In the past few weeks Obama has become the embodiment of the hopes of America, he has redecorated the White House with a new basketball court and less TVs, and has taken a Presidential trip overseas. Now he has cast himself as a new face of American money.
On Thursday, Obama reiterated his charge that the Bush and McCain team (?) were trying to make voters afraid of him. In several speeches, Obama accused the Republicans of saying “You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on the dollar bills.” Then in defense of the statement, David Axelrod and others have been saying that McCain started it. The question is HOW?
Sen McCain has never used a racial slur against Obama. Ted Kennedy was the one who got mixed up and called him Osama in an introduction he was making to voters. Obama was the one who gave “The Race Speech” to let voters know he was black after the Clinton’s made several reportedly racial remarks. The worst Sen McCain has done was to liken him to celebrity’s who happened to be white women. It has also been widely stated, almost reverently at times, that only in America could we be facing the choice of a Presidential candidate with the middle name of Hussein.
Sen Obama is again deciding to use the race card in this campaign to draw attention to himself. In the same breath he is trying to paint a picture of a McCain Presidency as a third Bush term, a charge Obama is using to incite the same fear he is accusing McCain of promoting. Yet, in every attack McCain has used there has been real policy differences discussed. Obama has only used his “Hopes and Dreams” scenario in a majority of his ads. The accusation that McCain was the one who started this race issue is LUDACRIS (hear HIS new song?) and baseless.
If Sen Obama wants a real discussion of what Americans are afraid of he should look at his own policies, not his race. On energy, Sen Obama does not support any measures that will help Americans in the long or short term. Offshore drilling is a scheme to him, yet when the ban was lifted by President Bush two weeks ago the price of a barrel of oil and the price at the pump dropped. Nuclear is risky for Obama yet produces clean power at a much higher rate and is safer than traditional power plants. And incentives to find alternative power sources are nothing more than political pandering to Obama.
On the issue of Iraq, Sen Obama wants us out of the country in as little time as possible. He did not and still does not support the surge despite its ongoing success (10 soldiers and 510 civilians died in July, a 75% drop from the same period last year). He disagrees with the commanders on the ground, possibly because of his extensive knowledge of the military, and would only listen to them if it fits into his plans as Commander in Chief. Obama also wants to refocus our military might to Afghanistan, citing the surge of violence there in recent months, but also wants to meet with Iran and Syria with no preconditions to discuss options in the region.
On health care, Sen Obama wants to give coverage to everyone to the tune of billions a year. Not a bad idea except that the cost would be prohibitive. Obama says not to worry that the money being spent on Iraq would fund his initiative. What Obama does not say is that the money being used for Iraq is already being taken out of various Government agencies who would have to continue to operate on a lower budget or cut services even more. To fund the war each agency has to give a portion of its budget back to the government for war funding, so the $10 billion we are spending in Iraq is not the free money Obama sees.
On the issue of the economy, Sen Obama supports tax increases for “wealthy” Americans but has yet to define who will be defined as “wealthy”. He supports PAYGO policies and the limiting earmarks (good) but also supports more stimulus payments with no spending cuts. Obama also wants to tax windfall profits, again without an explanation of what a windfall profit margin is, and raise the minimum wage to what some call a living wage. Both of these practices would raise prices across the board and further weaken the economy by hurting the small businesses that run our country. In addition his guarantee of paid sick days for all workers will further weaken small businesses who are just starting out and can not provide such benefits.
Sen Obama was again partially correct when he said that the Republicans were trying to scare voters. However his insuation that McCain and his supporters are using race to frighten voters was off the mark. The majority of voters do not care about his race or ethnic background and Obama is the only candidate who highlights his diversity and calls it an adversity. What voters are scared of is not who is on their money but rather who will help them earn and keep more of their money. In that scenario, voters should be scared of calling Obama Mr. President.