Obama’s Record of Bipartisan Reform

Posted on August 21, 2008. Filed under: B. Hussein Obama's real record as a "reformer" |

Obama wants to convince voters that he is the politician who is fed up with party lines and will repeatedly reach across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems. His history and campaign shows anything but a willingness to work with anyone out of sync with his extreme left views. Perhaps the most compelling example of Obama’s hard party line policies can be shown with an opportunity to reach across the aisle and pursue policy that was being supported by some of his Democrat brethren and the current Republican presidential nominee John McCain. The focus of the proposed legislation was Senate ethics reform. An issue Obama frequently calls for bipartisan support.

The issue came in February 2006. An article in the March 30, 2008 Washington Post states that Obama, one year into his US senate career, approached McCain to work on an ethics reform bill. McCain was not a stranger to reform, to the disdain of his party; he had previously worked for campaign finance reform. McCain agreed to Obama’s idea and, reportedly, told his top staffer, “I like him; he’s probably got a great future. We can do some work together.” The effort included more than just McCain and Obama, they were joined by Republican Susan Collins of Maine and Democrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. (This was before Lieberman left the Democrat Party to run as an independent.) David Fredosso gives the following account of how events transpired in his book, The Case Against Barack Obama. After meeting with the bipartisan group, both McCain and Obama’s staffs said the two senators spoke amicably after the initial meeting. This was where the party political environment prevailed before the 2006 mid-term elections.

The media had just highlighted several scandals involving Republicans. The Democrats were looking to highlight these scandals for a boost in the November mid-term elections. The Democrat Party leaders, apparently, took Obama aside and discussed the party’s upcoming election strategy in light of Obama’s bipartisan efforts of reform, advising him that he was ruining their campaign strategy. Obama wrote a letter to McCain explaining that he would have to bail out on the ethics reform project and, instead, let the reform go through the committee channels. However, the letter Obama wrote was delivered to the press before going to McCain. In the letter Obama had blamed McCain of wanting to play party politics instead of reforming anything. In his response, McCain sent a letter to Obama where, as Fredosso writes, he stated, “I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable…thank you for disabusing me of such notions. “

The March article in the Washington Post gives Obama’s side of the story. Apparently, Obama claims that McCain was the one playing party politics and was not interested in reform. What is hard to swallow about this claim is that McCain, unlike Obama, has a long record of going against his party’s wishes and working for reform in the Senate. The glaring example is his work for campaign finance reform which led to the McCain-Feingold Bill which hurts the Republican presidential candidate more and more disproportionally each campaign. Also, the political opportunism at hand was facilitated by Obama releasing his letter to McCain to the press before sending to McCain.

This is just one instance of Obama’s refusal to break party lines when pursuing the reform and change his campaign attributes to him as if he created the concept. He failed to break from the Chicago political machine in his funneling of government grants and loans to slumlords, such as Antoin Rezko, that have also happened to give large contributions to all of Obama’s campaigns. Obama’s campaign managers addressed this by explaining how Obama knows there are certain people in politics that can give more support than others. This is what would explain his undying support for Mayor Daley and the Stroger family in Chicago politics. (For more on this, check back to the Anti-Obamassiah Refuge. There will be a whole post devoted to Obama’s sleazy support for the old Chicago and Illinois state political machine.) The main point though is that the partisan divide that Obama contantly discusses is something that he has contributed greatly to. In fact, the great party unifier was quoted during his run for state senate, he referred to conservaties as organizing, “…around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, adn false nostalgia. The have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values adn moral reponsibility.” With that quote, it is easy to decipher Obama is far to the left and definatly not seeking any bipartisan solutions.

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    Is this really a new type of politician? Or is the Obama machine just using politics as usual in their campaign?

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