They say you can judge someone by the friends they keep, others say that it is best to judge someone by their actions or inactions, but I will say that to truly measure a man, we must walk in his shoes and see the world through their eyes. How one sees the world helps explain their motivations, their personal choices and what you can expect them to do when forced to make decisions. I think over the last two weeks we have seen what we can expect from both these presidential candidates if either gets elected. I will have to disagree with many conservative bloggers that McCain doesn’t embody the values of the Republican Party. He doesn’t always stand for the “Old Guard” and the principles they entail, but he does represent small government, religious conviction and a strong military stance. I will also disagree with all Obama supporters when they say their candidate represents “change” and “hope” when he is so entrenched in the political system that his skin colour doesn’t forgive the corruption he is linked to. As Fred Siegel put it,
For all his Camelot-like rhetoric, Obama is a product, in significant measure, of the political culture… At no point did Obama, the would-be saviour of US politics, challenge this corruption, except for face-saving gestures as a legislator. He was, in his own Harvard law way, a product of it.
Now the Obama campaign and their supporters in the MSM are livid, trying to cover up his connection to Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, two unrepenting domestic terrorists who’s involvement in the Weathermen Underground is downright disturbing. When millions were fighting to get into this country, like the “boat people” of Vietnam, these radicals wanted to blow it up. They want Americans to forget that Barack met his wife at the law firm where Dohrn was working, that he later worked on the Chicago Anneberg Challenge where Ayers co-chaired, that they all got together on a variety of occasions to help Obama with his early campaigning, but Stanley Kurtz has made mention of all this, despite their attempts to cover it up. While the McCain campaign is hammering “The One” on this, I do believe they have concentrated on one tree in this forest of corruption. This is just one aspect of the Chicago Machine which has produced this morally twisted and politically corrupted man who many have delusioned themselves into believing is the “change” and “hope” this country needs.
In all fairness, John McCain himself isn’t perfect either, but let’s not exaggerate what he is. We know that the “Maverick” is considered a “hero” by many for his military service, we know that he spent five hard years in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”, and we know that after he left the military he went into politics. What Barack Obama wants us to believe is that McCain’s mistakes are just as horrendous as his own personal corruption, that McCain’s misstep nearly twenty years ago is as damning as his twenty years involved in the corrupt political scene of Chicago, something that is hard to swallow for most level headed Americans. What was the Keating Five and how does it compare to “The One’s” personal and political sins? In my opinion, this a non-issue, but it is highlighted by the economic turmoil we find ourselves in now.
The Keating Five get their name from Charles Keating, a man who spent five years in prison for his corrupt mismanagement of Lincoln Savings and Loan Association (LSLA). What happened exactly? Well LSLA went under in 1989, costing tax payers $2 billion dollars, people were suspicious as to how this could have happened, especially with so many defrauded out of this life savings (sounds familiar? I bet it does). At this time, the media focused their attention on five politicians who were wrapped up in the scandal, Alan Cranston (D-CA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glenn (D-OH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Donald W. Riegle (D-MI) (notice how four of the five are Democrats? seems history does repeat itself). And investigation was started up by the Senate Ethics Commission to looked into $1.3 million in campaign contributions given to these five politicians. Here is where fact and fiction seems to separate…
The commission’s investigation found Alan Cranston “guilty” of interfering with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB) investigation into LSLA, taking contributions for his efforts in arm-twisting Senators who were looking into Keating’s misdeeds. The only thing that saved him from censure from the entire Senate was that he wasn’t going for reelection and that he was suffering from cancer. It was found that his actions were “arrogant, unrepentant and a smear on this institution”, and ignored his claims that his acts of corruption were common place in Washington. With that, his political career came to an end. Riegle and DeConcini were found to have acted irresponsibly in trying to derail the FHLBB’s investigation, but weren’t as culpable as Cranston. These “convictions” however forced the two men to give up their reelection efforts in 1994 and leave political life. McCain and Glenn, on the other hand, while they were brought under investigation, were cleared of charges, but criticized for acting irresponsibly. McCain also admitted, “The appearance of it was wrong. It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”
So what did McCain actually do that was so damning? Well nothing really. While he had the closest relationship to Charles Keating of the five, much of this was due to the fact that he had associations with those who knew Keating, and because his wife Cindy McCain had invested in one of the businessman’s shopping centers in 1986. Keating had used his close relationship with McCain to push the Senator to “fight on his behalf”, meeting with various parties about the investigation. In his defense, McCain said “I have done this kind of thing many, many times” and this was like “helping the little lady who didn’t get her Social Security”. While it was irresponsible, the ethics committee said that he wasn’t guilty of any crime and that neither he nor Glenn should have should be brought into the investigation. The media latter renamed the guilty parties “The Keating Three”, but by that time, the original name had caught on. Following this, John McCain teamed up with Senator Russell Feingold to pass campaign reform legislation in 2003 which would help in combating such corruption by politicians in future elections.
