Monday, March 24, 2008

Emil Jones, Bill Clinton, and McCarthy

OK - I am still a bit under the weather from my recent surgery, still on drugs, and more than a little nauseous, so allow me to direct you to a couple of good pieces at and

I have mentioned the big article regarding Emil Jones, the "Kingmaker" of Obama, here before, from a Chicago-based paper. Looks like other people are finally taking a look (long overdue). This is from No Quarter, and there is more at the
Now there is Emil Jones. Just who is Emil Jones, you ask? The Times UK tells us who Emil Jones is.

The Times article today — “Barack Obama: toxic mentors start to corrode pristine campaign” — begins with a story about the close relationship between Emil Jones and Barack Obama, and expressions about the nature of that closeness:

Long before Barack Obama launched his campaign for the White House, when he was considering a run for the US Senate in 2003, he paid an intriguing visit to a former Chicago sewers inspector who had risen to become one of the most influential African-American politicians in Illinois.

“You have the power to elect a US senator,” Obama told Emil Jones, Democratic leader of the Illinois state senate. Jones looked at the ambitious young man smiling before him and asked, teasingly: “Do you know anybody I could make a US senator?”

According to Jones, Obama replied: “Me.” It was his first, audacious step in a spectacular rise from the murky political backwaters of Springfield, the Illinois capital.

The exchange also sealed an intimate personal and political relationship that is likely to attract intense scrutiny amid the furore over Obama’s links to some of Chicago’s most controversial political and religious power brokers.

Obama has often described Jones as a key political mentor whose patronage was crucial to his early success in a state long dominated by near-feudal party political machines. Jones, 71, describes himself as Obama’s “godfather” and once said: “He feels like a son to me.”

Here is how Jones operates in the Illinois state legislature, and in his own life:

For almost a year Jones has used his position as leader of the state senate to block anticorruption legislation passed unanimously by the state’s lower house. He has also become embroiled in ethical controversies concerning his wife’s job and his stepson’s business.

Following a long section about the rise of Barack Obama to frontrunner status in the Democratic presidential primary, the article gets back to the late arrival of scrutiny of Obama, and more about Jones’s scandals:

[Clinton campaign members] believe he will come to be seen not as some Messiah but as an unusually gifted political hack who has made compromises with dodgy associates, just like most other American politicians.

That intensifying scrutiny may soon lead to Jones’s Illinois door, and to further uncomfortable insights into the unflattering political realities that accompanied Obama’s climb from obscurity.

At one point during Obama’s 2003 Senate campaign, Jones set out to woo two African-American politicians miffed by Obama’s presumption and ambition. One of them, Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, a state senator, had scoffed that Obama was so ambitious he would run for “king of the world” if the position were vacant.

When Jones secured the two men’s support, Obama asked his mentor how he had pulled it off. “I made them an offer,” Jones said in mock-mafioso style. “And you don’t want to know.”

Jones is now at the centre of a long row over his attempt to block proposed laws cracking down on his state’s “pay-to-play” tradition – whereby companies hoping to win government contracts have to contribute to the campaign funds of officials.

Jones’s staff say he blocked the bill because he intends to produce something tougher. No proposals have appeared.

Cynthia Canary, an activist against corruption who is fighting to have the laws passed, says Obama had little choice as an Illinois politician but to deal with an ethically dubious regime. “You hold your nose and work through the system,” she said.

Yet she also thinks America is being done a disservice by those who portray Obama as somehow above the uglier wheeler-dealing of politics. “He’s a pragmatic politician, and in the end if you think that he’s superman, your heart is going to get broken.” has a lot more on all of this - Jones, Rezko, and others. Gee - if only the MSM had bothered to look at CHICAGO media all along, maybe this race would have been entirely different!

