By Mark Alexander
It was a bad week for Team Obama. Since Election Day, these characters have been desperately trying to recast themselves as "centrist," and distance their captain from the cadre of unsavory characters which gave him rise.
The big news was the arrest of one of the team's former coaches, Illinois Gov. Milorad "Rod" Blah-goy-ah-vich, in what is arguably the most impressive case of public corruption since the Clintonistas were in the White House.
I am shocked -- shocked -- to report that Barry Obama's hometown of Chicago is a cesspool of political corruption. At least Bill and Hillary had a chance to hang the White House drapes before their patrons and benefactors began to collect indictments. But then, Obama did promise "change you can believe in."
Before we get to Obama's political patron, Blagojevich, there were also a few "players" on Team Obama, previously benched for bad manners, who were making news this week.
For starters, William Ayers, one of Obama's neighbors and key socialist political mentors, re-emerged from his rat hole with another New York Times opinion piece. As you recall, Ayers helped launch Obama's political career from his home near Obama's Hyde Park mansion in Southside Chicago. In addition, he provided the job that Obama later identified as the "primary qualification" for his Illinois State Senate campaign.
Ayers, who on the very morning of 11 September 2001, opined in The Times, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough," and would later insist that Americans deserved the attack, now insists, "I was cast in the 'unrepentant terrorist' roll," adding, "Now that the election is over, I want to say as plainly as I can that the character invented to serve this drama wasn't me, not even close."
He admitted, "I co-founded the Weather Underground [which] crossed lines of legality, of propriety and perhaps even of common sense. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism... But it was not terrorism."
So, blowing up government buildings as a means of protest is not terrorism? Perhaps Ayers should have been called as a character witness for Timothy McVeigh in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Second up, Obama's spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright, was back in the pulpit that Sunday.
Obama describes Wright as a father figure "who I have known for 20 years [who] led me to Christ ... a biblical scholar and well regarded preacher who is known for talking about the social gospel." In other words, a peddler of black supremacist doctrine and the gospel of Marx.
Wright was benched by Team Obama last summer after a video of one of his "social gospel" sermons surfaced, in which he proclaimed, "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government gives [black people] drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strikes law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, g*d d*** America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. G*d d*** America for treating our citizens as less than human. G*d d*** America for as long as she acts like she is god and she is supreme."
On the Sunday after 9/11, the Obama family was in church listening to Wright sermonize about how we deserved to be attacked: "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Last year, Wright awarded anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan his church's highest honor, saying Farrakhan is a man who "truly epitomized greatness," and adding, "When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens. His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest."
When Obama was asked about his close association with Wright, he invoked his own version of Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" defense, and claimed he never even heard any of those controversial sermons. Perhaps he heard all of them, just not with the ears of a presidential wannabe.
On Pearl Harbor Day, Wright was back at it, insisting, "Any preacher who dares to point out the simple ugly facts ... is demonized as volatile, controversial, incendiary, inflammatory, anti-American and radical."
Obama's mentor is so blinded by his hatred for America that he built his comeback sermon around this distortion of history: "Today is December 7th, the day that this government killed over 80,000 Japanese civilians at Hiroshima in 1941, two days before killing an additional 64,000 Japanese civilians at Nagasaki by dropping nuclear bombs on innocent people."
As I recall from my elementary schooling, the bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, and Nagasaki three days later, resulted in Japan's surrender -- which was a far better alternative than the invasion of Japan, at a cost of a half million American lives and those of millions of Japanese civilians.
Apparently Wright's exegetical interpretation of U.S. history rises to the same standard as his elucidation of Scripture.
All that being said, I am sure that Ayers and Wright are just affable dupes caught up in a big misunderstanding...
Next up: One of Obama's most influential political associates, the aforementioned Gov. Blagojevich, was awakened by a phone call Tuesday morning from an FBI agent who asked him to step outside and surrender to agents waiting at his front door. After asking, "Is this a joke?" and being convinced otherwise, Blagojevich surrendered.
