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State, national columnists

President’s words warrant title, phony in chief

By From page A9 | October 14, 2012

When President Barack Obama and others on the left are not busy admonishing the rest of us to be “civil” in our discussions of political issues, they are busy letting loose insults, accusations and smears against those who dare to disagree with them.

Like so many people who have been beaten in a verbal encounter, and who can think of clever things to say the next day, after it is all over, President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Governor Romney a “phony.”

Innumerable facts, however, show that it is our commander in chief who is phony in chief. A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. That date is important, as we shall see.

In his speech – delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn’t use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience – he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit.

Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.

Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be “part of the American family.” But the people in New Orleans – predominantly black – “they don’t care about as much,” according to Barack Obama.

If you want to know what community organizers do, this is it – rub people’s emotions raw to hype their resentments. And this was Barack Obama in his old community organizer role, a role that should have warned those who thought that he was someone who would bring us together, when he was all too well-practiced in the arts of polarizing us apart.

Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined.

Truth is not a job requirement for a community organizer. Nor can Barack Obama claim that he wasn’t present the day of that Senate vote, as he claimed he wasn’t there when Jeremiah Wright unleashed his obscene attacks on America from the pulpit of the church that Obama attended for 20 years.

Unlike Jeremiah Wright’s church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007, shows Sen. Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 senators who voted against – repeat, AGAINST – the legislation that included the waiver.

When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world-class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title Phony in Chief.

If you know any true believers in Obama, show them the transcript of his June 5, 2007, speech at Hampton University (available from the Federal News Service) and then show them page S6823 of the Congressional Record for May 24, 2007, which lists which senators voted which way on the waiver of the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans.

Some people in the media have tried to dismiss this and other revelations of Barack Obama’s real character that have belatedly come to light as “old news.” But the truth is one thing that never wears out. The Pythagorean Theorem is 2,000 years old, but it can still tell you the distance from home plate to second base (127 feet) without measuring it. And what happened five years ago can tell a lot about Barack Obama’s character – or lack of character.

Obama’s true believers may not want to know the truth. But there are millions of other people who have simply projected their own desires for a post-racial America onto Barack Obama. These are the ones who need to be confronted with the truth, before they repeat the mistake they made when they voted four years ago.

Thomas Sowell is an author, economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Thomas Sowell


Discussion | 12 comments

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  • jafOctober 14, 2012 - 9:29 am

    Probably the scariest thing facing this country is the ignorance of the voting public. Many have no time for discussions about the economy, the attack on Libya on 9-11, or Fast and Furious. The Democrats meet any substantive issues with laughter and poking fun at those trying to solve the problem(look at Biden's debate performance or MSNBC's crew for examples.) You get the government you deserve, it is said. But what about those of us who are paying attention? Don't we deserve better?

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  • G-ManOctober 14, 2012 - 9:47 am

    Couldn't have said it better myself..after Obama's election I was hopeful for a more tolerant society here...I didn't vote for him..but hope and change was fine with me....didn't get it...great post JAF!!...I liked yours too LOL

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  • CD BrooksOctober 14, 2012 - 9:49 am

    jaf, "ignorance of the voting public." I could no agree more.

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  • MarciOctober 14, 2012 - 5:25 pm

    So no one in the Obama administration knew about Fast & Furious?! No one knew that our embassy in Benghazi needed reinforcements because of intelligence of an impending attack on 9-11?! Biden brayed like a jackass that he and the prez knew nothing about it. This is not leadership. This is the result of an out-of-touch administration that cares more about politics and appeasing Muslim extremists than saving American lives. Job #1 of the president is to keep us safe. He failed and four Americans were massacred. Just about every appointment made Barry has hurt this country. Vote him O U T!

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  • Joe PikeyOctober 14, 2012 - 6:37 pm

    If you want to go back to what got us here in the first place...

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  • MarciOctober 14, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    To: Obama, Biden, Hilary, et. al. From: Sir Walter Scott. "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!"

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  • Atomic DogOctober 14, 2012 - 9:39 pm


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  • CD BrooksOctober 14, 2012 - 9:53 pm

    Charles Manson to the GOP: I can't judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.

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  • RichOctober 14, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    Obama's excuses for his continuing failures are legendary and the butt of jokes now. I fully expect to hear ''our dear communist leader lost in a landslide because he is black and you're a racist''. They will repeat their Goebbels sized lies until all the citizens of bankrupt New York and California believe its so. Pathetic.

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  • Joe PikeyOctober 14, 2012 - 7:16 pm

    Remember "W's" two EXPENSIVE wars that cost us trillions of dollars & thousands on lives. Remember Obama got us out of Iraq & is winding down Afganistan. Do we need another war (Iran or Syria)? Remember under Obama,al-Qaeda has had many of its leaders eliminated. As "W" would say "Mission Acomplished"...

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  • Joe PikeyOctober 14, 2012 - 7:38 pm

    Let's try this again... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/14/chris-stevens-libya_n_1965009.html?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D220043

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