Recently, the Daily Caller, a conservative website, released the full--approximately 40 minute--video of a speech Barack Obama gave on June 5, 2007. It was at Hampton University, when Obama was still a senator. Apparently, the only version of the speech previously available had been a truncated one, about 9 minutes in length.
I didn't pay much attention to the story, as the focus of it seemed to be Obama's cringe-inducing propensity to fall into a speaking style he reserves for primarily black audiences--not exactly news.
But as Thomas Sowell's most recent column (linked below) points out, Obama stirred the crowd's outrage during this speech by suggesting quite clearly--I went back and listened to the relevant section--that the federal government waived the Stafford Act requirement (that disaster-affected communities kick in 10% of the amount the feds spend) for New York City after 9/11 and for victims of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, but not for victims of Hurricane Katrina. There is no way to misinterpret his clear suggestion that such unequal treatment was due to racism.
The problem? It wasn't true and Obama knew it wasn't true when he said it. He had in fact voted, a mere two weeks earlier, against a bill which included a provision to waive the Stafford requirement. Presumably, he voted against the bill because its primary intent was to provide continued funding for the Iraq war, but the point is that he knew the bill had passed and that it waived the Stafford requirement.
I am not suggesting that there were no legitimate reasons for Obama to want to fire up his audience, but when people give themselves a pass for deliberate deception in pursuit of their objectives, how can one not suspect those objectives, as well as the motives behind them? It is disturbingly similar to Obama's having fabricated people and events in his autobiography, because he apparently felt factual truth was less important than the 'story' he had to tell.
What Obama did was lie (and it's not his only one--the well-documented, deliberate and repeated lie about his mother's health insurance troubles comes to mind) and it's worth keeping in mind, as his campaign and its friends in the media move forward with their new tactic of branding Romney a liar.
If someone can recommend an unbiased examination of what the Obama campaign deems deliberate debate falsehoods, I'll certainly read it, and am not claiming there weren't any. But as the old adage goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
This may need to be cut and pasted: