Showing posts sorted by relevance for query obama socialist. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query obama socialist. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Is Obama a Socialist?

Well, it depends what you mean by "socialist."

If you make a perfect equation between socialism and the totalitarian communism of the 20th Century Soviet Union, well then, no, Obama's not a socialist. But virtually no one defines socialism as that kind of perfect equation. No one except Milos Forman, perhaps, in his recent essay at the New York Times, "Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close.

Read it at the link. The analysis is deeply flawed but understandably so, given that Forman lived through real-life communism in Czechoslovakia from his birth in 1932 until 1968. That said, he's still wrong about Obama's socialism. See the response to Forman from Ron Radosh, "Is Obama a Socialist? An Answer to Milos Forman." Radosh is an ex-American communist and the author of the essential memoir of the movement, Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left

Here's a passage from the piece, published at PJ Media:

Forman accuses conservatives — he names Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh — of calling Obama a socialist. He writes:
They falsely equate Western European-style socialism, and its government provision of social insurance and health care, with Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism. It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism.
In making that argument, Forman reveals his own confusion, and in effect says that to say Obama is a socialist is to say he is a Marxist-Leninist totalitarian. Of course Obama is NOT a communist. He is an elected leader of a politically democratic republic. He is constrained in policies he would like to implement by a Congress and a vigorous Republican opposition. Nevertheless, a strong case has been made — here at PJM and in other conservative journals of opinion and in various serious books — that Barack Obama favors and pursues policies that are indeed the equivalent of redistributionist socialist measures favored today, for example, by François Hollande and his new government in France.

To make this case hardly “cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism,” as Forman claims. The problem is that the social-democratic governments in Europe that Forman claims only favor “government provision of social insurance and health care” have their own serious problems. Most conservatives favor a social safety net, adequate health care, and other common-sense measures. What they do oppose is the limitless welfare state that seemingly never ends in its quest to further extend its grasp, in a manner that produces a whole new set of problems and brings modern economies to a grinding halt. And more:
America’s preeminent socialist leader in the 1980s was the late Michael Harrington, who carried on as the spokesman for social democracy, a post he inherited from his predecessors, Eugene V. Debs and Norman Thomas. Harrington was well-aware that the path to socialism, in which he ardently believed, was through continued extension of the American welfare state. He became a vigorous supporter of a meaningless bill passed by Congress in 1978 called the Humphrey-Hawkins Act, which stated that it was the policy of the United States to strive to attain a full employment economy.

Testifying before Congress in defense of the act, the dying Senator Humphrey asked Harrington: “Is my bill socialism?” The socialist leader responded, “It isn’t half that good.” His point was that socialism needed liberalism as a focal point from which to grow. As Harrington argued at the time, by laying out the principle that it was the duty of the state to create full employment, socialists could build upon that to move liberal supporters to advocate more extensive social-democratic programs that would challenge the hegemony of capitalist social relations, making it easier to advance real socialist measures at a future moment.

What Forman ignores, and does not really address, is that Barack Obama came into politics from the precincts of the Harringtonian left wing. He was a member in Chicago of the socialist New Party, which grew out of the activism of the Democratic Socialists of America, which Harrington led. His past, ignored but addressed in particular by Stanley Kurtz and now by Paul Kengor, was that of the sectarian left wing of the 1970s and ’80s.

Forman might not see “much of a socialist in Mr. Obama,” but he also writes that he does not see “signs of that system in this great nation.” That is because Mr. Forman is confusing Stalinism with social democracy. With that as his standard, he can easily ignore all signs of socialist policies and programs favored by Barack Obama. Like the Marxists, Obama said four years ago that we were on the verge of a “fundamental transformation” of the United States. What did he mean by that, if not his hope that the United States would soon become a nation more similar to the social-democratic welfare states of Europe?
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how the left's Democrat-Media-Complex has managed to sustain the lie that Obama's just a regular old "liberal Democrat." It's truly an amazing thing, three and a half years into this administration, that conservatives are still heckled and rebuked as conspiracy-mongers for mentioning the fact of Obama's socialism. In any case, scrolling through the archives I found this old piece from Jawa Report, "Question: Does Barack Obama Have Any Friends Who AREN'T Communists?":
The news of Barack Obama's close relationship with Frank Marshall Davis has been around before, but it's important....

Aren't we seeing a pattern here? One interaction with one old communist isn't particularly troubling. A handful of sporadic interactions with a handful of radical left-wingers may not be particularly troubling. But a lifelong pattern of extended associations and alliances with scores of fringe, America-hating radicals is very, very troubling indeed.

Just to be clear:

It's not just that Barack Obama's father was a Marxist economist or that his mother Stanley came from radical far-left roots.

It's not just that Obama's childhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis was a famous communist poet.

It's not just that Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor, counselor and spiritual mentor of 20 years is a racist, America-hating radical.

It's not just that Michael Phleger, Obama's other spiritual mentor is every bit as extreme as Wright.

It's not just that his wife Michelle has never been really that proud of America, or that she thinks this country is "mean".

It's not just that Obama refused to wear a flag, or that he refused to salute it during the national anthem.

It's not just that Obama's political and financial benefactor William Ayers is an unrepentant radical socialist terrorist.

It's not just that Bernadine Dohrn regrets that she didn't kill more people back in the 1960s.

It's not just that Alice Palmer, Obama's political mentor in Chicago, was a communist propagandist.

It's not just that Obama was a member of the radical socialist New Party or that he ran as a candidate for public office under their far-left platform.

It's not just that Obama was an agitator, trainer and attorney for the corrupt and radical-left ACORN.

None of these facts, by itself, tells you that much about Barack Obama. A reasonable person should, however, be able to look at this motley crew of left-wing communists and America-haters, realize that Barack Obama's rolodex is a veritable Who's Who of American Socialism, be very, very disturbed by that fact and ask some very probing questions about WHO Barack Obama is, WHAT he believes, and WHY this gang of radical America-haters considers Barack Obama such a good friend.
Check the post for all the links documenting those friendships.

And that was before Obama took office. Monica Crowley provides an excellent rundown of the socialist czars that Obama appointed to his administration, at FrontPage Magazine:
Obama doesn’t run around wearing a Carrie Bradshaw-esque nameplate necklace that says, “Socialist.” But his policies, actions, words, background, and associations speak louder than any ID necklace ever could. As a technical matter, economic fascism (government control of the means of production without ownership) more accurately describes what Obama is carrying out than socialism (government ownership of those means of production), but “fascism” and “socialism” are highly charged words—and arguments over the labels often obfuscate the reality of the policies. Obama has engaged in extreme government-directed redistributionism to undermine the free market, generate widespread dependency, and further centralize state power.

