Tags: obama | blagojevich

Is Obama Guilty by Association?

Wednesday, 10 Dec 2008 09:47 AM

By Phil Brennan

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Before trying to link soon-to-be-President Barack Obama to the alleged crimes of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and suggesting that Obama's past association with Blagojevich somehow overshadows his presidency, a quick look at history is appropriate.

We've been there before.

In 1939, Tom Prendergast, a powerful Democratic boss in Kansas City, Mo., who also was Harry Truman's friend and mentor, was arrested and later jailed on corruption charges. The strong connection between the boss and Truman and Truman’s career is revealed in a famous interchange between Prendergast and his protégé.

When Boss Prendergast said, "I've got a job for you," the jocular Truman said, "Well, that's mighty nice of you. What's the job, dog-catcher?"

Prendergast said: “How would you like to run for Congress?"

An astonished Truman replied, "Well, Jesus Christ and General Jackson. The answer's yes."

So, thanks to notoriously corrupt Boss Prendergast, who went to prison, his protégé, the incorruptible Harry Truman, went on to become president of the United States.

When attacked for having attended Prendergast's funeral in 1945, Truman said, "He was always my friend, and I have always been his," thus displaying his loyalty to a friend no matter how flawed, while showing the independence that left him unstained by his friendship with the man who made him.

Truman rose above his political origins and gave his nation all he had to give — some good, some bad. And, although some cynical Truman administration and White House associates proved to be corrupt and stained his presidency, Truman himself was criticized only for defending the guilty, just as he had defended Prendergast.

No one suggested that Truman shared in their guilt, arguing only with his outsized sense of loyalty that he refused to abandon them, famously calling the charges against communist spy Alger Hiss a red herring, for example.

Hopefully, this bit of history will prove instructive to those who jump to the conclusion that Barack Obama's past will be prologue to his presidency. Truman rose above his shady origins, and it is to be hoped that Obama will rise above his.

That won't be easy. Obama is saddled with his own and his party's absolute fealty to such gigantic political powers as big labor, the abortion industry, and America's trial lawyers. The money and the political muscle they bestow upon the Democrats give them veto power over measures that threaten their power and influence.

A case in point is the effort to bail out the Big Three car makers, much of whose financial problems arise from unions’ inflated salary and benefit packages. Instead of meeting this challenge head-on and dealing with it, the Democrats’ solutions are marred by their subservience to the unions who constitute a large part of the crisis.

Big labor bosses, plagued by shrinking membership, are demanding legislation that would abolish secret ballots in contests that determine the outcome of a union's demand to organize employees of target firms. Obama has pledged to pay off big labor's support by seeing that the bill is enacted and signing it into law, thus depriving workers of a time-honored right of privacy.

Obama got massive assistance from the abortion industry and insists he will repay their help by implementing the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, which would remove all state laws restricting the murder of the unborn and open the floodgates to millions more abortions. That's what politicians call a payoff. And by any other name, that's corrupt.

Obama also will be pressured to fend off any restrictions on the out-of-control tort lawsuit scandal that has caused medical costs to skyrocket.

The astute columnist Charles Krauthammer has noted that Obama is preparing to spew billions of dollars for a stimulus program of infrastructure improvements across the nation, thus setting the stage for the numerous Blagojeviches out there to climb on a gravy train ripe for plunder. It will be a carnival of corruption that will indelibly mark the Obama administration as its sponsor.

If Barack Obama proves his subservience to pressure groups and hungry politicians in the hustings, it will be difficult to divorce himself from his past in corrupt Illinois.

The question: Is he another Truman, or just another corrupt Chicago politician?

We'll see.

Phil Brennan is a veteran investigative journalist who wrote for National Review as Cato in the 1960s and served as a staff aide in Congress and in the United States Marine Corps in World War II. He authored a book on the Shroud of Turin as well as several other works with the late Ralph de Toledano. He can be reached at pvb@pvbr.com.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Romney Shows Staying Power as Rivals Falter

Thursday, 10 Nov 2011 11:12 AM

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney may feel he has something in common with the late comedian Rodney Dangerfi . . .

Goodbye 2010, and a Tentative Welcome to 2011

Friday, 31 Dec 2010 19:29 PM

The year that ends at midnight was, like all years, a mixed blessing. On the good side, it was a year that saw the Repub . . .

'The Pacific' Does Marines Proud

Monday, 03 May 2010 18:51 PM

President Barack Obama reprimanded top Pentagon officials last year for pressing publicly for a troop increase in Afghan . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved