Obama's radical pals (and other presidential links)

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A selection of links and excerpts:

CBS News gives Obama-TV a reality check:

Without question, the Barack Obama infomercial served as a very slick and powerful recitation of the biggest promises he's made as a presidential candidate. But the very bigness of his ideas is the problem: he seems blind to the concept his numbers don't add up.

Palestra's coverage of voter fraud in Ohio and the out-of-state Obama campaign workers who have registered and voted in that state. Two college women are doing the reporting the mainstream media can't be bothered to do.

Los Angeles Times still won't release the videotape of Obama speaking at the 2003 farewell dinner for his longtime friend, Palestinian terrorism apologist Rashid Khalidi. A Times spokesman says releasing the tape might put the source in jeopardy. If the tape poses enough of a threat to someone that he might retaliate against the tape's source, all the more reason we need to see it before election day.

Martin Kramer explains why Obama's connection to Khalidi matters:

Obama and Khalidi (and their wives) became friends in the 1990s, when Obama began to teach at the University of Chicago, where Khalidi also taught. In 2003, Khalidi accepted the Edward Said Professorship of Arab Studies at Columbia; the videotaped event was his Chicago farewell party. The Los Angeles Times, which refuses to release the tape (and which endorsed Obama on October 19) reported last spring that Obama praised Khalidi's "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases." Other speakers reportedly said incendiary things against Israel. Whether or how Obama reacted, only the videotape might tell.

That Obama spoke on this important occasion suggests that his attachment to Khalidi wasn't a superficial acquaintance. As Obama admits, the two had many "conversations" over dinner at the Khalidis' home, and these may well have constituted Obama's primer on the Middle East. Yet Obama has given no account of these conversations, even as he has repeatedly emphasized other ones which would seem far less significant.

A commenter on the Crunchy Con blog, a Univ. of Chicago student during Obama' time there as a professor, defends the Marxist label for Obama:

I never took Prof. Obama's classes, but I had both friends who did and friends who were tuned in to the reputation/scholarship/ideology of the various professors much better than I was. When he was running for Senate, one of my most thoughtful friends told me, without a hint of irony, that Obama was essentially a socialist; another friend, a rather liberal Jew, actually volunteered for the Ryan campaign (till it imploded) because what he could gather of Obama's position on Israel at the time scared the hell out of him....

I have no doubt that Obama is a man of personal integrity, at least as politicians go, and I have no desire to besmirch his character. But his associations, his instincts, and his positions on the issues (at least until he positioned himself for national office) mark him as the most left-wing major-party presidential candidate perhaps in American history. There's just no getting round that fact.

Stanley Kurtz continues his careful, scholarly investigation into Obama's political history with Obama's membership in and endorsement by the socialist New Party:

The New Party had members, and Barack Obama was one of them. That is what contemporaneous documents tell us, and that is the reasonable inference to be made from the requirement that endorsed candidates sign a contract of party support. We know that Obama was a close ally, supporter, and even funder of key New Party figures....

All of this matters, not because of some simplistic associational "gotcha," but because Obama's still somewhat mysterious ideology, as revealed in that 2001 radio interview, is greatly illuminated by his New Party ties. The New Party advocated gradual, but radical economic change, arguably socialist, but in any case heavily redistributive, all swathed in the soothing vocabulary of traditional American democracy, and grounded in the hope that the reach of groups like ACORN could one day be multiplied many times over. This, I'd wager, is what Barack Obama believed when he was endorsed by the New Party in 1996, what he believed when he spoke of "major redistributive change" on the radio in 2001, and what he hopes to accomplish (over time) should he become president of the United States in 2009.

Bill Sammon points to Obama's autobiographical accounts of seeking out radical leftist friends and associates:

But Obama himself acknowledges that he was drawn to socialists and even Marxists as a college student. He continued to associate with Marxists later in life, even choosing to launch his political career in the living room of a self-described Marxist, William Ayers, in 1995, when Obama was 34....

Obama supporters point out that plenty of Americans flirt with radical ideologies in college, only to join the political mainstream later in life. But Obama, who made a point of noting how "carefully" he chose his friends in college, also chose to launch his political career in the Chicago living room of Ayers, a domestic terrorist who in 2002 proclaimed: "I am a Marxist."

Also present at that meeting was Ayers' wife, fellow terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, who once gave a speech extolling socialism, communism and "Marxism-Leninism."

Kyle-Anne Shiver at American Thinker reminds us what's so alluring -- and so dangerous -- about socialism (hat tip to Tyson Wynn):

A great many Americans -- perhaps even a majority -- seem poised to hand over vast amounts of their hard-earned money and their hard-won liberties to the promised "collective redemption" being offered by Barack Obama and his socialist band of "progressives" in Congress. With the votes of nanny-state supporters from all classes among us, their utopian dreams will be put to the test on our own ground and the reach of our federal government will be expanded drastically according to their plans....

One of the simplest realities of life is that the person who pays the bill is the one who makes the decisions. When that person is you, you decide. When the payer is a state collective, the collective decides. And you obey....

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.

Shiver includes this brilliant quote from C. S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Michael Spencer considers his options in the voting booth:

As an evangelical, I'm interested in a lot of issues. But I also want someone who will simply run the country as a conservative with conservative principles.

I just don't buy John McCain as a conservative. I don't trust him to run his presidency from conservative principles.

So is Obama so bad, so potentially radical, so secretly corrupt, so inexperienced and so ambitious that I should vote for McCain anyway?

Maybe. The Chosen One frightens me. All the signals I look for are deeply negative. I don't see personal integrity. I hear manipulative rhetoric. I hear a lot of lies about personal associations. I see little respect for individualism. I hear a lot of serious flirtation with socialism and Marxism. I hear rookie arrogance on foreign policy. I hear promises we can't afford and a complete dedication to the use of racial politics to accumulate and use power. I feel a distressing lack of seriousness about the presidency and nothing that impresses me as statesmanship.

I see charisma, intellect, opportunism, a lack of candor and a vast ocean of manipulative rhetoric.

Finally, long-time newspaperman Michael Malone is trying to understand why so many of his colleagues are so obviously "in the tank" for Obama. He concludes with a fascinating but plausible theory. He looks not to the reporters, but to the editors, who may think they have found a way to keep their jobs in the face of their industry's decline:

Picture yourself in your 50s in a job where you've spent 30 years working your way to the top, to the cockpit of power ... only to discover that you're presiding over a dying industry. The Internet and alternative media are stealing your readers, your advertisers and your top young talent. Many of your peers shrewdly took golden parachutes and disappeared. Your job doesn't have anywhere near the power and influence it did when your started your climb. The Newspaper Guild is too weak to protect you any more, and there is a very good chance you'll lose your job before you cross that finish line, 10 years hence, of retirement and a pension....

With luck, this monolithic, single-party government will crush the alternative media via a revived fairness doctrine, re-invigorate unions by getting rid of secret votes, and just maybe be beholden to people like you in the traditional media for getting it there.

And besides, you tell yourself, it's all for the good of the country ...

(Via Pretty Numbers.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 30, 2008 11:57 PM.

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