Phony in chief
By Thomas Sowell
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
When President Barack Obama and others on the left are not busy admonishing the rest of us to be “civil” in our discussions of political issues, they are busy letting loose insults, accusations and smears against those who dare to disagree with them.
President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Gov. Romney a “phony.” Innumerable facts, however, show that it is our commander in chief who is phony in chief.
A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. In his speech — delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn't use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience — he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit as it had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks or the people of Florida after Hurricane Andrew hit.
He mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does. Sen. Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida. But the people in New Orleans — predominantly black — “they don't care about as much,” according to Obama.
But less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the U.S. Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after Hurricane Andrew combined.
Obama cannot claim that he wasn't present the day of that Senate vote, as he claimed he wasn't there when Jeremiah Wright unleashed his obscene attacks on America from the pulpit of the church that Obama attended for 20 years. Unlike Wright's church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day.
The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007, shows Sen. Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 senators who voted against the legislation that included the waiver.
When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world-class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title phony in chief.
If you know any true believers in Obama, show them the transcript of his June 5, 2007, speech at Hampton University (available from the Federal News Service) and then show them page S6823 of the Congressional Record for May 24, 2007, which lists which senators voted which way on the waiver of the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans.
Some people in the media have tried to dismiss this and other revelations of Obama's real character that have belatedly come to light as “old news.” But the truth is one thing that never wears out.
Obama's true believers may not want to know the truth. But there are millions of other people who have projected their own desires for a post-racial America onto Barack Obama who need to be confronted with the truth before they repeat the mistake they made when they voted four years ago.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
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