*Posted by Kirk Spencer
Why not? I put my faith in him. We all did.
I thought he was gonna be different than all the other jokers,
but this guy, he can’t even define the word “is.”
What happens if they give him one of the hard words, like “truth”?
Spoken by William Hayes
In the movie “Definitely Maybe” 2008
In the Summer of 2004, I watched the young senator from Illinois speak the keynote address from the floor of the Democratic National Convention. I saw how he looked and heard how he spoke and I believed his words (and thought he did too). I thought that if Martin Luther King Jr. could not be president, then maybe somebody who sounded like King could, (if he didn’t want to be king). After reading this post, you might not believe this, but I not only thought Barack Obama could be president, I thought he would be president—even that he should be president. However, during the 08 campaign it gradually became clear that he was not the best person for the job. The breaking point, for me at least, came when I discovered that in the State of Illinois, during the 92nd general assembly, on the 82nd legislative day, from the floor of the congress, April 4th 2002, Barack Obama spoke these words:
The only plausible rationale, to my mind, for this legislation (Born Alive Infant Protection Act) would be if you had a suspicion that a doctor, the attending physician, who has made an assessment that this is a nonviable fetus and that, let’s say for the purpose of the mother’s health is being—that—that labor is being induced that that physician (a) is going to make the wrong assessment and (b) if the physician discovered, after the labor had been induced, that, in fact, he had made an error, or she had made an error, and, in fact, that this was not a nonviable fetus but, in fact, a live child, that that physician, of his own accord or her own accord, would not try to exercise the sort of medical measures and practices that would be involved in saving that child. Now if—if you think that there are possibilities that doctors would not do that, then maybe this bill makes sense, but I—I suspect and my impression is, is that the Medical Society suspects as well that doctors feel that they would be under that obligation, that they would already be making these determinations and that, essentially, adding a—an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion. Now, if that’s the case and—and I know that some of us feel very strongly one way or another on that issue—that’s fine, but I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births. Because if these are children being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to make sure that they’re looked after. Thank you, Mr. President.
As far as I can discover, what Senator Obama was denying was a matter of public record and was not being disputed in any way. As a matter of fact, what he denied was the very reason for the bill in the first place. It was documented that over 10% of fetuses submitted to induced labor abortions survived the attempt for various lengths of time. These infants, who were accidentally born alive, were not being “looked after” by the “attending physician” (or anyone else for that matter). Some of the earliest evidence actually came from the very state that Barack Obama was representing. One such hospital was just abandoning the infants and allowing them to die alone. This “Christ Hospital,” as it was called, evidently had a different interpretation of Christ’s words to “Suffer the little children…” Jill Stanek was one of the first to witness the fact that Obama denied:
My name is Jill Stanek. In 1999, I discovered that Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where I worked as a labor and delivery nurse, was leaving babies who survived induced labor abortions to die in the soiled utility room. I personally held one of these infants 45 minutes until he gasped his last breath. When I explained my experience to hospital administrators, they refused to stop their horrific treatment of these infants. After going public, my story immediately grabbed the attention of legislators and media, which resulted in the introduction of the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Christ Hospital fired me in August 2001 for reasons related to my public statements.
Almost every single legislator in the United States, at the federal and state level, recognized the need for such a law designed to protect a fetus born alive (The “Born Alive Infant Protection Act”—because a fetus born alive is by definition an “infant”). This law simply required that if an abortionist botched an abortion and the infant was born alive, then that physician (the one who was being paid to end the pregnancy and life of the fetus, the one who would be liable for malpractice if the child had birth defects, the one who had a vested interest in the infant being found dead), this “doctor” would be required to call in another physician (one who did not have a vested interest in the infant being dead) to assure that the infant received medical attention to preserve its life, instead of the “medical” attention it had been receiving to take its life or the documented “medical measures and practices” the infants had been experiencing—abandonment to die alone in a dark utility room. Obama knew these facts and he still made the statement that the attending physician would feel under obligation to “exercise the sort of medical measures and practices that would be involved in saving that child.” The very reason for the bill was that the attending physicians were not doing this. So why would Barack Obama deny something that had been documented by eye-witnesses and was almost unanimously accepted as fact? If you take the words of Obama’s statement from the floor of congress and you cross-out all the words that are denying the very reason for the bill, you are left with this:
…an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.
This point is made crystal clear in the very next sentence when Senator Obama says: “I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births.” For Senator Obama, this is what it was all about. It was not about the children but about abortion. More than all others, he was so blinded by his ideology that he would argue publically that every abortionist who takes life in the womb for a living would suddenly have compassion and work to save the same life once it was outside the womb; and Senator Obama would publically declare this in the face of clear and uncontested evidence. It seems as if reality must be bent, and infants placed at risk just to keep “the decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion from being burdened (made more difficult).” I suppose this means that a law that attempts to protect helpless infants is only trying to attack a woman’s right to choose to end her pregnancy. Senator Obama’s commitment to abortion rights was so strong that premature babies who survive abortion and live outside the womb before complete gestation are a threat to abortion rights because if the baby has rights outside the womb (before it’s nine months were up) as a viable person it could be used to argue that the babies inside the womb may also be persons too (before their nine months are up). In this case, as neonatal science advances then the personhood would be conferred by government earlier and earlier in the gestation process, thus restricting the time frame for a woman to choose to end her pregnancy. If this is what he meant, then the lives of infants born alive would continue to be threatened (or rather taken through neglect) just to make sure that abortions rights are not threatened by someone considering these premature infants as “persons.”
