April 14, 2008

Danke, Comrade Obama

I asked the rhetorical question last week: Is Barack Obama a Communist?

I posited the question because of the purposeful emptiness of Obama's stated views, his lack of a long-term record, disturbing tendencies in the little legislative record he has established, and a list of troubling personal and professional associations with radicals, cranks, criminals, and conspiracy theorists.

Little did I know at the time that Obama had already answered my question during in an exclusive fundraiser in San Francisco's Billionaire's Row. As William Kristol points out in the Times, Barack Obama cited Marxist philosophies in describing why Americans go to church and pray to God.

It isn't faith, says Obama. It is "bitterness" that drives us into the pews. We are frustrated, bigoted, and paranoid, and we arm ourselves with guns and God as a result. It is this nation of violent rubes Obama has protected himself from by cloistering himself among the urban and urbane.

It is because he holds these views of the rest of us that Obama's two-decade association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his radical church could not be disavowed.

For Obama to disavow Wright is to disavow his own warped views of religion, the Constitution, and America. His convictions may be poisoned, but he is principled in holding to their acidity.

It is AmeriKKKa they fear and loath, a dumbed-down, never-evolving nation they've had reinforced in their minds on Sundays for 20 years. It is a country that Barack and Michelle Obama know in their hearts that they are not part of, a people that they cannot be proud of. For all the advantages this country has given them, they are blind to our better nature as a nation.

I pity the Obamas, but I thank them for finally letting us see who they really are, and what they think of the rest of us.

Update: Andrew Sullivan accuses Kristol of misrepresenting Obama:

...Kristol is deliberately distorting to paint Obama as a cynical manipulator of religious faith for political ends, rather than as a genuine Christian. He's calling him a lying, Godless communist.

Actually, Obama is neither quite a "lying, Godless communist" nor "a genuine Christian," but something of both, and neither. Obama is a 20-year congregate of Black Liberation Theology, race-defined Marxism in a Christian shell.

Ultimately, it matters little whether Obama was a Marxist before he found Trinity and Jeremiah Wright's rendition of James Cone's Black Liberation Theology, or if he became imbued with Marxism as a result of his exposure to this bastardized doctrine.

What does matter is that Obama's views, shaped by Jeremiah Wright over decades, do not represent those of the vast majority of Americans, Democrat or Republican, and that is something Sullivan would much rather ignore about his chosen candidate.

Update: Juliette Ochieng makes incisive observations about Obama's view through the prism of Black Liberation Theology at her blog baldilocks.

A taste:

In Obama's mind, the religion clung to by the "average poor white Pennsylvanian" is BLT's demonic "white" Church. The "white" Church is the tool of oppression for all—including poor whites—and should be shaken off just like other social maladies. Just like anti-immigration (sic) and racism. One will note that, in the defense of the earlier remarks, Obama still does not say anything objectively positive about the religion adhered to by the average rural white Pennsylvanian. What he actually says is that government should answer their prayers.

Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt notes that while Obama has indeed had an extraordinary life, there are reasons he cannot relate to, and does not understand, the average American.

Final Update (4/15): A very interesting catch from Professor Bainbridge (h/t Insty). If this is correct, Senator Joe Lieberman, who has worked with Obama for three years, isn't sure if he is a Marxist:

I know him now for a little more than three years since he came into the Senate and he's obviously very smart and he’s a good guy. I will tell ya that during this campaign, I've learned some things about him, about the kind of environment from which he came ideologically. And I wouldn't… I'd hesitate to say he's a Marxist, but he's got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America.

Bainbridge himself seems to believe that Obama is a modern socialist instead of a Marxist. I'd argue that for all practical purposes as far as American voters are concerned, that is a distinction without much of a difference.

