Friday, October 31, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama: The Redistributor

I've been posting pretty much all day on "Barack the Redistributor," so I might as well call it a night on a unified note:

The Redistributor

Here's some definitional matter:

Redistribution of Wealth

Act of returning world's resources to rightful owners, the People. Must be performed regardless of one's input in order better to erase the false concept of private property. It is constantly under attack by the right-wing ideologues for threatening capitalism's vile celebration of self-interest and individualism. A model of a world-wide wealth redistribution system is being successfully implemented by the United Nations. Equitable society of the future will have no redistribution of wealth because there will be nothing to distribute. The government, the People's only employer, will have a simple distribution system that will reward obedience and punish dissent.

Definition and Image Credit: The Peoples Cube

The Future of this Country

Via The Real World, here's Dr. Slogan's, "Nov 4: Your Country. Your Call":

On November 4th it all really boils down a very simple thing: the Future of our country. And here is why.

When I started this blog about a month ago I wasn’t thrilled about Sen. Obama’s presidency, but it was hardly a grave concern. I didn’t like his track record, I didn’t like his lack of meaningful experience, I thought he had been flip-flopping too much on key issues, I was annoyed by open bias of mass media. Worst case, I thought, it’d be 4 years of a demagogue with strong left views. We can live through that. Countries swing from right to left and back — it’s a cycle. This is how democracies work. You can easily see this on my blog – just four weeks ago I wanted to keep it light and funny, pointing out things like the fact that the “change” VP pick had been a Senator for 35 years. But as I looked more and more into Sen. Obama’s past and his recent actions, I started to realize that we’ve been dealing with something entirely different — something that America has never seen, at least not on such scale.

It’s been almost like unclogging a sink — you open it, you take something out, then you take out more, and what starts coming out after that makes you wish you never opened that thing in the first place. Forget “change” VPs with decades of Senate history. How about close relationships with people involved in international terror? Or laser sharp focus on indoctrinating children? Or a laundry list of every modern-day tyrant openly expressing support? Or persistent suppression of free speech? Or going for twenty years (and bringing children) into a church that openly promotes hate of white people, just as openly supports Hamas and condemns our country on regular basis? Or campaigning for a radical with Islamic ties who threw a stable country into a bloody mess? Or close ties with people who led an organizaiton that unapologetically bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and a police station and who were on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List? Or vote fraud of monstrous proportions? Or accepting a flow of donations from unidentified foreign sources? All of above — and more – is on Sen. Obama’s resume. It’s not in some classified files, it’s not locked in some FBI closet, it out in the open. I’m not talking about GOP sponsored books, I’m talking about media — the same media that’s been so curiously and unapologetically supporting him. Sen. Obama’s own actions and sentiments (especially those he made before running for President) speak louder than any Republican paid advertisement. A resume like this would’ve been a road block for someone running for a seat on a city council. Here we’re talking about the most powerful post in the world – and people choose to ignore all of this, lulled by the promise of change.

This is what I love about the blogosphere. You find such interesting, and astonishingly lucid, plain old folks (more at the link).

Lulled by the promise of change? That's pretty much a hole in one.

Thanks Dr. Slogan!

Praise Obama! I Won't Have to Work Any More!

This video's making the rounds this afternoon, featuring an outwardly enthusiastic Barack Obama supporter, who exclaims:
I never thought this day would happen. I won’t have to worry on puttin’ gas in my car. I won’t have to worry at payin’ my mortgage.

Meanwhile, via Patterico, a man jumped to his death from a freeway overpass in El Paso today.

Police found a note in the man's car, which said, "Obama take care of my family."

I hope this man rests in peace.

And while we should ask not for whom the bell tolls, this is a particularly tragic crime knowing that this man went to his death - abandoning his familial responsibilities - with the "hope" that Barack Obama would provide care and comfort for those left behind.

Obama's Reconfiguration of the American Dream

Here's Lynn Forester de Rothschild's, "Barack Obama's America":

In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Mr. Obama stated that "eking out a bare Democratic majority isn't good enough." Indeed, if the pollsters are correct and the Democrats win overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, Senator Obama, if elected, would easily implement both his promises for $307 billion of new federal spending per year and his punitive tax policies. The truth is that with the level of spending in the Obama plan, either taxpayers between $40,000 and $250,000 per year will have to fund the massive costs for the new programs he is promising, or the promises will be abandoned.

Perhaps more sinister is Obama's reconfiguration of the American Dream. My father made an inflation adjusted income of about $50,000 per year. He never took a handout but he worked two jobs. He taught us that if we worked hard and played by the rules there was no limit to what we could become in America. Now, Barack Obama is changing that compact with America. In Barack Obama's America, there is a ceiling to the American Dream. He decides the level at which our money becomes the government's money.

There is a reason why immigrants fly to America to achieve their dream. Now, in the guise of a "middle class tax cut" Barack Obama is threatening that dream. If he succeeds, Barack Obama will bring the kind of radical transformation that this country does not need and never has. And the country will be in for a shock.
See also, "Obama's Class War "So Wrong for America."

Obama’s America: A Letter from 2012

Check out, a "Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America," from Focus on the Family:

October 22, 2012

Dear friends,

I can hardly sing “The Star Spangled Banner” any more. When I hear the words,

O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Now in October of 2012, after seeing what has happened in the last four years, I don’t think I can still answer, “Yes,” to that question. We are not “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more. The 2008 election was closer than anybody expected, but Barack Obama still won. Many Christians voted for Obama – younger evangelicals actually provided him with the needed margin to defeat John McCain – but they didn’t think he would really follow through on the far left policies that had marked his entire previous career. They were wrong.

There's a long discussion of policy at the letter (via Memeorandum).

Note that the introduction indicates that "there are many evangelical Christians supporting Senator Obama as well as many supporting Senator McCain in this election," and thus I don't think the left's inevitable criticisms of Focus on the Family can be based on some theocratic-fascist argument, but folks will try, no doubt.

