack Obama be our second "black" president?

By Nicholas Stix
web posted August 9, 2004

"The issues don't really matter," says one party fund-raiser. "This guy is the dream candidate." -- The Economist, July 15

Barack ObamaWith the June 25 announcement by conservative Republican Jack Ryan that he was dropping out of the U.S. Senate race for Illinois, and legendary Chicago Bears tight end/coach Mike Ditka's July 14 announcement that he would not serve as the sacrificial lamb of the corrupt, Illinois Republican Party leadership, the seat appeared to fall to Democrat candidate Barack Obama virtually by default. Meanwhile, in what took on the airs of a coronation, Obama was chosen to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention on July 27, in Boston. And Obama delivered, with a rousing speech on "One America," that in a brilliant exhibition of evasive action, tacked to the center, and even brought tears to this old cynic's eyes. And I know Obama's real politics! Just imagine the speech's effect on the ignorant, the credulous, the socialist.

The worshipful tone of establishment media Obama stories has made it clear that for the lords of the media-political complex, the Senate is but the beginning of the road for Obama, a road that many power brokers would like to see culminate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But who is Barack Obama? Is the charming, handsome, eloquent 42–year-old state senator who dominated a field of six in the March 16 Democrat primary with 53 percent of the vote, the herald of a "new kind of politics" or merely yet another voice calling for the same old, racist, urban welfare politics the Democrat Party has promoted for forty years? Does Obama support America's vital interests, or does he, like the left wing of the Democrat Party, believe in "America Last"?

On June 4, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert pitched for Obama.

"In a political era saturated with cynicism and deceit, Mr. Obama is asking voters to believe him when he talks about the values and verities that so many politicians have lied about for so long. He's asking, in effect, for a leap of political faith."

Herbert crafted two cover stories, as to why voters should support Obama: 1. He is a left-of-center candidate whose message transcends partisanship; and 2. He is black. (Actually, Obama is biracial; one can only call him "African-American" by reading his white mother out of his genetic code. If anyone tries to read me out of my biracial son's genetic code, I'll knock him on his butt.)

Forget number one. Herbert wants Illinoisans to elect Barack Obama to the Senate, because Herbert has defined him as black. Imagine how Bob Herbert and millions of other black and white "liberals" would react, if a white columnist called on voters to elect a political candidate, merely because the latter was white (or was defined by the writer as white).

Herbert tells us that Obama is a "left of center" pol who believes in "a set of core values that bind us together as Americans." Herbert writes that Obama's "partisans describe [him] as a dream candidate, the point man for a new kind of politics designed to piece together a coalition reminiscent of the one blasted apart by the bullet that killed Robert Kennedy in 1968."

Obama happens to be a rabid supporter of affirmative action and other racially biased policies, though Herbert did not see fit to divulge those facts. Indeed, Herbert provided no credible or substantive information about Obama's politics.

Obama, who currently represents Illinois' 13th Senate District, on the largely black South Side of Chicago, is also an ardent supporter of abortion, and a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago. But has he ever read the Constitution? The Supreme Court's decisions deeming abortion a "fundamental right" and in favor of affirmative action were, constitutionally speaking, some of the worst in the history of the Court.

According to a fawning, if brief profile in The Economist, "He has worked hard to reach across racial lines, but his core support comes from blacks and white urban progressives, and he has pinned his primary hopes largely on the Chicago area."

The anonymous Economist editorialist also indulged in some cheap race-baiting: "Are Illinois voters ready for this? In a city with deep Irish roots, a local commentator suggests that he might do better as O'Bama."

Had the writer at The Economist bothered to check his facts, he would have known that Chicago today has twice as many blacks as Irish. Apparently, he only knows Chicago from 1930s' 20th Century-Fox movies about Mrs. O'Leary's cow.

Indeed, consider the following letter that an Illinois reader sent me three weeks ago:

"I thought I'd mention a quirk about the recent primary campaign here in Illinois:  There was a huge field of candidates on both the Democrat and Republican sides, more than in any other election I can remember.  In that campaign, many of Obama's yard signs were conspicuously different from the others -- his were the only signs that included a photo.  It would be hard to avoid the conclusion that the unstated but intended message was, ‘Vote for Obama, He's Black.'

"Now what is truly fascinating is that these yard signs were used everywhere: from African-American neighborhoods to the North Shore enclaves of the Limousine Liberals.  For that to be the case, the campaign must recognize a remarkable political development: Whites who will give ‘extra points' to a candidate because he is black far exceed the number of white racists who will think less of him because he is black."

I'm not sure what it means to work hard "to reach across racial lines," but I know that white progressives are often exaggerated in their anti-white racism, to the point of lunacy. One of the easiest measures of this is racial crossover voting. It's a one-way street. As Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom wrote in America in Black and White, "while black candidates can usually count on almost every black vote, whites who run in a racially diverse setting have no such advantage." Black candidates have won white majorities in cities with small black populations, but white candidates running against black opponents must usually write off the black vote.

Unfortunately, Bob Herbert and the editorialist at The Economist have been all too typical. The media coverage of Obama that I have seen has been an endless series of puff pieces, many of which employed the same fork-tongued rhetoric: ‘He transcends race (but support him, because he's black).' Such campaign propaganda from the press should not surprise students of the media – like Obama, the people "covering" him are overwhelmingly leftists. Alleged journalists see helping Obama win as a matter of political honor. As Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass observed, "A conservative Ditka candidacy would also have forced Barack Obama, the anointed one, to actually campaign for the Senate rather than wait for more air kisses from Hollywood liberals and the Eastern press, the Midwestern press, the Western press."

There's still hope that Barack Obama might yet have to fight for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Hours after this appears, former Ambassador Alan Keyes will have officially announced his decision to run against Obama, as Illinois' Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. Keyes, a black conservative talk show host who disagrees with Obama on virtually every major issue, is not only one of America's most brilliant thinkers and public speakers, but a man who has consistently refused to engage in evasive action or to tack to the center. And he will most certainly not blow his opponent air kisses.

Nicholas Stix can be reached at Add1dda@aol.com.

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