There you go, he admitted he made a mistake, reformed his ways and even passed the McCain-Feingold Act which could clamp down on sketchy campaign practices. By making this an issue, Obama points the spotlight on his own party more than he does on the “Maverick” because it was only the “Keating Three”, who were Democrats, that were found to have done anything truly wrong. This isn’t an “October Surprise”, this is a misfire by a campaign that has had it easy up until now. The MSM won’t dare mention his wrong doings, nor question his or his running mate’s records, but McCain will. It isn’t simply Bill Ayers and his wife anymore, today in his speech in New Mexico, the Senator took a shot at Obama’s political upbringings. If anyone has something to hide, it is “The One” as he has been very defensive of his time in the Illinois Senate. Why though? What does Barack have to hide? A lot it appears…
For those not familiar, let me introduce you to the politics of the Chicago Machine. As Siegel mentioned in his article, Barack was brought up into it, bred by Jack Arvey, the mastermind of the Democratic Political Machine in Chicago, to “perfume the ticket”. His birth into politics was a well calculated effort which started in Bill Ayer’s home in 1995. I will repeat, this was a calculated effort by these people to push a radical into the office, someone who would fight for their beliefs, not American ones. His efforts with the Anneberg Challenge and the Woods Foundation, he helped fund groups like ACORN who pushed for sub-prime lending, helped fund Ayers’ “educational programs” as well as help raise money for his other handlers. It isn’t that he didn’t do anything , it is that he what he could do without “rocking the boat” or really drawing attention to himself. Voting “present” was part of this strategy of filling his role, but not doing anything that could hurt his chances for advancement. This changed when it was seen he was a “do-nothing” senator, but he backed safe legislation, things like increased school funding and education reform, including the questionable Senate Bill 99.
During this time, he also pushed for earmarks for construction jobs that were awarded to Antoin Rezko. “Tony” as he is usually called, is the money man for many politicians within the Chicago Machine, including Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who is know under federal investigation for his corrupt practices. For a favour, he will provide much needed funding to help connected friends get elected, something Obama himself took advantage of. When he purchased his upscale home, Rezko’s wife helped by purchasing the adjacent property. The home owner wouldn’t sell unless both properties were purchased and Obama couldn’t afford to do so without this kind of financial assistance. While ABC covered this story, I felt they missed a serious issue; What favour did “The One” do to get that kind of money? This isn’t a “bonehead” move, it is just the latest in a long list of corrupt practices. What about his connection to the racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright?
As Siegel put it, Obama had to pay service to Louis Farrakhan and other powerful black leaders in politically tribal Chicago. His relationship with Wright, as the “Aussie” columnist pointed out, was a political move to gain the support of his large base of supporters. I find it disturbing that he swallowed all that racial hatred for twenty years, praised Wright in his book for his “spiritual awakening” where, even quoting the first sermon he listened to about how the whites in America are like the Egyptians of the Old Testament. How is this not relevant? Why shouldn’t voters weigh this when they cast their ballot? As Sarah Palin pointed out in her speech Sunday, this man sees America differently then most, as “so imperfect that he pals around with terrorists” who would seek to destroy it, and I think it is because of this “cultural upbringing”. This is the difference, where McCain had been friendly with Keating because of his political convictions and personal relationship, Obama had supported Wright’s radicalism for his own benefit, to further his political career. Sincere versus sinister motives, this is the difference between the “Maverick” and “The One”.
With these new attacks in reference to Keating Five, Obama wants you to look at something McCain admitted was a mistake, while ignoring the same and even worse mistakes he made that he won’t even acknowledge. This is a mistake for Barack and his team, mainly because it once again puts his campaign and his past actions under a magnifying glass. You can’t tell me that McCain’s “sins” even compare to those of Obama, especially when he has to hire a “truth squad” in Missouri to keep his critics silenced. This isn’t to “keep the facts straight”, this is a desperate attempt to keep the facts from being known. The MSM is also doing its best to cover Obama’s tracks, the worst offenders being MSNBC and CNN. Matter of fact, CNN’s Anderson Cooper is trying to say that Bill Ayers has turned over a new leaf and that he is no longer the radical he was from the sixties, but is now fighting for education in Chicago. They even spun the words of Stanley Kurtz to say this, a man who actually pointed to the exact opposite, stating in a few articles that these “educational groups” included one in Palestine linked to Yasser Arafat, the now deceased terrorist and former Palestinian leader. You can’t spin that, but you sure can ignore it can’t you CNN?
Returning to my point, seeing them at their weakest, who did the responsible thing? After almost falling into corruption, John McCain turned his political life around and become the “Maverick” we know now. He pushed for reform, even went across the floor to and passed McCain-Feingold to keep political campaigns honest. The measure of this man can be found in his undying love for his country which, he admits, started in his small cell at the “Hanoi Hilton”. What about Obama? He has be promoted by a corrupt Chicago establishment, is supported by a variety of criminals and continues to flip-flop and lie about his positions on various political and social issues. Although he tries to deny it, he is still linked to the far-left radicals which tried to destroy America so many years ago. Don’t believe me? Progressives for Obama is all the proof you need. Their organizers and supporters include Tom Hayden, Howard Machtinger, Jeff Jones, Steve Tappis and Mark Rudd, all formerly connected to The Weathermen. It isn’t simply Bill Ayers, it is most of the surviving members of that dangerous group.
Is a man with those connections the man you want leading The United States of America? Is that a man who will fight for your ideals? Do you really expect a man who was thrusted into the political spotlight by anti-American radicals to stand by and defend yoru country? I highly doubt it…
UPDATE: Talk about “Chicago Politics”, seems the Democrats slipped in a nice piece of pork in the last bailout bill for ACORN. Michelle Malkin also did a piece for the New York Post about it.
UPDATE: Mark Levin had Bob Bennett, the ethics committee investor of the Keating scandal, on his radio show yesterday (October 6th) to discuss the Keating Five. In his own words, Bennett stated that while he had cleared both McCain and Glenn of wrong doings, his findings were ignored by partisan politicians trying to keep the Keating scandal from being a solely Democratic matter. Freedom Eden also has Bennett’s statements on record for any “Kool-Aid drinker” who wants to believe the garbage Obama’s campaign is throwing around now.
UPDATE: TD Blog has brought to our attention a developing story concerning Obama’s efforts to help elect a pro-Islamic candidate in Kenya. Raila Odinga has threatened genocide and yet “The One”, the man of “change” and “hope”, supported a tyrant who’s change would destroy the hope of all Kenyans of living in peace.