OK - then there is the attack by Retired General McPeak, equating Bill Clinton to MCCARTHY, while Obama stands by - saying nothing like usual. Hey, you can call Hillary all kinds of names, and he'll just stand there. Or attack Bill, call him a racist, then like McCarthy, and Obama will just cross his arms, and stand there. Yeah. Okay. Here's more from Senator Obama, Have You No Decency?
By Larry JohnsoncloseAuthor: Larry Johnson Name: Larry Johnson

"Leave it to Barack Obama, in a further sign that his campaign realizes they are in deep trouble, to unleash the ghost of Joseph McCarthy, a red-baiting Republican who smeared honest Americans by accusing them of being communists. As a side note, does anyone remember who worked for McCarthy besides Roy Cohn? Yep, Robert F. Kennedy. So, since Obama has been compared to RFK are we to assume that, like RFK, he is the one who would work with someone like McCarthy in order to further his political career? Just asking.

But back to the McCarthy charge. It is the Obama campaign that is pushing the bizarre interpretation of Bill Clinton’s innocuous remark. Bill Clinton :

. . .praised McCain as an “honorable man,” who has “paid the highest price short of giving your life.” He mentioned that though Hillary and McCain disagree on many issues, they’ve worked together successfully on others. In that context, he said it would be great “if you had two people who really love this country and ask who’s right on these issues” instead of all the non-essential clutter that now distracts in politics.

Check out Alegre’s piece and hear his remarks for yourself. Yet Obama and his crew, frantic to shift public attention away from the racist mentor of Barack Obama–Jeremiah Wright–immediately began accusing the former President of the democratic equivalent of consorting with a Nazi. How Bill Clinton retains his sense of humor in the face of such a despicable insult is beyond me. You can tell this attack has gone off the tracks when folks as diverse as Bill Richardson and Kathleen Parker (who wrote in the conservative National Review) defended Bill Clinton.

We have learned some very unflattering things about Senator Obama’s lack of character and courage. He was standing next to retired US Air Force General McPeak, when the General unleashed the McCarthy charge:

President Clinton, talking to a group of veterans yesterday in North Carolina, and he said something that frankly astonished me. HE said in promoting his wife’s candidacy: [QUOTE] I think it’d be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who love this country and were devoted to the interests of the country and the people. And the people could actually ask themselves who’s right on these issues instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself in politics. [/QUOTE CLINTON]

Well, let me say first, we will have such an election this year. [APPLAUSE] Because both Barack Obama and John McCain are great patriots [CHEERS] who love this country and are devoted to it. So is Hillary Clinton. Any suggestion to the contrary is flat wrong. And so as one who for 37 years proudly wore the uniform of this country I am saddened to see a president employ these kinds of tactics. He should know better because he was the target of exactly the same kind of tactics when he first ran 16 years ago. They had no place then. These tactics have no place in American politics. They had no place then … they had no place then and they have no place now. I am happy and proud to support a candidate who loves his country so much that he would never play that kind of divisive tactics (sic). And now i would like to present to you America’s next Commander in Chief … Barack Obama …

So, what did Obama do? He praised McPeak:

OBAMA NOW: Let me just say that not only do I consider General McPeak a friend and an adviser but I just think that he looks and sounds like Clint Eastwood is cool. [HUH?] Yeah … that’s what you want a general to look like and sound like. [SMILES BIG] Yeah …. uh …. you know, if you mess with him, you’re in trouble. So, yeah, uh, he … General McPeak has been traveling on my behalf and I’m just thrilled.

The wild accusations hurled by the likes of Joseph McCarthy were rendered inert when the likes of Joseph Welch and Edward R. Murrow challenged the drunken bully from Wisconsin. Joseph Welch, the Army’s top attorney, achieved fame for telling McCarthy:

You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Welch’s question of McCarthy is still germane and needs to be asked of Senator Obama. Obama promised a new style of politics. Yet, since January, he has been tossing one insult or accusation after another at Bill Clinton. Obama has suggested Clinton achieved nothing of importance during his tenure and that the Republicans were the party of ideas. Obama gave tacit approval to let his surrogates accuse Bill Clinton of racism. And now Obama stands by silently while a top military adviser accuses the former President of acting like Josephy McCarthy.

Senator Obama, where is your sense of decency?"

No freakin' kidding. Where indeed?!?!

No comments: