Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Senator Obama Is No JFK

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

At the 1988 vice-presidential debate in Omaha, Nebraska, Democratic candidate Sen. Lloyd Bentsen told Republican Dan Quayle: “You’re no Jack Kennedy.” Bentsen was responding to Quayle’s claim that he was as prepared to assume the presidency as Jack Kennedy was in 1960 because he and Kennedy shared the same number of years of Congressional experience.

Quayle was actually not far off the mark. Kennedy had served 14 years in Congress before becoming president; Quayle served a dozen years before running for vice president.

The Democrats that year had Michael Dukakis as their standard-bearer facing George H. W. Bush. The Democrats emphasized that the vice president was only a heart beat away from the presidency and that Bentsen, who had served 22 years in the Senate, was much better prepared to assume the reigns of power than the “inexperienced” Quayle.

Democrats were telling the American electorate that Quayle was too young and unproven to be president if and when circumstance required him to do so. They also made an issue of Quayle’s grades in college and suggested he had joined the National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam during the war.

In an effort to recapture “Camelot,” the word often used to describe the era when Kennedy was president, numerous celebrities and prominent Democrats, including some members of the Kennedy clan, are symbolically passing the torch to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who they see as the next John F. Kennedy.

To be sure, there are similarities between Kennedy and Obama. Kennedy had charisma; so does Obama. Kennedy was a great orator; Obama shares that strength as well. Kennedy was a youthful, energetic, good looking man married to a beautiful woman. So is Obama. It is easy to see why the media and many Americans are caught up in “Obama-mania.”

In this era of instant gratification, a total unknown can become a super-star overnight. Just look at television programs like “American Idol” that take everyday Joe’s and Jane’s and potentially turn them instantly into pop sensations. Electing the next president of the free world, however, requires more than a candidate simply winning a series of beauty pageants, which primary elections often are.

On the eve of Super Tuesday, I was watching a focus group on television comprised of California Democrat and Independent voters. Pollster Frank Luntz asked how many supported Obama for president. He then asked the same question about Hillary Clinton. Most favored Obama.

Luntz then asked those who would support Obama to identify one piece of legislation he was responsible for, or one accomplishment he had during his eight years in the Illinois Senate or three years in the U. S. Senate. There was deafening silence.

When Jack Kennedy was running for president in 1960 he already had a long-standing national profile. He was a decorated Navy war veteran who commanded the infamous PT-109 in the Pacific theatre of WWII. In 1957 Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Profiles in Courage.”

By the time he ran for president, Kennedy had already served six years in the House of Representatives and eight years in the Senate. And even then-former President Harry Truman thought Kennedy’s experience was insufficient to qualify him for a shot at the highest office in the land.

JFK was a hawk when it came to foreign policy and an advocate for tax cuts across the board. One of his appointments to the Supreme Court, Byron “Whizzer” White cast the lone dissenting vote in the historic Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U. S.

Now contrast Kennedy with Obama. Kennedy wanted tax cuts across the board; Obama wants to raise them. Kennedy was a hawk; Obama is a dove who wants to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and find the quickest exit out of Iraq in spite of the success of the “surge” and rapidly improving situation there.

While Kennedy held no litmus test for appointing judges to the bench, Obama is almost certain to do so, appointing liberal judges to the courts who could undermine many of our Constitutional rights.

In addition, President Kennedy and his brother Bobby, both victims of assassination, were lifelong members of the National Rifle Association. Obama is in favor of weakening many aspects of our rights to bear arms.

While unaffordable health care and a sluggish economy are concerns to every American, the threat of nuclear terrorism is seldom discussed by Obama. Kennedy made the Soviets stand down during the Cuban Missile crisis. In doing so Kennedy himself, like those he wrote about in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, was a profile in courage.

America needs an experienced leader at the helm of the ship of state to chart the perilous waters that lie ahead. Barack Obama may be a good and decent man and he may ultimately become our next president. But to paraphrase the late Sen. Lloyd Bentson: Sen. Obama, you’re no Jack Kennedy.

The childish belief of Barack Obama that we can end the war againt Islamo-fascism by singing Kumbaya and "talking" with people who want to behead us does not bode well for him becoming a "Commander in Chief" I will trust to defend our nation. Obama is always happy and smiling and expresses his feelings with such sincerity that it is easy to miss the fact that he hates much about our nation that is great. I have called him the "happy hater" in an earlier posting. That still seems to be the problem. Many who support him hate things about America they want changed. Many who are supporting him do not recognized how much change he really wants. The happy image hides the hate filled goals.


At 9:30 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

You lost me at "American Idol"!

At 3:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for Obama, yet I am beginning to have doubts regarding this decision. Perhaps he is trying to do too much. Our nation must preserve our heritage with dignity.

I do pray that the checks and balances will be in play to forestall
what is not best for our country.


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