Monday, September 29, 2008

Obama's Leftism

This is an article by Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Here are some highlights:

Obama’s voting record: “In 2007, according to the National Journal, Obama’s voting record made him ‘the most liberal Senator.’ Throughout his Senate career, according to Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), the dean of liberal advocacy groups, Obama voted ‘right’ 90 percent of the time. Actually this is misleading, since ADA counts an absence as if it were a vote on the ‘wrong’ side. If we discount his absences, Obama voted to ADA’s approval more than 98 percent of the time.”

Obama’s High-school Mentor: “Late in high-school career he found a mentor of sorts in Frank Marshall Davis, an older black poet. According to Herbert Romerstein, former minority chief investigator of the House Committee on Internal Security, FBI files reveal Davis to have been a member of the Communist party not only in its public phase but also when it officially dissolved and went underground in the 1950’s.

Obama’s college choices: “[t]o avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.”

Obama’s Community Organizer job: “Thanks to a grant from a left-wing foundation, he was hired by a small group of white protégés of Saul Alinsky, the original apostle of ‘community organizing.’ Alinsky’s institutional base was the Industrial Areas Foundation, which he called a ‘school for professional radicals’ and whose goal he announced to be ‘revolution, not revelation.’ As Obama himself would put it, there were ‘two roles that an organizer was supposed to play . . . getting the Stop sign [and] the educative function. At some point you have to link up winning that Stop sign . . . with the larger trends, larger movements.’ In other words, ‘community organizer,’ to Obama and his colleagues and mentors, was a euphemism for professional radical.”

Obama influenced by Black Liberation Theology: The Reverend Jeremiah Wright was Obama’s pastor for 17 years. Wright lists only one theologian as being an influence on his vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ, Dr. James Cone, specifically Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.” [I looked into Cone a bit in the past and found a Q&A interview most informative: ] Muravchik writes, “Twenty years later, when it was revealed that Wright’s church had honored Louis Farrakhan, that Wright had traveled with Farrakhan to visit the Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, and that in his sermons, Wright had beseeched God to ‘damn America,’ charged the U.S. government with inventing the AIDS virus in order to kill black people, and claimed that Israel an South Africa had colluded to invent an ‘ethnic bomb’ to kill blacks and Arabs while leaving whites unharmed – when all this was revealed, Obama, under pressure from the Hillary Clinton campaign, declared himself ‘shocked’ at Wright’s vitriol. But in truth not only was he aware of Wright’s views, they were what had drawn him to Trinity church in the first place.”

Obama’s association with Ayers: “Thanks to the meticulous investigations of the Left-leaning blogger Steven Diamond (, the story of Obama and Ayers’s collaboration has been seeping into the public record despite extraordinary efforts to seal it.”

COMMENT: Obama’s background, education, job, and Senatorial voting record, and known associates are all indicative of a committed Leftist. And yet his recent speeches give little indication of Leftism. Perhaps that has inspired Muravchik to write in his penultimate paragraph, “On the other hand, it is not unimaginable that he may rise to the challenge of the office and govern from the center, as he will have to do to succeed. . . .” Well, to be sure. If despite our voting against him, he is elected, that is all we have left to hope.

Lawrence Helm

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