Weeks Before the Election, Obama Remains an Enigma

First there was Tony Rezko, a now-convicted felon (and under investigation at the time) who helped the Obamas purchase their home in Chicago on strangely favorable terms. When confronted about it, Senator Obama told us that it "wasn't the Tony Rezko I knew."

Next came Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Barack and Michelle Obama were members of his congregation for two decades, sat in the pews on Sunday, were married by him, had their children baptized by him, were spiritually advised by him. The title of Senator Obama's self-aggrandizing book was taken from one of his sermons. Yet they professed surprise when his repeated bigoted and anti-American ravings were aired last spring, and then said that this was normal for an African-American church. He asks us to believe that he was unaware of his long-time pastor's inflammatory rhetoric.

Now, with the left-wing social activist organization ACORN in the news because its Nevada office was raided in an investigation of voter fraud, Senator Obama, who has been a trainer and legal counsel for the organization, is denying his relationship with it. Of course, there are other reasons to not want to be associated with it, given it (and his) at least partial responsibility for the current financial crisis. But there's abundant evidence to the contrary.

And now that the McCain campaign is exposing his long-standing relationship with Bill Ayers, former Weatherman and domestic terrorist (not to mention his wife Bernardine Dohrn, a founder of that group), the Obama campaign responds by saying that the bombings were something that happened when he was eight years old. As if that's a defense of a close association with someone who has never expressed regret for his actions, and who remains unrepentant and defiant about it. And then they deny the relationship, claiming that he was "just a guy in my neighborhood." Well, with all of the Rezkos, Wrights, Ayers and Dohrns, it's starting to look like a pretty rough neighborhood. Perhaps he should consider moving.

Except the denials don't hold up. Senator Obama has claimed that the fact that his initial campaign kickoff for a State Senate seat in 1996 was hosted at the home of Ayers and Dohrn was just a happenstance -- that they had nothing to do with his career. But this week, CNN exposed that as a lie (though Anderson Cooper didn't seem very happy to have to do so). When people tried to investigate their relationship in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, in which hundreds of millions was spent to radicalize schoolchildren while contributing nothing to their actual education, the University of Illinois attempted to prevent access to the relevant history. At whose behest? If it was the Obama campaign behind the scenes, it wouldn't be inconsistent with their recent attempts to shut down free speech in Missouri.

The latest revelation is that Senator Obama was a member of the leftist "New Party," an offshoot of Democratic Socialists of America. If history is a guide, he'll deny it, despite the evidence (an unsuccessful attempt has been made to scrub all references to Obama from the website). Or else, as one of the readers at my site did, simply say "Hey, we could use a little socialism now, given the state of the economy."

Given this history, it is long past the time that Senator Obama should be given the benefit of the doubt. At this point, the question should be: why should we believe anything that he or his campaign tells us? Leave aside the ideological question of whether or not we want someone with such an apparent radical leftist history running the country. Is this kind of spin and prevarication that we want to deal with for the next four years?