Selwyn Duke
Giving Obama a chance
By Selwyn Duke
February 20, 2009

Being a cerebral sort, when I ponder President Obama's seduction of America, I think of the story of the snake and the duck. To be brief, the snake wants the duck to take him to the other side of a creek, but the duck is reluctant. He says, "But when we get there, you'll bite me." The snake is very persuasive, however, and convinces the duck he wouldn't do such a thing. He just wants help and would have the utmost appreciation. Well, I think you know what happened upon concluding their little crossing. Bam! The snake bit the foolish bird, who then started stammering, "Bu-bu-bu-but you said . . . ." The snake just replied, "Hey, you knew what I was when you picked me up." I suppose the duck just wanted to give the serpent a chance.

That certainly is what many want us to give Barack Obama. Criticize the president and you're admonished for being unfair and partisan. "Give the man a chance!" hiss the critics. Or is it that they quack? Whatever.

I could be snide and just say that I'll give the president every bit the chance the left gave George Bush. With him they certainly did hiss, and spew venom, attacking him viciously and relentlessly for eight years starting with the oath of office. The man could do nothing right in their eyes, even when spending like any liberal Democrat, even when supporting amnesty for illegals, even when lavishing tax money on Africa, even when signing the prescription drug benefit. He was a "fundamentalist," a "right-wing zealot" and wholly incapable of even one good intention. That is the irrationality of the prejudiced, of people who see a red-state politician and only see red.

But I won't take that leaf out of the left's book. I'm not a child and don't play tit-for-tat. If Obama is right about something, I'll acknowledge it and just chalk it up to the inevitable twice-per-diem correctness of a broken clock. What I also won't do, however, is "give Obama a chance." I'll explain why with a couple of analogies.

Imagine there is a businessman who manages a small fast-food restaurant in Illinois. His record is one of virtually always embracing the wrong policies and making bad decisions. Nevertheless, he is offered a position overseeing operations on a statewide level, wherein he once again pursues the same bad policies and makes the same bad decisions. Will you now propose making him the CEO of the company?

Or, let's say there is a lawyer with a small practice, oh, as it happens, also in Illinois. He continually commits misfeasance but nevertheless is appointed state attorney general. He then continues to commit misfeasance. Will you next consider making him Attorney General of the United States? If not, why not? Sure, he never demonstrated competence in law before, but, come on, U.S. Attorney General is a different position. Give 'im a chance.

Maybe even ducks get the point.

There is an old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Contrary to the Republican campaign mantra about Obama having no experience, quite the opposite was true. He had tremendous experience doing the wrong thing, more than enough to paint a picture of what kind of animal he might be. The picture may seem like a resplendent deity to followers or a repugnant demon to foes, but it existed. And if you didn't see it, it wasn't because Obama hadn't done enough but because you didn't know enough.

In reality, Obama has had chance after chance after chance after chance, in the Illinois and U.S. senates and as a community agita . . . uh, I mean, organizer. If you don't believe me, simply peruse the section dedicated to him at It provides 37 pages and more than 14,000 words on his votes, positions and pronouncements, all compiled prior to the election. And, largely drawing from that site, here is a synopsis of Obama the Chanceless' words and deeds (every quotation except the one indicated by the asterisk is from

  • He voted for illegal-alien amnesty, "YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security" and "YES on continuing federal funds for declared 'sanctuary cities.'"

  • He said that his policies would bankrupt the coal industry.

  • He said, "*You need to make sure your child can speak Spanish" and that it's "OK to provide government services in Spanish." He also "voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government."

  • He opposes so-called "racial profiling," which is actually just an element of proper, comprehensive profiling.

  • He received an 89 percent rating from the NAACP, "indicating that he supports affirmative action."

  • In the Illinois and national senates, Obama was Planned Parenthood's poster boy, supporting the murder of not just the unborn but also the born, through his opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

  • He voted against prohibiting minors from crossing state lines for abortion and notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions.

  • He has the worst possible rating — 0 percent — by the National Right to Life Committee.

  • He opposed school vouchers.

  • He voted YES on factoring mythical anthropogenic global warming into federal project planning.

  • He has supported "age-appropriate" sex education for kindergartners, as if there is such a thing.

  • While Obama has said he doesn't believe in faux marriage, he opposed California's Proposition 8, the one-man-one-woman marriage amendment, and voted against the constitutional ban on faux marriage.

  • He called homosexuality "no more immoral than heterosexuality" and said it's "Ok to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples."

  • He "cast 130 'present' votes in Il. Senate," indicating an unwillingness to step up to the plate.

  • He "sponsored resolution rejecting photo ID for voting."

  • He endorsed an Illinois handgun ban, advocated banning semi-automatics (weapons firing one shot every time the trigger is pulled), and voted against prohibiting the frivolous lawsuits designed to destroy gun manufacturers.

  • He supports nationalized medicine, and said that he wanted to insure the 47 million people without health insurance, a figure that includes illegal aliens.

All this, not to mention his associations with raving racist Reverend Wright, avowed "small-c communist" and ex-Weathermen bomber Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and the socialist New Party of Chicago.

For you leftists who would go off half-cocked and defend the above, save your breath. My goal isn't to convince you to change your ideology. That is impossible. You can agree with Obama, you can disagree with him, but the point is that when viewing his record in its totality, no rational person will conclude that the few missing pieces in the change-unity-hope jigsaw puzzle prevent us from perceiving the big picture. An editor may not know my feelings on blueberry cupcakes or Allen wrenches, but, if he scours my work, he will find enough relevant information to know whether or not I'm suited to his publication. Likewise, those of us with ears to hear and eyes to see know what Obama is. We're not ducks.

Of course, to some, the give-'im-a-chance plea is a ploy, a political artifice used by snakes to silence critics. But these folks really aren't all that interesting. The ducks are more so, as what often drives them is man's lamentable propensity for rationalization.

Generally speaking, people have trouble facing hard truths; they live with many fears and want to believe the sun will come out tomorrow. They want to hope that Obama will really be that moderate, really be that liberal Utopian of their dreams, really be a pragmatist when push comes to shove, really make things better after all. Thus, what many are actually saying is, "Give my hope a chance! How dare you crush my dreams well before dawn! Do not deny me my a few months of delusion." The problem is that this doesn't work for those of us who prefer to stare reality straight in the face. We know that, as a book title says, "Hope is not a strategy." Moreover, what you call giving Obama his (umpteenth) chance, we call driving the last nail into America's coffin.

Whatever the ducks' motivation, what they essentially suggest is comical. To wit: "A doctor who committed malpractice when operating on your toe, hand, leg and stomach should be allowed to operate on your brain because, by gum, he hasn't had a chance to work above the neck yet." Well, what can I say? If you would make such a decision, it probably couldn't do any harm, anyway. But the problem is that these owners of misfiring neurons have given Obama the chance to take the scalpel to the whole nation. And while I accept that people get the government they deserve, the problem is that I'm going to get the government they deserve.

The issue is not that Obama isn't being given a chance; it's that he has been given too many. But this is a persistent problem in our nation; in fact, we live in a second-chance society. Children are given too many chances to misbehave. Miscreants are given too many chances to commit crime. And, worst of all, the ducks are given too many chances to vote.

And the end result is that America just may have run out of chances.

© Selwyn Duke


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