Barack Obama and Economic Selfishness

Should Americans share the wealth?

Are people greedy and selfish if they believe that what they've earned is not something goverment should be able to take away and give to others?

Barack Obama answers yes to both questions:

Note something else as well: Recall Gallup's new survey showing that 75 percent of Democrats believe that "government should redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich."

Economic Redistribution

That finding is actually a later item in the poll. Gallup also asked, "Do you feel that the distribution of money and wealth in this country is fair, or do you feel money and wealth should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people?"

Fifty-eight percent of those polled agreed that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed.

Share the Wealth?

There's a couple of points of significance here:

For one thing, the video provides more evidence that Obama's not been honest in stating his economic positions. He's speak of tax fairness (when his proposal is anything but), and turns around and says that those who work hard to earn a living are "selfish" if they refuse to let government confiscate their income for redistribution. Second, the response on the "money and wealth" question (58 percent) isn't necessarily an indication that the country has abandoned the traditional political culture of individual liberty and opportunity in favor of equality of result. The polling sample is going to have at least 35 percent Democratic respondents, who favor income distribution and roughly 25 percent or so independents, about half of which who are likely Democratic-leaners.

Those two groups combined constitute a majority in favor of economic redistribution. So while in some sense, the data show a shift of the "political center" farther to the left, the change is not a dramatic break with the notion of America as a moderate, center-right nation overall.

Economic crisis and worries about economic security are contributing to a greater sense that government should be more interventionist in providing an economic safety-net. Whether these findings mean the country is undergoing a fundamental leftward lurch remains in doubt (despite
some arguments to the contrary).

The Choice We Are Facing

Kyle-Anne Shiver offers an essential take on the likely shift to a democratic-socialist state under a Barack Obama administration:

Obama Crypto-Marxist

The choice we are facing in this election is simple. We have freedom only when we accept personal responsibility for ourselves and our children. If we want to divest ourselves from the responsibility to provide for ourselves, then we also forfeit our freedom to make our own decisions.

Great leaders have appeared from time to time to warn free people of the innate deceptiveness of the socialists' lures. Ronald Reagan saw the evil as clear as day. Reagan's "ten scariest words in the English language":

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."
Winston Churchill expounded further on leftist ideology:

"Let them quit these gospels of envy, hate and malice. Let them eliminate them from their politics and programmes. Let them abandon the utter fallacy, the grotesque, erroneous fatal blunder of believing that by limiting the enterprise of man, by riveting the shackles of a false equality...they will increase the well-being of the world."
John McCain is a leader in the same mold as Reagan and Churchill when it comes to seeing the innate evil within the Marxist lure and its deceptive threat to real peace and any prosperity worth having. But of these three - Reagan, Churchill and McCain - McCain is the only one who has seen firsthand, from the inside, how it is that collective regimes may appear fair and just and unified.

McCain learned the hard way that socialist fairness is a carefully choreographed illusion, that socialist justice is a capricious commodity doled out on a whim by dictators with hard-core boots and clubs.

Unity? Unity is obtained through coercive means and by taking children very early into indoctrination as model, happy future workers for the collective "good."

So, Obama got his ideas by palling around with radical communist revolutionaries of the 60s. Obama chose these radicals as mentors and friends. Obama's own parents were from the same mold as well. Happy socialists all.

John McCain spent a good deal of his adult life with radical socialists too. Five and a half years to be precise. Only McCain got his education on the merits of communism from inside one of their "utopian" cells under force.

Perhaps never before have Americans had such an easy choice for our next President. Here's hoping we've raised more freedom-loving patriots than fools.

See also, An 'Endorsement' No Candidate Wants: Fidel Favors Barack."

Israeli Government Rejected Khalidi as PLO Negotiator

There's a big controversy running currently over the significance of Professor Rashid Khalidi and his relationship to Barack Obama. As I noted Wednesday, Obama supporters will work desperately to distort and downplay his political liabilities (more of that here), but Khalidi's relationship to Obama is of a piece with the Democratic nominee's long and comfortable relationship with America's enemies.

As Martin Kramer reports, Yitzhak Shamir, the prime minister of Israel at the time of the Madrid peace process in the early-1990s, refused to speak to a delegation of PLO representatives that included Rashid Khalidi. Kramer links to the New York Times' piece, "Israelis Deplore Advisory Panel Of Palestinians":
What troubles the Israelis now is a second Palestinian team, a six-person advisory panel that will also be in Madrid and will serve as a conduit between the official delegation and the P.L.O. It is this group that presumably will be calling the shots, and one way or another all its members violate Israel's guidelines for the sort of Palestinians with whom it is prepared to negotiate. In particular, they speak openly for the P.L.O....

As expected, the Palestinian delegation will be led by Haidar Abdel-Shafi, a 72-year-old physician from Gaza City, who said this week that he and his fellow members were prepared, if necessary, to pronounce themselves P.L.O. members.

Other members of the advisory team [include] ... Rashid al-Khalidi, a lecturer at Chicago State University.
The Palestine Liberation Organization was the main resistance group dedicated to the destruction of Israel through armed struggle.

The PLO, under Yassir Arafat's leadership beginning in 1969, launched a campaign of guerilla warfare led by the Fatah's militant fedayeen faction. The PLO launched artillery attacks on Israel and mounted terrorist ground incursions against Israeli citizens from strongholds in the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan.

The PLO's "Black September" terrorists undertook what would become known as the
very first attacks in the age of modern terrorism with the murders of 11 Israelis at the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany, September 1972.

Munich 1972

This background is key to the current controversy surrounding Barack Obama.