Final, Final Update (4/15): It may well be noted that Barack H. Obama Sr (candidate Obama's father) stated that there was very little difference between African Socialism and Soviet-style communism, so perhaps he would agree with me about identifying his son's politics, even though he was in favor of communism, and I am not.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 14, 2008 12:01 PM

So, the Obamessiah would rather we cling to government instead of our faith? Well, isn't that rich?

Posted by: Drama Queen at April 14, 2008 02:58 PM

He's a typical Bay-Aryan as far as I can tell, you sure he went to Harvard and not Stanford - they're interchangeable really.

Posted by: DirtCrashr at April 14, 2008 04:53 PM


That's still not communism, son. Look it up.

As an aside, CY, I can't understand why it's so important for you to paint the most grotesque picture possible of Obama. Why the hysterical imagery, the citation of other bloggers' hysteria as "proof," and lack of analysis. I'd be interested to hear what you're so afraid of--tell me what you think would be the probable (i.e. not worst case) result of an Obama presidency and why it scares the bejeezus out of you.

Thanks, Comrad.

Posted by: Craig at April 14, 2008 05:27 PM

Everyone must be bitter because the mill closed.

Right now were at a 9, lets bring it down to about a 3.

Posted by: brando at April 14, 2008 06:01 PM

Craig, Cy does not have to worry as Obama, communist or not, will never be President. The ads that will run against him will insure that his lack of experience along with his display of judgement or misjudgement will assure a landslide victory for McCain. Until the Democrats run a moderate, they will never get the votes necessary to win the White House. Most Americans do not believe government is the answer to all of our problems. Inspite of what your uncle George Soros and the Kos kids say. Obama is a loser.

Posted by: Zelsdorf Ragshaft III at April 14, 2008 06:41 PM

Thanks, Zelsdorf, but CY can fight his own battles.

Posted by: Craig at April 14, 2008 07:16 PM

Certainly he can, Craig. And his friends (and I'd be honored to consider myself one of Bob's friends) can help him out, too.

Sorry, that feeble attempt at pushing aside Zeldorf's comments won't work. Better luck next time.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 14, 2008 07:38 PM

Sure you can. Bring it. Still want to hear from the Man, though.

Posted by: Craig at April 14, 2008 07:51 PM

Sorry, Craig, I only debate people who can frame a reasonable argument.

Since I've not found such a one on the left in many many years of searching, the only use I've found for lefties is as a cat-toy.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 14, 2008 07:59 PM

Weren't you the one that told me: "Sorry, that feeble attempt at pushing aside [a poster's] comments won't work. Better luck next time."? So does it only work when you do it?

Look, bud, debate or don't--your choice--but false confidence and chest thumping are a poor substitute.

Posted by: Craig at April 14, 2008 08:05 PM

If Bill Kristol writes it, you can be sure it ain't so!

Posted by: jack at April 14, 2008 09:15 PM

Obama is now down by 20 in PA and as of this weekend down 16 in Indiana, so I don't think it is just CY being all hysterical. You cannot dis the folks and expect to win. And as to why he scares the bejeezus out of folks, well try to tell Americans that they should replace their faith in God with faith in the all powerful government and see whether you scare them or not. Anyone even remotely informed should remember the bread lines of the old Soviet Union and know the horrible conditions in Cuba today. Or the mess that Europe now finds itself in. Obama is as close to being a communist that a candidate could get and how he got as far as he is, is a real mystery to me. And mostly the idea of Obama in charge and playing kissy face with terrorists is just unacceptable and that is exactly what he says he wants to do.

Posted by: Sara at April 14, 2008 10:10 PM


I'm a rural Iowan who experiences Bitter Bama Face daily. In a county with a population of less than 8,000, we see the hardships Obama references first-hand. Unfortunately, the junior Senator hasn't experienced hardship first hand, nor has he spent time with people who are struggling. Our rural population is bitter from the useless futility the Marxist income redistribution program has transferred to them.

