Friday, August 22, 2008

The Obama Camp, Health Care, and South Side Radicalism

The Washington Post has a major piece on the Obama camp's relationship to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

It turns out that Michelle Obama, an executive at the hospital, headed a program to foster clinical health programs in neighborhoods adjacent to the medical facility. The success of the initiative has been mixed, with some critics arguing that the medical center's goal was to reduce indigent access to the hospital's emergency room. If so, the neighborhood clinics were more about cost-cutting for Michelle Obama's employer, rather than forward-looking health care planning for the consituencies central to Democratic health reform talking points.

That said, Stanley Kurtz sees the Post's coverage of Michelle Obama's South Side Health Collaborative as an opening for
a deeper discussion of the Obama campaign's deep ties to the anti-American radicals of Chicago's South Side:

The Hyde Park Herald first reported that Michelle Obama would be hired for a newly created community relations position at the University of Chicago on June 5 of 1996. Obama was to be Associate Dean of Student Services and Director of the University of Chicago Community Service Center, effective September 1, 1996. So Michelle Obama was appointed to a job that had never existed before, shortly after Barack Obama had won the Democratic nomination in his first race for Illinois State Senate. In Hyde Park and the South Side of Chicago, the Democratic nomination is tantamount to election.

Michelle, the Herald reported, had been executive director of
Public Allies Chicago since 1991. Public Allies Chicago currently partners with the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, led by noted community organizers John McKnight and Jody Kretzman. Michelle and Barack both have close links to Public Allies, to the Asset-Based Community Development Institute, to McKnight and to Kretzman. The Asset-Based Community Development Institute and its leaders are closely tied to the Gamaliel Foundation. Barack himself worked directly with the co-founder and Executive Director of the Gamaliel Foundation, Gregory Galluzzo. And as I show in my piece, "Senator Stealth," in the current print issue of National Review, the Gamaliel Foundation is guided by an extreme, anti-American ideology, much like Revered Wright’s. In other words, Both Michelle and Barack Obama were part of a tightly knit network of Gamaliel Foundation organizers, and the guiding ideology of Gamaliel is deeply radical and anti-American.

As the Hyde Park Herald reported in an article on Michelle’s new position on January 8, 1997, her job would be "to direct hundreds of would-be volunteers from the university to the dozens of local causes that need help." So her new and never-before-existing job put Michelle Obama in a position to effectively recruit large numbers of new organizers for the radical community groups that she and Barack worked with. As the Herald makes clear, the University of Chicago was looking to Michelle Obama’s "newly created position" to "help bridge the gap, the real one and the perceived on, that exists between the school and the Hyde Park Community."

In short, just after Barack Obama effectively secured a seat in the State Senate, the University of Chicago invented a new job, for which it hired Michelle Obama. In that job, Michelle would be able to channel University of Chicago students into the radical anti-American groups that she and her husband worked with, and whose ideology has received far too little scrutiny. Some of these organizations, even if unofficially, provided campaign workers for Barack Obama on election day (see "Senator Stealth").

So we see here an unusual arrangement between the University of Chicago and its new teacher/State Senator. The Senator’s wife provides political cover for the university with the community, in return for which the university provides a previously non-existent and prestigious position to the Senator’s wife, which allows her to funnel students into hard-left political groups that sometimes provide campaign workers to the Senator. At any rate, that’s how it looks. It seems to me that if the mainstream papers like the Post are going to look into Michelle Obama’s work bringing medical care to poor South Side residents, her earlier position and its link to politically radical–even intensely anti-American–community organizers deserves scrutiny as well.
I agree, and I would expect that the press would pick up the investigatation into the University of Illinois Chicago's cover-up of Obama's Chicago Annenberg Challenge. For more on that, see Tom Maguire, "Obama, Ayers, and the Annenberg Challenge Cover-Up."