- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

With just two days to go before the presidential election, an election the chattering class has flatly declared to be the most consequential of our lifetimes - or, some would have you believe, ever - Barack Obama is playing a sort-of prevent defense, waiting for the clock to run out. The Democratic nominee is sitting on the ball, hoping not to make any more gaffes that could cost him his lead in the polls.

It’s easy, of course, when you have a defensive cordon provided by a news media so unabashedly in the tank for Mr. Obama that they need scuba gear, but since they are unlikely to ask their president-in-waiting these questions, his Republican rival John McCain ought to, because the American people deserve answers to them. (Regrettably, these questions should have been asked in the debates, where they would have been heard by tens of millions, live, unfiltered and unedited by those some same news media lapdogs. But better late than never.)

— With the announcement that you raised an additional $150 million in September alone, you’re on pace to raise and spend something on the order of $650 million during the campaign. Together with your Big Labor allies and liberal 527s spending perhaps $350 million more on top of that on your behalf, we’re looking at a staggering $1 billion. Furthermore, it has been reported you’re out-advertising the McCain campaign 4-to-1 around the country. Aren’t you essentially trying to buy the presidency? When was it put up for sale to the highest bidder?

— You have spoken of your intention of raising taxes on the “rich” and making them pay their “fair share.” Can you put some hard numbers on that? What constitutes “rich” in your view, and what do you consider a “fair share,” given that, according to October 2007 Internal Revenue Service figures, the top 1 percent of taxpayers already pay 39.4 percent of all income taxes, the top 5 percent pay nearly 60 percent and the top 25 percent pay 86 percent? Is that not “fair share” enough, and if not, what would be “fair,” in your view?

— You and your vice-presidential running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, have vowed repeatedly to “end” the war in Iraq. Why is the verb always “end” and never “win”?

— You have sought to make an issue of my supposedly voting with President Bush 90 percent of the time, hoping to link me to a president whose popularity rating is under 30 percent. But isn’t it also true that you have voted 95 percent of the time with a Democratic Congress whose popularity rating is even lower than Mr. Bush’s, in some polls as low as 9 percent. So isn’t that 90 percent thing a red herring?

— During the Democratic primaries, you refused to participate in a debate on the Fox News Channel, supposedly because the network isn’t “fair and balanced,” even though the event was to be co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. If you are unable to stand up to Brit Hume and Chris Wallace, why should we believe that as president you would be able to stand up to Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il or Hugo Chavez?

— You have longstanding ties to ACORN, a left-wing group that is being investigated on voter-registration fraud charges in at least a dozen states, including in Nevada, where ACORN employees submitted voter-registration forms for the entire Dallas Cowboys starting lineup. Will you sever all ties to ACORN, call on Congress to revoke its millions of dollars in federal funding and urge the attorney general to pursue a RICO (Racketeer-Influenced Corruption Organization Act) investigation of ACORN?

— You have received the backing of the teachers unions and have called for more federal spending on public education. So, if you are elected president, will you send your daughters, Sasha and Malia, to the D.C. public schools, as President Carter did with Amy? Would it not be hypocritical - in essence saying, “Do as I say, not as I do” - to do otherwise?

— In your acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, you said we should be our “brother’s keeper.” Yet, what have you done in that regard to help your own half-brother, George Hussein Obama, who lives in a hut in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, on $1 a month?

— You say you are against gay marriage, so why have you come out against a ballot referendum in California that would overrule the actions of four judges there that overturned the expressed will of 61 percent of the people of California in a 2000 referendum and imposed gay marriage by judicial fiat?

— Some of your supporters have tried to make a health issue of the fact I’ve been treated for melanoma, even though I’ve been pronounced cancer-free. Yet you have not released more than a summary of your medical records. Will you release your full medical records before the election. If not, why not? Don’t the people have a right to know?

— My campaign has been criticized by the liberal media in recent weeks for some angry words about you from some of my backers, which I’ve disavowed repeatedly. By contrast, why have you not vigorously condemned the remarks of your supporters, like those of actress Sandra Bernhard, who warned Sarah Palin to stay out of Manhattan lest she be gang-raped by Miss Bernhard’s “black brothers,” or Rep. Charlie Rangel, who said Mrs. Palin was “disabled”; or South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler, who said Mrs. Palin’s chief qualification for having been selected as my running mate was that she hadn’t had an abortion; and most recently Rep. John Lewis of Georgia who likened me to one-time segregationist George Wallace?

Peter J. Parisi is a copy editor at The Washington Times.

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