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Oglesby: Is Obama ready? It’s hard to see how

POSTED: November 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Before I write again, the election will be over. Some predictions: Barack Obama will win the popular vote and very possibly the electoral college. Riding those popular vote coattails, Democrats will increase their hold on Congress. As of now with his long history of comebacks, John McCain still cannot be ruled out of a razor-thin win.

Let’s try to put seemingly unrelated topics into a related package. Most puzzling about Colin Powell’s endorsement was his statement that Obama will surround himself with people who can teach him the expertise he does not now have. That contradicts Democratic claims the GOP’s Sarah Palin lacks the necessary experience, and it concedes Obama must have considerable on-the-job training.

Implied meaning for his supporters: It doesn’t matter if their man is not qualified, he represents change. But McCain is not George Bush and has a long history of working across party lines to actually achieve change.

I received a letter this week from a recently retired operations director of a Georgia-based division of a Fortune 500 international manufacturer who regularly hired top and middle managers. He wrote: "If I was looking to hire a manager for my company and looked at a resume like this, I would not even consider him for any leadership position. Here we are looking not at a midlevel manager but the potential commander-in-chief."

Some 200 former FBI agents who worked security checks issued a joint statement that Obama’s confirmed background record couldn’t pass an ordinary security check’s criteria, but here he’s on the brink of becoming the commander in chief. Have we lost our collective senses?

In the final debate, I thought Obama won the stylistic and eloquence elements and had the strongest closing statement. Otherwise, even many Democratic analysts on the several postdebate programs I watched conceded that overall and on substance McCain won his first debate.

Obama did again reassure his base that he will pull out of Iraq on a timetable, victory looming or not, effectively surrendering. He will name activist judges. He will redistribute wealth, robbing Peter to pay Paul. In other words, he will follow the traditional big government, high tax, liberal agendas any Democrat must pledge to win the nomination.

Any probing analysis of the cost of programs he pledges and sources of income spells impossibility. We see smoke and mirrors. Example: He emphasizes no one making less than $250,000 will pay more taxes; only those making more. Translation: Five percent will pay more, 95 percent won’t.

Why doesn’t this wash? IRS says about 40 percent of households already pay no income taxes. Subtract this 40 from Obama’s 95 percent. That leaves about 55 percent who now PAY taxes paying no more.

Compare this with McCain’s plan affecting ALL who do pay. Subtract the 40 percent who already don’t. This means 60 percent of those now PAYING will get a cut. Sixty percent is more than 55 percent.

History consistently teaches that tax increases stifle investment, cutting jobs and profits, actually reducing total tax income while increasing social service costs. Obama’s total employment history consists of being a community organizer (recruiting to protest "injustice" and increase welfare programs), or working in academia and government. He’s best qualified to lead an economic recovery? Give realists a break!

Math and science are the cornerstones of analytical thinking. Studies consistently show U.S. students overall lagging behind most industrialized countries in these subjects. Why do we outsource so much telephonic technical support to other countries? Where is much of Obama’s huge support? College students with short life experience to help support analytical judgment. It’s no secret most big university faculties are moderate to liberal in philosophy. Most influence their students.

Remember Lenin’s dictum: "Let five to 10 people make rounds of hundreds of workers and student study circles." This was a key principle behind the formal organization, training and spread of organized worldwide terrorism.

Obama is akin to a modern day Pied Piper with students, union workers, liberal academia and those dependent upon or philosophically favoring the welfare state blindly marching behind him.

Anyone who truly understands terrorism today knows why our vital national interest requires we must not lose in Iraq, period. In short, we need a president and commander in chief who is ready the first day to tackle our admittedly many problems, including the inevitable test of the new world leader, not someone, however loyal, who must have teaching and on-the-job training on the very basics from that first day.

I understand Libertarians who seek ideological purity through their own tickets. I remind them an Obama victory would ensure enactment of the very things their ideological purity opposes. The only realistic way to prevent that from happening in such a close election is to make sure McCain wins.

That means ticket splitting: Voting McCain at the top of the ticket and then your ticket for the other offices.

Ted Oglesby is retired opinion page editor. Reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503. His column appears Tuesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com.



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