It’s been nigh on 40 years since the infamous Watergate political scandal that brought down the Nixon presidency, and since then two major lessons of that mess have become tried-and-true political axioms.
But amazingly, the Barack Obama campaign is threatening to defy both of them — and could end up winning the presidency regardless.
First up, the famous advice: “follow the money.”
When he was running for the Democratic nomination, Obama pledged to accept public financing. Later, when he realized that he could raise a hell of a lot more than he could collect from the government, he changed his mind — and has been setting fundraising records every month. Money has been flowing in from everyone.
Including some outright flagrant and fraudulent sources.
Such as, say, stolen credit cards.
Or fine, upstanding citizens as “Doodad Pro” and “Good Will.”
Or even those ethnically-proud whatever-Americans, Dahsudhu Hdusahfd of Df, Hawaii and Uadhshgu Hduadh from Dhff, Florida.
And it isn’t just Americans who are all het up about Obama. Witness these two brothers from the West Bank, Monir and Hosam Edwan, who ponied up almost $30,000 for Obama.
Who’s following all this money? Certainly not the mainstream press, who have lived off the glories of Watergate for decades. They’re all wrapped up in marveling at the sheer amount of money Obama is collecting, not bothering to ask if he’s trying to buy the election — and on whose bank account that check will be drawn from.
The other lesson from Watergate was the warning that “it isn’t the crime that gets you, it’s the coverup.” Nixon, by most accounts, was utterly unaware of just how far his minions were going in their efforts to secure his re-election. But when he was apprised of what had been done, and which of his most trusted associates had been involved, he chose to help cover for them — and it was that decision, and his following actions, that eventually brought him low.
Bill Clinton started the erosion of this principle. He was not impeached for having an affair with an intern; it was his attempts to lie and deny and cover up that relationship that ended up with him being impeached. He did manage to avoid conviction, though, by constantly having his supporters repeat the lie that he was being “impeached over a blowjob” or “only lied about a private matter.”
And now Barack Obama is putting the final nail in the coffin of that old bit of wisdom, too.
Much has been made of Obama’s relationship with Chicago activist and unrepentant terrorist William Ayers. And while no one has said that Obama himself was a terrorist or ever endorsed Ayers’ terrorism, the question of “what did Obama know and when did he know it” has been brought up over and over again.
Obama’s response has been fascinating to watch. What he has said about his relationship with Ayers has been an evolving and developing account, constantly having to be adapted as more and more facts emerge that contradict the current version from Obama.
It started with “he’s some guy in my neighborhood” and that the Obama and Ayers children went to school together.
Then it turned out that Obama and Ayers had served together on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and probably attended a few meetings together.
Then it came out that the CAC had been created, in large part, by Ayers, and Obama — as its first director — was almost certainly hand-picked by Ayers.
And a lot of the projects the CAC funded were run by Ayers and many of his cronies.
And it turns out that Obama and Ayers were neighbors at more places than their homes. The offices of Obama/Ayers’ CAC was in the same building, and the same floor — as Ayers’ Small School Project (a recipient of CAC funds). Could it have been a shard office? I’d say ask Obama, but I suspect he wouldn’t answer — and wouldn’t trust it anyway.
Then word leaked out that Obama and Ayers had co-served on the board of the Woods Foundation for several years.
Oh, and Obama launched his political career at a house party thrown by the woman whose Senate seat he succeeded — and held in Ayers’ home.
One would think that everything that could put the lie to “some guy from my neighborhood” would have been exposed by now. That every single connection between Obama and Ayers would have been dug up and aired.
One would be wrong.
In 1997, Bill Ayers wrote a little book called “A Kind And Just Parent: The Children Of Juvenile Court.” It explored the juvenile justice system in considerable depth, and used Ayers’ own neighborhood as part of his study. Ayers mentioned some of his neighbors: a former mayor, Muhammed Ali, Louis Farrakhan, and a writer named Barack Obama.
A writer who offered a brief blurb for the book in the Chicago Tribune:
“A searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair.”
With all this, is it any surprise that people are now specuating that William Ayers might have helped Obama write his first book? That some are even using the term “ghost-writer?”
But all this is a “distraction.” This is all unimportant. This is all just diverting people away from the real issues.
In a sense, that’s right. Bill Ayers is not likely to get himself appointed Secretary of Education in an Obama administration. And Obama has shown, repeatedly, that anyone who proves to be too much of an embarrassment, who ends up more of a liability than an asset, will get “tossed under the bus” for the greater good — meaning, the advancement of Barack Obama.
In another sense, though, it speaks volumes about Obama himself. When confronted with something embarrassing, he will downplay it, minimize it, and outright lie about it to keep the facts from coming out. And when those lies and exaggerations and deceptions are exposed, he will continue to downplay the whole story and try to shift the discussion to something — anything — else.
In that, he chose his running mate well. Joe Biden has literally decades of experience in dealing with these things: he uses what I call the “3 B’s” technique of Bully, Bluster, and Bullshit.
Biden is better than Obama at handling such things, but that’s because he has to. He lacks certain things Obama possesses: a remarkable charisma and legions of sycophants and idolizing supporters (especially in the press) who will not only cheerfully cover for him, but viciously turn on those who dare cast aspersions on their Chosen One.
And, judging by the polls (which I try to avoid doing whenever possible), it’s working.