We hate to agree on ANYTHING with Maureen Dowd, that vapid female contributer to that vast gallery of media lying hacks and idiots, but in this case (like Pat Buchanan penning his "Nancy Pelosi is the AIPAC girl" column) MoDowd hits the ball out of the park - - if Senator Barak Obama thinks he is going to win the most powerful political position in the world without playing some political hard-ball, he really is a dreamer!
The text-book (political science) definition of politics is "that which determines who gets the power," and the text-book definition of power is "getting people to do that which they otherwise would not do" - things such as paying taxes, abiding by laws and regulations, going off to war from which one may never return, surrendering one's homes to new highway construction, etc.
The office of the presidency of the United States has the power to throw people under the sledgehammer of federal prosecutions (see the story of Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, quite probably convicted by partisan US Attorneys directed by White House Political Director Karl Rove, for doing one-third of what his Republican political opponents got away with); the presidency has the power to start wars (see, Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada, Bosnia/Kosovo), or declare a formerly "rouge" dictator to be a new friend and ally of America (see Qadaffi), and of course chief executive in the executive branch has the power to put people under miscroscope examination for TAX AUDITS and other iron-fisted government powers.
IF Barak Obama thinks he is going to control all those powers with NOTHING more than appeals to our (America's) better nature, he seriously underestimates the history of the human race, and especially the warlike nature of these United States of America!
Indeed, never in American political history has there been such an opportunity for one canddate to CHALLENGE the qualifications, judgement, and motivations of his opposition, as Mr. Obama now has with his Democratic primary opponent, Senator Hillary Clinton.
TO BEGIN WITH, there is former President Bill Clinton LOBBYING, on behalf of a Canadian mining mogul, with KAZAKHISTAN's SADDAM-ESQU DICTATOR for a multi-billion-dollar uranium contract, with Clinton getting a ten-million dollar payoff for his successful super-lobbying efforts.
Then there are the repeated cases of former President Clinton charging $300,000 to appear at a charity event... for a one-evening dinner! (The Clinton tax returns indicate that they donated 10% of their income to charity... but the majority of those "donations" WENT TO THE CLINTON Charity Foundation, which did not disburse many funds to actual charities UNTIL Senator Clinton started her presidential campaign in earnest.)
So it is "UNFAIR" to make her husband's record the focus of criticism of Senator Clinton herself?
How about Senator Hillary Clinton's own ludicrous statement that "when an area was too dangerous to send the president, they sent me" describing her visit to Bosnia when she was then First Lady?
How about her vote to give authorization to the Bush-Cheney administration to attack Iraq... before international weapons inspectors had found one drop of evidence of an Iraqi WMD program? Or her outrageous "we will obliterate Iran" comment (which is redundent, because Israel already has the nuclear fire-power to do so)?
These absurd, atrocious comments (not to say "juvenile") coming from a so-called "leader" who claims she has "the experience" to become president "on day one"!
And above all, Senator Clinton's recent, campaign claims have video-tapped her protestations that she OPPOSED her husband's signature NAFTA free-trade agreement in the early 1990s - when there are videos and reams of testimony that she SUPPORTED congressional passage of the NAFTA trade agreement, challenges both her veracity, her memory, and her long-range strategic political vision... for anyone could see then, that if the NAFTA agreement did not include demands for labor and environmental minimum standards, then industrialists would use the "free trade" agreements in a RACE FOR THE BOTTOM, the race for bottom-line corporate profits at the expense of labor, coummunity, and environment.
Maureen Dowd has it right: if Senator Obama wants to step up to the plate of the most powerful political position in the world, he better be prepared to swing his bat with all his might. Dragging up the issues and/or scandals that challenge Senator Clinton's qualifications to lead the nation in perilous times is child's play... the ONLY PROBLEM, is doing that opposition campaigning in a respectful and dignified manner that does not get too personal.
(Example: "Today, Senator Clinton claims she was opposed to NAFTA in the early 1990s, even though she gave speeches supporting its passage in 1993. One news story suggests that then then First Lady Hillary Clinton focused her efforts on 'BLOCKING labor and environmental opposition' to NAFTA's passage by Congress.
Fifteen years later, BLOCKING labor, environmental, and economic fairness issues are the SIGNATURE POLICIES of the Republican leadership, Republican 'leadership' presiding over the decline of the American economy. Does Senator Clinton really think that she has the foresight and political ability today to undo the results of her legislative shortcomings from 15 years ago?")
IF Senator Obama is not prepared to swing that major league bat, he should, indeed, step out of the batter's box. Americans do not want a leader who can be bullied by an oppenent with a 30 years trail of missed opportunities, poor judgement, and poor recollection.
Senator Obama Starting to look like the Efete and Vulnerable Senator John Kerry.
By Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist
Published: March 9, 2008
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