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From by Burt Prelutsky | Los Angeles I get a big kick out of Democrats insisting that the Republicans should concentrate on the issues instead of focusing on Barack Obama’s own words and affiliations. They call it negative campaigning. It reminds me of 1948 when the crowds would exhort Harry Truman to give the Republicans hell: “I don’t give them hell,” he replied, “I just tell the truth and the Republicans think it’s hell.” According to the Democrats, nobody is supposed to mention Obama’s hostility to his own white relatives; his black hate-mongering religious mentor; his political alliance with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers; his work with Saul Alinsky’s cadre; his financial aid to ACORN; his ties to Chicago fixer Tony Rezko; and his affiliation with the Annenberg Challenge, which, under the cover of promoting education in Chicago, promoted left-wing activism. When you get down to Obama’s actual record, his obvious dedication to black separatism and to Karl Marx’s dream of redistributing wealth, you begin to understand why some of us regard him as the worst sort of demagogue, and why our collective skin crawled when John McCain called him a gentleman, a good family man, and assured us that we’d have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency. It had me wondering whom McCain was planning to vote for on November 4th. If a cynical racist like Obama could receive such high marks, virtually an endorsement, from his opponent, I figured David Duke must be kicking himself that he never thought to run as a Democrat. Although the economy is front and center at this moment, what happens next January if Iran drops the bomb on Tel Aviv or if the Islamics bring down the Empire State Building or the Sears Tower or Golden Gate Bridge? Believe me, nobody’s going to be talking about Ben Bernanke, and nobody in his right mind is going to want the man who is eager to sit down and chat with Mahmud Ahmadinejad or who sees a moral equivalency between Israel and her Islamic enemies seated in the Oval Office. Obama is a man who sees taxes as a neat way to rob Peter to pay Paul, who wants us to contribute 50 billion dollars-a-year to the U.N. to fight world poverty, and who, instead of favoring English as our official language, insists we should all learn to speak Spanish, a language that neither he nor Mrs. Obama can speak. The problem is that the only thing standing between Obama, the worst possible presidential candidate, a man who manages to make Hillary Clinton look good, and the White House is John McCain, the very worst campaigner. There are high school kids all over America who are running better races for sophomore class president. I mean, when Obama keeps parroting the line about McCain’s having voted 90% of the time with George Bush, how hard should it be for McCain to point out that Obama voted even more often than that with the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Christopher Dodd, John Kerry and Barney Frank -- and, what’s more, got huge kickbacks from his grateful cronies at Fannie Mae? In 1948, Harry Truman ran against Congress even harder than he ran against Tom Dewey, and Congress 60 years ago was a lot more popular than the current version. It was one thing for Obama, a man born to sell swampland to suckers, to pretend that ACORN was just a charitable organization doing good works when his campaign gave them $800,000, but now that we know that ACORN is nothing but a gang of punks and thugs whose sole purpose is to steal the election on his behalf, Obama has, in the immortal words of Desi Arnaz, a lot of ‘splaining to do. And since we know the media hacks won’t ask him, it’s up to John McCain to hold his feet to the fire. If I were McCain, I’d start out by asking Obama if he thinks ACORN or that other famous community organization, the Mafia, is the more dangerous group. I, personally, have more respect for the Mafia. After all, they favor capitalism over socialism, they genuinely like America, they don’t try to destroy the election process and, what’s more, they dress a lot better, favoring camelhair coats over those corny red sweatshirts. Heaven knows, I’ve done all I can. Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber have done all they can do. Now it’s up to John McCain to prove that he hasn’t placed a big bet on the other guy. Unlike Terry Malloy in “On the Waterfront,” he can’t go through life moaning about his fate, claiming he could have been a contender. He is a contender. The question is whether he has what it takes to knock out this lightweight in the final round and take home the title. CRO copyright 2008 Burt Prelutsky Television scriptwriter, former humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine.

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