In the end, the term matters less than his policies and their effects. This is a man who spent his formative years learning at the knees of assorted communists, from his mother and father to Frank Marshall Davis to the Marxist professors and sundry socialists he admitted he sought out while in school to the self-avowed Communists (Van Jones, “green jobs” czar), Mao admirers (Anita Dunn, communications director) and radical redistributionists (Cass Sunstein, regulatory czar) he appointed as president. He spent a good deal of time mastering the art of Saul Alinsky’s tactics for advancing the socialist revolution. In 2007, he said of his years learning Alinsky’s methods, “It was that education that was seared into my brain. It was the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.” Indeed.

Notice how Crowley mentions "economic fascism" as a clarifying concept. Because as long as the U.S. maintains a relatively free market with private ownership, the U.S. can't be described as socialist. But that's a practical matter. If Obama could he'd bankrupt America's corporate sector and have the state take over. He may yet achieve that end in the healthcare sector with ObamaCare, and it's been but for the awesome resilience of the American economy and people that we've resisted the administration's socialist encroachments on the energy sector. That's why Crowley and others warn that Obama simply can't get a second term, lest he win the chance to complete the destruction he's already started.

In any case, there's still some time to continue hammering the real truth before the election. Toward that end, see Nice Deb, "The Vetting: Paul Kengor on Obama’s Communist Mentor, Frank Marshall Davis," and Dan Riehl, "New Book Claims Obama Mentored By Perverted, Drug Using Communist Frank Marshall Davis."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism

Stanley Kurtz's new book is out. I started it last night. I'm loving it. Click the image to order your copy.

And here's Kurtz at National Review, "
Obama's Radical Past":


On the afternoon of April 1, 1983, Barack Obama, then a senior at Columbia University, made his way into the Great Hall of Manhattan’s Cooper Union to attend a “Socialist Scholars Conference.” There Obama discovered his vocation as a community organizer, as well as a political program to guide him throughout his life.

The conference itself was not a secret, but it held a secret, for it was there that a demoralized and frustrated socialist movement largely set aside strategies of nationalization and turned increasingly to local organizing as a way around the Reagan presidency — and its own spotty reputation. In the early 1980s, America’s socialists discovered what Saul Alinsky had always known: “Community organizing” is a euphemism behind which advocates of a radical vision of America could advance their cause without the bothersome label “socialist” drawing adverse attention to their efforts.

A loose accusation of his being a socialist has trailed Obama for years, but without real evidence that he saw himself as part of this radical tradition. But the evidence exists, if not in plain sight then in the archives — for example, the archived files of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which include Obama’s name on a conference registration list. That, along with some misleading admissions in the president’s memoir, Dreams from My Father, makes it clear that Obama attended the 1983 and 1984 Socialist Scholars conferences, and quite possibly the 1985 conclave as well. A detailed account of these conferences (along with many other events from Obama’s radical past) and the evidence for Obama’s attendance at them can be found in my new book, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.

The 1983 Cooper Union Conference, billed as a tribute to Marx, was precisely when Obama discovered his vocation for community organizing. Obama’s account of his turn to community organizing doesn’t add up. He portrays it as a mere impulse based on little actual knowledge. But that impulse saw Obama through two years of failed job searches. Clearly he had a deeper motivation. The evidence suggests he found it at the Socialist Scholars conferences, where he encountered the entrancing double idea that America could be transformed by a kind of undercover socialism, and that African Americans would be the key figures in advancing community organizing.

The 1983 conference took place in the shadow of Harold Washington’s first race for mayor of Chicago. Washington was not only Obama’s political idol, he was the darling of America’s socialists in the mid-1980s. Washington assembled a “rainbow” coalition of blacks, Hispanics, and left-leaning whites to overturn the power of Chicago’s centrist Democratic machine. Washington worked eagerly and openly with Chicago’s small but influential contingent of socialists, many of whom brought the community organizations and labor unions they led onto the Washington bandwagon.

America’s socialists saw the Harold Washington campaign as a model for their ultimate goal of pushing the Democrats to the left by polarizing the country along class lines. This socialist “realignment” strategy envisioned driving business interests out of a newly radicalized Democratic party. The loss was to be more than made up for through a newly energized coalition of poor and minority voters, led by minority politicians on the model of Harold Washington. The new coalitions would draw on the open or quiet direction of socialist community organizers, from whose ranks new Harold Washingtons would emerge. Groups like ACORN and Project Vote would swell the Democrats with poor and minority voters and, with the country divided by class, socialism would emerge as the natural ideology of the have-nots.

Figures pushing this broader strategy at the 1983 Socialist Scholars Conference included ACORN adviser Frances Fox Piven and organizing theorist Peter Dreier, now a professor at Occidental College and an adviser to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. That is to say, Obama’s connection to socialist ideologues didn’t end with his recruitment into the ranks of community organizers. It began there and blossomed into a quarter century of intricate relationships with both on-the-record and in-all-but-name socialists. I’ve spent the last two years in the archives unraveling the connections ....

As we move into the first national election of the Obama presidency, Americans are confronted with a fateful choice. Either we will continue to be subject to President Obama’s radical and only very partially revealed plans for our future, or we will place a strong check on the president’s ambitions. Knowing the truth about Obama’s past is the best way to safeguard our future.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Question of Barack Obama's Socialism

Rick Moran argues that Barack Obama is not a socialist and he says he detests "conservatives throwing around the words “socialism” and “Marxism” when it comes to Obama."

Well, with due respect to Rick, he taking a jab at me in his post!

Actually, while I don't think Obama's an orthodox Marxist-Leninist in the Soviet sense, I do think he's socialist in terms of "welfare state socialism," a form of
social democracy that advocates a heavy role for the state in a mixture of government planning, market regulation, and social provision.

Such democratic welfare state socialism is in fact institutionalized in the U.S., particularly in New Deal-era programs like Social Security, agricultural subsidies, workers' compensation, welfare (public assistance), and deposit insurance. Because these policies have become institutionalized and expanded with bipartisan support, we tend not the think of them in terms of "socialism."

What makes Barack Obama different, and why it's not inaccurate to speak of him as ideologically socialist, is that by background and inclination he'd like to expand the American welfare state toward the European model, in countries like Denmark or Germany.

Obama speaks in terms of socialist ideology: He stated
during the primaries that "the chance to get a college education is the birthright of every American," and during the primaries, and again in Tuesday's presidential debate, he argued that health care should be a right.

Investor's Business Daily points out, Obama's essentially a collectivist in outlook:

It's clear from a close reading of his two books that he's a firm believer in class envy. He assumes the economy is a fixed pie, whereby the successful only get rich at the expense of the poor.

Following this discredited Marxist model, he believes government must step in and redistribute pieces of the pie. That requires massive transfers of wealth through government taxing and spending, a return to the entitlement days of old.

Of course, Obama is too smart to try to smuggle such hoary collectivist garbage through the front door. He's disguising the wealth transfers as "investments" — "to make America more competitive," he says, or "that give us a fighting chance," whatever that means.

Among his proposed "investments":

• "Universal," "guaranteed" health care.

• "Free" college tuition.

• "Universal national service" (a la Havana).

• "Universal 401(k)s" (in which the government would match contributions made by "low- and moderate-income families").

• "Free" job training (even for criminals).

• "Wage insurance" (to supplement dislocated union workers' old income levels).

• "Free" child care and "universal" preschool.

• More subsidized public housing.

• A fatter earned income tax credit for "working poor."

• And even a Global Poverty Act that amounts to a Marshall Plan for the Third World, first and foremost Africa.

His new New Deal also guarantees a "living wage," with a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation; and "fair trade" and "fair labor practices," with breaks for "patriot employers" who cow-tow to unions, and sticks for "nonpatriot" companies that don't.

That's just for starters — first-term stuff.

Obama doesn't stop with socialized health care. He wants to socialize your entire human resources department — from payrolls to pensions. His social-microengineering even extends to mandating all employers provide seven paid sick days per year to salary and hourly workers alike.

You can see why Obama was ranked, hands-down, the most liberal member of the Senate by the National Journal. Some, including colleague and presidential challenger John McCain, think he's the most liberal member in Congress.

There's also the question of Obama's ideological training and past associations. In many respects, one is defined by the company they keep and the activities they pursue. We often hear criticism of the attacks on Obama's past as "guilt by association," but it's not just a radical aquiantance here or an early Marxist mentor there: It's the over-time acclimation to and identification with doctrinaire socialist ideology and practice.

Jawa Report notes, regarding the controversy surrounding Obama's past relationships:

Aren't we seeing a pattern here? One interaction with one old communist isn't particularly troubling. A handful of sporadic interactions with a handful of radical left-wingers may not be particularly troubling. But a lifelong pattern of extended associations and alliances with scores of fringe, America-hating radicals is very, very troubling indeed.

Just to be clear:

It's not just that Barack Obama's father was a Marxist economist or that his mother Stanley came from radical far-left roots.

It's not just that Obama's childhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis was a famous communist poet.

It's not just that Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor, counselor and spiritual mentor of 20 years is a racist, America-hating radical.

It's not just that Michael Phleger, Obama's other spiritual mentor is every bit as extreme as Wright.

It's not just that his wife Michelle has never been really that proud of America, or that she thinks this country is "mean".

It's not just that Obama refused to wear a flag, or that he refused to salute it during the national anthem.

It's not just that Obama's political and financial benefactor William Ayers is an unrepentant radical socialist terrorist.

It's not just that Bernadine Dohrn regrets that she didn't kill more people back in the 1960s.

It's not just that Alice Palmer, Obama's political mentor in Chicago, was a communist propagandist.

It's not just that Obama was a member of the radical socialist New Party or that he ran as a candidate for public office under their far-left platform.

It's not just that Obama was an agitator, trainer and attorney for the corrupt and radical-left ACORN.

None of these facts, by itself, tells you that much about Barack Obama. A reasonable person should, however, be able to look at this motley crew of left-wing communists and America-haters, realize that Barack Obama's rolodex is a veritable Who's Who of American Socialism, be very, very disturbed by that fact and ask some very probing questions about WHO Barack Obama is, WHAT he believes, and WHY this gang of radical America-haters considers Barack Obama such a good friend.

Thus, in both policy and associations, it's clearly not unreasonable to identify Barack Obama as socialist, and not just of the democratic welfare state variety.

If elected, the Illinois Senator may very well take American government further to the left than in any time in U.S. history, not just in terms of market regulation, but in the fullest sense of the democratic socialist model of European-style welfare states.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama Ignites Ideological War

UPDATE: Commenters have pointed out an error in my reading of Ambinder's passage on "Americans" aren't terribly upset by it (Obama's ideological redistributionism).

My bad.

Now acknowleging that, Ambinder's still focusing on the wrong thing, which is that Obama's clearly stating he favors economic redistribution. Focus on the forest, folks.


Today's online buzz surrounding Barack Obama's 2001 statements on Chicago's WBEZ public radio is shaping up to be a much-needed discussion of the ideological underpinnings of election 2008.

First, of course,
the Obama camp has denied the candidate's arguing for economic distribution. But what I'm finding interesting is how pundits are focusing on the legal argumentation rather than the underlying socio-economic basis of Obama's statements. See Marc Ambinder, for example, on the "old ideological wars":

"Socialist" ... "redistributive" ... These are 20th century words with 20th century connotations; indeed, the point of Obama's relfection was that the most progressive - most liberal - court of the era could not bring itself to violate a core American principle and could not extend the sphere of justice to the economy. Obama wasn't simply making a technical point about jurisprudence and history; he was expressing a liberal positivist's lament about the court's reluctance in one specific case - San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez - which dealt with education funding.

Conservatives find it absurd that Americans are about to elect the most liberal president of the modern era and aren't terribly upset by it; but in capitalizing on this particular argument of Obama's, the Republicans are rearguing whether some form of economic redistributions from white people to black people was necessary - even though Obama never really made the point.
Who among the conservative establishment isn't "terribly upset" that Barack Obama's the most far-left Democratic nominee in American history?

Rush Limbaugh? Nope,
couldn't be him. How about GOP Senator George Voinovich? Nope, he must have lost the memo. Couldn't be John McCain, either, right?

CHRIS WALLACE (Fox News): But you did it indirectly, so let me ask you for some straight talk. Do you think that Senator Obama is a socialist? Do you think that his plans are socialism?

JOHN MCCAIN: I think his plans are redistribution of the wealth. He said it himself, "We need to spread the wealth around." Now, that's one of...

WALLACE: Is that socialism?

