Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

The Rec Report

Monday, 04 February 2008


The Set-Up: Is Obama a Lamb for Future Slaughter?

When Lori Price, the amazing editor of our newsletter, and the probably the best-read news hound on the web or elsewhere, conjectured clearly on the CLG site on January 28th --

Make no mistake: The GOP-run media is using race to pick off Clinton first, Obama second. The media is (finally) giving us wall-to-wall political coverage instead of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears - but that of the campaigners and their surrogates, not the issues.

These words struck me like a bayonet. The uneasy feeling that I had regarding the Democratic presidential primary was given form. Something was amiss in the political landscape and Lori's words put it across unmistakably.

We have heard so little of the problems with Senator Obama's record that one might assume it was, like the New England Patriots, perfect. The flaws have been so well hidden that one wonders whether something is awry. It wasn't that Senator Hillary Clinton, the heir apparent and presumed nominee, was being pummeled hourly. That was nothing new. Many commentators get what amounts to sexual gratification from the ritual. Rather, it was that her primary opponent, Barack Obama, was not. I began to wonder whether or not something was being spared to effect.

Several issues plagued my mind. One, what about the Rezko affair and why wasn't it treated as it would were the situation reversed?

I believe Obama when he says that his home purchase, based on a deal with Rezko (via his wife) to acquire the adjacent lot, was simply "boneheaded." I believe that Democratic voters are right in overlooking this rather unfortunate slip. But the highlighting of such nonsense, without real substantive implications, is what the media is made of. Such rhetorical hot-air bags are launched irresponsibly every day. If Hillary had been involved in this sort of scenario, investigations, allegations and speculations would be all over the media day and night. But to Obama's great advantage, this news has received scant attention in the MSM. The apparent neglect adds to my misgivings. While my sincere hope is that this issue would remain under the radar forever, my wonder is whether the MSM will bring this out full-force, should Obama receive the nomination. I would prefer that it were aired now in the primary, rather than being apparently 'holed away' for later use.

Similarly, Obama's gutting a nuclear bill in Illinois is another piece of legislative weakness that hasn't been exploited in the primaries, but surely would be so in any general election.

When residents in Illinois voiced outrage two years ago upon learning that the Exelon Corporation had not disclosed radioactive leaks at one of its nuclear plants, the state's freshman senator, Barack Obama, took up their cause. Mr. Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks. He has boasted of it on the campaign trail... [But] while he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks.

Recently, Obama has voiced his support for drivers' licenses for undocumented workers who must drive for work. While this position, liberal and generous in spirit, may help him in the California Democratic Primary, one can only imagine the hay that would be made of such legislative proposal should he be vetted in a general election? I worry that today's media neglect may be tomorrow's media obsession.

Lastly, some hints of the proposed general election treatment have been leaked in advance by Karl Rove in his recent op-ed about Obama. This piece came after Rove had offered Obama advice for beating Clinton. One can only wonder if Rove's piece is a bit of a preview of coming general election "attractions." If Democratic voters think that the Clintons "injected" a racial element into the primary "race" (which arguably, they did not), wait till the Republicans try their old hand at it.

All of us this leads us at the CLG to worry that a fix is in. We hope that Obama is not being used to pick off the erstwhile front-runner, with minimal exposure of his weaknesses now, saving a future deployment of very rough treatment in a general election.

Hillary Clinton is surely not flawless; but her reputation has been scrutinized in the crucible of public opinion. This is, we think, a plus, rather than a negative. Obama has not received any such significant vetting. We wish he had, if only to make him prepared for the Republican attack machine.

Dr. Rec, The Rec Report

Michael D. Rectenwald, Ph.D.


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