John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Getting Beyond Race

Posted on June 8, 2008



            Now that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for President, attention turns to the general election.   The Democratic primary was all about history.  Hillary Clinton, the first viable female candidate vs. Barack Obam, the first viable African-American candidate, was a race for the history books.  Republicans have no choice but to concede the history made by the Democrats with the selection of Barack Obama.


            Republicans now must make the case for their candidate and against Senator Obama in a way that acknowledges the history made by the Democratic nominee, but moves beyond.  There is a temptation, especially in the media, to make the race all about race.  But for McCain to be successful, the debate must move beyond race.


            The media has already raised questions about the motivations of Republicans and those Reagan Democrats who voted for Hillary.  Basically, the media is calling them racist.  Like Marxists who see everything in terms of class warfare, the media sees everything terms of race. 


            But there are compelling reasons for Republicans, Reagan Democrats and Independents to vote against Obama that have nothing to do with race.  Here are ten of them:


1)    Inexperience:  Barack Obama will have the least experience of any President in modern political history.  Four years as a United States Senator is simply not enough time to learn all the ropes about how our government works. 

2)    Taxes:  Obama promises to raise taxes to pay for more spending.  He says he will raise taxes only on the rich, but he will define the rich very broadly to include just about anybody who has a job.

3)    Spending:  Does anyone seriously believe that Barack Obama will veto one spending bill coming from the Democratic Congress?  When Mayor Daley of Chicago asks for pork for the Windy City, where do you think Obama will be?  Outside of Obama’s own ambitious spending plans, with the Democrats running both the White House and the Congress, there will no way to slow down the spending.

4)    Trade:  Obama has promised to reexamine our trade agreements, but exports make up the fastest growing part of our economy.  His anti-trade philosophy could be the most dangerous part of his agenda.  If you liked Smoot-Hawley, you will love Barack Obama.

5)    National Security:  Obama will try to declare a truce in the war on terror.  He will surrender at the earliest possible moment in Iraq and he will dismantle many of our intelligence gathering operations that have keep America safe since 9/11.

6)    Conventional Politician:  Obama is the product of Big City Chicago politics.  He is a conventional politician who happens to give a great speech. But nothing in his past indicates that he will be anything more than that.  His associates, including Tony Rezko, just convicted of several accounts of fraud and bribery, raise significant ethical concerns.

7)    Supreme Court:  Outside of the possibility of appointing Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court, there are many other significant concerns about what an Obama presidency will mean for the highest court in the land.

8)    Education:  It is unlikely that Obama will take on the teachers unions to improve education in this country.  He will likely remove any accountability standards, and our schools will suffer as a result.

9)    Illegal Immigration and crime:  Obama has opposed efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, and has said nothing about supporting law enforcement to crack down on crime.  He supports giving illegal immigrants drivers licenses, and says that we should devote more resources to pay for health care for illegal immigrants.

10) Abortion extremist:  As Michael Gerson put it, “Obama's record on abortion is extreme. He opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion -- a practice a fellow Democrat, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once called "too close to infanticide." Obama strongly criticized the Supreme Court decision upholding the partial-birth ban. In the Illinois state Senate, he opposed a bill similar to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion. And now Obama has oddly claimed he would not want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" because of a crisis pregnancy -- hardly a welcoming attitude toward new life.”

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