Rashid Khalidi is a key proponent of the Palestinian jihad against the Jewish states. As Mona Charen wrote this week:

Khalidi is not distancing himself from his past. Consistent with what you’d expect from someone who justified PLO attacks on civilians in Israel and Lebanon from 1976 to 1982, Khalidi routinely refers to Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid” state, and professes to believe in a “one-state” solution to the conflict. Guess which country would have to disappear for that “one” state to come into existence?
Khalidi's controversial background has been conveniently swept under the rug amid all the talk of Barack Obama's radical associations.

But if Barack Obama's claim to be a "friend of Israel" is to have any merit, the American public deserves to know the full extent of his relationship to a pro-Palestinian professor of Middle East studies at Columbia University,
the academic home of the largest anti-Israel movement in the United States.

Three-in-Four Democrats Favor Soaking the Rich

A new Gallup poll on economic fairness finds half of all Americans saying government should tax the rich to promote fairness in the distribution of wealth. Especially noteworthy, the survey finds 75 percent of Democrats agreeing with the statement that government should redistribute wealth by taxing the rich:

Economic Redistribution

One of the more contentious points on the presidential campaign trail in recent weeks has been John McCain's continuing assertion that Barack Obama's tax plan, which would involve higher taxes for high-income families, is "redistributionist," with some McCain supporters going so far as to argue that Obama's tax plans would be "socialist." These disputes focus on the longtime argument in economic and political philosophy over government's ideal role, if any, in attempting to redistribute money and wealth through the use of taxes.

Gallup has from time to time asked a question that addresses this issue in part -- a question that Roper first asked in a Fortune Magazine survey conducted in March 1939, near the end of the Depression. The question is phrased as follows: "People feel differently about how far a government should go. Here is a phrase which some people believe in and some don't. Do you think our government should or should not redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich?"

This question is notable because it directly invokes the idea that government should intervene and redistribute wealth through taxes on the rich. The question phrase "heavy taxes on the rich" is certainly not one the Obama campaign would choose to describe its plan, which Obama repeatedly says would return high income tax rates only back to where they were under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, before the Bush administration tax cuts. Still, the question generally addresses the basic issue of taxing high-income individuals to transfer wealth in a society.
The main thing to take away from this particular component of the survey is the partisan split. While Americans in general seem to favor some governmental activism to redistribute wealth, Democrats do so overwhelmingly, and this fact has dramatic implications for government under a Democratic administration with large congressional majorities. As Gallup points out:

Although Obama has not advocated what he would call "heavy" taxes on the rich, the general sentiment that taxes on high-income families should be increased in order to help provide tax relief for those making less money is a part of his campaign platform.
John McCain has recently called Barack Obama "The Redistributor."

Left-wing partisans will resist the terminology, but Obama's tax plan is
a classic model of economic distribution from those with more to those with less. That's socialism, and we may very well achieve it come January 2009.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barack Obama's Critical Race Theory

In July, I published an essay, "Professor Obama's Radical Syllabus," in which I noted:

Critical race theory combines activism and scholarship in legal studies. Guiding questions in the genre focus on the nexus of race, racism, power, and privilege in civil rights and American history. The field is explicitly postmodernist, in that it takes issue with "conventional narratives" and seeks to unpack the social construction of white supremacy and black oppression. Critical race theorists are inherently radical; the goal of activist teaching and scholarhip is to break down all forms of subjugation, as well as the eradication of society's materialist edifices of elite hiearchy and classism.

The significance of Obama's pedagogy should be now become apparent.

Throughout the primaries Obama was battered with eruptions and revelations of controversal relationships with people way out of the mainstream of society.

Obama, if anyone could forget, was a parishioner at Trinity Unity Church of Christ, who's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, preached a theology of black liberation, a religious tradition of Marxist-based social justice and the empowerment of the marginalized. Some adherents of liberation theology, particularly in Latin America during the Cold War,
explicitly advocated the revolutionary overthrow of conservative governmental regimes. Obama also held longstanding and troubling ties to '60s-era domestic revolutionaries, William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn. In addition, the extent of Obama's relationship to radical groups such as ACORN are still being revealed.

The question for many people, who know little of such radicals and their front-organizations, is how could a U.S. Senator - and now presumptive Democratic nominee - have such extensive ties to extremists?
Well, it turns out that Mary Grabar has a new piece on this at Pajamas Media, "How Critical Race Theory Molded Obama":

Indicating a receptive attitude to such a view of justice, at least by his teaching and academic background, is presidential candidate Barack Obama. While at Harvard, Obama joined his professor, critical race theorist Derrick Bell, in mob pressures to hire a black female. Obama, during his richly remunerated stint as a part-time professor at the University of Chicago Law School, relied on his former professor’s writings, as his syllabus shows. (Issues of race seem to have been a specialty during Obama’s tenure, as I’ve described in previous columns.) The media points to his inclusion of a reading by conservative jurist Robert Bork, but the preponderance of far-left readings, as well as other evidence, like Obama’s contribution of a chapter to a volume devoted to the writings of radical socialist Saul Alinsky and his close ties to the New Party, strongly suggest that Obama as professor used the tactic of most left-wing professors: throw in one token conservative as a whipping boy. Obama’s academic associations and writings show him favoring theories of justice based on race, class, and gender. These have their roots in a socialist doctrine — and not in Western notions of equal and universal rights.

It takes a regular Joe (the Plumber) asking an innocent question to reveal the Democratic candidate’s ideology, which, in faith to Marxism, is to “spread the wealth.” Joe the Plumber has likely been alienated by his schooling and the double talk reigning in the classroom. He, instead, relies on his God-given reason, just the way the Founding Fathers intended. Professor Obama on the campaign trail, however, mocked John McCain’s reference to him during the third debate.

Obama has garnered the support of Christopher Buckley, who seems to have forgotten his late father’s prescient words in his book about his college years, God and Man at Yale:

Marx himself … envisaged two broad lines of action that could be adopted to destroy the bourgeoisie: one was violent revolution; the other, a slow increase of state power, to a point where a smooth transition could be effected from an individualist to a collectivist society.

