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PINE BLUFFS — The Presidential Election of 2008 – 21 months of charges and countercharges, exaggerations and distortions, outright lies and twisting of facts - is a thing of the past.
The Media tell us we made history on November 4th by electing the first black President in our long, colorful existence. They conveniently overlooked the publicity they gave to liberals like black author Toni Morrison (aka Chloe Anthony Wofford) in 1998, and black Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus in September 2001), who, with perhaps a bit of overblown rhetoric, claimed that former President Bill Clinton was actually the first.
That omission is neither here nor there. But Media bias cannot be overlooked as a contributing factor in this election. According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, comments made on ABC, CBS, and NBC by sources, voters, reporters, and anchors over the two months immediately prior to the election reflected positively on Barack Obama 65% of the time, but on John McCain only 31% of the time. Nevertheless, despite these findings, Bernard Goldberg's two books Bias and Arrogance, and the opinions of many people, including much if not all of Middle America, the Media are not biased. Members of the Media have told us so, and we "can trust" them.
And we can overlook its mistakes, too. Such as its constant drumbeat during the campaign that America's youth would turn out in droves to elect Barack Obama. Obama was elected alright, but the youth did not turn out in droves; in fact the youth vote was actually less than it was in 2004.
Anyway, the election is over. The people have spoken. John McCain gave a very gracious, gentlemanly concession speech. Barack Hussein Obama is our President-Elect and will be our 44th President. Blacks are happy. Even though the city of Toledo issued riot gear to its entire police force – the idea being that if Obama lost, blacks would riot in the streets, and if Obama won, blacks would riot in the streets – election night appears to have passed peacefully.
So, my first comment after the election is to offer congratulations to Obama and his supporters. I will now join the ranks of the loyal opposition, or as some are putting it, the Conservative underground.
As my friend Eric, a Conservative Jewish radio talk show host (yes, there are such people alive and well in the United States), and blogger extraordinaire put it a few days ago on his blog (See www.blacktygrrrrexpress.com): "There will be many days ahead where I will offer everything from analysis to criticism to self reflection. Today, as much as I am disappointed, I offer only congratulations. . . . Senator Barack Obama won this race fair and square. We can argue about merit and policy, and in the coming months we absolutely will. However, getting elected in politics is a game, and Barack Obama played it well enough within the established rules to win."
Here's one thing I won't do, and I hope all Conservatives will refrain from doing. I will try not to fall into that reflexive, mindless, knee-jerk hatred of a President that Liberals did. Directed toward George W. Bush from the inception of his presidency by such ultra-liberal organizations as MoveOn.org, Slate, and others, and venom-spewing individuals like George Soros, they attempted not just to prove his policies wrong, but to destroy at every opportunity a fine man who did much good for America during his 8-year term. Sadly, that venom was picked up and parroted by ordinary Democrats who do not follow politics closely and are often victimized by rhetoric from irresponsible sources.
Many are now asking, "How will Obama govern? From the Center? Well, yes, if you think that the Left is now the Center. Or, will he govern from the far Left? To get at least something of an answer now, it's helpful to examine his political career, which includes his years in the Illinois Senate representing perhaps the most liberal (and corrupt) district in that State, his friends – such as Bill Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Fr. Michael Pflaeger - who have influenced him most, his campaign promises, and his rhetoric.
Let's begin by looking at his election night acceptance speech. Obama touched all the bases – I've heard nine presidents give these speeches during my lifetime, so I know - the speech was standard boiler plate stuff. As they all did before him, Obama said that in a spirit of bipartisanship he'd reach out to Republicans and include them in his Administration. But the very next day, we saw that the first appointments to his Transition Team were all Democrats; all former Clinton transition team staffers. Not a Republican among them, and here, if he really wanted to display a bipartisan approach, was the perfect spot to do so. People on transition teams have very specific jobs to do and cannot hurt a president's policies in any way.
As for me, I'm happy that we live in a land where, as President Bush said the day after the election – and as I've written before - the peaceful transition of power is a hallmark of our Democracy and a credit to our people. Karl Rove, a former presidential adviser to Mr. Bush and another man hated and persecuted by the Democrats because of his political effectiveness, put it well: "The masses are not asses!"
Bipartisanship? On Thursday, November 6, it was announced that Obama's first major appointment – Chief of Staff in his future White House – would go to Rahm Emanuel, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003, who represents Illinois 5th Congressional District. That area covers the north side of Chicago and parts of infamous Cook County, which many believe, invented the lowest standards of political corruption in the country. A rabidly partisan Democrat, Emanuel served as Director of former President Clinton's Finance Committee during Clinton's first primary campaign. He proved an adept fundraiser, and still is, this time for Barack Obama, who raised $750 million, the most ever in the annals of presidential campaigns.
Rumor has it that Emanuel mailed a rotting fish to a former Party co-worker after they parted ways. Can you imagine the message that must have sent to its recipient? And after the 1996 election, Emanuel was so enraged at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner, and in front of everyone, grabbed a steak knife, and began rattling off a list of "enemies" or betrayers (a la Richard Nixon's enemies list, perhaps?), shouting "Dead! . . . Dead! . . . Dead! and plunging the knife into the table after every name. His lack of bipartisanship earned him the nickname "Rahm-bo."