We have a structural poverty - a 30% or so of our population - that consists of governmental subsidy junkies. My neighbor can muscle hay bales and carry 40 pound feed sacks on each shoulder, yet receives a full subsidy for an alleged leg disability. In town, he's a cripple with a cane. Countless others receive subsidies of a sort, keeping them voting Democrat but perpetually bitter in their subsidized but useless and underproductive, unrealized life. Our cash economy is remarkable - from 50-year-old pot smokers living with mom and dad while receiving full disability, to the army of single moms with a half dozen kids each. Don't even get me started on the meth junkies... I've had two labs within a mile of my farm in the past year alone. 40-year-olds who have senior parents and farm outbuildings that make no-cost, low-visibility labs.

A visit to our local grocery allows you to witness the pride of our food stamp program. Local government handout junkies use their food card to buy junk food - highly processed, ready-to-eat high calorie stuff - while using "their" cash to buy tobacco, beer, rent movies and buy lotto tickets.

In all, many are bitter. Their government subsidy allows them to survive, but they never achieve anything useful. They live payment to payment, intrinsically knowing they have no real value and are completely dependent upon someone else. It really is a miserable life, as it isn't much more than comfortable slavery. Life sucks knowing you're a parasite.

Rather than condemn this unsustainable, shameful monstrosity, Obama proposes more. We've spent more than 40 years in the War on Poverty with no redeployment in sight. Now Obama proposes extending this treatment to the middle class via the subprime bailout and even grander parasitism.

Hell, this even makes me bitter now...

Posted by: redherkey at April 14, 2008 10:19 PM


Point of fact, Obama was a community organizer on the south side of Chicago. So he obviously knows a lot of struggling people. John McCain, who has spent the last zillion years as a DC politician, probably knows a lot less struggling people.

As to the the rest, I don't see what Obama has to do with any of it. I understand you're irked at lazy people who game the system--who isn't? But Obama had zero to do with creating the layer of them in Iowa. Query this: what did the glorious 7 plus years of GOP reign--including 4 entire years of GOP dominance of the legislative and executive branch--do to lessen that condition in Iowa? Lemme answer: nothing. And what has Obama ever proposed that affirmatively condones lazy system gamers, and would actually seek to increase their ranks? Answer: nothing. BUT, John McCain said this last week: "Let me make it clear that that in these challenging times, I am committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream." Again, that was McCain, not Obama, committed to using ALL THE RESOURCES OF THIS GOVERNMENT AND GREAT NATION TO . . . MAKE SURE EVERY DESERVING AMERICAN HAS A ***GOOD*** JOB...." Who's the Marxist commie now?

So why the inclination to make things up out of whole cloth? Why the wild projections about Commie bread lines (not you, Redherky)? If there are factual bases for these assertions, such as actual policy proposals, then it should be easy to prove that Obama is for that which you say he is.

Posted by: Craig at April 14, 2008 10:55 PM


If you could move past the progressivist ideology, I'd have to buy you a beer and welcome you as a friend. You're absolutely dead on in a few cases: four years of fat-cat republicans and a trust-fund child Bush administration did absolutely nothing except issue more IOUs to the Chinese and other lenders to our Federal debt.

My criticism of Obama, which I'd invite you to see as well, is that his solutions are reprehensible, unworkable and little more than pandering efforts to the worst in our society. He proposes more slavery for the poor, theft from the hard working, and further empowerment of the unworthy rich. Granted, it's damn near impossible to get the guy to state anything other than platitudes of "change" and "progress" - but when he has, it's either an indication that he's so intellectually non-complex, he's a total poseur, or he's a confused Marxist sucked in by a hopeless, irrational ideology.

Hillary's an old school scam artist. So is McCain. Most of our Congress is wrapped up in their own power, while screwing our nation.

I admire your determination to objectivity and truth. Just make sure you remove your blinders that screen out the crimes of the left, and hold shake-down "Socialist light" frauds like Obama accountable like his $10 million house minister and the rest of his pseudo-Marxist racket.

