Obama's Wisdom Trumps “Experience” Test

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[I Write What I Like: Election 2008]


With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Throughout this presidential campaign, Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Joseph Biden behaved like attack dogs for Senator John McCain.

They went after Senator Barack Obama like he had violated the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. In choosing Biden over Clinton, Obama was preferring six in one hand over a half-dozen in the other hand.

McCain will simply act as a prosecutor. Any statement made by a co-conspirator—Clinton and Biden— can be used by McCain during the course and furtherance of his prosecution against Obama.

While there may be an objection in a court of law, a political campaign is a free-for-all. McCain intends to use these racist admissions to the hilt. This accusation about “experience” is racist because it has no foundation in historical fact.

Under the U.S. Constitution, no president has ever had any prior experience as commander-in-chief under Article 1, sec. 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, no apprenticeship program exists for the presidency. The Constitution generally prohibits states from engaging in foreign affairs.

Only President Grover Cleveland served a split presidential term; but he lacked military experience. He had paid someone to serve in the military in his stead. No one called him “unpatriotic,” however. His presidency continued for four years before March 5, 1889, and four years after March 3, 1893. This period included Plessy v. Ferguson.

Fifteen of the 42 U.S. presidents never served in the military. It would be 16 if Bush 43 would come clean. He did acquire some pilot training, but he failed to follow his unit to Vietnam. Although his roots were in Texas, he was able to transfer to the Alabama National Guard to help a senate campaign.

Twenty-four of the 42 U.S. presidents listed their profession as lawyer. None of them achieved greater academic success than Obama. He was at the top of his class at Harvard Law School. On the other hand, McCain ranked near the very bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy, despite his enjoying a legacy preference academically.

McCain’s father and grandfather were admirals. Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States during World War I, and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president of the United States during World War II. They were commanders-in-chief. Neither of them had any military experience. Nobody complained.

President Abraham Lincoln had limited military experience, and he had served only one term in the U.S. House of Representatives before he embarked on the Civil War, which was the bloodiest conflict in the history of the United States. Judgment trumped experience.

Lincoln had defeated some of this nation’s best generals before they became traitors. When Biden argued that as commander-in-chief, Obama would have to engage in on-the-job training, he failed to mention that every commander-in-chief has had to engage in on-the-job training. President George Washington not only established term limits for the presidency, but he also opposed political parties.

Although Biden has served six terms in the U.S. Senate, with some of it on the Foreign Relations Committee, he also has no military experience. This experience in foreign affairs would not qualify him as commander-in-chief. If Biden loses the vice presidential bid, he will return to the U.S. Senate.

The argument about lack of “experience” is racist and only applies to Obama. Apparently, it is of no moment that he is also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate. He is also a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. It is no small feat for any person to become a member of the U.S. Senate.

Before Lester Maddox became governor of Georgia, whites argued that Blacks were unqualified to head the state government. Maddox’ only qualification for becoming governor of Georgia was his skillful use of ax handles to crack the skulls of Black people. He was a hit with the white electorate. They ushered him into the gubernatorial office as a highly qualified candidate despite his being a third-grade dropout.

Obama’s announcement of Biden as his running mate is puzzling. First, Delaware has only three votes in the Electoral College. Second, Governor Ed Rendell and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania should already be on Obama’s bandwagon. Third, Biden has been Obama’s harshest critic.

If soldiers believe that “you must put your money where your mouth is,” they prefer Obama over McCain. In a 2008 election cycle, troops donated $60,542 to Obama while giving only $10,665 to McCain. In a similar election cycle four years ago, Bush 43 raised $1.50 for every dollar that Senator John Kerry raised for his presidential campaign.

The key is to make sure that states credit absentee ballots. While Biden has experience in foreign affairs, he, nonetheless, voted to remove non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. His judgment was bad. He did oppose regime change in Iraq.

Biden voted for the Iraqi resolution of Trent Lott, Dennis Hastert and Richard Gephardt in October 2002. Biden does have two compelling reasons for wanting Obama to win the presidential sweepstakes. He could become president.

Moreover, his oldest son is state attorney general in Delaware. If anything happens to Obama or if Obama wins the presidential sweepstakes, it will have a ripple effect in Delaware. The beneficiary could be Biden’s oldest son, Beau Biden.

Delaware has had its share of racial problems. The Justice Department found inadequate health treatment for prisoners and myriad civil rights violations throughout the state’s prison system. The NAACP earlier had demanded the ouster of the state police chief for maintaining a racist police department. White state troopers sued as alleged victims of racial quotas.

Biden has his own problems, mostly from being unable to control his tongue. When the 1991 hearings on Clarence Thomas started, Biden was initially criticized for covering up information that Thomas had engaged in acts of sexual harassment. In the end, Thomas was confirmed over Biden’s opposition.

Biden also chaired the hearings concerning Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Obama must pursue his presidential campaign like a defense attorney would pursue a criminal trial. His first job is to stake out his electorate like a defense lawyer educates a potential jury and identifies judicial prospects.

Obama must prepare his strategy for the Electoral College. This means putting together a winning combination of voters. Obama should perceive his acceptance speech as an opening statement. The best defense is a good offense. He should constantly refer to his campaign theme: “Change.”

The flip side is McCain maintaining the status quo. The poor and working class can ill-afford four more years of Bush 43. McCain is Bush-lite. Obama must prosecute the “Gang of 5,” which includes McCain.

It would be political malpractice for Obama to stay clear of race. Legal malpractice exists when a lawyer is representing a Black defendant for the rape of a white woman and the lawyer fails to discuss race to an all-white jury pool. This would constitute reversible error for ineffective assistance of counsel.

Law and politics are based on military science. In a criminal trial by jury, most cases are won or lost after opening statements. Either Obama or McCain will win the residential sweepstakes by September 5. McCain will deliver his acceptance speech in Minneapolis on September 4.

Political education and political oratory will be key components of a successful political strategy. Obama should not disappoint. Black history is on his side.

Author’s Note: Sept. 3—UAM weekly forum resumes at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman Avenue (Fulton Street), near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn. Take the “C” train to Franklin Avenue. Subject: “Obama and the White Conspiracy.” Sept. 10—UAM weekly forum at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman Avenue (Fulton Street), near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Walter Williams, historian, independent researcher and author of “The Historical Origin of Christianity.” He also is founder of the Ancient Egyptian Museum and Institute in Chicago. Dr.Williams will lecture on “The Myths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism Exposed.” Oct. 11-12—An overnight bus trip to the Blacks In Wax Museum and the Baltimore Harbor in Baltimore and an “Egypt on the Nile” tour of Washington, D.C., conducted by the esteemed Egyptologist Anthony Browder. No Child Should Be Left Behind. Every Black child should be taught the true history of the nation’s capital. We must revisit Kemet.

For further information on all events, call United African Movement at (718) 834-9034. See:
www.reinstatealtonmaddox.net for “No Survival Skills for Black Children, “Critical Information is Power,” “Critical Thinking and Electoral Politics,” “Motion and Memorandum of Law in Maddox v. Prudenti et al.” and “Legal and Life Experiences of Alton H.Maddox,Jr.

To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com

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