Our founding principles are based on the idea of natural law, clearly expressed in such language that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights.” The Marxist and critical race theory notions espoused by Obama and by those in positions as intellectual opinion-makers are diametrically opposed to our democratic foundations.

Joe rightly feels threatened by a double standard of justice. He knows that he is endowed with reason by his Creator — and not the professors.

The only response that the professors have left to give to Joe, the aspiring small business owner, is ultimately the one Chairman Mao espoused in his 1949 speech, “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship”: “Communists the world over are wiser than the bourgeoisie.” Indeed, the professors, like Mao, have simply declared themselves smarter and excluded those who disagree with them. Unchallenged by the public or administrators, they have promulgated their ideology in the classrooms.

It is a plumber and not a Ph.D., though, who recognizes what Obama’s ideas mean for him, a small business owner, a member of the bourgeoisie: famine as a result of an ideology of “spreading the wealth” and guilt until proven innocent as a result of class-based justice.

I especially like Grabar's William Buckley quotation on the accretion of state power leading to the consolidation of collectivist society.

Understanding Barack Obama's pedagogy - not to mention his long-line of radical community activism and ties to untold left-wing personages and appendages - helps to demonstrate how Obama is not just an advocate of greater regulation or emergency relief, but of a full-blown ideological shift of power to the ideal socialist state.

The current mortgage crisis and John McCain's proposal for assistance to homeowners, reflects none of the same radical epistemology as Barack Obama's longstanding ideological program, despite how others
might try to spin it.

No Democratic Supermajority in Senate?

I don't follow individual congressional races as closely as I should (and I expect to work on that in the coming years), but I have discussed the implications of a filibuster-proof Senate majority in 2009 (which aren't good, as a President Obama would be able to ram a radical agenda right down the throat of a center-right nation).

It turns out that Dems may come up short, as
Michael Barone points out:

If, as seems likely but not quite certain, Barack Obama is elected next Tuesday, a key question for public policymaking will be how many Democrats are elected to the Senate. Currently, there are 51 Democrats there, including Joe Lieberman, but Democrats are seriously contesting 11 Republican-held seats, and there is a by-no-means-trivial chance that they could win each one...
Barone offers a state-by-state analysis after this, although the bottom line is that 5 of 11 of the seats are near-certain Democratic wins. Of the remaining 6 seats, 5 are toss-up races in which no candidate has been able to pull out a lead in public opinion - Oregon, North Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, and Kentucky. Of these, Elisabeth Dole in North Carolina is barely hanging on, and RCP's current data looks a litte more grim for the GOP than Barone lets on.

One-in-Four Texans See Obama as Muslim, Poll Finds

A new University of Texas survey on the presidential horse race finds that 23 percent of those polled believe that Barack Obama is Muslim:

A University of Texas poll to be released today shows Republican presidential candidate John McCain and GOP Sen. John Cornyn leading by comfortable margins in Texas, as expected. But the statewide survey of 550 registered voters has one very surprising finding: 23 percent of Texans are convinced that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama is a Christian who was embroiled in a controversy earlier this year about his two-decade membership in Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Yet just 45 percent of those polled identified the Illinois senator as a Protestant.

The Obama-is-a-Muslim confusion is caused by fallacious Internet rumors and radio talk-show gossip. McCain went so far at one of his town hall meetings to grab a microphone from a woman who claimed that Obama was an Arab.

The Texas numbers are unusual because most national polls show that just 5 to 10 percent of Americans still believe Obama is a Muslim — less than half the number of Texans who buy into the debunked theories.
Readers can interpret this as they see fit.

My sense is that a large numbers of conservative Texans see Obama as "the other," and when asked about indicators on Obama's profile, respondents grasp to find mainstream elements about the Illinois Senator.

A Time for Choosing, 2008

Here's Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" speech, from October 27, 1964:

Thing are serious, folks.

See also, "
A Sobering Look Ahead to Barack Obama’s America":

By 2012 or 2016, the alteration of America’s fabric will be severe and profound as we will have socialism in our time. Even though political leftists abhor the word, socialism is entirely in keeping with their cherished preferences and initiatives. They salivate over the notion of omnipotent government and wish to regulate the citizenry in innumerable ways.

Neocons for Obama!

Jules Crittenden, neocon milblogging journalist extraordinaire, has endorsed Barack Obama!

You know, all those sober-minded Beltway Obamacons have me thinking. So far it’s all been good race-baiting, lefty-smearing fun, but we’ve come to the point in the campaign where it is time to mull things over and make a serious decision. As Bill might put it, go ahead, fall in lust for Moose-Huntin’ Mama’s hot red suit and boots, but …

We’re at the point where each of us needs to look around and say, hey, what’s everyone else doing? Should I think about doing it, too, so people don’t laugh at me or snicker behind my back and say stuff?

It isn’t just about superficial high school things like that. There are some very serious considerations. Do we really want a trip-wire vet and a gap-toothed hick in the White House? Can America, no, can the world survive four more years of Bushitler Anschluss? ....

Unfortunately, America is still a fetid swamp of frothing racism, as the New York Times, the AP and even many credible media outlets have taken pains to point out. So maybe it is time for America to take the next step. Some people might say, yeah, OK, Obama’s black, but he’s not experienced enough. Community organizer, state senator, showed up on the national scene five minutes ago, no executive experience. I think you have to ask yourself, does that really matter? The issue, when you’re trying to end racism, isn’t whether he’s up to running the country and the world or not, or whether all his friends are left-wing wackjobs, or whether his ideas make any sense, or even whether he actually believes anything he says. It’s whether he’s black or not, and that’s pretty well been established. OK, biracial, same difference. What do you think the last 40 years of affirmative action have been all about? Anyway, Obama has a stodgy old white geezer in the jump seat to make sure he doesn’t do anything too radical or, I dunno, too young or too black, I guess. At least I think that’s why he picked Old Hairplugs.