Turns out, Blagojevich was trying to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder, and it appears that may have been Jesse Jackson Jr., who has a genetic predisposition toward sleazy shakedowns and "pay-to-play" politics.
Lest anyone try to imply otherwise, Obama has close ties to Blagojevich.
Rahm Emanuel, Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, told the New Yorker earlier this year that he and Obama crafted Blagojevich's first gubernatorial campaign. "We participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor. We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I..."
On 27 June 2002, then-state Sen. Obama said, "Right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as governor." In 2004, then-Gov. Blagojevich returned the favor with his fervent endorsement of Obama for the U.S. Senate and in 2005, Obama endorsed Blagojevich for re-election.
Despite the fact that Obama knew Blagojevich was under investigation for serious corruption issues, he said of Blagojevich, "We've got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois."
Delivered for a price.
The complaint against Blagojevich outlines what federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald calls a "staggering" trail of corruption, and even ropes in another Obama benefactor, Tony Rezko, whose arrangements concerning Obama's home purchase are now the subject of a criminal investigation. Rezko is "cooperating with authorities."
Fitzgerald is tenacious, and will bulldog this investigation wherever it leads, unless, of course, the president-elect determines after 20 January that Fitzgerald's services are no longer needed.
Obama, in desperate need of his teleprompter, said Wednesday, "I had no contact with the governor what -- or, uhhh -- or his office, uhhh, and so we -- I -- I -- I was not aware of, uh, what was happening. And as I said, uh, it's a sad day for Illinois. Uh, beyond that, I don't think it's appropriate to comment."
"Not appropriate to comment?" How about showing some indignation and moral outrage, or a simple stumble-free assurance that he will support Fitzgerald's investigation going forward, no matter where it leads?
Asked whether any of his aides spoke with Blagojevich, Obama said: "Let me stop you there because it's an ongoing investigation. I think it would be inappropriate for me to, you know, remark on the situation..."
I guess Obama is borrowing a page from Bill Clinton's dictionary. Instead of "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is," Obama is claiming, "It depends on what the meaning of 'contact' is."
Complicating matters for Obama, on 5 November, KHQA-TV in Quincy, Ill., reported Obama and Blagojevich were about to meet: "Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled. That's one of Obama's first priorities today. He's meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it." On 8 November, the station confirmed, "Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss it. Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement."
KHQA has removed the story from their Web site and denies any knowledge such a meeting took place.
Now, I would never suggest that the TV media always get it right, or that they ever get it right. However, there is a problem in regard to another televised interview, this one with Obama's senior advisor David Axelrod.
On 23 November, ABC carried an interview on Chicago's WFLD-TV in which Axelrod claimed matter-of-factly, "I know [Obama] has talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
Within minutes of Obama's disclaimer about any such meeting, Alexrod released this statement: "I was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the president-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. They did not then or at any time discuss the subject."
One of Axelrod's statements is false -- we may never know which one -- but he had no reason to lie the first time.
There is no suggestion in the Blagojevich complaint that Obama was directly involved in any of the shenanigans regarding who would fill his Senate seat, but the words "president-elect" appear 44 times in the indictment.
Like the Clintons, Obama is surely smart enough to have insulated any involvement in this racket with cutouts, disposable emissaries who can take one for the team if necessary. (Expect that player's name to surface soon.) But it is worth noting that the last guy Patrick Fitzgerald successfully prosecuted for perjury in connection with a federal investigation was Scooter Libby, who testified he had "no recollection" of the conversation that got him convicted.
Moreover, Blagojevich knows where all the Chicago political skeletons are hidden, and facing 30 years in the big house, he will certainly cut a deal and lead prosecutors to a few of them -- perhaps even one or two in the president-elect's closet. Of course, some 66 million voters did not care about any of this corruption six weeks ago, and are likely to turn an equally blind eye and deaf ear to it now.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.