Belmont Club

"So what?"

Andrew Breitbart’s posthumous post — perhaps not the last to be published — titled the Vetting, is centered around his role in celebrating the life of Saul Alinsky, as exemplified by a theatrical production in which the other participants were a Who’s Who of Radical America.  The future president was then known as “Baraka”. Maybe that was a typo. Or maybe he was called that then. After all, he was still evolving. Breitbart writes:


This is who Barack Obama was. This was before Barack Obama ran for Congress in 2000—challenging former Black Panther Bobby L. Rush from the left in a daring but unsuccessful bid.

This was also the period just before Barack Obama served with Bill Ayers, from 1999 through 2002 on the board of the Woods Foundation. They gave capital to support the Midwest Academy, a leftist training institute steeped in the doctrines of – you guessed it! — Saul Alinsky, and whose alumni now dominate the Obama administration and its top political allies inside and out of Congress.

Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief, described the Midwest Academy as a “crypto-socialist organization.” Yet almost no one has heard of Midwest Academy, because the media does want you to know that the president is a radical’s radical whose presidency itself is a love song to a socialist “community organizer.”

Before we get to the “so what?” lets make sure we get to the correct “so what?” Isn’t he well within his rights to say, “so what if I did run around with the cream of American radicals?”

The real problem — and it may have been result of his handler’s advice — was the decision to basically conceal that past, as if he were ashamed of it, or as is more likely, because revealing it would create image problems. He campaigned in 2008 as a product designed to appeal to a carefully studied set of political markets.  He ran as he wanted people to see him.


Breitbart is implicitly accusing the President of running under false packaging. A person who knowingly elects a Red, or a former Red, or somebody who knew a lot of Reds is exercising a democratic choice. But a guy who elects a completely misrepresented quantity has simply been had.

There will be those say that Obama’s past is irrelevant; it might be. Some might even maintain that he could not have ever told the truth about his past because voters are too bigoted to accept a man with his background. But surely the voters should be the judge of that.  Elections are about choosing between candidates, not opening mystery boxes. Who did America elect in 2008?  If the answer to that is still unknown then the system has to some extent failed.

The decision to reformat Barack Obama  to an excessive extent becomes at some point tampering with the evidence, a political fraud. It denies those who would wanted to vote for an Alinsky man the right to openly choose someone sailing under that flag.  The whole point of democracy is to allow people to choose whom they want. That could be a Communist, a John Bircher, a Mormon — whoever. But first they have know who the Communist, John Bircher or a Mormon is. Otherwise it doesn’t work.

It may be objected that his handlers did nothing to obscure his past. That it was the voter’s job — not the media’s obligation — to look under the hood or kick tires. It might even be argued that the Alinksy celebration was an unrepresentative data point; to focus on it would be to ‘lose perspective’. That is the line of attack used to discredit John Drew, who claims to have met Obama while at Occidental.  Sure he was the perfect radical that night, but ‘Drew didn’t know him that well.’ ‘Drew is exaggerating’. And there is that standby ‘why is this all coming out now?’


Maybe because it didn’t come out during the campaign. And if not now, when he is up for re-election, then why bother? All a person can do — as Breitbart did — is provide more information. Who knows, the voters may love Obama all the more for running around the cream of the American left.  Now that they know that he did so at least once.

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