Friday, April 25, 2008

Obama The Good Old Boy’s Good Old Boy

From Barack Obama’s campaign literature, one could not doubt that the presumptive Democrat nominee for president is still transcendently clean. But leaks are beginning to appear in the propaganda boat. Very few people familiar with Chicago politics and the old Cook County political machine are surprised by recent revelations. "Recent” revelations means that some of the information is slowly dribbling down from sources unfriendly to Obama in the direction of such Obama-friendly outposts as The New York Times, CNN and other Big Media whose editorial page editors and political commentators appearto be as stricken with the guy as "Obama Girl."

The current issue of National Review magazine is packed with them. Here is the lead to the cover story, “The Obama Way” by Fred Siegel: “Barack Obama exaggerates, embellishes, engages in double-talk, overstates, systematically deceives, and presents lies as metaphorical truths. All of this is unappealing, but also unexceptional. What makes Obama different is that there’s not just a gap but a chasm between his actions and his professed principles.”

Siegel says it is not surprising Obama failed to transcend Chicago politics. The lure of money, status and such characters as Tony Rezko would prove irresistible to Saint Francis: “Blacks adapted to both the tribalism and the corrupt patronage politics that accompanied it. Historically, one of the ironies of Chicago politics is that the clean-government candidates have been the most racist, while those most open to black aspirations have been the most corrupt. When the young Jesse Jackson received his first audience with Richard Daley the elder, the mayor — impervious to the universalism of the civil-rights movement in its glory — offered him a job as a toll-taker. Jackson thought the offer demeaning but in time adapted. In Chicago, racial reform has meant that today’s Mayor Daley has been cutting blacks in on the loot. Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, and Barack Obama are all, in part, the expression of that politics. It hasn’t always worked for Chicago, which, under the pressure of increasing taxes to pay for bloated government, is losing its middle class. But it has served the city’s political class admirably.”

Why was Obama singled out for preferment by the political machine? “Part of the answer was given long ago by the then-boss of Chicago, Jake Arvey. When asked why he made Adlai Stevenson — a man, like Obama, more famous for speeches than for accomplishments — his party’s gubernatorial candidate in 1948, Arvey is said to have replied that he needed to ‘perfume the ticket.’”

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