So I was thinking, maybe it’s time to do what all the other guys are doing. Colin Powell, Ken Adelman, Douglas Kmiec, Christopher Hitchens … OK, he’s just going back where he came from … Charles Fried, Francis Fukuyama, Chuck Hagel, Bruce Bartlett kind of, Bill Weld, Lincoln Chafee, Scott McClellan, Christopher Buckley … damn, there’s a lot of them. Looking at that very long list of august names, considering where we stand at this important portal in history, I think the question anyone at all progressively minded should be asking is … hey Condi, why don’t you grow a set?

You know what Mom always said, if everyone else was jumping off a cliff …. But maybe it is time, right now, in 2008, to do what everyone else is doing. Shrug, say what the heck, get on the Bush-bashing wagon … you have to admit, that does look like fun … and finally acknowledge what the deep booming voice from that opening in the clouds with all the blinding rays of light has been telling us. Obama is the Anointed One.

Last night, Obama delivered his closer.
Which was the Obamania informercial, posted above.

More Crittenden at the link.

Necons for Obama!

Conservative Blogs and Electoral Politics

Last week I asked readers to join me in contributing to Michele Bachmann's reelection campaign.

That's a first for this blog, but Michele Bachmann's the first congressional candidate to whom I've contributed. Bachmann represents my ideals and values, and I'll be proud to have helped her across the finish line on election day.

I'm reminded of Bachmann's challenge in reading the Next Right's new post, "
What It Will Take to Build a Rightroots Movement."

Can the conservative blogosphere adopt the left's model of Internet political activism? Are conservative bloggers comfortable in making cold calls for cash on the front page of their websites?

A lot of folks won't be interested in that kind of outreach, but it's going to have to happen if the right hopes to really mobilize the grassroots in support of their candidates and causes. Here's a key passage:

If you're a conservative blogger, the question you need to ask yourself is this. Is the main purpose of your blog to express your personal opinion? Or is its primary purpose to build political power for a cause? If you cannot answer yes to the latter, you're probably not going to be comfortable with making the changes necessary to make online conservatism a political force to be reckoned with.

This is not a criticism, but an observation. Most conservative blogs are still stuck in 2003 -- both in terms of the overwhelming focus on media criticism and punditry, and the tendency to outsource electoral politics to the Republican Party. This was in some ways legitimate response to what was happening in 2003-4, when media surrender-monkeys were undermining the War on Terror, Republicans had a kick-butt political operation, and Kos was going 0 for 16.

I don't fault bloggers for holding on to this point of view in 2003 and 2004. What is unfortunate is that they clinged to it in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and failed to pivot to the new reality, leaving the Republican Party without a powerful enough force to rein in the self-destructive tendencies of its elite.

Sadly, it's human nature to cling to the frame in which you came up - traditional media people will never fully reconcile themselves to the blogosphere, talk radio people will always tend to view it as the center of the universe, and even denizens of the "new media" can become easily set in their ways. This is not unlike people who got rich on the housing bubble thinking it could never end. When things first start going wrong, it's always just a momentary blip, not a sign of an impending crash. Only a catastrophic collapse is usually enough to make people rethink matters.

Building critical mass behind an independent online movement on the right will probably require new people. The old blogs that have been with us since 2003 will not go away. But they'll need to be joined by people who care more about Indiana's 8th district than Islamofascism, and MN-SEN more than the MSM.

There's more at the link.

I started blogging, back in early-2006, as a writing outlet and a hobby. This year, however, blogging's become a second job as I've thrown my heart into supporting John McCain with my political commentary and activism.

I'm a changed man, or, more particularly, I'll be a changed man upon the election of Barack Obama and a Democratic congressional majority next Tuesday.

I plan to be more politically active. To the extent that family and job commitments permit, I hope to get out more, becoming involved on campaigns and issues. I'll be blogging, as always, but my goal will be to contribute even more to the conservative right, in both ideas and action.

I urge readers to send me an e-mail indicating what action they have done to support local candidates for office, or other activities, like contributing financially to political campaigns. I'll be blogging more about things like this as we move forward, and I'll share stories and help people network.

Looking ahead, I'm convinced that the Democratic Party will overreach, and that a Barack Obama administration will be repudiated at the polls in 2012. But for that to happen, the conservative base must get active, doing more than writing one more blog post at Memeorandum.

Obama Wants Your Money!

Barack Obama has put out another plea for cash to augment the over $600 million he's already raised. Andrew Malcolm has the story:

Gun Owner

It seems like only a week ago that The Ticket was whining about Barack Obama whining that after raising $605 million through September to buy the presidency, he was asking all of us one last time for just $10 more for some reason.

And we figured out that, October money aside, he'd have to spend $12.5 million a day just to unload September's haul by Nov. 4.

The Democrat is already outspending the Republican by three
and four-to-one, which if it was the other way around would surely be unconscionable.

So last night Obama dumped several million bucks on several TV networks, which they don't mind,
to talk at us slickly for 27 minutes about his change that we need.

And when that was over, pingo, here comes another e-mail from Windy City HQ. You'll never guess what. He wants more money. More. Still.

It was a blessedly short message. He called us by our first name and signed only his first name; so we must be pals. He put the entire fate of his historic campaign in our hands. "The campaign is in your hands," he wrote.
Read the rest here.

Malcolm says: Enough already!

I just love the Warning! button!

Related: Don't miss Powerline's update on the Obama campaign contribution donor scandal, "
Obama Shrugged: An Update" (how do you think "The One" financed those 30-minute informercials?).

Calling Sarah Palin a Bitch

We know the essence of political debate has changed when a piece like, "What Was I Thinking When I Called Sarah Palin a Bitch?", is considered serious political commentary around the web.

Sure, it's satire, right? Or, well, maybe not. But you be the judge:

I am surprised that some of you are up in arms about my calling Sarah Palin a bitch, or John McCain an ass or even George Bush a jackass....

