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The Great and Powerful O

Friday, October 31, 2008

Growing up, I would almost always watch the classic film The Wizard of Oz when it came on television. I am sure many of you have also seen the movie. Lately this movie has been on my mind a lot as I think about the presidential election that will take place in a few days here in the United States of America.

After Dorothy lands in the land of Oz, she is concerned about going home and is told that she should go to see the "Wonderful Wizard of Oz", as surely he could solve her problems. Along the way, she picks up the brainless scarecrow, the heartless tin man, and the cowardly lion who all are excited to join the adventure with her as they travel to Emerald City to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz - the One who can solve all of their problems.

When they finally get to see the "Great and Powerful Oz", they are awestruck and scared as they see the scene on the screen of what they think is the "Great and Powerful Oz." Unbeknownst to them, the real "Wizard" of Oz is simply a man behind a curtain. In reality, he is not a wizard, not so powerful and not so wonderful. It takes the little dog Toto to pull the curtain back and reveal the Great and Powerful Oz for the fraud that he is.

In many ways, this scene seems to be playing out in this election. Senator Obama is a very eloquent speaker. When I watched him speak at the DNC in 2004, I said immediately that he would be running for President - and that he would be likely to win. He comes across as a very reasonable man who seeks to inspire hope. A man who seems to be "different" than some of the candidates that have proceeded him from the left, such as Kerry or Gore. In that speech in which he was introduced to most of America, he seemed to put forth a moderate tone - one that argued that we should stop seeing ourselves as "Red States" and "Blue States" but as the "United States." He hit the right note and I believe this resonated with a lot of people.

The problem, however, is that the speech at the DNC and many of his speeches since then present a man on a screen. They present an appealing image, but the real Obama - the one hiding behind the curtain - seems to be a very different person.

The problem that we are faced with today, however, is that the news media, whose traditional roll has been to pull the curtain back and let us see what is behind the curtain, is instead desperately holding on to the curtain to keep it closed. They have decided that the "image" of the Great and Powerful O is the one that people must continue to believe and have done everything they can to shut up any Toto that dares to try to pull the curtain back. Look at what has happened to "Joe the Plumber" - a man who dared to try to pull the curtain and had his house descended upon by the media and had his private records illegally searched and has experienced an all-out onslaught against him in an attempt to discredit him.

There have been some Totos out there trying to pull the curtain back, but the Totos are being silenced or they are not strong enough on their own to effectively reveal what is behind the curtain - to reveal the true nature of "The One".

On the screen Obama shows himself to be reasonable on so many issues, but behind the screen is something vastly different.

On the screen, "The One" seems to be "reasonable" to many people in the area of abortion. Seeming to be relatively moderate. Claiming like he did in the last debate that "nobody is pro- abortion", many people can console themselves that he is not really that radical on the issue. Behind the curtain, however, he is an extremist in the area of abortion. While serving in the Illinois State Senate, Obama argued against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2002. This was a bill that would have required medical treatment be given to babies who survived abortions - in other words, LIVE BABIES. To consider how radical this is, a similar bill passed the U.S. Senate 98-0 - not even one of the many "pro-choice" liberal Senators voted against it. During the course of this election season, he pledged at a Planned Parenthood gathering that the first thing he would do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act - which would have the effect of overturning laws against partial-birth abortion, laws requiring parental notification for minors having abortion, and multitudes of other reasonable restrictions that have been placed on abortion over the years. In addition to this, it would have the effect of overturning the Hyde amendment - meaning that once again that people who oppose this gruesome act would be forced to have their tax money pay for elective abortion.

On the screen, "The One" seems to be reasonable on foreign affairs. He speaks before massive crowds in Germany and seems to present a nice face for America. He claims on his website that the Obama/Biden ticket has established "a strong record as true friends of Israel, stalwart defenders of Israel's security." Behind the curtain is the man who has shown great instability and carelessness in the area of foreign affairs - saying he would sit down without pre-conditions with Chavez, Castro and Iran's leader (which he has tried to twist into not being a reference to Ahmadinejad), etc. not realizing the support that such a meeting would give to those leaders. Behind the curtain, he is friendly with former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi who would prefer a "one-state solution" - meaning the abolition of Israel. Behind the curtain, he was totally wrong on the surge and would have preferred for American troops to come home in defeat from Iraq.

On the screen, "The One" seems to be reasonable on the economy, claiming tax-cuts for the middle class. Behind the curtain he reveals to Joe the Plumber that he wants to "spread the wealth around." Behind the curtain he reveals on a NPR radio show that the very liberal and activist Warren court did not go far enough. Behind the curtain he has voted for tax increases. Behind the curtain he has called for the elimination of the Bush Tax Cuts - which he won't call a tax increase but has the same effect. When the curtain was briefly pulled away by the Joe the Plumber, Obama went off script and revealed he wanted to "spread the wealth around."

On the screen, "The One" seems to be a well-educated and articulate man - which he surely is to a degree. Behind the curtain he has made a number of statements that would have gotten Dan Quayle lambasted by the media. For instance, he commented in Oregon earlier this year, "I've now been in 57 states. I think one left to go." Can you imagine if Sarah Palin had made a similar comment. It would given as evidence of how stupid she was. This is not an isolated incident, in fact, Michelle Malkin has a number of posts on these, including here.

Will someone pull away the curtain? Will people stop during these last few days and think about the real Obama rather than the one on the screen?

We will wait and see.

Just my thoughts,


For a much more comprehensive treatment of some of these issues, including actual footage of Obama commenting about abortion and other issues, see this post at