I was right. Obama wants an election year fight over the Supreme Court.

February 14, 2016
"And you're surprised?"

“And you’re surprised?”

Do I know my community-organizer presidents, or what?

Responding to the untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama declared that he will nominate a successor, breaking a nearly 100-year tradition. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican presidential candidates have encouraged him to wait for the next president, who will be elected this November.

“I plan to fulfill one of my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor, in due time,” Obama declared in a statement Saturday evening. “There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.” Obama emphasized, “These are responsibilities that I take seriously and so should everyone— they are bigger than any one party, they are about our democracy.”

No lame duck president has nominated a Supreme Court justice in an election year for eighty years, a fact which both Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz mentioned in the Republican presidential debate Saturday evening.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) said that “it’s been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year.”

And there’s good reason for that: the Supreme Court, which, since the New Deal, has effectively served as a 2nd, unelected legislature, makes decisions crucial to the  daily lives of Americans on highly controversial matters. Whether the next president is a conservative Republican, a crooked cronyist progressive Democrat, or a Socialist running as a Democrat, it’s been the tradition to not make appointments during a presidential election year because there are so many issues are at stake that people feel passionately about. It behooves us to wait until the election gauges the national mood to see which direction the people, through their choice of president and senators, want the Court to go. It also avoids adding yet another inevitably politicized argument to an already contentious election.

Some writers looked at this tradition and speculated that Obama would honor it and let the Court operate with eight justices until the new president could make a choice. I’m not sure why they would think that, since Barack Obama —mentored by a Stalinist in Hawaii as a boy, a committed Marxist-Leninist as an undergraduate, and a devotee of Saul Alinsky as a community organizer– has never show any understanding or respect for American traditions.

On the contrary, I speculated yesterday that Obama would use this opportunity to pick a fight:

…and…

…followed by…

While we don’t know Obama’s choice yet (1), his statement makes me think I’m more likely right than not. Consider:

Obama’s first job out of college was as a community organizer, the profession invented by Saul Alinsky, the Socialist whose main motivation was the taking of power and who developed the tactics used by community organizers to this day — including Obama. Consider Alinsky’s Rule 12:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The community organizer wins by dividing groups, setting them against each other so that his side is ready to take action while the other is reeling. Compromise, other than a faux-compromise that gives the Alinskyist what he wants, becomes impossible because the community organizer does not want a compromise.

He wants power.

It is my belief that President Obama will choose someone wholly unacceptable to the Senate majority, but around whom he can rally his side and polarize the issue, painting the Republicans as obstructionists and even racists or sexists (or both). Someone such as California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, a very left-leaning Asian-American jurist who’s already been rejected for the federal bench by the Senate. Or Tom Perez, the Hispanic Secretary of Labor who, as an Assistant Attorney General under Eric Holder, helped push the Civil Rights Division far to the left.

The Senate would rightfully reject either man (2), and then Obama would exploit this to rally his side in the November election, with the media as his willing flacks. The news articles and network broadcasts and campaign commercials (but I repeat myself) write themselves. It wouldn’t be about judicial philosophy or the nominee’s record; instead, Obama and his allies would strongly imply that the Republicans are derelict in their duty, keeping the Court from doing it’s job, probably from racist motives.

It would be horse manure, but it would still do damage to the Republicans, who’ve shown themselves to be utterly inept at fighting back.

Obama wants this fight. He’s picked his target (Senate Republicans); he’ll freeze them, trapping them with their own words about “up or down votes;” he’ll personalize it (“They’re doing this because I’m Black.”); and he will polarize the issue to get his side fired up for the election. Getting his choice for Justice would be gravy.

Get ready for a wild ride.

Footnote:
1) Can you say “Mr. Justice Eric Holder?”
2) I’m not convinced Obama would be all that unhappy to see his choice lose, for reasons I explain above.

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Man, I wish I had bought firearms stocks in 2007

January 3, 2016
"It's all good. No worries!"

