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Jewish World Review
Oct. 29, 2008
/ 30 Tishrei 5769
Is Obama secretly sensible? Don't bet on it
As Obama's election has seemed to become more likely in the past six weeks, a quiet but public debate has arisen among both Republicans and Democrats that wonders which Obama we might get. Will it be the prudent, moderate, pragmatic, sensible president who will apply non-ideological, centrist policies? Or will it be the Obama who sought out the company of radicals, black racists, faculty-lounge Marxists and studied the methods of Saul Alinsky?
Many hope that it is the sensible centrist who will emerge even though it has been his style and cautiously evasive comments, rather than his substance, that have sounded so reasonable and calm. It is that moderate tone that has led some recent Republican Obama supporters to hope that he is just lying about his views and is secretly "sensible." Although they do hope he told the truth when he said during the primary that his call for the unilateral rewriting of the North American Free Trade Agreement was merely rhetorical flourish on his part.
But of course, throughout history when dangerous, radical men have offered themselves up for leadership, their moderate supporters have rationalized their early support by hoping that the dangerous man is really a sensible man like them and doesn't believe some of those wild things he has said to his more fervent followers.
But as the campaign clock ticks down to its last days and hours, prudent people have to consider the possibility that beneath that easy manner and calming voice is the pulsating heart of a genuine man of the radical left.
For example, according to Ryan Lizza of the liberal New Republic, Obama's early mentor in the Alinsky method of social agitation was Mike Kruglik, whom Lizza paraphrased as saying: "(Obama) was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."
As Kyle-Anne Shiver in the American Thinker explained after quoting those words: "The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the 'realization' that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve , and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent 'self-interest' in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.
"In these methods, euphemistically labeled 'community organizing,' Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere."
And now we have Obama's genuinely shocking words from a 2001 National Public Radio interview: "But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties.
And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, 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.
The Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day.
The Framers had that same blind spot
the fundamental flaw of this country."
Now, just as the left often baselessly throws around the word "racist," the right is often extravagant with its charge of Marxism. But those accurate, in context words of Obama must raise in the mind of any reasonable person the suspicion that Obama's heart and soul is dangerously close if not fully seized of a Marxist (or perhaps Marxist Christian liberation theology) view of human and economic relations.
Consider that these words came from a man who has urged his followers to "get in the face" of his opponents and has exalted recently in an uncharacteristic moment of lack of restraint that he has "a righteous wind" at his back. That is a revealing word, righteous. It suggests that a person's actions have been "judged" or "reckoned" as leading a life that is pleasing to G-d. A verse in the Bible's book of Psalms speaks of one being shielded by G-d and receiving favor because of righteousness.
We live in dangerous days. The world economy teeters on the edge of the abyss. The exiting American president is a failed thing. An envious world smells a momentarily vulnerable America. The political beneficiary of Republican failure believes our Constitution is fatally flawed. He may be a committed Marxist. And if he held the presidency for four years, it would be the longest stretch that he ever held a full-time job. God save the republic.
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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, Creators Syndicate