MCCAIN: That's one of the tenets of socialism. But it's more the liberal left, which he's always been on. He's always been in the left lane of American politics.

WALLACE: But, Senator, when we talk...

MCCAIN: So is one of the tenets of socialism redistribution of the wealth? Not just socialism — a lot of other liberal and left wing philosophies — redistribution of the wealth? I don't believe in it. I believe in wealth creation by Joe the Plumber.
People don't want to use the "s-word" in American politics. The U.S. stood against the advance of socialism in its historic ideological struggle against Marxist-Leninist ideology and Soviet totalitarianism. In Latin America today, there's one of the strongest shifts to popular socialist regimes in recent decades. Some even indicate that a worldwide alliance of socialism and Islam is on the march to topple American imperial domination.

It's not only disingenuous to argue that conservatives aren't worried about Obama's socialism, it's outright journalistic malpractice to assert that there's no economic class analysis in Obama's 2001 public radio statement.

Barack Obama couldn't have been more clear:

I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.
Note something here: The issue is not whether the U.S. lacks the development of democratic socialist traditions (
we do); it's not whether both Democrats and Republicans in fact advocate policies that often align the U.S. with social democratic policies found in other advanced industrial nations (they do); and it's not whether Republicans have run out of ideas, and are scraping the bottom of the barrel in reaching frantically to smear the Democratic nominee as radical (they haven't gone far enough).

The issue today is how far Barack Obama will take the United States to the far-left of the ideological spectrum, in both policy and culture.

Because the United States' founding political orientation is center-right, and because the U.S. never had a feudal background and no feudal order was overthrown in 1776, the election of Barack Obama - and his agenda of expansive government expenditures, taxes, regulations, racial-redistribution, and foreign policy multiculturallism - will take the country farther to the left than at any time in American history. Whether Americans choose to call it socialism or not, an Obama presidency portends an even more divisive period of political history than we've seen under the last eight years of Republican rule.

Barack Obama maintains a socialist-ideological sensibility in the objective sense, as demonstrated by his repeated statements on economic redistribution and "spreading the wealth."

Leftists should quit playing around the words like "liberal" and "progressive" and forthrightly embrace the socialist label. If Obama can help leftists do that, it'll be the most honest thing he's done all year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Socialism Schmocialism? Let's Get Real About Marxism in America

Look, I'll be honest. I've attacked Barack Obama many times for his "socialist" inclinations (which are genuine by training and upbringing), but so far this administration has not turned the United States into a genuine socialist regime. As Rick Moran argued before the election last year:

Calling Obama a 'socialist' simply isn't logical. He doesn’t share the belief that industries should be nationalized by the government or even taken over by the workers as many American Marxists espouse.
And that's the key: As long as the U.S. remains committed to a free-enterprise system - albeit with substantial market intervention by government - the U.S. will retain what's simply but technically known as a "mixed economy."

So, while it is true that President Obama is steeped in doctrinaire Marxist ideology, and through his activism and teaching he's practiced radical post-structuralist ideologies, this administration has so far worked within the normative boundaries of ideological acceptability. That's why, frankly, I greeted
the news this morning of the GOP's "rebranding" of the Democrats as "Socialists" with a shrug.

I know most readers won't misunderstand, but let me be perfectly clear: The Barack Obama administration is indeed an ideological disaster for this nation. In economics, social policy, and international affairs, the administration is seeking to shift American politics to the extreme far-left of the spectrum. That said, we're still well short of "socialism" in the absence of state ownership of the means of production - and by that I'm not just talking about a trillion or two in government bailouts for privated industry. No, we'd need to see the toppling of the "capitalist state" altogether, and its replacement with a "workers' collective" legitimately organized along Marxist lines. As Eric Ruder notes at the May/June International Socialist Review:

In a society where all of the means of production are socialized, blind market forces would be replaced by democratic planning. The accumulated savings of society would not be handed over to a class of people, unelected and unaccountable, to invest for the purpose of their private gain. Instead, the economic output of society would be used to address the social needs of the producers. The critical determining factor of whether state ownership of the means of production (or the means of finance) has a socialist character depends on the answer to a simple question: If the state controls the economy, who controls the state?

The Obama administration’s state intervention in the economy today is designed to preserve decision-making power for the owners of banks and corporations ... This is not surprising, given the completely incestuous relationship between the state and private business, with a steady flow of businessmen into government jobs and then back again ....

The working class exerts its power, first through its ability to shut down production—the strike weapon. But if it is to assert its collective interests on society as a whole and against the employers as a class, it must seize political power. Only after the working class has seized political power can it begin to reorganize production and distribution in such a way as to gradually abolish the market and production for profit’s sake, and replace those relations with a purely socialized system of planning.
So it's going to take the literal "expropriation of the expropriators" to transform the U.S. economy from its current pattern of regulatory state capitalism to that of a full-blown workers' collectivist state.

But note something crucial here: While Barack Obama - to the dismay of the Socialist International - has indeed been "coopted" by the "agents of capitalist hegemony," his party's netroots-base is very much a radical "lumpen proletariat" agitating for the evisceration of capitalist "exploitation" in the U.S.

Amid this ideological tension between the president, the progressive capitalists within the administration, and the hardline Democratic base, we'll see the increasing shift to the compromise of "European statism." As Mark Steyn indicated recently, in "
Prime Minister Obama: The Europeanization of America":
Europeanized health care, Europeanized daycare, Europeanized college education, Europeanized climate-change policy ... Obama’s pseudo-SOTU speech was America’s first State of the European Union address, in which the president deftly yoked the language of American exceptionalism to the cause of European statism. Apparently, nothing testifies to the American virtues of self-reliance, entrepreneurial energy and the can-do spirit like joining the vast army of robotic extras droning in unison, "The government needs to do more for me ..."

Most Americans don’t yet grasp the scale of the Obama project. The naysayers complain, oh, it’s another Jimmy Carter, or it’s the new New Deal, or it’s LBJ’s Great Society applied to health care… You should be so lucky. Forget these parochial nickel’n’dime comparisons. It’s all those multiplied a gazillionfold and nuclearized – or Europeanized, which is less dramatic but ultimately more lethal. For a distressing number of American liberals, the natural condition of an advanced, progressive western democracy is Scandinavia, and the U.S. has just been taking a wee bit longer to get there.
And this really isn't a matter of debate, although the radical leftists will deny it to no end, and they'll excoriate conservatives as "fearmongers" and "America-haters." But it is what it is. The problem is that the RNC doesn't have the time nor the inclination to explain to the public and the media the intricacies of democratic socialist philosophy. To relabel the Democrats as the "Democrat Socialist Party" is an attempt to brand them as the party of anti-Americanism. While true, it's unlikely that the GOP will be able to overtake the pushback from the media-netroots axis.

Just this afternoon, Digby got a post up entitled, "
Socialist Schmocialist" (via Memeorandum). And Chris Bowers has joined in with, "The Name Calling is the Entire Point."

But recall, Mark Levin, in his new book,
Liberty and Tyranny, gets around this problem of nomenclature by identifying today's Democratic collectivists as "Statists." And as I pointed out in "Renewing Socialism? Don't Even Think About It ...," it doesn't really matter how we label the ideological agenda of today's partisan radicals. The outcome will be the same: creeping tyranny and impoverishment, and the total obliteration of American exceptionalism, at home and abroad.

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."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism

Here's the link to Stanley Kurtz's opus, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.
President Barack Obama surprised many voters during a pre-election interview when he approvingly noted that Ronald Reagan had “changed the trajectory of America” in a way that other presidents had not. In effect, Obama was saying that he, too, aimed to transform America in some fundamental way. Yet while Americans in 1982 may have been divided over Reagan’s politics, at least they knew what he stood for. Do we really understand Obama’s vision for our country?

In his controversial new book, veteran journalist Stanley Kurtz culls together two years of investigations from archives and never-before-tapped sources to present an exhaustively-researched exposé of President Obama’s biggest secret—the socialist convictions and tactical ruthlessness he has long swept under the rug.

A personable figure, a thoughtful politician, and an inspiring orator, Obama has hidden his core political beliefs from the American people—sometimes by directly misrepresenting his past and sometimes by omitting or parceling out damaging information to disguise its real importance. The president presents himself as a post-ideological pragmatist, yet his current policies grow directly from the nexus of socialist associates and theories that has shaped him throughout his adult life.

Kurtz makes an in-depth exploration of the president’s connections to radical groups such as ACORN, UNO of Chicago, the Midwest Academy, and the Socialist Scholars Conferences. He explains what modern “stealth” socialism is, how it has changed, and how it continues to influence the Democratic Party. He sheds light on what the New York Times called a “lost chapter” of the president’s life—his years at Columbia—and proves that Obama’s youthful infatuation with socialism was not just a phase. Those ideas have shaped his political views and set the groundwork for the long-term strategy of his administration.

It could be argued that Obama’s past no longer matters, but, in a sense, it matters more than the present. Obama has adopted the gradualist socialist strategy of his mentors, seeking to combine comprehensive government regulation of private businesses with a steadily enlarging public sector. Eventually, in his hands, capitalist America could resemble a socialist-inspired Scandinavian welfare state.

The gap between inner conviction and public relations in Obama’s case is vastly wider than for most American politicians. If Americans understood in 2008 the facts Kurtz reveals in this shocking political biography, Obama would not be president today. The fears of his harshest critics are justified: our Commander-in- Chief is a Radical-in-Chief.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Kind of Socialist is Barack Obama?

From Jonah Goldberg, at Commentary:


Obama still scoffs at the suggestion that he is a socialist largely to delegitimize his opponents. During his address to House Republicans at their retreat in December 2009, Obama ridiculed Republicans for acting as if his health-care scheme were some “Bolshevik plot.” In responding to the “Tea Parties” organized to oppose the expansion of government, Obama has explicitly likened those who describe his policies as socialist to the “birther” conspiracy theorists who foolishly believe he was actually born outside the United States: “There’s some folks who just weren’t sure whether I was born in the United States, whether I was a socialist, right?”

He reserves for himself the mantle of technocrat, disinterested, pragmatic, pushed to use the powers of government by the failings of his predecessor and the madness of the free market. He is not interested in ideology; he is interested in doing “what works” for the greatest number of Americans (he has often said that his guiding insight to government’s role is the notion that we are all our brothers’ keepers). Indeed, Obama goes further and often insinuates that principled disagreement with his agenda is “ideological” and therefore illegitimate. In a speech on the eve of his inauguration, he proclaimed that “what is required is a new declaration of independence, not just in our nation, but in our own lives—from ideology and small thinking, prejudice and bigotry.” In other words, to borrow a phrase from Lionel Trilling, ideology is an irritable mental gesture.

Denying that you are an ideologue is not the same thing as proving the point. And certainly Obama’s insistence that ideology is something only his critics suffer from is no defense when stacked against the evidence of his actions. The “pragmatic” Obama is only interested in “what works” as long as “what works” involves a significantly expanded role for government. In this sense, Obama is a practitioner of the Third Way, the governing approach most successfully trumpeted by Blair, who claimed to have found a “third way” that rejected the false premises of both Left and Right and therebylocated a “smarter” approach to expanding government. The powerful appeal of this idea lies in the fact that it sounds as if its adherents have rejected ideological dogmatism and gone beyond those “false choices.” Thus, a leader can both provide health care to 32 million people and save money, or, as Obama likes to say, “bend the cost curve down.” But in not choosing, Obama is choosing. He is choosing the path of government control, which is what the Third Way inevitably does and is intended to do.

Still, the question remains, What do we call Obama’s “social-ism”? John Judis’s formulation—“liberal socialism”—is perfectly serviceable, and so is “social democracy” or, for that matter, simply “progressivism.” My own, perhaps too playful, suggestion would be neosocialism.

The term neoconservative was assigned—and with hostile intent—to a group of diverse thinkers who had grown convinced that the open-ended ambitions of the Great Society were utopian and, ultimately, counterproductive, even harmful. At first, few neoconservatives embraced the label (as late as 1979, Irving Kristol claimed he was the only one to accept the term, “perhaps because, having been named Irving, I am relatively indifferent to baptismal caprice”). But as neoconservatism matured, it did become a distinct approach to domestic politics, one that sought to reign in government excess while pursuing conservative ends within the confines of the welfare state.

In many respects, Barack Obama’s neo-socialism is neoconservatism’s mirror image. Openly committed to ending the Reagan era, Obama is a firm believer in the power of government to extend its scope and grasp far deeper into society. In much the same way that neoconservatives accepted a realistic and limited role for the government, Obama tolerates a limited and realistic role for the market: its wealth is necessary for the continuation and expansion of the welfare state and social justice. While neoconservatism erred on the side of trusting the nongovernmental sphere—mediating institutions like markets, civil society, and the family—neosocialism gives the benefit of the doubt to government. Whereas neoconservatism was inherently skeptical of the ability of social planners to repeal the law of unintended consequences, Obama’s ideal is to leave social policy in their hands and to bemoan the interference of the merely political.

