More on Obama’s Chicago days

Posted by: ST on August 20, 2008 at 10:05 am

David Freddoso, author of The Case Against Obama, has an opinion piece today in the Wall Street Journal that describes how Obama, the so-called “Agent of Change” didn’t embrace “change” until it became politically convenient for him to do so.  

Freddoso talks about Obama’s State Senate run, where he had all four of his opponents disqualified before a single vote could be cast, and goes from there:

The act of throwing an incumbent off the ballot in such a fashion does not fit neatly into the narrative of a public-spirited reformer who seeks to make people less cynical about politics.

But Mr. Obama’s offenses against the idea of a “new politics” are many, and go well beyond hardball election tactics. It is telling that, when asked at the Saddleback Forum last weekend to name an instance in which he had worked against his own party or his own political interests, he didn’t have a good answer. He claimed to have worked with his current opponent, John McCain, on ethics reform. In fact, no such thing happened. The two men had agreed to work together, for all of one day, in February 2006, and then promptly had a well-documented falling-out. They even exchanged angry letters over this incident.

The most dramatic examples of Mr. Obama’s commitment to old-style politics are his repeated endorsements of Chicago’s machine politicians, which came in opposition to what people of all ideological stripes viewed as the common good.

In the 2006 election, reformers from both parties attempted to end the corruption in Chicago’s Cook County government. They probably would have succeeded, too, had Mr. Obama taken their side. Liberals and conservatives came together and nearly ousted Cook County Board President John Stroger, the machine boss whom court papers credibly accuse of illegally using the county payroll to maintain his own standing army of political cronies, contributors and campaigners.

The since-deceased Stroger’s self-serving mismanagement of county government is still the subject of federal investigations and arbitration claims. Stroger was known for trying repeatedly to raise taxes to fund his political machine, even as basic government services were neglected in favor of high-paying county jobs for his political soldiers.

When liberals and conservatives worked together to clean up Cook County’s government, they were displaying precisely the postpartisan interest in the common good that Mr. Obama extols today. And Mr. Obama, by working against them, helped keep Chicago politics dirty. He refused to endorse the progressive reformer, Forrest Claypool, who came within seven points of defeating Stroger in the primary.

After the primary, when Stroger’s son Todd replaced him on the ballot under controversial circumstances, a good-government Republican named Tony Peraica attracted the same kind of bipartisan support from reformers in the November election. But Mr. Obama endorsed the young heir to the machine, calling him — to the absolute horror of Chicago liberals — a “good, progressive Democrat.”

Mayor Richard M. Daley — who would receive Mr. Obama’s endorsement in 2007 shortly after several of his top aides and appointees had received prison sentences for their corrupt operation of Chicago’s city government — was invested in the Stroger machine’s survival. So was every alderman and county commissioner who uses the county payroll to support political hangers-on. So was Mr. Obama’s friend and donor, Tony Rezko, who is now in federal prison awaiting sentencing after being convicted in June of 16 felony corruption charges. Rezko had served as John Stroger’s finance chairman and raised $150,000 for him (Stroger put Rezko’s wife on the county payroll).

Mr. Obama has never stood up against Chicago’s corruption problem because his donors and allies are Chicago’s corruption problem.

Make sure to read the whole thing.  The piece is an great compliment to two other very well-written, detailed pieces about Obama that have been published this year, one written by NR’s Stanley Kurtz, which talks about Obama’s more-than-casual associations/relationships with toe-the-line far left liberals in Chicago like unrepentant domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, and the other by Todd Spivak, who covered the image-conscious Obama’s last few years in the Ill. State Senate. 

All three articles should be bookmarked and referred back to anytime someone tries to argue with you that Obama is a “different” kind of politician.

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One Response to “More on Obama’s Chicago days”

Comments

  1. camojack says:

    Hopefully enough voters “get it” in time for November 4. :-?