“America’s Number One Gun Salesman”

Because Obama would have made me a millionaire by now. Check this headline at PJMedia:

“Obama Urges Citizens to Stand Up Against the National Rifle Association”

It seems the Gun Salesman-in-Chief has come back from his vacation bound and determined to do by “executive action” (read: constitutionally questionable orders) what he cannot get through Congress: further restrictions on the natural right of Americans to keep and bear arms for self-defense. As usual with him and his allies, he set the NRA up as a straw-man:

In the address, Obama went on to urge citizens to stand up against the groups like the National Rifle Association, with which he has had a contentious relationship since entering office.

“The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone,” he said. “The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in defense of our kids.”

Of course, Obama has had that “contentious relationship” because he continues to attack the very rights the NRA was established to protect. It would be noteworthy if the relationship were amicable.

Naturally, Obama left many things unsaid in his address. First, absolutely none of the terrible massacres that have taken place in recent years would have been prevented by anything Obama and the gun-control lobby are proposing. Not Sandy Hook, not Virginia Tech, not Charleston, and not San Bernardino. In the case of San Bernardino, the killers were Muslims waging jihad, one of whom was utterly missed by the Obama administration’s vaunted screening system as she entered the country. California’s notoriously strict gun laws did nothing to stop her and her husband from acquiring their weapons. More laws won’t stop the next mass murders, either.

But that really isn’t the point of what Obama and the gun-control lobby are trying to do, or, at least, “for the children” is more a political club with which to pound Second Amendment advocates than it is an actual goal. If it were a real goal, he’d mention the horrific homicide rate in Democrat-controlled Chicago, again with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

That, however, would be politically inconvenient.

What Obama and his allies really want is control and a monopoly on deadly force for the State. Push hard enough, and they’ll say that what they have in mind for “reasonable regulations” is “something like Australia.” And there’s your clue: Australia’s response to the massacre in Tasmania was confiscation of most firearms via a mandatory buyback program. That is what Obama wants.

To do so, he uses the tried and true tactic of his community-organizing training as developed by Saul Alinsky:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The target to “personalize” is the NRA — “The NRA keeps our kids in danger!” And though he hasn’t attacked individuals (yet), he has by extension smeared the membership of the NRA, American citizens one and all.

That’s what a community organizer does: organize one faction and set them against others to achieve his goals.

And that is apparently what the president of the United States plans to do over the next year.

To us.

 


Sunday Book Review: Radical in Chief

November 28, 2010

One of the salient features of the 2008 presidential campaign was the obscured background of the Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama. While the basic facts were known (Born in Hawaii, lived in Indonesia, graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, community organizer and state senator in Illinois), certain areas were kept hidden from the public: his school records at Columbia and Harvard, and his state senatorial papers, for example. Thanks to a compliant press more interested in Sarah Palin’s tanning bed than the character and beliefs of a man who might (and did) become president, by Election Day in 2008 we knew little about what Barack Obama believed and what experiences shaped him. While a few researchers raised troubling questions, we instead were left with the image his campaign and media allies projected and protected: a post-partisan liberal pragmatist.

According to journalist Stanley Kurtz in his new book, Radical in Chief: Barack Obama and the untold story of American Socialism, it was all a deception, a lie to conceal the truth: that President Obama is and has always been a committed Socialist.

To tell this story, Kurtz also has to take us through recent history of the American Socialist movement itself, from the crack-up of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the late 1960s through the ideological struggles between the radical Weathermen and NAM factions, on the one hand, and the Democratic-Socialist groups that sought incremental change. The former advocated direct action and confrontations leading to revolution based on an alliance of radicalized Blacks supported by Socialist activists and an “awakened” middle class. The latter felt the United States was not in a pre-revolutionary state (the failure of the government to collapse after Nixon’s resignation stunned many SDSers), and that the best way to advance Socialism was to work through organized community groups (sound familiar?) and sympathetic politicians to pressure corporations from below and above. Changes would be gradual and would involve both creating entitlements that would be hard to take away, and “non-reforming reforms,” that would purport to fix a problem while actually making it worse and, eventually, precipitating a crisis that would make the American people open to Socialist solutions. The infamous Cloward-Piven strategy is one example.