“I would have loved nothing better than to simply come up with some very elegant, academically approved approach to health care, and didn’t have any kinds of legislative fingerprints on it, and just go ahead and have that passed,” he told CBS’s Katie Couric. “But that’s not how it works in our democracy. Unfortunately, what we end up having to do is to do a lot of negotiations with a lot of different people.”

Whereas Ronald Reagan saw the answers to our problems in the private sphere (“in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”), Obama seeks to expand confidence in, and reliance on, government wherever and whenever he can, albeit within the confines of a generally Center-Right nation and the “unfortunate” demands of democracy.
Photo Credit: Looking at the Left, "Dissent is the New Racism in Obama’s Post-Racial America."

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.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Is Obama Really Socialist?

Yes, he is.

From Peter Ferrara, at Forbers, "Is President Obama Really A Socialist? Let's Analyze Obamanomics":

President Obama says that income taxes must be raised on the rich because they don’t pay their fair share. The indisputable facts from official government sources say otherwise.

The CBO reports based on official IRS data that in 2009 the top 1% of income earners paid 39% of all federal income taxes, three times their share of income at 13%. Yet, the middle 20% of income earners, the true middle class, paid just 2.7% of total federal income taxes on net that year, while earning 15% of income. That means the top 1% paid almost 15 times as much in federal income taxes as the entire middle 20%, even though the middle 20% earned more income.

Moreover, the official data, as reported by CBO and the IRS, show that the bottom 40% of income earners, instead of paying some income taxes to support the federal government, were paid cash by the IRS equal to 10% of federal income taxes as a group on net.

Any normal person would say that such an income tax system is more than fair, or maybe that “the rich” pay more than their fair share. So why does President Obama keep saying that the rich do not pay their fair share? Is he ignorant? Wouldn’t somebody in his Administration whisper to him that he is peddling nonsense?

The answer is that to President Obama this is still not fair because he is a Marxist. To a Marxist, the fact that the top 1% earn more income than the bottom 99% is not fair, no matter how they earn it, fairly or not. So it is not fair unless more is taken from the top 1% until they are left only with what they “need,” as in any true communist system. Paying anything less is not their “fair” share. That is the only logical explanation of President Obama’s rhetoric, and it is 100% consistent with his own published background.

Notice that Obama keeps saying that “the rich,” a crass term implying low class social envy, don’t “need” the Bush tax cuts. That is reminiscent of the fundamental Marxist principle, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Good tax policy is not guided by “need.” It is guided by what is needed to establish the incentives to maximize economic growth. The middle class, working people and the poor are benefited far more by economic growth than by redistribution. That is shown by the entire 20th century, where the standard of living of American workers increased by more than 7 times, through sustained, rapid economic growth.

But President Obama’s tax policy of increasing all tax rates on savings and investment will work exactly contrary to such economic growth. It is savings and investment which creates jobs and increases productivity and wages. Under capitalism, capital and labor are complementary, not adversarial, exactly contrary to the misunderstanding of Marxists. More capital investment increases the demand for labor, bidding up wages to the level of worker productivity, which is enhanced by the capital investment.
Continue reading.

FLASHBACK: See Jonah Goldberg, at Commentary in 2010, "What Kind of Socialist Is Barack Obama?" There are a lot of different terms at stake here. Ferrara explicitly places Obama's consistent redistributionism within the Marxian class-struggle paradigm. Goldberg sees Obama more in terms of the stagnant European variety of democratic socialism. Personally my sense is that the only thing holding Obama back from a truly Marxist public-ownership-of-the means-of-production model are the enormous liberty restraints in the American constitutional system and political order. Obama knows this, of course. He knows that the left must chip away at these liberty restraints piecemeal to bring about the socialist utopia. You bore through the institutions over the long haul, and it's working. The monstrous ObamaCare health collectivization is the tip of the iceberg. The November reelection provides the chance for Democrats to consolidate their gains and push FORWARD toward the communist future! More than ever before, it's all about class warfare and raising taxes, and the president barely hides his disdain for the free market anymore. It's really a lot.

PREVIOUSLY: "Ushangi Davitashvili Kisses Bust of Soviet Dictator Josef Stalin."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Barack Obama: Shady Chicago Socialist

You've just got to love partisan politics sometimes. I mean, slinging together the syncopatic adjective-noun combo "Shady Chicago Socialist" to describe Barack Obama is simply the best!

This is what's being portrayed as
the right's emerging smear campaign against Obama in the general election (via Memeorandum):

LEADING Republicans believe they can trounce Barack Obama in the presidential election by tarring him as a shady Chicago socialist. They are increasingly confident that his campaign could collapse by the time their attack machine has finished with him.
Grover Norquist, an influential conservative tax reform lobbyist, said: “Barack Obama has been able to create his own image and introduce himself to voters, but the swing voters in a general election are not paying attention yet. He is open to being defined as a leftwing, corrupt Chicago politician.”

Norquist’s comments will be music to the ears of Hillary Clinton, Obama’s Democratic rival, who believes Obama has not been sufficiently “vetted” for the White House. She has been unable to attack him too vociferously without risking a backlash from Democratic primary voters, but Republicans may salvage her campaign by doing the job for her.

Obama has the voting record of a “hard-left” socialist, according to Norquist, from his time in the Illinois state legislature to the US Senate. He was recently judged by the nonpartisan National Journal to have the most liberal voting record in 2007 of any senator.

“It will be easy to portray him as even harder-left than Hillary,” said Norquist. “Hillary could lose the election, but Obama could collapse. People already know Hillary and she is not popular, but the disadvantage for Obama is that Republicans can teach people who don’t know him who he is.”
Frankly, both Obama and Clinton are way over on the left, but as I've noted, Hillary's ideology is patently malleable, based on her own historical single-minded pursuit of political power.

Of course, Obama indeed's got that aura of unfamiliar ideological savoir faire that opens him up to political packaging by the right.

Jules Crittenden points out:

Did anyone think the right would fold before the second coming of JFMLK?
What's funny about this, as Crittenden notes, is thatObama's second coming as George McGovern's been trumpeted by political progressives, with potential ties to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

When the Democrats start doing the mudslinging dirty work you know November '08 is shaping up as
no left wing slam dunk.

