Breathless Attack Journalism or the Real Issues
"If he becomes the nominee, all the Democrats in America will be viewed by the rest of the world as either utterly stupid, or totally corrupt." Barack Obama - Operation Board Games For Slumlords Evelyn Pringle, April 7, 2008
"Scoop" Independent News
I guess that means "the whole world is watching." They've already expressed their opinion of our government and it's not a pretty picture. It has to do with real issues.
Does the "Operation Board Games for Slumlords" article, others like it, or the attacks from the presidential candidates bear any relationship to the real issues that we face as a nation?
Evelyn Pringle delivers a breathless and excoriating critique of Barack Obama based on his past connections to civic and business figures in Illinois. This effort follows her series opener on Obama, "The Wizard of Oz. In that effort we learned that "Obama is a political psychopath."
In this article, we're told right away that: "Barack Obama has a long history of working with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and governors of Illinois, including the current Governor Rod Blagojevich, in doling government funding for housing development in Chicago"
Pringle asserts that "In Obama's case, a whole gang of slumlords in Illinois made their 'voices heard' by writing campaign checks to fund his rise to fame."
Unfortunately, we don't get any specifics directly linking Obama to any of the charges in the article; just a litany of allegations against past or present contributors and associates. Obama is somehow responsible for their bad behavior and alleged crimes
We hear a series of sordid tales about those who have contributed to Obama in the past and speculation on the cabinet positions they'll take in the Obama administration.
The supposed crimes of Obama's peers and past associates are based largely on U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of Illinois Governor Blagojevich (D) and other heavy weights in Illinois politics and business. Pringle delivers the unsavory history of those under suspicion or indicted and then applies guilt by inference and association to Obama.
Shocking isn't it? Big cities have big corruption. A large portion of it is in public housing. Politicians are forced to raise funds from a variety of private individuals (some not so pleasant) in order to get elected. Once elected, politicians serve the interests of those who gave them money.
After putting the Illinois Republican hierarchy in jail, Fitzgerald is now going after the Democrats elected in their aftermath. Guess what? He's finding corruption. He will put a bunch of Democrats in jail. Some Republicans will get elected in their place and the cycle will begin all over again.
But Pringle's conclusion is entirely different: "If he (Obama) becomes the nominee, all the Democrats in America will be viewed by the rest of the world as either utterly stupid, or totally corrupt." This is a defining moment for Democrats. If they fail to wise up about Obama, they're in for it. They will be reviled or mocked by the entire world.
And Now for something entirely different - the Real Issues
Real Issue 1: We invaded a country that had not attacked us or threatened to attack us. The invasion was based on lies. The lies were known to the president and the legislature at the time. The invasion has resulted in the death of 1.2 million Iraqis; the death and injury of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens; the orphaning of 5.0 million Iraqis; the displacement of millions from Baghdad … and we're still fighting.
We have not apologized. We have not tried to seriously compensate for the death and damage.
We don't have a candidate or party that acts as though this is a matter of grave urgency.
We don't have one candidate from either party who will mention the more than 1 million dead Iraqi civilians.
Real issue 2: The survival of the human species is at risk as a result of our relentless fouling of the environment. Along with the polar bears, we may become extinct. That is the ultimate existential issue. Since we produce many of the toxins that threaten the world's population, we're expected to offer some assistance and leadership.
Are the devastating threats from a degraded environment a hot topic in this campaign?
What are the candidates saying about the specific human loss and suffering that will result from a failure to take action in the immediate future?
Real issue 3: The U.S. economy is just beginning an astonishing economic upheaval. Banks are posting records losses. The failure of one single investment bank posed a risk to the entire banking system. The human impact has just begun with record foreclosures on family homes and no "bail outs" for the owners. What's next? Who is doing anything about it?
Have any of the candidates commented on the utterly apparent threats to the economy and its institutions?
Has any candidate commented on or offered a solution for this decade's long trend: real income and wealth is increasing for the very few while it remains static or declines for the vast majority?
Real issue 4: Our elections are terribly flawed. Candidates cannot prove that they were actually elected. The election process is skewed toward candidates of all persuasions who are beholden to donors.
Has any candidate come out for fully transparent open elections run entirely by citizens?
Has any candidate come out for the elimination of all outside funding and 100% public financing?
There are other very real issues like health care, decent jobs, and quality education.
When will candidates and their supporters address these real issues in a sincere and open fashion? When will we get some real solutions to discuss?
N.B. I have not and do not support any of the primary candidates. I am not connected to any campaign or political group in any way whatsoever.