The essence of this election season couldn't be simpler. The American public is so appalled at the condition of the country (which it unfairly, but not implausibly blames on the despised President Bush) that with fate casting John McCain in the role of Bush's surrogate, a majority actually is considering voting for Sen. Obama. And when an electorate is intent on doing something, the last thing it wants to hear about are the facts. Moreover, the public's lack of interest in the facts is facilitated by the major American media's refusal to report them.
For example, as Obama has portrayed his political career as one extended beau geste to the ideal of American democracy, a slightly curious media would have thought to report on how he ran his previous elections. And those prior elections, far from being models of honest elections honestly fought, are redolent of Chicago politics at their most suspect.
Obama's first election was described recently by Martin Fletcher, a foreign correspondent for NBC News, in the British newspaper The Times (not on NBC): "Mr Obama won a seat in the state senate in 1996 by the unorthodox means of having surrogates successfully challenge the hundreds of nomination signatures that candidates submit. His Democratic rivals, including Alice Palmer, the incumbent, were all disqualified." Hmm.
Obama's election to the U.S. Senate was even more curious, as described by Gerard Baker in the Irish Independent: "Two exquisitely timed divorces smoothed the way.
"In the Democratic primary, he was a long shot. But a month before the election, his main opponent, Blair Hull, a wealthy Chicago futures trader, was forced to publish divorce papers that revealed, among other charming details, his wife's claim that he had once threatened to kill her.
"In the general election, lightning struck again. His opponent, the engaging Jack Ryan, had run a campaign as a different sort of Republican. But a few months before the election, his divorce papers revealed that, while he might have been a different sort of Republican, he was from precisely the same stable of Obama political opponents. He had, it turned out, once tried to force his former wife to go with him to sex clubs in Paris."
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.