June 3, 2008

"Barack Obama sought the New Party's endorsement knowing it was a radical left organization."

This is a RedState blog post — via Instapundit — that interested me tremendously not just because my biggest question about Barack Obama is whether he's a left winger — or a thoughtful, practical man who will do what makes sense — but also because the New Party was the brainchild of my colleague and neighbor Joel Rogers. More here.

32 comments:

JSF said...

Ahhh...Utopias are only for the Left. In the Constitution there is a line, "the Pursuit of happiness," It does not mean we all achieve happiness (especially through Government intervention), but as Americans, we can pursue it.

These "Utopian" orginizations, which folks like Trumpit and Feder think are fine, believe Governemtn should make us all the same.

MadisonMan said...

I get a distinctly McCarthyist vibe from that RWNH post (I'm not sure where the Red State part is coming from). I think I've injected same into my Hagee/McCain comments in the past. Obama sought support from other Americans. This is news?

I'll say something radical and proclaim that currying favor from people who will vote for you is what politicians do. Politicians won't necessarily bend to the will of people from whom they curry favor unless it will further their career.

P.S.: I debated coming over and saying Hi while getting coffee this morning, but diffidence got the better of me.

P. Rich said...

Where to begin...

From the link: "The New Party was designed as a loose confederation of unions, socialists, communists, and black activists..."

Sounds like the usual day on the campus green at UW-Madison.

Then we are left (no pun intended) to puzzle over AA's punctuation in: "...my biggest question about Barack Obama is whether he's a left winger — or a thoughtful, practical man who will do what makes sense - ..." as though leftists are thoughtful and practical etc. which, history teaches us, is anytyhing but accurate.

Of course Obama is a far-leftist. How much more proof is necessary? Visit his website. Look at his core supporters. Sort through the unctuous rhetoric and analyze his views. And while you are at it, Althouse, please try to grasp the fundamental difference between ruthlessly self-serving and practical.

Freder Frederson said...

So, Obama sought the endorsement of a socialist party for his state senate run. Gasp.

A good portion of the Republican party is in the thrall of the far right. Have you ever listened to Grover Norquist? And what the NP is advocating is no more radical than the libertarin utopia that the folks over at Volokh, or even that Federal Judge in Chicago, Richard Posner, advocate.

My God, Ron Paul ran in the Republican primaries for president and was taken a lot more seriously than Dennis Kucinich (the true hardcore leftist--who would still only be center left in Europe)

George said...

If you tried, you couldn't create a fictional character as wacky as Sen. Obama. The broken homes with their Asian and African Muslim fathers and atheist mother. The Hawaiian deli meat locker drug use. The fictionalized autobiography. The preposterous preachers. The terrorist fundraisers. The shady Arab financier felon neighbor. The angry scary Jackie O wife. The commie rock band warm-up act. The daffy rhetoric (We are the ones we've been waiting for.)

But comedy aside...

Imagine a state legislator who did little or nothing during his first six years, because the other party controlled the state house. Then, when his party took over, the grizzled majority leader saw that the kid was a comer. He took bills away from legislators who'd been nursing them for years and gave them to the kid.

Why?

Because he saw the kid as someone the machine could control. He would be beholden to hard-bitten father figures like himself and do what he's told to do.

The kid's never bloodied his knuckles, but he talks a great game. Charisma.

Here's the story by the guy who covered him back when.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"[M]y biggest question about Barack Obama is whether he's a left winger -- or a thoughtful, practical man who will do what makes sense...."

Ann, surely this is a false dichotomy. If Obama is a left winger who will execute liberal solutions to such issues as liberals perceive to be problems, one would expect him to take that position precisely because he is (or believes himself to be) a "thoughtful, practical man" who believes that those solutions "make sense." Who on Earth supports policies that they don't think make sense? Who thinks that their political views are "impractical"? Even communists - who support a worldview that is utterly impractical and that makes no sense at all - believe that their views pass the test you mention.

