NEW YORK—"If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere." Maybe. Two dishonest productions show why Barack Obama, so popular in January, was making it only in Manhattan and other Democratic strongholds as he limped into December.
Let's start with the United Homeless Organization. In recent years many midtown corners sported folding tables holding up plastic jugs and solicitations to "feed the homeless." Not until late last month did state officials file a lawsuit stating that the street requesters kept most of the dollars for themselves and gave the rest to UHO honchos who may have cleared over $100,000 per year and gone on Home Shopping Network sprees.
Some of this was old news. The New York Times in 2001 reported the essence of the scam but still somehow dubbed UHO "legit." Journalists were not eager to bust solicitors, some of whom were homeless themselves: Didn't they need a stimulus? So what if the organizers, according to the suit, "treated the 'fees' as their personal kitty, dipping into them whenever they choose"? What if they "co-opted a tax-exempt, charitable corporate structure for their own benefit"?
Hmm. . . . Who else has grabbed money under false premises by turning taxpayer money into Monopoly money and co-opting a real need for his own political benefit? Barack Obama, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as allies, early this year used financial crisis as a rationale for the greatest surge in pork-barrel spending ever seen. Now Obama is using the real health insurance problems of 10 million to create a socialist medical sector for 300 million. Nevertheless, as unemployment rises and the dollar falls in value, Obama's popularity is waning.
America for over two centuries has had a self-correcting political system: When lies and corruption soared, the populace roared. The problem now is that so many millions of voters profit (or think they profit) from Washington scams. In the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt saw "one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished." Today, in the Great Recession, one-third of a nation is pandered to and stimulated, and that gives Obama a built-in voter base. Ideally, anyone who derives the bulk of his income from the government would see his conflict of interest and refrain from voting, but that's not about to happen.