It is this latter faction that became dominant and in which, according to Kurtz, Barack Obama found a home.

Kurtz traces two threads that converge in Chicago: the rise of Socialist-dominated community organizations and Barack Obama’s intellectual awakening as a community organizer that lead him from New York to Chicago. The former covers community organizing’s origins as a largely Socialist profession and takes us through both well-known groups, such as ACORN, and more obscure (outside of the Socialist community) ones, such as the Midwest Academy and UNO of Chicago. We encounter Socialist activists who are nearly household words these days -Bill Ayers, for example- and others who are influential behind the scenes, such as Greg Galluzzo, Harry Boyte, and Heather Booth. All of these and more became part of Obama’s network as a community organizer and a rising politician. He benefited from their connections, and they later benefited from the money and influence he could funnel their way as a board member on several foundations and as a state senator.

The other thread traces Obama’s intellectual development. Kurtz touches on his teenage association with Communist Party member Frank Davis in Hawaii and his open Marxism-Leninism at Occidental College, but focuses on his introduction to the combination of Socialism and community organizing at the two or three Socialist Scholars Conferences he attended while a student at Columbia University, and on his exposure tothe Black Liberation Theology developed by James Cone, which lead him to… Chicago and Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

As Kurtz shows us this complicated and tightly-woven tapestry, he wants us to bear two things in mind: first, that the strategy of the modern incrementalist Socialists has been to disguise their Socialism (except among themselves), knowing that most Americans would reject doctrinaire Socialism if offered openly. Instead, it is clothed in terms of pragmatism and community and American values to make the program palatable to more people, only revealing the Socialist goals behind the community organization’s plans to a dedicated few. Second, that Barack Obama himself adopted this deceptive strategy to disguise his own Socialist leanings as he presented himself to the targets of his organizing efforts and then the voters.

Along the way, Kurtz examines the controversies that arose during Obama’s campaign -the associations with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, his service on the boards of the Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Project, and his membership in the ACORN-controlled New Party- to see what the truth was. In each case, Kurtz concludes, either by direct documentation or strong deduction, that Barack Obama and his allies have at best been misleading or have flatly lied about these and other issues. He also shows that, had the mainstream media even done a modicum of genuine investigative work, much of this could have been uncovered, likely derailing Obama’s presidential aspirations.

In the end, Kurtz seeks to answer two questions: Is President Barack Obama a Socialist, and, now that he is in office, does his past matter? He answers both in the affirmative. Kurtz argues, and I agree, that the weight of the evidence shows that Barack Obama was not only a committed Democratic-Socialist in his early life, but that there is no evidence he ever changed his beliefs, either as a state senator or as president. Indeed, Kurtz uses the example of the supposed craziness of pushing ObamaCare in the face of terrific opposition and at great cost to the Democratic Party to show Obama following the strategies of an Alinskyite community organizer, willing to take a short-term setback to get a long-term, irreversible change. Instead of crazy, Kurtz says, Obama may be crazy like a fox.

Regarding his second question, Obama’s past matters now because, as the President and his allies have gone to such lengths to hide these Socialist values, it is only through studying his days in New York and Chicago that we form a clear idea of the path on which he wants to take America as its president. Should he run for reelection, they will again try to present him as a pragmatic problem-solver seeking to bring people together for common solutions. (This time, one expects, they’ll be greeted with guffaws.) It is up to us, since the major media will hardly help, to bear in mind the truth of Obama’s past to see through the moderate-liberal haze and focus clearly on the Democratic-Socialist reality.

Radical in Chief: Barack Obama and the untold story of American Socialism is an excellent book that should be on the short list for all those interested in modern American politics and the direction of the nation. Stanley Kurtz takes the complex stories of man and movement and, through extensive research and with meticulous footnoting, presents them in a clear, compelling fashion that makes a strong case.

Highly recommended.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama’s godfather?

October 2, 2009

Was community organizing as practiced by ACORN (and their trainer, Barack Obama) born on the prairies of North Dakota during World War One?

Gee, if the flax crop had been good in 1915, would the future (and our present) have been different?