It's been Barack Obama's rallying cry from day one, the pledge that has excited legions of young Americans, the promise he would bring change to American life. Yet in one single act he changed the meaning of change.
He promised that if elected he'd charge into Washington with a giant broom and sweep away all the dust and dirt that he says has accumulated there over many decades. Implicit in that promise of change is the inclusion in all that clutter to be swept away of the people who have long lived and thrived and contributed to the pile of corruption and incompetence and chicanery that is allegedly Washington D.C.
Nobody fits that definition better than United States Sen. Joe Biden. He's been wallowing in what Obama sees as the national pig sty since not long after the British burned Washington. In one fell swoop — whatever that is — Barack Obama clasped to his bosom one of the very Washington insiders he had promised to send into exile, naming him his choice to be his running mate. Biden, old, white, male . . . the ultimate Washington insider.
He's been a Washington insider long before John McCain ever got there.
Scratch one promised change.
The Obama camp has made much of John McCain's advanced age, pitting their candidate's relative youth and vigor against McCain's alleged dotage. Obama would change the focus from his vast inexperience to his youth and vigor.
Compared to McCain, 47-year-old Obama is a callow youth. Enter Joe Biden, 65, a certified senior citizen eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, who hopes to stand one heartbeat away from the presidency, and now yoked to the youthful Obama.
Scratch another change.
Obama has sought vainly to escape from the dilemma posed by his demonstrable and wretched lack of experience in great matters such as foreign policy and governance, a gigantic hole in his thin resume noted by Joe Biden last year in a debate when he said, "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
He has denounced Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has insisted that Americans are quickly realizing that Barack Obama is not ready to be president.
So he picks the very Democrat who has stressed his unfitness to be president, hoping somehow that the number two man will provide a qualification the No. 1 man can't. It's like having a recent med school graduate with no experience in dermatology or surgery going into practice as a plastic surgeon and hiring an experienced plastic surgeon to stand by and watch him go about the job of trying to do face lifts.
It won't wash.
One of Obama's biggest problems among evangelicals and Catholics is his more than enthusiastic support for abortion, so extreme that he has demonstrated that killing babies who have survived the gruesome partial birth abortion process is fine and dandy with him. Backing infanticide it seems represents the kind of change in traditional morality Obama envisions.
Given his problems in this area, he sallies forth and names not only a fellow supporter of unborn baby butchery, but one who he and his worshipful media supporters have the gall to call a devout and practicing Irish Catholic.
He ignores the fact that devout and practicing Irish Catholics are required by their faith to oppose abortion in all of its grisly forms, no exception. Those, who like Joe Biden, support unborn baby butchery are not devout and practicing Catholics - they are renegades who defy one of their church's most ancient doctrines and are unworthy to be called Catholics.
Within hours of Obama's announcement of his vice presidential choice whole legions of Catholic groups expressed outrage over his pick — a danger signal Obama can't ignore.
As George Marlin, one of the most astute Catholic commentators on politics has written in Newsmax.com the Catholic vote can be decisive.
Marlin wrote, "If the 2008 race is as closely contested as the 2000 and 2004 elections, practicing Catholics in rust-belt states will decide the outcome. That’s because these aging Catholics are disproportionately represented — their cafeteria Catholic offspring have migrated to economically prosperous states. According to liberal political pollster Stanley Greenberg, these Catholics are 'those most committed to, and identified with, the church and most likely to bring their Catholic identity into politics.'
"The instant media analysis that Biden will help Obama in the heavily Catholic populated rust-belt states, however, may be wishful thinking because of Biden’s pro-abortion stance.
"It appears the Democrats never learn. Four years ago pro-abortion Catholic John Kerry received fewer Catholic votes than the 2000 Democratic candidate, Protestant Al Gore.
"In 2004, practicing Catholics were the decisive factor in numerous swing states. In Ohio, for instance, 65 percent of them voted for Bush, and in Florida the president’s support from practicing Catholics reached 66 percent. Working-class Catholics, many of whom were of Eastern European origins, stuck with the president, because they agreed with him on cultural and moral issues. These issues were more important to them then their economic woes."
And "those Catholics" are fiercely loyal to their church's teachings and detest abortion as a crime against nature. Should they be rallied to the cause they will drive a dagger through Obama's presidential race, and he can put most of the blame for the disaster on his choice of pro-abortion Joe Biden. Biden's brand of cafeteria Catholicism where one picks and chooses which tenets of his faith he will accept and obey, will prove to be anything but an asset to Obama's presidential hopes.
And “those Catholics” will be rallied. Count on it.
Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist and World War II Marine who writes for Newsmax.com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist (Cato) for National Review magazine in the 1960s.
He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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