Monday, August 18, 2008

Who's Telling the Truth?

We have repeated here claims made by others that Barack Obama voted against a bill in the Illinois state senate that would have prevented abortion facilities from treating infants who survived abortions as though they were medical waste. The bill was in response to a case where a facility was discarding living children and allowing them to die.

Senator Obama was asked about this on Saturday evening by a reporter and claimed that those making this allegation are simply lying about his vote.

Thomas Lifson at The American Thinker adduces the record of the vote, however, and states that it's Obama who's lying. Lifson certainly seems to have the goods to back up his claim. He links the reader to the bill, the amended bill, and an almost identical bill that even NARAL supported that passed the U.S. Senate and which Obama says he would have supported had he been in the U.S. Senate at the time.

Lifson also shows the record of Obama's committee vote on the bill in the Illinois senate. It shows him voting for the amendment that would have granted protection for Roe v. Wade, a protection he insisted on, but after the amendment passed he voted against the bill itself, in effect denying protection to born infants.

The video of Obama insisting that the National Right to Life Committee is lying about his record is astonishing if in fact it is Obama who is misrepresenting the facts. Such convincing prevarication, if that's what it is, must make even Bill Clinton envious.

Despite Lifson's evidence, though, I'm still not prepared to conclude that Obama is consciously lying. It's possible, I suppose, that despite his degree from Harvard he's really not too bright and didn't know what he was voting for. It's also possible that the senator simply forgot this vote (although having voted "present" so much of the time one would think he'd remember the votes he actually did take a stand on). Nevertheless, if he sticks with his story that pro-life groups are lying about his vote against protecting new borns, he's either going to have to explain why the paper trail only seems to support his accusers or else forfeit altogether the presumption of integrity.


Doing Business the Old Way

William Voegeli at No Left Turns traces Senator Obama's rhetoric on fixing the social security problem. It turns out that despite what he said last year about Senator Clinton's reluctance to address social security, he himself appears to have no intention of fixing it at all.

This quote from last November is pretty funny given Senator Obama's numerous equivocations and tergiversations on other issues:

In an interview with National Journal on November 6, 2007, Obama said, "[The] American people have a right to judge how clear and how consistent have the candidates been in their positions. Because if they're not clear and consistent, then it's pretty hard to gauge how much they're going to fight on these issues. You know, Senator Clinton says that she's concerned about Social Security but is not willing to say how she would solve the Social Security crisis, then I think voters aren't going to feel real confident that this is a priority for her. . . . [The] voters should be concerned that she is running the textbook, classic Washington campaign, which is to avoid giving clear answers and getting pinned down, for fear that somehow you're going to be tagged, either in the primary or the general election. I think that's an old way of doing business."

What Senator Obama calls the old way of doing business looks remarkably like his new way of doing business.

Read the whole article at NLT to see how the senator has retreated from each solution to the social security problem he's proposed until arriving at a position that is essentially no solution at all.


The "White" Party

Howard Dean said the other day that, "If you look at folks of color, even women, they're more successful in the Democratic party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the [laughs] Republican party."

The "white" party. Good one.

Whatever the opportunities may be for blacks within the Democratic party I think a good case can be made that Democrat policies have been a disaster for blacks over the last forty years. Entitlement programs, to take but one example, have fostered a dependence on government that made black males superfluous in the lives of many poor women. This led to a disproportionate number of illegitimate births and single parent families. It also pushed black men into lives of promiscuity, drug abuse, and violence. The rarity of stable black two-parent families perpetuates poverty across the generations and spawns a host of dysfunctionalities, including misogyny and crime.

None of these problems existed in the black population to anywhere near the extent they do today prior to LBJ's Great Society of the 1960s. Black opportunity was severely and cruelly attenuated in the first half of the twentieth century, yet blacks had stronger families and much lower levels of male violence then than we find today. Six trillion dollars has been transferred from the American taxpayers to the American poor in the last fifty years, but poverty remains as obdurate as ever.

Mr. Dean may boast about the occasional bone Democrats throw to their African American serfs, like medieval royalty tossing coins from their carriages to the paupers in the streets, but Democrat policies have not only failed to alleviate their abject circumstances, they actually exacerbate them.

Why blacks stay in a party that keeps boasting about how it helps them while in fact doing little to give them the kind of opportunities they really need (e.g. committed, two-parent families, choice in schools, a sense of self-reliance) is one of the big mysteries of modern politics.