From Philadelphia Bulletin

And he walked among the people … no longer walking above them. He saw that he was not the only idol … and Sarah and John walked among the people too. The people rejoiced and their joy for Sarah and John angered Barack. The heavens shook with his anger … and he railed against the pigs who wore lipstick and the fish that stank. His wrath knew no bounds … and he went from praising audacity to alleging duplicity … and he no longer wished to build bridges … they went nowhere … he would no longer tear down walls … that could expose him. He declared his word was not to be questioned, challenged or ignored. As Eve took Adam out of the garden, so Sarah has brought Barack down from the mountain.

Barack Obama is now among us. Rather than the image of a noble, sophisticated, Ivy league lawyer ready to serve, we are seeing a petulant, narcissistic, ambitious and inexperienced politician who can’t handle criticism, competition or calls for clarity.

The questions now confronting us go beyond his inexperience … they go to his temperament, his demeanor and his judgment under fire. We must now ask whether his judgment will be faulty based not only on his inexperience but also on his inability to be challenged. We must consider carefully what the next president will be facing.

Two critical issues facing the next president clearly show what could happen.The government of Iran has repeatedly defied the United Nations as well as the United States by continuing its effort to develop nuclear reactors capable of producing bomb grade fissionable material. Limited sanctions imposed by the U.N., (honored in the breach by many of its members) has had no impact on the Iranians. Mr. Obama has declared that if elected president, he would go to Iran and meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with no preconditions.

Jimmy Carter also made that offer. Mr. Carter offered to meet with the Ayatollah Khomeni to secure the freedom of the American hostages held in Teheran. Their response was to keep them locked up. U.S. diplomats were held hostage for 444 days from Nov. 4, 1979 to Jan. 20, 1981 in the capital city of Iran at what was the American embassy. The hostage-taking was widely seen as an outrage violating international law regarding diplomatic immunity. This disregard for traditional diplomatic protocols has continued uninterrupted since the Muslim clerics took over Iran 29 years ago.

Mr. Obama claims that when he becomes president, he will modify their behaviors by force of his charisma, wisdom and vast experience in matters of state. In almost 30 years, no diplomatic undertaking has succeeded with the Muslim clerics who rule Iran. How will Mr. Obama react when Ahmadinejad not only rejects his entreaties, but mocks him, as they have done with other American presidents? Will he throw a tantrum? Will he refer to pigs and lipstick or smelly fish in defining Iran’s defiance? On the other hand, consider what John McCain, navy pilot, war hero and U.S. senator for over twenty years has said about Iran’s intentions. “… new severe sanctions with substantive economic consequences must be put in place. Iran must be told unequivocally, failure to cease the development of a nuclear bomb reactor would put them at risk of military action …” No equivocation, just plain talk shaped by experience.

How about our energy crisis? The United States is currently dependent to a great extent on foreign oil for its energy needs. Both candidates agree that alternative sources of energy must be developed within the U.S. to make us independent of foreign, sometimes hostile nations.

Mr. Obama proposes a comprehensive program of government funded and supported research for the development of alternative energy sources. At the same time however, he also proposes an increase in the capital gains tax, an increase in the dividend tax, an increase in corporate taxes and no investment tax credits to industry based on capital investment in alternative energy. What businessman is going to commit shareholder money to investment if the outcome of this investment is higher punitive taxes? Mr. Obama’s plan wouldn’t pass Economics 101 . Will he stomp his feet and call in the CEO’s of the Fortune 500 demanding their compliance with his plan regardless of the consequences to their shareholders and employees? Mr. McCain, on the other hand, is proposing a comprehensive energy development plan which enlists business and academia in a Manhattan Project type of undertaking … with incentives, support and coordination.

In the coming days of this campaign, the polls will show the true sentiments of the American voter. They will not be influenced by media bias, show business staging or rock star road shows. Mr. Obama obviously knows his personal deficits. He has refused to meet with Mr. McCain in a series of town hall meetings across America. He has refused to abide by his earlier commitment to limiting his fund raising by accepting the constraints of the Campaign Finance law. He vehemently continues to challenge any examination of his friendships and early career experiences and characterizes such efforts as personal attacks and dirty campaigning. You can bet the house, our international adversaries can’t wait for him to get to the White House.

Abe Bernstein is a retired business executive. He can be reached at

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