- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Find a candidate without a paper trail on the most controversial issues. For those of us who suspect, but cannot yet prove, that Barack Obama is a genuine radical leftist, his lack of much of a voting record is going to make it difficult to prove what his real values, policies and motives are to be president.

This is particularly the case because the media is so obviously going to give Mr. Obama cover not only for his current revelatory gaffes, but also for embarrassing bits from Mr. Obama’s past.

For example, on June 2, National Review Online ran an extraordinary article by Stanley Kurtz. He closely assessed a 1995 article about Mr. Obama by Hank De Zutter titled “What Makes Obama Run?” The essence of his thesis is the following:

“De Zutter’s article shows us that the full story of Obama’s ties to [Rev. Michael] Pfleger and [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright is more disturbing and more politically relevant than we’ve realized up to now. On Obama’s own account, the rhetoric and vision of Chicago’s most politically radical black churches are exactly what he wants to see more of. True, when discussing Louis Farrakhan with De Zutter, Obama makes a point of repudiating anti-white, anti-Semitic, and anti-Asian sermons. Yet having laid down that proviso, Obama seems to relish the radicalism of preachers like [Father] Pfleger and [Rev.] Wright. In 1995, Obama didn’t want Trinity’s political show to stop. His plan was to spread it to other black churches, and harness its power to an alliance of leftist groups and sympathetic elected officials.

“Obama’s political interest in Trinity went far beyond merely gaining a respectable public Christian identity. On his own account, Obama hoped to use the untapped power of the black church to supercharge hard-left politics in Chicago, creating a personal and institutional political base that would be free to part with conventional Democratic politics. By his own testimony, Obama would seem to have allied himself with [Rev.] Wright and [Father] Pfleger, not in spite of, but precisely because of their radical left-wing politics. It follows that Obama’s ties to Trinity reflect on far more than his judgment and character (although they certainly implicate that). Contrary to common wisdom, Obama’s religious history has everything to do with his political values and policy positions, since it confirms his affinity for leftist radicalism.”

Now, given how much the media has covered both issues pertaining to Father Pfleger and Mr. Wright, when a respectable journal such as National Review runs an article by a journalist of established credibility such as Stanley Kurtz that suggests a different and far more disturbing interpretation of Mr. Obama’s relationship to Mr. Wright and Father Pfleger, a responsible mainstream media needs to act. It would seek out Mr. Obama and, at the minimum, ask him whether the things the 1995 De Sutter articles quotes him as saying are things he in fact said. They might even ask him to explain himself. If the 1995 article is an accurate reflection of what Mr. Obama said, then most of what he has said in the last few months about the Wright affair and Trinity church could not continue to be viewed as believable.

A much more recent example of the media not even going through the motions of being responsible is their almost complete avoidance of his recent statement that:

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.”

Is there absolutely no curiosity at The Washington Post, the Associated Press or even the New York Times about the assertion by the man who is considered likely to become president of the United States at noon on Jan. 20, 2009, that letting Americans eat as much as they want is “not going to happen?” Doesn’t that shockingly dictatorial assertion deserve comment and inquiry?

Yes, it is true that Mr. Obama was explicitly saying that what wasn’t going to happen was “other countries [saying] OK” to Americans eating as much as we want. But a fair reading of the whole passage suggests that Mr. Obama agrees with those other countries. And as president, what exactly would he try to do regarding Americans who want to eat as much as they want (or drive SUVs or set their own thermostat)?

Dictator or democrat? Radical or liberal? Who in the world is this man? Where in the world is the responsible media? What’s going on?

Tony Blankley is a syndicated columnist.

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