- On July 2, in Colorado Springs, you said: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
On July 20th, you told Face the Nation correspondent Lara Logan that you expect to be dealing with various world leaders as president for the next eight to ten years.
On April 14th you told Will Bunch that:
I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General — having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now — are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it’s important– one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing between really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity.
A lot of people take your actions and these statements in the context of your known long term associations with unreformed and unrepentant domestic terrorists like Bill Ayers and hard line Maoist supporters like Mike Klonsky, to draw conclusions about you planning to become a Mugabe like president for life – complete with an American KGB for enforcement and show trials for your political enemies.
That kind of thinking seems a little paranoid – but what did you actually mean when you made these statements?
- How did you get to Harvard? Your mother took you to Indonesia, your father doesn’t seem to have contributed anything, the grandmother who looked after you in Hawaii took the bus to work – and yet you attended a very expensive private school. From there you went to Occidental College in L.A. – a school noted both for its exclusivity and the left wing tilt of its faculty, two years later you moved to Columbia, and from there to Harvard Law. Who paid for all this? who made the phone calls or wrote the letters smoothing your way?
Someone motivated a major publisher to seek you out while you were still just a student at Harvard – for a book that turned into your first autobiography. Who was it?
When did you meet your friend Khalid al-Mansour and what role your cousin Raila Odinga play in all of this?
- You’ve consistently opposed using American forces to take out governments providing direct or indirect support for the people who attack Americans in Lebanon, in Kenya, in Nigeria, in the Sudan, in New York, in Washington, and over Pennsylvania.
Your critics say that presenting your position on the use of military force in war leverages an obviously popular position – nobody wants war – but it’s been unclear whether you’re doing that just to get yourself elected or specifically to intervene on behalf of people who attacked us.
Now it seems you actively intervened in US/Iraq negotiations to pressure the Iraq government to delay troop draw downs and the implementation of a status of forces agreement. On the positive side that suggests your anti-war position is purely electoral posturing, but what can you say to people in both the United States and Iraq whose children’s lives you put on the line for this?
- If you’re really sincere about your opposition to war and commitment to helping people develop democratically, why have you never done anything to suggest any interest in building anti-war sentiment among the people who started the war on terror by practicing terror against us?
In other words, you claim that we’re prosecuting the wrong war against the wrong people and this is causing irreparable harm to America’s reputation – but you must know who attacked whom, and yet you never talk about shutting down the other side.
Your critics say that the kind of unilateral American withdrawal you advocate would destabilize the world and lead to widespread wars of aggression and repression – but that even minor moderation among the world’s worst offenders: Iran, North Korea, and multi-national terror groups like Hezbolah, would bring the opportunity for world wide peace and prosperity.
And yet, you never address yourself to them: it’s always America that has to change, never the actual aggressors. Why is that?
- You’ve consistently opposed all efforts to curb late term and live birth abortions.
On abortion your critics say that leaving a child born alive to die amounts to cold blooded murder – and cite your actions in the Illinois senate to “prove” that you support exactly that.
Are they right? and, if not, how do you explain your actions?
- In the senate you have consistently opposed earmark reform – with the exception that on March 14 of this year you voted with John McCain and 27 other senators for an amendment that would have banned them.
Your critics say that you betrayed your word to McCain on the follow-up, knew the amendment was doomed, and used your vote for the amendment to bludgeon your primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the press as more guilty than you – because the senate democratic leadership only gave you $98 million to her $342.
This year you’ve publically supported a moratorium on earmarks, but asked for $900 million and supported giving 20% of anything the taxpayer gets back on the bailout to ACORN – an organization widely considered likely to become the subject of criminal investigation for voter fraud, and an organization with which both you and your friend Mr. Ayers have close ties.
To your critics this behavior looks irresponsible, hypocritical, and self-serving – but if they’re wrong, how do you explain your actions?
- Your critics say that except on abortion and the war you’ve been largely non committal or inconsistent on major issues. For example, you voted “present” 130 in the Illinois senate – exerting real influence only to favor live birth abortions.
They say that over the year or so you spent in the Senate before launching your presidential campaign, you took no strong positions, authored no bills, and voting with the party leadership 97% of the time. Since then, they say, you’ve been for The Jeremiah Wright brand of black power; and against it; you’ve been for raising taxes, and against raising taxes; for domestic energy development; and against domestic energy development; for NAFTA, and against NAFTA, for middle America when you need their votes and contemptuous of them for clinging to God and guns when fund raising among the rich and elite.
Can you now answer those critics by telling us what your positions are on these issues?
- Your campaign has picked up and amplified numerous personal, and erroneous, attacks on Sarah Palin lately and you’ve just released an ad consisting entirely of people calling John McCain a liar. When you clenched your nomination in Denver, John McCain paid for a television ad congratulating you; on the budget amendment cited earlier he reached across the aisle to you; your appearance with him at the 9/11 commemoration in New York recently was in response to his invitation.
Throughout this campaign your officials have launched or supported actions designed to shut down opposition voices: mass emailings to your supporters asking them to shut down interviews with Stanley Kurtz and David Freddoso on Chicago’s WGN talk radio, the ESwinner smear campaign against Sarah Palin, threats of legal action against anyone airing the NRA ads exploring your track record on guns, an appeal to Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Keeney asking for government action to shut down your critics at The American Issues Project, and even the formation of truth squads made up from high level law enforcement officials in Missouri dedicated to stifling any criticism of you or your campaign.
Just last week john McCain suspended his campaign to do his job as a senator – and asked you to do the same. He went to Washington and was instrumental in hammering out a compromise position – you went to the gym and continued debate preparation until President Bush effectively ordered you to attend a key meeting at the White House – where reports have you being disruptive and completely partisan.
When your critics look at your record they see you using the sleaziest, most obviously partisan, tactics anyone has ever seen in a national campaign -and against a guy who’s obviously the real thing at that.
How do you answer them?
- If elected president you will take the oath of office – an oath that will have you swearing to uphold the constitution of the United States. Do you plan to take the oath as written? And, if so, how do square that with your repeated attacks on the first and second amendments? your commitment to judicial activism? and your recent actions in Iraq, Germany, and Afghanistan to intervene in the executive operation of American foreign policy?
- Your party, the American democratic party of which you are now the de facto leader, has taken strong positions your critics characterize as anti-democratic: thus the fairness bill appears intended to silence right wing talk radio, the free choice bill removes free choice from votes on unionization, and the drilling bill bans drilling. At the same time your party demands more transperancy from Republicans, cites Abramoff as sufficient proof of Republican electoral corruption – but protects people like Murtha, Rangel, Jefferson, and Franken while you bring people like Raines and Johnson directly into your campaign as senior advisors.
If I said that your party now more resembles the governing elite in a banana republic than the democratic ideals of someone like Joe Lieberman, how would you, on behalf of your party, respond?