New rules:

I will stop calling George Bush a jackass when he stops calling me a terrorist: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

I will stop calling John McCain an ass when he stops calling Barack Obama a socialist at every dog and pony show on the Straight Talk Express tour.

I will stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops calling Obama a terrorist sympathizer. And I will stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops calling the parts of the country where I don’t live more Pro-American than the part of the country where I do live. And I will definitely stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops acting like a bitch.

I’m old enough to remember the Republican party of Barry Goldwater - when the party stood for fiscal responsibility, small government and personal freedoms. I remember when I could talk with friends about politics and just agree to disagree. And then religious nut cases decided that if you didn’t agree with them you were immoral. So they went and elected George Bush President so he could take the Republican Party from being a party full of respectable people to a party filled with asses, jackasses and yes - bitches like Sarah Palin.
Actually, I wasn't quite old enough to remember a Democratic Party that wasn't filled with ACORN shakedown artists, pro-Palestinian-academic activists, "rehabilitated" '60s-era terrorists, abortion absolutists, and terrorist-backing moral relativist netroots progressives who blame America first and openly root for the other side.

But I've talked many people who can, and they fear for this country.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's Redistribution Agenda

American leftists will deny Barack Obama's inherently radical inclinations until their dying breath, but as more information on Obama trickles out - an old book review here, an audiotape there - it becomes increasingly ridiculous for Obama supporters to deny the essential socialist orientation to their candidate's ideology.


In light of the recent revelations on Barack Obama's views on the constitutional law of economic redistribution, Steven Calabresi noted this at the Wall Street Journal:

In a Sept. 6, 2001, interview with Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM, Mr. Obama noted that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society," and "to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical."

He also noted that the Court "didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted." That is to say, he noted that the U.S. Constitution as written is only a guarantee of negative liberties from government - and not an entitlement to a right to welfare or economic justice.

This raises the question of whether Mr. Obama can in good faith take the presidential oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" as he must do if he is to take office. Does Mr. Obama support the Constitution as it is written, or does he support amendments to guarantee welfare? Is his provision of a "tax cut" to millions of Americans who currently pay no taxes merely a foreshadowing of constitutional rights to welfare, health care, Social Security, vacation time and the redistribution of wealth? Perhaps the candidate ought to be asked to answer these questions before the election rather than after.
Yes, I think he should.

Image Credit: People's Cube

Why Khalidi Matters

There's a big buzz online today surrounding Rashid Khalidi and the tape of Khalidi's dinner with Barack Obama.

So, what's the big deal?

Melanie Phillips has this:

Back in April, the LA Times ran this story reporting on the going-away party for Rashid Khalidi, Obama’s close friend, who justifies Palestinian violence against Israel and who was leaving for a job in New York. Khalidi is a deeply troubling individual, a former PLO operative and close friend of unreprentant former Weatherman terrorist William Ayers. As I have reported before, in 2000 Khalidi and his wife Mona held a fundraiser for Obama’s unsuccessful congressional bid. The next year, an Arab group whose board was headed by Mona Khalidi received a $40,000 grant from the Woods Fund of Chicago when Obama was on the fund’s board of directors. Obama has said that his many talks with the Khalidis had been
consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases... It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table, but around this entire world.’
Okay, but note futher this section on Khalidi from Discover the Networks:

Khalidi's involvement with the Palestinian cause goes beyond mere support. News reports - including a 1982 dispatch from Thomas Friedman of the New York Times - suggest that he once served as Director of the Palestinian press agency, Wikalat al-Anba al-Filastinija. Khalidi's wife, Mona, was reportedly the agency's main English-language editor between 1976 and 1982. Khalidi so strongly identified with the aims of the PLO, which was designated as a terrorist group by the State Department during Khalidi's affiliation with it in the 1980s, that he repeatedly referred to himself as "we" when expounding on the PLO's agenda. Additional evidence of Khalidi's intimacy with the PLO can be seen in his involvement with the organization's so-called "guidance committee" in the early 1990s.

Khalidi's 1986 book, Under Siege: P.L.O. Decision-Making During the 1982 War, was dedicated to Yasser Arafat. Opening with a glowing tribute to anti-Israel fighters ("to those who gave their lives during the summer of 1982 … in defense of the cause of Palestine and the independence of Lebanon"), the book offered an airbrushed account of PLO-instigated violence against Israelis and Lebanese. By contrast, Syria's brutal occupation of Lebanon elicited no criticism from the author.
Now check out Scott Horton's description of Khalidi at Harper's:

Rashid Khalidi is an American academic of extraordinary ability and sharp insights. He is also deeply committed to stemming violence in the Middle East, promoting a culture that embraces human rights as a fundamental notion, and building democratic societies. In a sense, Khalidi’s formula for solving the Middle East crisis has not been radically different from George W. Bush’s: both believe in American values and approaches. However, whereas Bush believes these values can be introduced in the wake of bombs and at the barrel of a gun, Khalidi disagrees. He sees education and civic activism as the path to success, and he argues that pervasive military interventionism has historically undermined the Middle East and will continue to do so. Khalidi has also been one of the most articulate critics of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority—calling them repeatedly on their anti-democratic tendencies and their betrayals of their own principles. Khalidi is also a Palestinian American. There is no doubt in my mind that it is solely that last fact that informs McCarthy’s ignorant and malicious rants.
Horton's criticizing Andrew McCarthy's essay, "The L.A. Times Suppresses Obama’s Khalidi Bash Tape."

Horton is a perfect example of the views of those on the relativist-left toward American foreign policy, Israel, and Palestianian terrorism: Comfort and aid to the enemies of the United States is perfectly legitimate, especially when their friends wrap their hostility to the U.S. in quasi-legitmate theories of a post-colonial American-Israeli alliance to dominate the Middle East and oppress the refugees of the founding of the Jewish state.

