In a revealing passage, Barack Obama wrote in his memoir how being a community organizer taught him ways to motivate the powerless and work the government to help them. His chief example was an effort to remove asbestos from Altgeld Gardens, an all-black public housing project on Chicago’s South Side.
After three years working as an organizer, Obama could say he helped obtain grants for a jobs program and got asbestos removed from some pipes in the project. But as the Los Angeles Times noted, the “large-scale change that was needed at the 1,998-unit project was beyond his reach.” To this day, most of the asbestos remains in the apartments.
Fruitless though his efforts were, Obama devoted more than 100 pages of “Dreams From My Father” to his experiences at Altgeld Gardens and surrounding areas.
“When classmates in college asked me just what it was that a community organizer did, I couldn’t answer them directly,” he wrote.
Instead, he said, “I’d pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds. Change in the Congress, compliant and corrupt. Change in the mood of the country, manic and self-absorbed. Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.”
Thus, Obama admitted that he accomplished little but that he was able to cover that up with fancy talk about change.
Now Obama is applying that same cynical modus operandi to the presidency. By proclaiming a new beginning in foreign affairs, he is feeding people’s hopes that “sweet talk,” as Mitt Romney recently called it, will achieve peace and stability. Yet since Obama became president, Iran and North Korea have continued their nuclear programs and become even more belligerent.
By claiming he will close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay by the end of the year, Obama is appeasing the left wing of his party. Yet he has no plan for transferring the prisoners and likely will wind up extending his deadline for closing the facility.
By saying he wants transparency, Obama has sought to portray himself as a reformer. Yet he released CIA memos on enhanced interrogation techniques while refusing to declassify CIA documents showing the plots that were rolled up as a result of those techniques.
By saying his budget moves America “from an era of borrow and spend” to one of “save and invest,” Obama has tried to position himself as a president who is careful with taxpayer money. Yet under Obama’s spending plans, total public debt as a percentage of GDP will soar to 82 percent by 2019, compared with 57 percent when Obama took over and an average of 40 percent during the previous four decades.
By pushing a $787 billion stimulus bill, Obama claimed he would lead the country out of recession. Yet with only 6 percent of the money having been spent, the recession now is receding on its own, leaving the country to pay for the stimulus bill and Obama’s $3.5 trillion proposed fiscal 2010 budget with money it doesn’t have.
Obama covered up that failure by saying that, even though well over a million jobs have been lost since he took office, he has saved or created 150,000 jobs. But when asked in a congressional hearing whether the figure could be substantiated, Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall said flatly, “No. That would be a very difficult thing for anybody to substantiate.”
By defining himself as a unifier, Obama lulled Americans into thinking he would take a bipartisan approach. Yet when crafting legislation, he ignores Republican suggestions.
By declaring he will reform the healthcare system to reduce costs and cover everyone, Obama is winning support from Democrats. Yet his talk about reducing costs is more hot air, premised on claims from some in the industry that they now will cut costs magically.
If voters had focused on Obama’s track record, they could have seen the pattern and predicted the outcome. Beyond his own campaign and his senatorial office, Obama never ran anything. Only one of the measures Obama proposed as a U.S. senator was enacted: a bill to “promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
It would be difficult to imagine a more mediocre record. Yet with the help of adoring reporters, Obama managed to parlay extraordinary speaking and political skills into a presidential campaign built on sand.
Admirable though his efforts to reach out to Muslims are, as outlined in the Newsmax story "Jews 'Very Concerned' About Obama, Leader of Jewish Organizations Says", Jews now are surprised and concerned that Obama seems to be tilting toward the Palestinians.
Yet in voting for him overwhelmingly, they ignored the fact that he counted the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. as his minister, friend, and mentor for 20 years. Wright has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “terrorism.” His latest public comment is that “them Jews” are keeping him from seeing Obama.
Despite Obama’s shortcomings, the president is a decent person, and that contributes to his popularity. My next book, “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” which comes out Aug. 4, reveals why Secret Service agents like and respect him.
But the passage from “Dreams From My Father” tells you everything you need to know about Obama’s game plan that we now see being played out: It amounts to a con job on the American people.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
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