Friday, July 18, 2008

McCain Gets It! Obama "Most Extreme" in Senate

Here's some of the best news indicating the presidential campaign's turned the corner: It turns out that John McCain, speaking at a campaign stop in Kansas City, called out Barack Obama as the most extreme member of the U.S. Senate, further to the left than socialist Bernie Sanders:

The capacity crowd strained at times to hear McCain through the booming echo of the station’s north waiting room. But audience members applauded warmly and repeatedly as McCain riffed on a variety of topics — abortion, immigration reform, education and health care.

He criticized opponent Sen. Barack Obama for his opposition to the surge of troops in Iraq, offshore drilling and expansion of nuclear power.

“I think we should change (Obama’s slogan) to ‘no, we can’t,’ ” McCain told the crowd.

He also said Obama had the “most extreme” record in the Senate.

Asked later if he thought Obama was an extremist, McCain said: “His voting record … is more to the left than the announced socialist in the United States Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont.”

Does McCain think Obama is a socialist? “I don’t know. All I know is his voting record, and that’s what people usually judge their elected representatives by.”

Obama’s campaign, in a statement: “John McCain squandered an opportunity to talk with Missourians about solutions to our economic problems and chose instead to launch the same old tired political attacks that the American people are sick of.”

Before the town hall meeting, McCain met with reporters on his bus — the Straight Talk Express — and said he was skeptical about Obama’s upcoming trip to the Middle East.

“I hope he learns he was wrong when he said that the surge would not work in Iraq … when he set out a timetable (for withdrawal) … and when he said the war was lost.”

He also criticized Obama for not consulting active-duty military leaders more vigorously.

“Failure in Iraq would have had catastrophic consequences in Afghanistan. … He doesn’t understand warfare.”
Geez, McCain's finally getting it on Obama, none too soon either!

See also, "McCain: Obama Might Be a Socialist."

Hat Tip: Ace of Spades HQ

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October Surprise! Documents Detail Obama's Radical Ties

I've written all year on just about every angle of Barack Obama's radical associations, but the latest documentary evidence on the Illinois Senator's ties to the socialist New Party offers a new twist on the secret life of the shady Chicago socialist.

While conservative commentators have long understood Obama's essential oppositionalism to American ideals and institutions, the new information, if played well, could be just the kind of October surprise that can swing the momentum of an election.

Thomas Lifson reports:
Another piece in the puzzle of Barack Obama has been revealed, greatly strengthening the picture of a man groomed by an older generation of radical leftists for insertion into the American political process, trading on good looks, brains, educational pedigree, and the desire of the vast majority of the voting public to right the historical racial wrongs of the land.

The New Party was a radical left organization, established in 1992, to amalgamate far left groups and push the United States into socialism by forcing the Democratic Party to the left. It was an attempt to regroup the forces on the left in a new strategy to take power, burrowing from within. The party only lasted until 1998, when its strategy of "fusion" failed to withstand a Supreme Court ruling. But dissolving the party didn't stop the membership, including Barack Obama, from continuing to move the Democrats leftward with spectacular success.
For the full documentary trail linking Obama to the New Party, see Politically Drunk on Power, "Web Archives Confirm Barack Obama Was Member of Socialist 'New Party' In 1996."

Barack Obama's socialist radicalism is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with key pieces strewn here and there in a systematic campaign of biographical and historical revisionism that continues to this day (last night Obama
sought surreptitiously to portray himself as a pragmatic moderate in his debate with John McCain).

Yet, although some of the most damaging revelations (especially on
Reverend Jeremiah Wright) peaked in significance during the primaries, if these new documents gain traction in the mainstream press, the New Party findings could alarm enough voters already wary of Obama's questionable past to shift the election to the GOP.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Obama Worried About Reelection

The Wall Street Journal reveals the inside dope on O's reelection prospects, not the kind of pessimistic introspection you normally hear from the Democrats.

See, "A More Worried Obama Battles to Win Second Term":

When President Barack Obama emerged from his car in Charlottesville, Va., to address a crowd of 7,000 mostly college kids Wednesday afternoon, he asked longtime friend Valerie Jarrett: "Why am I having a short day?"

Mr. Obama was unhappy there weren't more events for him to make his case for re-election. "There should be no short days," he said.

As Mr. Obama heads to the Democratic National Convention next week, the biggest change from his campaign four years ago is reflected in that complaint. The president is having to work more relentlessly to stay in the White House than he did to get there in the first place, and he knows it.

Mr. Obama arrives in Charlotte, N.C., with polls tightening and the economy far from recovery. When he accepts his party's nomination Thursday, Americans will see a charismatic figure much as they did four years ago, and one who, polls say, is more well-liked personally than is his GOP foe, Mitt Romney.

They will also see a more worried politician, who publicly insists he will win his re-election while privately he concedes he knows he could lose. His job-approval ratings have struggled to cross the magic 50% line. Advisers say he is keenly aware of the tough environment.

"He knows it's his last election," says Ms. Jarrett, who is one of his senior advisers. "He won't look back and think he could have done more."

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says the president faces a tougher election because of a shortage of bipartisan achievements, arguing Mr. Obama backed away from big potential budget and tax deals with Republicans. "He was deeply disappointing," Mr. McConnell said in an interview. "He was not the adult you would expect in the White House.…The president's campaign slogan is, 'It's not my fault.'"

Over his first term, Mr. Obama, 51 years old, has fundamentally shifted his view of modern presidential power, say those who know him well. He is now convinced the most essential part of his job, given politically divided Washington, is rallying public opinion to his side.

As a result, if he wins a second term, Mr. Obama plans to remain in campaign mode. "Barack is grayer, but he's wiser from the battles," says Charles Ogletree, a friend and one of Mr. Obama's professors at Harvard. "This time Barack will use the bully pulpit."

The White House declined a request to interview Mr. Obama.

The president views a second term in some ways as a second chance, an opportunity to approach the office differently, according to close aides. He would like to tackle issues such as climate change, immigration, education and filibuster reform.

He has told some aides that a sizable mistake at the start of his administration was his naiveté in thinking he could work with Republicans on weighty issues. "He's not cynical, because he still gets disappointed," one adviser says. "But he won't make that mistake again."

Still, even some people close to the president acknowledge he missed bridge-building opportunities, given his personal style and aversion to the traditional political niceties that can nurture relationships in D.C. circles.
I love that quote from Mitch McConnnell. And on the president's social graces, the White House admits "The One's" an asshole and snob who couldn't care less about building coalitions, even if it takes work and compromise.