Even pragmatism is grounded in ideological predisposition. One can't escape the problem of worldview by shifting it into the subconscious, and if anything, in selecting politicians, isn't it ill-advised - perhaps even dangerous - to lionize ignorance of one's motivations?

Ann Althouse said...

"I debated coming over and saying Hi while getting coffee this morning, but diffidence got the better of me."

Hey! You should have!

Ann Althouse said...

Simon, I thought about that, but I used "makes sense" objectively (or subjectively from my point of view). And basically I make a distinction between a moderate pragmatic sort of person (my preference) and an ideologue. I know that to himself the ideologue makes sense, but that's not what I mean.

Simon said...

JSF, that's, uh, from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

MadisonMan said...
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MadisonMan said...

..and I was wearing long pants!

William said...

I got the sense from this article that a large part of Obama's community organizing consisted of organizing the community to help him get elected.

P. Rich said...

So, Althouse, there is a question in your mind about whether or not Obama is moderate? How funny is that. You need to stop ingesting those dangerous brain-altering chemicals specially bottled for liberals by liberals.

Hoosier Daddy said...

My God, Ron Paul ran in the Republican primaries for president and was taken a lot more seriously than Dennis Kucinich

You're kidding. Taken seriously by whom? Ron Paul had about as much chance of being nominated much less winning the presidency as my cat.

See, many people see socialism and how well its worked out and wonder why in God's name anyone wants to hitch their wagon to something that has consistently been proven a failure.

Trumpit said...

...my biggest question about Barack Obama is whether he's a left winger — or a thoughtful, practical man who will do what makes sense...

The implication of your statement is that left-wingers are unthinking, impractical people, who do things that don't make any sense. I resent that remark - it makes no sense, and shows a lack of thought.

bill said...

colleague and neighbor, but not...you know...friend? Looking at it like that, it sounds accusatory. It shouldn't. I'm surrounded by a couple coworkers the most familiar of whom I'd refer to as colleagues. So I withdraw my ellipses...and deed them to reader_iam (she puts them to better use than I do).

MTfromCC said...

It is so wearying reading this kind of superficial crap over and over and over. It is pretty apparent who Obama is, what he stands for, and what his political leanings are. If some latter day McCarthyism catches your attention and makes you think, seriously, about what he stands for, then the issue may be the strength and resilience of your intellectual honesty, not some genuine question about what it means to seek the support of a particular political group 10 or 15 years ago in a completely different context.

McCain is one of the original Keating 5, and has a long history of working with lobbyistts, raising lobbyist funding, acting as a proxy for big business, and saying that he is for reform while acting in ways that seem overtly corrupt and anti-reformist. We read almost nothing about that in the press, but we do rerad a toon of obsessing over whether Obama is a left wing radical based on some left wing group whose support he sought in a state legislative election over a decade ago. Once again, superficiality triumphs over substance. Sigh.

Ann Althouse said...

"rerad a toon"

Put Daffy back in the X-ray machine.

former law student said...

I had read the second link, so I eagerly clicked on the first link to read about Obama's Marxist ties. Alas, it was all horsepoop and no pony. Only someone to the right of Phyllis Schlafly would think the shadow of the hammer and sickle fell across this program:

* full employment
* a shorter work week
* a guaranteed minimum income for all adults and a universal “social wage”
* full public financing of elections with universal voter registration
* “the democratization of banking and financial systems”, which included public control and regulation of banking
* a more progressive tax system
* reductions in military spending and an end to unilateral military interventions.

These are all traditional Progressive Democratic positions, held by sincere people who disliked Bill's wrenching the country to a rightwing paradise of ending welfare while shipping high-paying manufacturing jobs to Mexico. (For her part, his Goldwater Girl wife successfully pushed a plan to speed up the time before children could be permanently taken away from their parents, even if they became fit parents later.) If a Democrat has to run as a Republican to get elected, what's the point of having a two-party system?

Further, the level of our national discourse would be much improved if people to the right of say, Colin Powell, would learn what socialism, communism, Marxism, etc. really mean (perhaps they could take Polisci 101 at their local community college?), instead of tagging everything they don't like with scary boogeyman labels.