[I have heard Obama’s response. He says that these are all “lies.” And that the Illinois bill was different from the Federal Bill and it, unlike the federal bill, was fashioned as an attack on Abortion Rights. (Though I have never heard Obama explain his words or how the bill was an attack on Abortion Rights.) Obama said that if the bill had been identical to the Federal Bill he would have voted for it along with all the other democrats. Yet in 2003 a bill identical to the Federal Bill was passed in the Illinois senate. He had a chance to vote for the same bill passed by the U.S. Senate (98-0 in favor) and once again he voted against it. To my knowledge Obama has never responded to this fact.]
The significance to this event, to me at least, is that it shows that Senator Obama (now President Obama) is someone driven so strongly by his ideology that he would ignore the clear wisdom of almost every other congressperson in the nation, from both parties and deny the most basic of human instincts—compassion for the most innocent (even after they are “born alive.”) Someone might say, “That happened ten years ago… why bring it up now? Maybe he has changed?” I bring it up now because we have a chance to make a change. I bring it up now because I believe that the passing of time has only brought this aspect of his character into even sharper focus—what I call “The Audacity of Audacity” or “The Politics of Anything Goes.” When we listened to Senator Obama in 04, one of the most important proclamations in that famous convention speech were words that have been spoken and written over and over again since, words that were not only what the country wanted to hear, but what the country wanted to happen and what the historic election of the first black president was thought to herald—these words:
Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.
Considering the ongoing practice (orthopraxy) of the man who spoke these words eight years ago, is there anyone who thinks that this is really what he believes? Is there anyone who believes that President Barack Obama has worked to bring black and white and Latino and Asian Americans together or who believes he has worked to bring together liberal and conservative America. If we look at what he has actually done, it is not to unify but to empower himself by demagoguery of these very differences. His orthopraxy is much more in line with the “The politics of anything goes, with its negative ad peddling, spin masters and division.” The very thing he warned us of—he was. Someone might say, “Well that just politics.” Maybe so, but the point still holds. It is Obamapraxy. Such political practice of empowerment through division was Obamapraxy before his presidency and it continued throughout his term in office. And, it appears to be his MO in the current campaign also. It works. And it works with very little effort. The question is… will it work well enough to win again?
When president Clinton was attempting to weasel his way out of a perjury conviction by mentioning the ontological problem of knowing what “is” is, the country was debating the importance of “integrity” in their president. Many thought that if the person was competent then integrity did not matter to the wholeness of the country. Consider this. The word ‘integrity” comes from the word “integer” which means “whole.” For instance there is one truth (what happened). It is a whole. While we might be entitled to possess our own personal property (for now), contrary to popular belief, we are not entitled to our own facts—we must share them with each other if we are to be whole. If someone knows the facts and makes up other facts, they have divided the whole. God has given us one reality and, in lying, we have made for ourselves another. Our deceptive words create false worlds and if others believe our lies they are forced to live in them. They are divided from real reality. With each new falsehood the segregation grows. In the process, some people (for a season) draw power from the division… adopting the appearance of a popular orthodoxy to practice their divisive orthopraxy. It is the politics of anything goes.
As with Obamadoxy, once again, Obama’s pastor of more than 20 years—Jeremiah Wright provided an insight into Obamapraxy. On November 11th 2011 at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s office at the Kwame Nkrumah Academy, Reverend Wright stated that in a private meeting in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, on South Pleasant Avenue in Chicago, Barack Obama made this statement to him:
“You know what your problem is? You have to tell the truth.”
Reverend Wright’s response to Obama:
‘That’s a good problem to have.”
Reverend Wright’s explanation:
“Politicians don’t have to tell the truth. Truth is what we say it is. Well, I can’t live with that. That’s why I could never be a politician.”
I know there are many Obama supporters that believe that Wright is wrong (or old, or insane, or senile, or angry, or vindictive, or … anything but truthful). In their minds Wright is lying about Obama telling the truth about how politicians can lie, but preachers must tell the truth. I don’t know what the truth is in this matter. I don’t know who to trust. I don’t know who the joker is. I wasn’t there. However the confusion does seem to confirm the fact that “truth” is one of the harder words to define—even harder than knowing what “is” is. Even in the confusion (maybe because of the confusion) we must take very seriously the choice that is before our nation and what this choice will say about our nation. Is the “politic of anything goes” going to defeat “the telling of the truth?” With the choice before us of what to do with our first “Chicago President,” I am reminded of the rock band “Chicago” and those famous words I listened to so many times when I was young:
Does anybody really know what time it is.
Does anybody really care…