So far, because the mainstream media is smitten with him, Barack Obama has been able to get by running a campaign based on hope, change, unity, love, and rainbows made of cuddly kittens.
However, before we get around to coronating Barack as our new President/Cult of Unity Leader, there are a few questions he should have to answer before America starts drinking his Kool-Aid.
Granted, many members of our esteemed press seem to consider it crass to expect Obama to actually answer questions about unimportant things like his agenda, his character, and what he actually wants to do when he becomes the leader of the free world. That's why he would probably get away with doing what slick politicians like him always do when they're asked tough questions: lie, misdirect, and dodge.
But still, wouldn't it be great if there were some members of the mainstream media that at least had enough integrity to ask him the tough questions in the first place? Ok, you can stop laughing now. Let me put it another way: if there are any Hillary Clinton fans in the press who'd like to help derail Obama so that your preferred liberal candidate can win, start putting questions like these to him:
* You've made unifying the American public and putting our political divisions behind us one of the central themes of your campaign. Yet, National Journal ranked you as the single most liberal senator in 2007. So, which liberal beliefs of yours are you willing to give up for unity's sake?
* Along the same lines, John McCain has been behind numerous pieces of prominent bi-partisan legislation. So, if voters are looking for a candidate who can unify the country, wouldn't he be a better choice than you?
* If you didn't agree with Jeremiah Wright's racist and anti-American views, why did you take your own children to his church and expose them to what he had to say?
* If I may steal a question from Peter Weher, "With which elements, if any, of black liberation theology — as represented by Reverend Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ — do you strongly disagree? Do you think any of the core tenets of black liberation theology are racist?"
* Could black voters trust a white candidate to fairly represent their interests even if he attended an anti-black church and was close friends with a prominent white minister who was famously hostile to black Americans?
* John Conyers has said that he intends to "move legislation that could lead the federal government to apologize for slavery and pay reparations" if you become President. Would you support that legislation?
* Given our budget deficit, how can you justify giving away 845 billion dollars of our tax money to other nations over the next 13 years via your Global Poverty Act?
* In 2004, you said that you opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, which is designed to keep gay marriage from being imposed on the country by judicial fiat. Do you think the American people and their representatives should have a right to decide whether or not they want gay marriage in their states? If the answer is "yes," how can you possibly square that with your opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act?
* Given that you're pro-partial birth abortion, would you support overturning the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003?
* You claim to support the 2nd Amendment, but why should people believe you when, in 1996, you supported "banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?"
* Many people believe your plan for Iraq would be viewed as a huge victory for Al-Qaeda in much of the world, would lead to the collapse of democracy in that country, would boost Iran's standing in the region, and would lead to genocide on a massive scale. Do you believe that those things won't happen or do you believe that those are prices we should be willing to pay to leave Iraq?
* You've often spoken about what the positive effects of pulling out of Iraq will be, but what do you think the negative consequences of your choice to lose the war in Iraq will be?
* Given that we're fighting a war on terror, why do you think it's appropriate for you to continue to personally associate with terrorists like William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn who bombed buildings on American soil, attempted to murder Army officers, and even today, publicly say that they have no regrets about their actions?
* Can you give a more convincing explanation for why you no longer wear a flag pin and why you famously chose not to hold your hand over your heart for our National Anthem?
* Your campaign has suggested that you should receive half the delegates from the state of Michigan even though your name wasn't even on the ballot. Given that your supporters helped thwart a re-vote, isn't that extraordinarily hypocritical, arrogant, and undemocratic of you?
* Given your past history of using cocaine, which is extremely addictive, would you be willing to regularly take drug tests during the campaign and when you're in the White House to insure Americans that you're not still using?
* You claimed that you "never saw or approved" an "Illinois voter group's detailed questionnaire" that had you taking some embarrassingly liberal stands "on gun control, the death penalty and abortion." You chalked up those answers on the questionnaire to an overzealous aide. Yet, it turned out that you were blatantly lying and were actually interviewed for the questionnaire and even sent in your own handwritten notes. So, if you're willing to tell such a bald-faced lie to cover up your liberal positions, why should the American people believe you now when you claim, on issue after issue, to have flip flopped to a more moderate position than you held just a few years back?
* You personally, along with your campaign, have continuously and consistently lied and claimed that John McCain wants to fight a war in Iraq for the next 100 years. However, what he actually said -- and has repeated many times is, "Maybe (we'll be in Iraq for) 100 (years)...We've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea for 50 years, that'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed." Why have you continued to knowingly lie about this issue and why should voters trust what you say if you're going to deliberately try to mislead them in this fashion?
* After engaging in a crooked land deal with Tony Rezko, a man who donated $10,000 from (an) alleged kickback scheme to your campaign, how can voters trust you to act in an ethical fashion in the White House?
* According to an April 23, 2007 article from the Chicago Sun-Times called "Barack Obama and his slumlord patron, "Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko's low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems -- including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers." Do you have any regrets about teaming up with a slumlord to further your own political career on the backs of the very poor people you claimed to be helping?