Barack Obama and The Integrity Gap (Part II of III)

In Part I of this series on the “Integrity Gap” between the two national tickets, I looked at Governor Sarah Palin’s record of integrity in public office – her battles against corruption and wasteful spending, even by the powers controlling her own party in her home state of Alaska – even when she was putting her career at risk. As I explained, integrity is not just about honesty – it’s also about one of the crucial presidential character traits, toughness. Palin has proven that she doesn’t back down no matter who she has to take on.

In Part II, I will look at Senator Barack Obama, who is easily contrasted to Palin because they have careers of similar length in both local and statewide office, in states controlled largely by their own party. I have previously explained here why Obama lacks every kind of experience that we usually rely upon to test the character of potential presidents and teach them the lessons they will need to govern, and I’ve explained here why the flurry of flip-flops at the outset of his general election campaign raises questions specifically about his toughness, his principles and his convictions. During the recent financial crisis we got a taste of Obama’s leadership style in crisis: do nothing and hope he can shift the blame to somebody else.

Nearly all of Obama’s appeal requires his supporters to take on faith that he will do things he has never done. But on the question of whether Obama will ever take a meaningful stand against corruption or waste in his own party or stand up to vested interests and ideological extremists on his own side, we have a certain answer: he has bypassed too many opportunities to do so already. To the contrary, Obama is so thoroughly marinated in extremism and corruption that it would be nearly impossibe to extricate himself and still have a meaningful identity left.

Given the length of this post – at over 21,000 words, it runs more than twice the length of Part I and 33% longer than my entire five-part series on Mitt Romney from the primaries – it was necessary to break the body of the post into six separate volumes that follow this introduction:

Obama’s Rootless Ambition looks at the influences that shaped Obama before he ran for office.

Obama and the Extremists looks at his relationships with left-wing radicals and how they were an integral part of his rise in politics.

Obama and ACORN looks at his intimate relationship with a network of community organizers with a pervasive record of voter fraud and deep involvement in the subprime housing crisis.

Obama and the Machine looks at Obama’s long, deep and multifacted partnership with machine politicians in Chicago and Springfield.

Obama and the Favor Factory looks at Obama’s routine practice of trading favors with his political benefactors.

Obama, “New Politics” and Principles looks at the illusory nature of Obama’s “new politics,” his absence of a record of fighting tough battles on principle, and wraps up and concludes the series.