We've had months of revelations on Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, not to mention scandalous findings on Obama's ACORN ties and his traditional big-city machine politics.

It does not matter that these relationships are no longer active or just "acquantances." These are not peripheral issues or relationship. They go to the core of who Barack Obama is: Khalidi matters, as he's one more thread in the overall mesmerizingly obscure relationship of Barack Obama to the radical left.

At the going-away party for Khalidi, Obama is claimed to have said: "Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine" and "genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis."

These are controversial statements, and the American public deserves the chance to hear the audio for themselves. It's one thing after another with
Obama and his radical pals, and the American public is going to have the biggest case of presidential buyer's remorese in American history if there hold their noses to pull the lever on November 4.

Obama Broke Finance Pledge to Run "Fair" Campaign

During the Democratic primary debate in Cleveland, Ohio, in February, Barack Obama pledged to meet with John McCain to work out a campaign funding agreement "that is fair for both sides."

Amid the latest allegations of a large number of unregulated "back-end" contributions to the Obama campaign, it's useful to recall the nominee's own words (from the transcript):

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Obama, let me ask you about motivating, inspiring, keeping your word. Nothing more important. Last year you said if you were the nominee you would opt for public financing in the general election of the campaign; try to get some of the money out. You checked "Yes" on a questionnaire. And now Senator McCain has said, calling your bluff, let's do it. You seem to be waffling, saying, well, if we can work on an arrangement here.

Why won't you keep your word in writing that you made to abide by public financing of the fall election?

SEN. OBAMA: Tim, I am not yet the nominee. Now, what I've said is, is that when I am the nominee, if I am the nominee - because we've still got a bunch of contests left and Senator Clinton's a pretty tough opponent. If I am the nominee, then I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that is fair for both sides, because Tim, as you know, there are all sorts of ways of getting around these loopholes....

MR. RUSSERT: So you may opt out of public financing. You may break your word.

SEN. OBAMA: What I - what I have said is, at the point where I'm the nominee, at the point where it's appropriate, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody.

The debate video is here.

Barack Obama has not "sat down with John McCain" to make sure the system's working for everybody.

online investigations now show that the Obama campaign has refused to accept the automatic online address verification system set up by Master Card for online transactions, which is available at no extra charge to the customer.

That is, Obama has explicity set up a HIGHER FEE-PER-TRANSACTION STRUCTURE in order to avoid collecting online address verification information necessary to comply with federal campaign finance reporting requirments.

Change we can believe in?

Obama's Untraceable "Back-End" Contributions

The Washington Post picks up on the Obama campaign's finance irregularities this morning, "Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations":

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.

Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.

The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.

In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama's accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama's finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.

The problem with such cards, campaign finance lawyers said, is that they make it impossible to tell whether foreign nationals, donors who have exceeded the limits, government contractors or others who are barred from giving to a federal campaign are making contributions.

"They have opened the floodgates to all this money coming in," said Sean Cairncross, chief counsel to the Republican National Committee. "I think they've made the determination that whatever money they have to refund on the back end doesn't outweigh the benefit of taking all this money upfront."
Here's more:

...R. Rebecca Donatelli, who handles online contributions for the McCain operation and the RNC, said security measures have been standard in the GOP nominee's fundraising efforts throughout the campaign. She said she was "flabbergasted" to learn that the Obama campaign accepts prepaid cards.
Flabbergasted, alright. Mark Steyn indicates just who's able to contribute under "back-end"review:

Almost every fraudulent donation sails through, and real money leaves real accounts. To give to Obama his fellow "citizens of the world" don't even have to pretend to be American. As detailed yesterday, Mr A Hitler of Berlin, Germany is only the most obvious fake donor to make a contribution and receive shortly afterwards a Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome email thanking him for joining the active community of community activists:

Dear Adolfe,

Thanks for joining this movement...

Check out the resources below — learn how you can connect with fellow supporters, organize in your neighborhood, build our national grassroots organization, and stay informed with the very latest campaign news.

This story demonstrates just how dramatically old-school Barack Obama really is.

Here's a man who campaigns on "hope and change" and "post-partisanship," who then turns out to have refused public financing when he realized he could win the money game, and who ends up pushing the envelope of federal election law in his campaign for the White House.

With just a week left in the campaign, Obama's finance scandal won't slow the Democratic juggernaut (the media's lack of investigative journalism guarantees it), but after the election, an Obama administration's claims to uniting the people under a banner of reform will be rightly denounced as just more talk from a candidate who's now taken the urban-machine steamroller model of politics all the way to the White House.

As Bill Dyer rightly argues:

This is an infectious disease, an antibiotic-resistant acute contagion of corruption, a type of flesh-eating political bacteria that will — best case for Democrats, unless immediately disinfected starting today by their candidate himself — rob their would-be president elect of any political legitimacy even before Election Day, much less before the inauguration. In both scope and consequence, this bodes to make Watergate look like a playground fist-fight among kindergartners.

See also, Powerline, "Obama Shrugged: The Website."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Progressive Realignment?

Here's Bertha Lewis, ACORN's chief community organizer, thanking a number of radical left contingents for their help in defending against "scurrilous right-wing attacks and smears":

Recall that ACORN is the radical people's organization that deploys "in your face" methods of intimidation to shake-down banking institutions and force lenders to offer mortgages to unqualified minority borrowers. As Stanley Kurtz writes:

... intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions.
Ms. Lewis thanks two of the top "progressive" blogs in the leftosphere, Firedoglake and Open Left. In fact, David Sirota, at the latter, picking up on the current "Obama landslide" predictions, suggests that election day will bring about a "progressive mandate":

In the final weeks of this campaign, John McCain has been telling America that this is a contest between his own neo-Reaganism and Barack Obama's supposed socialism. And the result is McCain not only losing ground in traditional blue states, but also in traditional red states like Colorado.