Here's more from WSJ:
The president's team is concerned about the lack of enthusiasm, particularly among young voters and Hispanics—both central to Mr. Obama's strategy. Mr. Obama is trying to energize the Democratic base with tough talk about Mr. Romney and the GOP. He recently launched an effort to rally college students in battleground states.

On Wednesday in Charlottesville, after addressing the crowd, mostly students from the University of Virginia, he went online to, a website popular among young people and the tech cognoscenti, and participated in an "Ask Me Anything" question-and-answer session.

"This is a different Barack Obama at this stage," one senior adviser says. "Last time, he thought Hillary Clinton had been his toughest opponent and that the heavy lifting was behind going into the general election." This time, he "understands that—whether Mitt Romney is the greatest candidate or not—the dynamics in this country make victory a harder prospect."

Mr. Obama arrived at the White House in January 2009 with strong Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and a cache of political capital based on his promise to be a consensus-builder. He netted several big legislative achievements, including an economic-stimulus package and overhauls of financial regulations and health care.

But once in the White House, Mr. Obama struggled to find bipartisan consensus on the tough economic issues he inherited, and strained to maintain the connection he established with voters in 2008. He has had his share of legislative and national-security successes but also a host of battles and losses. In his passage of health-care overhaul, victory came after protracted, messy fights that went all the way to the Supreme Court, and closed-door dealings that hurt his standing with voters.

Republicans leveled the field in the 2010 midterm elections by taking a majority in the House and narrowing Democrats' majority in the Senate. It was clear Mr. Obama had lost some of his connection with voters.

By January 2011 Mr. Obama's advisers were holding focus groups twice a week, a former senior White House official said, and test-driving phrases and policies aimed at resonating with key voting groups.

Mr. Obama is particularly bothered that Republicans and some business leaders have painted him as antibusiness. He argues privately that he hasn't gotten proper appreciation for his work in pulling businesses, particularly the financial sector, out of the recession's ditch. "They say I don't get it, but I'm the one who saved it," Mr. Obama complained to a close ally after the 2010 midterm vote.

John Engler of the Business Roundtable, and former GOP governor of Michigan, said Mr. Obama's efforts to help business have been offset by some policies that have been harmful, citing parts of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul. He said senior administration officials have made substantial efforts to reach out to business in recent years, including a call to him this week about issues like export control. But, he said, "There's been some disconnect on the follow-through."

To underscore their contention that Mr. Obama doesn't understand the private sector, Republicans have seized on a remark the president made in July, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." Obama aides say the line has been taken out of context, as it was made after a reference to government investment in infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
The poor boy.

O's upset that people "misunderstood" his anti-business comment "You didn't build that" --- as if that's the first time he's ever dissed business owners and entrepreneurs. He personally pledged to crush the coal industry and he long ago attacked everyday Americans as bitter clingers.

F-k him.
After failing to achieve a sweeping bipartisan debt deal that summer—and then, watching as a smaller compromise struggled through the Republican House—Mr. Obama's new view of his campaign and presidency emerged, aides say: He decided to focus largely on re-election. David Axelrod, a longtime adviser, recalled Mr. Obama phoning him to say, "From here on out, I have to take my case to the American people."

In a sense, Mr. Obama is doubling down on his well-documented distaste for socializing with lawmakers and nurturing personal relationships with Washington insiders. Allies and foes alike say this tendency may have made his road tougher because he never established a rapport with Republican leaders.

Mr. Obama, for instance, rarely opens up his golf foursome to anyone outside his close friends and aides, and hasn't hosted members of Congress at Camp David. Both are tools that previous presidents used to mix business and pleasure. Mr. Obama, in contrast, prefers to spend social time with family and close friends.

His aides say that socializing with Republicans would have made no difference anyway, given their intent on unseating him. During his first year, Mr. Obama held occasional Wednesday-night receptions for members of Congress. "But he stopped those niceties because they didn't make a difference when Republicans' only goal was defeating him," an adviser says.
What total buttfreak asshole.

And don't miss the Los Angeles Times, "Obama faces deep division":
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It was the promise that first brought Barack Obama to national attention, and the one that his presidency has most conspicuously been unable to fulfill — the hope of national unity.

"There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America," Obama, then a candidate for the U.S. Senate and relatively unknown outside Illinois, declared in his keynote speech to the Democratic convention in 2004.

That speech — and the image it created of a political leader with potential to reach across partisan bounds — formed the springboard that helped Obama make the improbable leap from freshman senator to the Oval Office just four years later. Against the backdrop of deep partisan division during George W. Bush's presidency, many voters saw a potential healer in the young, biracial candidate who had spent limited time as a member of the deeply unpopular Washington political elite.

Today, as he prepares to accept his party's nomination for a second term, 3 1/2 years in office have ground away much of that nonpartisan aura, leaving behind a deeply polarized view of the nation's 44th president.

Many Republicans denounce Obama as a "socialist." They express fears that he seeks to radically transform the country. Polls repeatedly have shown Republican voters expressing pessimism about the country's future and worrying that the U.S. has been set on a path toward decline.

At the same time, despite complaints from the left about issues as diverse as the war in Afghanistan, which he has pursued, and efforts to cap greenhouse gases, which he has not, Obama has retained strong support within his own party.

As measured by Gallup, his job approval during most of his tenure among members of his own party has surpassed that of any Democratic president since John F. Kennedy.

The partisan gap in views of Obama is among the largest in modern history, only exceeded — and then just barely — by the division over Bush.

Republicans have sought to exploit a shift in Obama's public image. His rival, Mitt Romney, seldom lets a speech go by without criticizing Obama as a "divider."

Ironically, however, if Obama wins a second term, a shift toward greater partisanship that began a year ago may well prove the single most important reason why — the key to his recovery from near-collapse last summer.

Obama portrays his failure to bridge the partisan gap as among his biggest frustrations in office.

"I haven't been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people — Democrats, Republicans and independents — who I think just want to see their leadership solve problems," he said earlier this summer in an interview with CBS correspondent Charlie Rose. "And, you know, there's enough blame to go around for that.

"I think there is no doubt that I underestimated the degree to which in this town politics trumps problem-solving," Obama added.
Yeah, ain't that rich, coming from the Blamer-in-Chief.

What a dick.

The election is tighter than a witch's nipple, despite all the talk about how Obama leads in the swing states, blah, blah.

More on that here: "Ohio Is Ultimate Battleground State."