After members of the media were subjected to a sarcastic attack on Saturday Night Live, Obama has been getting more negative media attention. To be specific, people in the media have been putting considerably more effort into digging into his past in order to find dirt.
Not surprisingly, various potential problem areas have been found. Some examples include:
His involvement with Rezko. This was brought up in the past and Obama claims that he made a boneheaded mistake by being involved in such dealings.
It was brought to the attention of the public that his pastor, Rev. Jerimiah Wright, delivered a rather controversial speech in response to 9/11. Obama has recently denounced statements made by his pastor regarding 9/11 and his claim that blacks should denounce the United States.
His association with 1960s radicals has been making the news.
No doubt, more such things will be found and presented in the press. Also, the other candidates are getting the same sort of treatment as well. While there is a certain pleasure to be gained from hearing of such misdeeds, the question arises as to whether the “sins of the past” should be held against candidates (or people in general) today.
On one hand, people should be held accountable for their past actions and decisions. Just because a person repudiates what was done or offers an excuse, it does not follow that s/he is off the hook. Further, what a person has done and said affects the person s/he is now. So, for example, the person Obama is now was affected by his association with Rezko and his involvement with his pastor. Likewise for the past of Hillary and McCain.
When someone runs for President, they try to clean up their past and say how they have changed in regards to past problems. Of course, the question arises as to how much the person has really changed. Perhaps, as some would suggest, the alleged “change” is a calculated move to get elected (much as Romney “changed” when he decided to run for President).
On the other hand, people do change and do learn from the mistakes of the past. In my own case, I made many mistakes in my life that I learned from. I infer that many other people have also learned from past errors. I also infer from observing other people, especially people I have known for a long time. They also made mistakes and changed in ways that made them better.
So, when (for example) Obama “categorically” denounces what his pastor said in response to 9/11, perhaps he is telling the truth. Perhaps when Hillary and McCain do similar things, they too are telling the truth.
It is, of course, hard to tell. The proof lies in the doing. Naturally enough, a clever person can fake it long enough to get elected. Knowing the truth behind the words is a hard thing and one that will cost us if we fail to do so.