Michael_H said...

"From the link: "The New Party was designed as a loose confederation of unions, socialists, communists, and black activists..."

Sounds like the usual day on the campus green at UW-Madison."

Nah. The Socialists would be booted out because they are too conservative.

Pogo said...

...learn what socialism, communism, Marxism, etc. really mean

That is, that they are all sides of the same moronic utopian coin.

Pogo said...

I mean, I know someone can point out to me the fine grades of syndicalism versus democratic socialism, like some Star Trek fan detailing the differences between STNG and other seasons, but it's all still the same stinking bullshit and it all fails wherever it's put into practice.

It's called "something for nothing", a political perpetual motion machine, a sociological unicorn, a claim you can turn base humans into golden angels.

Bullshit.

Freder Frederson said...

See, many people see socialism and how well its worked out and wonder why in God's name anyone wants to hitch their wagon to something that has consistently been proven a failure.

It appears the NP is just your basic Socialist Democrat in the mold of the political left of most of Western Europe. Far from these "consistently been proven a failure", in the years after WWII the social democracies of Western Europe recovered from the war and produced some of the most prosperous (and egalitarian) societies in the history of mankind.

Have you ever been to Sweden, Finland, Norway, or Denmark (or even Belgium, Germany or France)? What about those societies is so horrible that it constitutes a "failure"?

Simon's other hero, Hayek, was one hundred percent wrong about the "Road to Serfdom".

Yes Simon, I read the book. It is amazing you can so admire a man who was so wrong about, well, everything. It is embarassing to read his dire warnings and then see how Western Europe, and even the U.S., which ignored his warnings, turned out just fine.

Pogo said...

Hayek, was one hundred percent wrong about the "Road to Serfdom".

Huh?
I think you mean Selma Hayek's 'Road to Surfing in Mexico'. It was indeed 100% wrong.

Pogo said...

see how Western Europe, and even the U.S., which ignored his warnings, turned out just fine.
LOL.

former law student said...

see how Western Europe, and even the U.S., which ignored his warnings, turned out just fine.
LOL.


Pogo is right, and we don't even have to take a trip to Europe to see the consequences of unbridled socialism. All we have to do is drive north of the border, and observe the hollow-eyed serfs that were once free men and women like ourselves. The tip off came in 1965, when the Canucks picked the red Maple Leaf of Marxism as their national symbol.

Pogo said...

consequences of unbridled socialism

Canada?
The land where there is no free speech?
Where practicing a religion that calls homosexuality a sin is a hate crime?
Where writing in a magazine that islam has bred terrorists is a hate crime?

That Canada?

Pogo said...

The issue of statism devolving into tyrrany was core to the Founders' arguments when setting up the US Constitution. Socialism is just another form of statism, and yes, we are devolving into that.

Fascism sometimes has a smiley face; the gulags can be made to look rather appealing.

Roger J. said...

There is absolutely nothing about the countries of Europe that is terrible; its just that in comparison to the US, they are not my preference for a place to live, pay taxes, and depend on to preserve my personal liberty.

Doyle said...
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blake said...

* full employment
* a shorter work week
* a guaranteed minimum income for all adults and a universal “social wage”
* full public financing of elections with universal voter registration
* “the democratization of banking and financial systems”, which included public control and regulation of banking
* a more progressive tax system
* reductions in military spending and an end to unilateral military interventions.


You know, I was gonna snark and say FLS just outed the progressives as communist, but I'm more struck by the tragedy that he doesn't see how these things--each of which except the last increases government control over private property and actions--aren't, in fact, Communism.

Don't let the "C" word scare you: It's totalitarianism, whether you call it a "worker's paradise" or "progressivism" or "nationalism", "left", "right" or whatever.

The principles this nation were founded upon were radical: That a man has the right to determine his own destiny.

Tragically, they're still just as radical.

Simon said...

Pogo said...
"Canada? ... Where practicing a religion that calls homosexuality a sin is a hate crime?"

Unless that religion is Islam, in which case criticizing the religion is itself a hate crime, as Mark Steyn will tell you.