Obama, of course, is no socialist - far from it (and I've worked for Congress's only self-described socialist, so I have some firsthand idea of what a socialist is and isn't). And his aides, like
Cass Sunstein in today's New Republic, are defensively making that point all over the place. But, as I told Larry King, that doesn't really matter in the shaping of a mandate - what matters is the choice the voters are being told they are making when they walk into the voting booth. And the one thing Republicans have done well in this campaign is portray this election as contest between two differing governing philosophies....

In that success, of course, the Right has set up a McCain defeat not merely as a loss for one candidate in one election, but a larger rejection of conservatism itself. As The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote:

"It might be dangerous for the Republican Party to elevate the stakes for this election to a death match between competing ideologies. If Barack Obama's victory is as decisive as it is shaping up to be, the Democrats can justifiably claim that conservatism itself has been rejected as a political and governing philosophy....
Put another way, progressives may have very substantive concerns with some of Obama's positions on issues ... but because the GOP has framed the election on such extreme ideological grounds, the mandate that would come out of an Obama win would be way more progressive than Obama's own policy platform. It would be as progressive on many issues as the public already is (despite whether people call themselves "liberal" or "conservative").
Sirota mentions that he previously worked for Representative Bernie Sanders, a socialist, and suggests that the experience gives him first-hand insight into "what a socialist is and isn't."

That's good to hear, because
National Journal's 2007 ideological ranking of Senate voting patterns revealed Barack Obama as the most liberal member of the chamber, even further to the left than Sanders, who was elected to the Senate in 2006. Democracy Now wrote a big congratulatory on the election, "Vermont’s Bernie Sanders Becomes First Socialist Elected to U.S. Senate."

There's some controversy on the left as to
the methodological validity of National Journal's rankings, but considering other objective measurements, Obama ranks right up there with Sanders in ideological orientation.

Sirota also cites a report from the
Campaign for America's Future suggesting that the U.S. has shifted to a progressive electoral majority:
An exhaustive review released today of decades of public opinion research by the Campaign for America’s Future and Media Matters for America, using the most reputable, nonpartisan sources, leads to a simple conclusion: America is more progressive than people think—or, more precisely, than the conventional wisdom would lead them to believe. From the economy to social issues, terrorism to trade, Americans want politicians who recognize that we’re all in it together.
I've addressed the question of a possible Democratic electoral realignment in a previous post. The problem with realignment theory is that it's essentially "retrodictive," and thus we really won't know if there's been a fundamental shift in party coalitions and ideological alignments for a few more presidential elections.

That said, the country remains
a center-right polity, and if the Democrats govern under the assumption that they really have won a progressive (radical socialist) mandate, we'll see a backlash in the electorate faster than you can say "Jimmy Carter."

50-State Radicalism?

I have no fondness for Markos Moulitsas, but he's a particularly bothersome person when it comes to his pure arrogance.

Check it out for yourself in his self-aggrandising post, "
From Scream to 50-State Deam" (on DNC Chair Howard Dean's previously-dismissed 50-state electoral strategy):

I keep saying it since I doubt people believe me - when we were agitating for the 50-state strategy in 2003, 2004, and 2005, it was hugely controversial. Crashing the Gate may seem like a fairly conventional book today, but when Jerome and I wrote it in 2006, it was mocked as crazy talk. Funny how two years and a little success completely changed everything.

And here's one lagging piece of CW that still gets it wrong:

[Dean is] usually associated with the loony wing of the party, the MoveOn crowd and the liberal bloggers. But in reality, he had a vision for Democrats capturing the center, and it’s coming to pass.

Ah yes, us loony bloggers, fighting for universal health care, to protect social security, to keep our government from unconstitutionally spying on us, and to promote a sane foreign policy that doesn't unnecessarily cost us blood and treasure. You know, loony things supported by a majority of the (apparently also loony) American people.

Here's what too many people still don't understand - there's nothing loony about the netroots. This isn't fertile territory for the McKinneys and Kuciniches of our party. This is fertile territory for the Howard Deans of our party - sensible, pragmatic progressives who aren't afraid to be Democrats. Why? Because we're the nation. We're not clustered in DC and NYC, we're spread out over all 50 states, and we know better than anyone what it takes to win in our own backyards.

Actually, Cynthia McKinney's no longer a Democrat, and Kucinich's views on the issue of Iraq better mirror those of the Kos "nation" than do Barack Obama's, oddly enough.

But beyond Kos' imprecision and hypocrisy, I'm more interested in this part about how the Kos "nation" promotes all these "not-so-looney" policies,
like the following?

Barack Obama - who has welcomed the support and has even openly cooperated with Daily Kos - is ... well outside the mainstream of the American political culture, and an Obama administration will push an extreme-liberal policy agenda of tax hikes, spending windfalls, economic stimulus, spread-the-wealth redistributionism, universal health care, infrastructure investment, fairness doctrine, global warming legislation, restrictions on gun rights, abortion on demand, embryonic stem cells, foreign importation of prescription drugs, union card-check voting, trade protectionism, precipitous Iraq withdrawal, ban on domestic wiretapping, opposition to mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, sex-education for kindergartners, race-based affirmative action, expanded welfare entitlements, radical education pedagogy, and enemy appeasement diplomacy with no preconditions (and more).
I don't think these are the policies likely to be favored by some mythical 50-state Democratic coalition.

Ronald Reagan took 49 states and 525 Electoral College votes in 1984. Richard Nixon won 49 states and 520 Electoral College votes in 1972.

The Republicans could legitimately claim to represent the "nation" on the basis of these overwhelming electoral landslides. At present, Barack Obama comes nowwhere near the dominating territory of earlier GOP earthquakes.

Markos Moulitisas is arrogant and power-hungry, and extremely over-confident.

An Obama victory will mostly reflect a repudiation of the current business cycle and the bipartisan governmental mismanagement of the last few years.
The country remains center-right, and the more attention that Kos and his radical Democrats get, the more likely it will stay that way.