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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone

Captain Ed is talking today about youthful indiscretions. No, not his own, but rather the ones of Barack Obama; self-admitted ones, at that:

Long before the national media spotlight began to shine on every twist and turn of his life's journey, Barack Obama had this to say about himself: "Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man. . . . I got high [to] push questions of who I was out of my mind."

The Democratic senator from Illinois and likely presidential candidate offered the confession in a memoir written 11 years ago, not long after he graduated from law school and well before he contemplated life on the national stage. At the time, 20,000 copies were printed and the book seemed destined for the remainders stacks.

Today, Obama, 45, is near the top of polls on potential Democratic presidential contenders, and "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" has regularly been on the bestseller lists, with 800,000 copies in print. Taken along with his latest bestseller, "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," Obama has become a genuine publishing phenomenon.

Obama's revelations were not an issue during his Senate campaign two years ago. But now his open narrative of early, bad choices, including drug use starting in high school and ending in college, as well as his tortured search for racial identity, are sure to receive new scrutiny.

I have long held the belief that those who make mistakes in the past, and take corrective measures for those mistakes should be given the benefit of the doubt. Senator Obama is no different. He said that this used to be who he was, and that he has made the changes in his life to make his life better. I will take him at his word that he is telling the truth.

I, like Captain Ed, have never tried drugs. I do not smoke. I dohave the occasional adult beverage, but even that is curtailed by my diabetes. (A glass of wine from time to time will not kill me.)As an athlete I try to keep my body in the best physical condition I can, and that still includes an hour long session in the pool almost everyday. And I would rather not look to mistakes committed years ago as an automatic disqualifier for someone in politics. If this were the case, then we would not have many in congress that we do now. (Although, in the case of Ted Kennedy, that could be a good thing, but I digress.)

Drugs have been a sore point of late when it comes to political figures and community leaders. The evangelical leader that admitted in late November that he had used crystal meth; President Bush admitting that he smoked marijuana; President Clinton stating that he did smoke marijuana as well, and the list goes on. To each their own, but if they say they kicked their habits, then the benefit of the doubt should be granted to them.

Mistakes made years ago hardly kill anyone's career. And it is not as though Senator Obama hid this from anyone. As the WaPo shows, it was a controversy in his election bid back in 2004. But just as the president's service during Vietnam was a moot point, and water under the bridge, so is Senator Obama's drug use. And if we are to condemn him for that--if we are to say that behavior such as this automatically disqualifies a person from holding higher office--then the only people who will ever achieve that goal will be people like myself, or Captain Ed. And for some, that could be a scary prospect, indeed.



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