Wednesday, 03 January 2007

Obama and His Bush Problem

Ken Berwitz

Barack Hussein Obama is a first-term senator from Illinois who aspires to run for the presidency in 2008.  But he has a George W. Bush problem....or does he?

Here's what I mean:  George W. Bush was haunted for his entire presidency by ghosts of the past: 

-Hardly a day went by when media didn't remind us that he used to be a drinker (the fact that he gave up drinking 20 years ago and there is no evidence he ever drank again?  Who cares?);  

-Media spent years attacking Bush for his National Guard service.  First it was the fact that he was IN the guard instead of on the front lines in Vietnam which, they reasoned, made him a virtual draft dodger.  Then it was the possibility (still unproven) that he missed a few guard meetings at the end of his time there.  Fascinating, isn't it, that the same people who told you his military service was unimportant to the point of being nonexistent, then went ballistic over the possibility that he might have missed a few meetings within the unimportant/nearly nonexistent service.  To read the articles and watch the TV reports, you'd have sworn it was some kind of watershed event in the war;

-Bush was accused of being a cocaine user many years ago (no proof, but none needed - this is Bush after all);

-Finally, just before the 2000 election a 24 year old DUI charge was dredged up by a Democratic operative, which media treated as if he had committed the crime of the century.  (In reality, he didn't have an accident, didn't hurt a soul, he voluntarily came to court and his license was temporarily suspended.  Not exactly earthshaking).

At this point you may be wondering what the connection is to Barack Obama.  Fair enough.  Here it is, via an article in today's Washington Post (I am posting only the relevant excerpt -- you can read the rest at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/02/AR2007010201359_pf.html:  also, the bold print is my idea, not the Post's):

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Effect of Obama's Candor Remains to Be Seen
Senator Admitted Trying Cocaine in a Memoir Written 11 Years Ago

By Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 3, 2007; A01

Long before the national media spotlight began to shine on every twist and turn of his life's journey, Barack Obama had this to say about himself: "Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man. . . . I got high [to] push questions of who I was out of my mind."

The Democratic senator from Illinois and likely presidential candidate offered the confession in a memoir written 11 years ago, not long after he graduated from law school and well before he contemplated life on the national stage. At the time, 20,000 copies were printed and the book seemed destined for the remainders stacks.

Today, Obama, 45, is near the top of polls on potential Democratic presidential contenders, and "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" has regularly been on the bestseller lists, with 800,000 copies in print. Taken along with his latest bestseller, "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," Obama has become a genuine publishing phenomenon.

Obama's revelations were not an issue during his Senate campaign two years ago. But now his open narrative of early, bad choices, including drug use starting in high school and ending in college, as well as his tortured search for racial identity, are sure to receive new scrutiny.

-----------------------------------------------------

UPDATE:  The exact words from Obama's book, are :

"I had learned not to care," he wrote.  "I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years.  Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.  Not smack, though.  ..."

Ok, let's talk about this:

     -I did not read Obama's memoir, so I don't know the exact time period when he was a self-professed junkie and pothead.  But given that he is now 45, it would seem pretty certain this occured within the past 30 - 35 years, probably even more recently. 

Well, President Bush's last year in the national guard was 33 years ago. 

If Bush's possible (unproven) non-attendance at a couple of national guard meetings in 1973-74 was worth years of ongoing scrutiny, what is Obama's admitted drug usage WITHIN that time frame worth?  If Bush's admitted drinking was worth years of ongoing scrutiny, what is Obama's admitted drinking, AND pot, AND "blow" (cocaine) worth? 

     -President Bush was twice elected Governor of Texas before running for the presidency.  And both times he was skewered for his past indiscretions, both factual and fantasized.  But Barack Obama, who was on record as being a drinker, and pot user, and cocaine user by HIS OWN ADMISSION?  Not an issue at all in his senate race.  Will it be if he runs for the presidency?  Have you seen it YET?

I often talk about media bias in this blog.  I don't know how it can be clearer than it is here.  

barry sinrod AS USUAL YOU NEGLECT TO SAY THAT OBAMA WROTE THIS HIMSELF. HE DID NOT DENY IT. IT WAS 11 YEARS AGO AND SO WHAT? BUSH CONTINUES TO DENY AND LIE ABOUT HIS COCAINE USE AND HIS BEING A DRY DRUNK EVEN NOW. AND NOW HE WILL BE OFFICIALLY INSANE WHEN HE MOVES TO SACRIFICE MORE OF OUR SOLDIERS FOR HIS OWN USE. NEARLY EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD SAYS NO, MEMBERS OF HIS STAFF SAY NO, THE MILITARY SAYS NO. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO SAY YES ARE YOU AND W. (01/04/07)

Ken Berwitz Why are you yelling? What are you talking about? I make it 100% clear Obama said this. I literally quoted from his book. You're so busy yelling and hating that you didn't even read the blog. If you want to believe that Bush lied about drug use that's your business. But you have no proof, which is why you can't post anything to back it up, so it remains your belief and not a fact. Even if you yell about it at the top of your lungs. Hating Bush does not make an argument. Offering compelling facts does. (01/04/07)


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