The Right Opinion

Phony in Chief

By Thomas Sowell · Oct. 9, 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 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.

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 ft.) 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.



The American in Columbus, Ohio said:

Thank you, Dr. Sowell, for this article. It adds information (his vote against) that I didn't know. I'm forwarding your article to a favorite neighbor, who, somehow, feels she must vote again for this cretin.

I never voted for him four, long years ago, but tried to accept him as our first, post-racial president. I didn't believe he'd stop the oceans from rising or any of that other stuff he said, but I gave him a chance, mainly since I had to. He killed off any small hopes I might have had in short order.

I used to deliver newspapers when I was a kid and I read everything. I read your columns, long before they had pictures next to the titles. I never knew or thought you were black because you never wrote like most. You wrote like an American. I liked what you wrote all those years ago and still like what you write now. And you still write like an American.

Thank you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

An Alynsky disciple who is a phoney-balogney, indeed!! A left-wing tiger can not shed its stripes. Politicians grow government. Cows give milk. Rabbits procreate many bunnies. Sheep stay in flocks. The American Republic,will not be a BEACON of LIBERTY, without FAITH, FAMILY, FOUNDING PRINCIPLES adhered to, and FISCAL SANITY. Paul Ryan has a budget approved by the HERITAGE FOUNDATION. His upcoming debate will be FACT vs. FICTION. Ryan has studied Rand, Von Mises, Friedman, and Hayek---Libertarian-Conservative wisdom!!!! LOL DR. Sowell.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 6:07 AM

Sally in Oklahoma said:

I have seen this video, but had not heard about Obama voting no re the stafford act and New Orleans!! WHY isn't the conservative media ...and the Romney campaign hammering this fact home every single day? This is amazing! I am going to shout this from the rooftops. Thank you, Dr. Sowell, for being a beacon for truth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Charles Donofrio in Hillsville,Pa.16132 said:

Regards to president Bush during debate with McCain & Obama. Obama pointed at McCain and said I quote " he is your president". In feeing that Bush was not his.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Jim Dickinson in PA said:

Brilliant !!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 12:16 PM

RyDaddy in Madison, WI said:

127ft, 3" and 11/32 of an inch, if the bases are placed correctly. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM

QueensJudyG in Queens, NY said:

The American Fourth Estate is now our fifth column, officially, for not exposing BO as the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public -- we all have our chance to pull back the curtain, expose him and take him down, along with his lapdog media, on November 6.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 12:52 AM

The American in Columbus, Ohio replied:

Well said! Wish I'd thought of your phraseology.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Honest Abe in North Carolina said:

If Mr. Obama is re-elected this time, it may represent the last honest election for the United States. It will have proved the entitled class has triumphed and Washington (i.e.Liberal Democrats) will continue to enslave the citizenry by making them dependent on the nanny state. The present producers will eventually disappear and a new class of slaves will be forced into providing the labor required to sustain their power.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM