Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Brain-Checking The Boston Globe’s Article on Obama, Clinton, and Lobbyists"

Think On These Things:
The Boston Globe has a new article, “In Illinois, Obama Dealt With Lobbyists While Faulting Clinton For Ties.”

This article is clearly a hit piece on Barack Obama that aims to play on people’s ignorance about the candidates. Based on the framing of the article, it appears to be a reaction to the criticism Hillary Clinton is getting for her recent meet-and-greet between the lobbyists and the homeland security officials. However, it’s a piece I think Obama supporters should read. If you can’t read the negative stuff about your candidate and critically sift through it, then you probably need to do more research on your candidate. My candidate comparison research runs deep, so I ain’t scared or surprised by anything in this article because I’m informed.

Here are 3 problems with this article:

1) It assumes that Obama’s position is that all lobbyists should be completely removed from politics and policy-making. From that flawed assumption, they try to infer that he’s a hypocrite. That’s actually not Obama’s position for anybody who has been paying attention. Barack Obama continuously says in speeches, “The lobbyists can have a seat at the table, but they don’t get to buy every chair.” It’s John Edwards who actually says the lobbyists don’t even get to have a seat the table. It’s a difference between Obama’s pragmatic, nuanced approach to actually getting results and one that sounds the best but is probably less likely to work. Take a look at results to see which one gets results. Barack Obama has already passed healthcare for over 100,000 people in his state unlike Edwards or Clinton. Ummm…I’ll think I’ll go with Obama on this one.

2) Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Barack Obama does not accept money from federally registered lobbyists but he does accept it from state lobbyists and did so while in Illinois. If Scott Helman, the Boston Globe writer on this article, wasn’t aware of that, then that’s his bad for being an uninformed journalist. Don’t try to use ignorance though to try to shock people with information that Obama is already on the public record about and has talked about honestly and openly. Watch a brief video of Barack Obama addressing this very issue, not too long ago.

3) The overall point of the article is to blur any distinctions among the candidates on ethics and lobbyists, just as the Clinton camp has tried to blur distinctions among the candidates on the Iraq War. However, there are differences. The question is, who out of the top 3 candidates has done the most to reform ethics laws? The clear answer according to The Washington Post’s research on their ethics reform records is that it ain’t Hillary, it ain’t John Edwards, it’s Barack Obama.

P.S. Isn’t it interesting that John Edwards has been the most vocal recently in going after Clinton on lobbyists, but yet they frame this piece and go after Obama on lobbyists? As much as they try to pretend that they are inevitable, the Clinton camp know good and well they are scared to death of Obama. :)


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