Emanuel, a Jewish person who once supported the War in Iraq, left the White House in 1999 and took a well-paid position at Dresdner Kleinwort, an investment bank in Chicago from 1999 to 2002, where he reportedly earned $18 million. He was named to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) by then President Clinton, where he oversaw some, if not all, of the disastrous policies that brought about the financial crisis with which the country is now dealing.
To be fair, however, some say Emanuel has aligned himself with the center-right of the Democrat Party since his election. He has been returned to the House every two years since 2003, by ever increasing voter majorities. Does this mean he might counsel his new boss to run a center-right Democrat Administration. We can hope.
It's interesting that the drive-by Media, which neglected its job of vetting Obama during this intolerably long and costly presidential campaign – no, actually championed his cause – now is being heard to say, quoting Tom Brokaw on the evening of the election – that "We don't really know who Obama is." What? All the Media had to do was assign a reporter to investigate his background. And it had 21 months to do it. Someone in the broadcast or print Media could have selected an investigative reporter from among the 41 the Media dispatched to Alaska to hunt through Sarah Palin's trash digging for dirt about her. Or, they could have gone to any one of numerous websites such as mine, or listened to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, Glen Beck, or other respectable Conservative talk show hosts, who attempted to do the Media's job for it by bringing Obama's background to the public's attention.
On November 4th, I watched Obama's acceptance speech and considered it clever politics. As I said, he touched all the bases. Several things struck me, especially this one. Have you ever seen one where the successful candidate stood up there alone delivering his speech? No wife. No cute kids. No Vice-President, and his wife and family. Yes, I know they came onstage prior to, and they came back after, but during? Just him alone. I don't know quite what to make of that. Egotistical? Narcissistic? Creepy? We'll see.
In any event, governmental power is now firmly in the hands of the Democrats. That's the way the people voted. Republicans cannot win every election. After winning seven out of ten previous elections, we got what we probably deserved. Given stewardship of the country beginning with both houses of Congress in 1994, we failed to exercise it responsibly and the voters saw that. Remember that famous quote of Lord Acton? "Power often corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." All Republican office holders were not corrupt. Some were. Earmarks point to that fact. John McCain promised to rid the federal government of "pork barrel politics," and reduce the deficit once again to the balanced budget brought about by Newt Gingerich and his Contract with America in 1994. The voters didn't think that was important enough to entrust Mr. McCain with the highest office in the land at this time. Will Obama cut government spending or raise it? Balance the federal budget or continue and even add to deficits? Raise taxes on the middle class or lower them? We'll see.
One thing is clear: many of the people who will hold power in the new Administration will be leftists. Some of them are or have been members of the Hate America crowd. How will they govern? That's a big question mark. The stock market suddenly seems to be concerned. Counting Election Day and the two days following the election, it declined substantially, incurring the largest losses ever experienced immediately after an election in American history. It has begun to rebound, but it will take months to recover to pre-election levels.
The Media are spinning, spinning; it was the bad news about unemployment; it was the bad news about the economy; it's the War in Iraq and the War in Afghanistan, etc. Of course, it was not the news that Obama, who previously promised to raise the capital gains tax, to raise taxes on corporations (you know, the ones that provide a large percentage of the jobs Americans depend upon), or that he was found to have said, earlier this year in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, that he intends to bankrupt an entire coal industry in order to cease our dependence upon coal as an energy source. That, for states like West Virginia and Wyoming, would be disastrous. Nor could it have been anxiety that an Obama Administration might nationalize all IRA, Keough and 401K funds, removing them from the capital markets in which they are now invested. Of course not.
Barack Obama is seen by many as someone who wants to unite people. Is he? There is now talk among the Democrats of reprisals against those in the Senate and House who disagree with them. Senator Joe Lieberman, a close friend of John McCain, who did not support Obama, is a case in point. Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will "meet with him to discuss his future." At issue is a filibuster proof Senate. To get there, Democrats need 60 votes. Lieberman, who chairs an important committee, changed his registration to Independent when he last stood for election after Democrats abandoned support for him and supported his ultra-liberal opponent. It's well-known that Connecticut is the third or fourth most liberal state in the Nation. Lieberman often disagrees with the Democrat leadership. Will he be forced into line? Yes. Threatened with loss of his Committee chairmanship? Probably.
One final thing: life will go on. I will not climb out on a narrow ledge and contemplate jumping just because my Party did not win this election. The people chose Barack Hussein Obama, and although I did not agree, I will respect that decision.
Generally, the Liberal elites think they know what's best for the country. I do not believe, as Liberals do, that they know better than we how to spend our money, when we should and should not go to war, and - I love this one – that paying higher taxes is a patriotic duty, while Joe the Plummer and the rest of us are simply, as Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA) said just a few months ago,"ignorant rednecks clinging to their religion and their guns," because we do not understand the world around us.
May God bless the United States of America!
Anthony J. Sacco, a writer, licensed private investigator, author of two novels; The China Connection, and Little Sister Lost, and a biography, Echoes in the Wind, holds degrees from Loyola College of Maryland and the University of Maryland Law School. His articles have appeared in the Washington Times, Baltimore Sun, Voices for the Unborn, the Catholic Review, WREN Magazine and the Wyoming Catholic Register. E-mail him at AnthonyjSacco@hotmail.com and visit his blog at AnthonyjSaccosr.townhall.com. His work is also available at Triond, an Internet Magazine.