Today’s google news on Georgia has a statement from Senator Obama as the top headline.

What’s wrong with this picture? The dirty little secret is that Obama’s first statement on Russian aggression against the country of Georgia was along the lines of: “why can’t we all be friends”.

The relationship between Russia and the West is long and complicated. There have been many turning points, for good and ill. This is another turning point.

Let me be clear: we seek a future of cooperative engagement with the Russian government, and friendship with the Russian people.

in contrast, McCain was straightforward, and he came out with his statement two days ago, even beating President Bush in making a statement. McCain’s statement shows a deep background understanding not only of Georgia, but of the sociopolitical background of the conflict.

The lack of knowledge on the part of Obama, who took two days to recognize the seriousness of the crisis, should have been headlines, (one remembers the ridicule of Bush when he couldn’t remember the name of “that General” who was president of Pakistan, for example). But never mind.

The question here is not pat knowledge (which Obama could zip up on his Blackberry) but comprehension and wisdom: values that are hard to quantify in a Paris Hilton world where soundbites and polls take the place of discussion.

The failure of the press to cover Obama’s qualifications is not new: most early stories were not about his experience or even about his positions on the issues: they were about his dramatic “rise” in the polls against Clinton.

Yet the fact that a small group of activists essentially hijacked the caucuses  to land him the nomination, or that the actual vote count was essentially 50-50 is another under reported story, which is why there are hints here and there of Clinton supporter dissatisfaction with the results.

This dissatisfaction about media bias against Clinton is also one of the undercurrents in the Edwards’ adultary story.

Edwards took his mistress on a campaign tour in 2006. This brings up all sorts of questions, like did the press keep quiet on Edward’s peccadillos? If so, there is a good argument that by doing so, they allowed Edwards to seep away votes from the other moderate Democrat in the race, Hillary Clinton. By this splitting of the moderate vote, the radical progressives took over the party by manipulating the caucuses; by the time the grass roots were aware of what was going on, they did come out to vote for Clinton, but by then the press had declared Obama the winner and was pressuring and ridiculing Hillary to give up.

Yet the possible dissatisfaction of moderate Democrats continues to be an undercovered story, only hinted at by stories that seem astonished that Obama’s numbers are so low in what should be a Democratic year.

Instead, we see stories like this one, where the NYTimes gleefully reports that the country club Republicans are lining up for Obama. They include the ubiquitous Kmiec, who is touted in articles like this as a Catholic and a Reaganite and is touted as an example of why Obama will win the “catholic” (including the union/blue collar) vote.

Well, maybe, but up until this election I never heard of the guy.

Which brings us up to religion.

Most of the stories have been “Obama is not a Muslim and those terrible racists are spreading libelous rumor” type stories.

Actually, I wish Obama was a Muslim: Because all the practicing Muslim doctors that I had trained with refused to do abortions, even when threatened with dismissal from training.

But the real religious story is Obama’s pro abortion views.

Obama’s views on abortion may divide Catholics, says a fairly decent article by Broder in the NYTimes.

How radical is Obama?

“When you look at his opposition to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in Illinois and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which many Mass-attending Catholics view as bans on infanticide, Obama’s more extreme than any other Democratic presidential candidate,” said Leonard Leo, who directed Catholic outreach for Republicans in 2004, and is an informal adviser to the party and the McCain campaign.

Now, one could make a lot of headlines on that horrific statement alone: But the pro abortion press won’t even mention it as a campaign issue, and if one does, it will be spun as more hatred and lies against the press’s favorite candidate.

Of course, the helpful Catholic Bishops conference gave one of their equivocal statements about  “disproportionate causes” that covers a lot of territory.

All Obama has to do is meet with some Catholic “leaders” and fake it, just like Bill Clinton, and voila, progressive Catholics will vote for him.

Mr. Obama should also speak out in favor of legislation now before Congress to provide financing for alternatives to abortion like free prenatal care and adoption assistance, Mr. Galston suggested. Mr. Obama should also invite (anti abortion Senator ) Casey to speak at the convention, he said.

Luckily, the NYTimes allowed Archbishop Chaput to carefully point out that disproportionate causes means disproportionate causes.

“It’s the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life — which we most certainly will. If we’re confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed.”

Well, that explains why Chaput, despite being a leading intellectual in the church (and a minority to boot) is still only an archbishop. Talking truth to power doesn’t get one far in the hierarchy.

Not mentioned by the elite press is that EWTN, a private Catholic cable TV network, has had several discussions on abortion and the election. EWTN, like Chaput, is not popular with the Bishop’s conference, but it is watched by millions of ordinary Catholics, and it does have some influence at grass roots level; indeed, probably more influence than the “Catholic intellectuals” mentioned in the article, or even the “bishops conference”, which many Catholic feel left them down by “treating” pedophile priests by psychiatrists (which was the progressive way to respond to sexual abuse in the 1980’s) instead of booting them out.

Finally, we see the values question discussed in this Washington Post article LINK

Essentially the article says older people with more conservative values feel more comfortable with McCain than with Obama. The people claim it is because Obama lacks experience, but there are hints of racism in the article, of course.

Edward F. Coyle, executive director of the left-leaning Alliance of Retired Americans, said Obama holds the traditiodedge on issues such as pensions but is lagging with seniors because his campaign became so identified with younger voters during the primaries, as older ones gravitated toward Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“There was never a lot of discussion about the issues we work on, and he wasn’t working with older communities get out their vote,” Coyle said. “He’s pretty much unknown on these issues as a result, and has a lot of work to do.”

Again, the uncovered story behind the article comes down to values.

Values, and wisdom that one acquires painfully by experience.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at Makaipa Blog. 

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