by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
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 it 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 “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.
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. Barack Obama cannot 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 Senator 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 which included the waiver.