One of the silver linings of the mostly dismal presidential campaign has been that Democrats have finally come to see -- perhaps admit is a better word -- that the Clintons are pathological and ruthless power addicts. But that late-coming epiphany looks increasingly irrelevant, as the ascendancy of Barack Obama delivers a whole new set of deeply troubling concerns.
Democrats -- all but committed to this fresh, charismatic figure -- are forced to deny or downplay the almost daily revelations about Obama that would have derailed less promising candidates already. But they have to be concerned.
Given Obama's uncompromising liberalism, it was only a matter of time before his pretense toward unity and bipartisanship would be exposed for the mirage that it is. The contentiousness of the Democratic contest has just accelerated the process.
As these damaging items slowly dripped out about Obama, he was able to brush them aside dismissively. You'll recall his refusal to wear a flag pin, his categorical statement that "it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances," his assessment that the lives of our fallen soldiers in Iraq have been "wasted," his mindless promise to withdraw troops from Iraq according to an irresponsibly arbitrary timetable, and his naive remark that he would attach no preconditions to negotiating with the tyrants of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
The cumulative force of Obama's common-themed actions and statements would have compelled even a statistician to doubt they could be attributed to coincidence. Wasn't an objective pattern emerging to suggest that Obama would hardly be the fiercest guardian of America's national security interests?
Nor have reports of his voluntary alliances and allegiances done anything to remove those doubts. Everyone paying attention knows by now that a number of people intimately associated with Obama have made derogatory statements about this nation he seeks to lead.
His wife, Michelle, stunned people with her admission that Barack's rise to power and the people's hunger for change made her "really proud" of her country "for the first time in (her) adult lifetime." This was his soul mate speaking.
Even more people are aware of the incendiary, vulgar, anti-American and racist tirades of Obama's longtime pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Obama's lip-service condemnation of Wright's statements, which Obama unconvincingly pretended not to have heard, still might have defied all natural laws of credulity and fooled the majority of the people were it not for further shoes that were destined to drop.
Then there's Obama's mysterious association with former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers -- whose group bombed the Capitol, the Pentagon and the State Department in the 1970s -- which would have been enough to end any other presidential candidacy. So far, the mainstream media have shown no curiosity about the nature and extent of Obama's relationship with Ayers, despite Ayers' lack of repentance and defiant statements, "I don't regret setting bombs" and "I feel we didn't do enough."
If all this weren't enough to make us wonder whether Obama has issues with America, he made sure we know when telling us that small-town Americans, because of their bitterness about economic hardship, cling to religion, guns and hostility toward immigrants.
With such distorted perceptions about his fellow citizens, it's no wonder Obama appears bitter and angry at this nation. Given his experience with hostility emanating from his own pastor's pulpit, it's not surprising that he sees Middle America through that jaundiced prism and jumps to the perverse conclusion that small-town Americans turn to God out of bitterness. Obama has some nerve presuming to lecture the rest of us about prejudice and being out of touch with what people think.
Obama couldn't be more wrong about what motivates people to seek a relationship with God. Though this may not compute for the liberation-theology mindset, it seems to me people turn to God in humble repentance, seeking forgiveness for their own sins and shortcomings rather than validation for their bitterness and permission to continue sinning. They go in pursuit of that "hope" Obama waxes so eloquently about, but they tend to place their reliance on God rather than government as the source of their hope.
More and more, when Obama talks about the alleged "antipathy" people have toward "people who aren't like them," one can't help but speculate whether he's projecting his own feelings of antipathy and bitterness toward others and the nation.
Even Obama's slick tongue will have difficulty deflecting the conclusion that his assessment of God-loving Americans as embittered, gun-toting nativists is of a piece with his wife's regrettable remarks and the disturbing fulminations of his beloved pastor.
If Obama wants to hold himself out as a tolerant, colorblind uniter, he should do a far better job of walking that walk.