Being the good guy that I am, I initiated a blogging series to address some of Reppy's concerns, "No Enemies on the Left? Progressives for Barack Obama."
If you've had a chance to read some of the comments at the posts, you'll recall that Reppy's basic rebuttal is "you call anyone a radical with whom you disagree" - and that's, of course, in response to my offering compelling arguments and rigorous definitional foundations, based in academic scholarship, on the accepted ideological constitutionalism of political radicalism (more on that here).
Well it turns out that others have also noticed the neo-Stalinist foundations of Obama's "progressive coalition."
Take a look at The Partisan Report's, "Obama, The Perfect Front Man for Old Radicals and the New Left":
Those who have suffered through Reagan, the Republican Revolution, and the liberal-lite of Clinton’s White House years, now see a chance of socialism within their grasp. Obama is the first serious Marxist candidate to have ever made it this far and he is not short on support for the cause.Partisan Report links to Kyle-Anne Shiver at National Review, who notes:
Whether it’s Billy Ayers or Bernadine Dohrn, Tom Hayden or Jane Fonda, or any of the other lesser-knowns, 60s Marxist radicals are lining up behind Obama.
Obama’s young worshippers think they see something altogether new, a unique persona, seemingly magically transported to this moment in history to help them finally be the ones to net the elusive butterfly of socialism’s never-realized promise.
The kids think they see something new. But do they?
Sixties’ radicals see their as yet unfulfilled yearning for socialist utopia in a well-groomed, glittery, establishment-approved package.
The college kids today, flocking to Obama rallies, don’t look much like we did, with our tie-dyed shirts and frayed bellbottoms, our waist-length hair or wild Afros. And they seem to see Obama as the antithesis of 60s’ madness, with a been-there-done-that-want-something-new kind of thirst, a quest for which youth has always been known.
Obama is clean-cut. He talks unity, not subversion. He promises equal outcomes without resorting to violence to get them. He endorses marriage and fidelity for himself, without condeming other lifestyle choices. He speaks in highbrow English, rather than the 60s revolutionary slogans:Kill the Pigs
Violence is as American as cherry pie
If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down
Obama’s followers make high-tech videos, mindlessly chanting, “Yes, we can” instead of making bombs to blow up government buildings, or holding up armored trucks and killing police officers.
This new generation seems to have the opportunity to do now with mere votes what their predecessors tried and failed to do through violence. We can finally seal the deal on the real revolution — democratically. Obama, the Closer, is at hand.
Obama can "seal the deal" democratically?
That's virtually the identical argument I've made:
So, while the exact degree and nature of Obama's support among the various hardline organizations is uncertain, we know without a doubt, from Hayden's essay, that many on the contemporary left see the Obama campaign as the electoral vehicle to operationalize their program for radical, revolutionary change.
As they say, Reppy, don't just take my word for it.