Posted by: redhekey at April 15, 2008 12:10 AM

I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell ya that a democrat quoted Karl Marx.!

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at April 15, 2008 12:32 AM

Walks like a Duck. Quacks like a duck. . .
BLT based on Liberation Theology is literally Marxism with God added. This is the Church theology that "brought him To Jesus", and what drives his day to day thinking.
So Obama isn't a Godless Commie. He's a Theological Commie. Liberation Theology is the Identity politics of Marx added to a Faith to bring Communism to a slightly more palatable level for the common person it looks to subjugate.
Claiming he isn't really a commie is like claiming David Duke isn't really a Nazi or a Klansman because he no longer belongs to those organizations, even though he still hangs with, and caters to those crowds.

Posted by: JP at April 15, 2008 04:03 AM

Postmodernist Obama insists that he is a Christian, not a Muslim. The key question is, "What kind of Christian?" He is a politician influenced by his friends and associates, his mother's secular humanism, his Muslim father and step-father. Thus his lack of judgment was seen in his disgusting comments about the average folks of Pennsylvania. For all of his
claims-poverty and recent college debt retirement, he is a millionaire and prefers such wealthly company.Black Liberation theology is a syncretistic mix of Christianity and marxist wealth redistribution, even revolutionary where necessary. Plus, his methodology is that of
the socialist, Saul Olinsky. Enough said.

Posted by: Jerry Frady at April 15, 2008 05:02 AM

Right, so we have gone on from Muslim Obama, on through Racist Black Obama, Elitist Obama, and are now at Wrong Sort of Christian Obama with a branch of Commie Obama.

Wherever will you go next?

Posted by: Rafar at April 15, 2008 05:24 AM

Being a racist, elitist and communist are mutually exclusive, Rafar? To me they fit like hand in glove.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at April 15, 2008 07:43 AM

So Obama combines Marxist theory with racial identity politics. We saw a lot of that back in the 30's.

Posted by: pst314 at April 15, 2008 09:05 AM

CY says: "Bainbridge himself seems to believe that Obama is a modern socialist instead of a Marxist. I'd argue that for all practical purposes as far as American voters are concerned, that is a distinction without much of a difference."

CY, there is a difference because socialism and Marxism are not the same thing. It's not even debatable: Marxism is a subset of socialism, but not all socialism is Marxism. You don't want to draw or recognize the distinction because squawking Marxist! in every post has more gut-punch appeal. But tagging the average American as too intellectually lazy to differentiate one from the other does not transmogrify generic socialism into Marxism. that type of attitude is as condescending to the "American voters" as Obama was alleged to be last week.

Confidential to all readers who fear socialism: America is already socialist. Check your pay stub for FICA and Medicare line items if you don't believe me. So don't express repugnance about socialism generally unless you have a 100% sincere commitment to not take Soc Sec and Medicare benefits when you retire. Thought so.

Posted by: Craig at April 15, 2008 09:51 AM

Anti-gun and Prius-driving Palo Altans are bitter because they didn't get tenure and had to exercise another set of Google options as a downpayment on the eco-green Los Altos Hills home...

Posted by: DirtCrashr at April 15, 2008 10:38 AM

Oh the painful cuts of division, Where does that leave poor Leninism and Maoism, not to mention Trotskites? We need a Uniter not a Divider!

Posted by: DirtCrashr at April 15, 2008 10:41 AM

Yes, the US is far too socialistic for my tastes; John McCain far too socialistic... CFR, I'm lookin' at you! but it is an absurdity to suggest that since it is already somewhat socialist that the solution to that is indifference to the relative positions on statism of the candidates. President McCain will dissapoint and infuriate me on this account many times I am sure. To suggest that Barack is going to be better on that account or so close as to be immaterial is just a lie.
I am sure Barack is just what he appears: the most Leftwing hack in modern politics. The contradictions on trade, Israel and Iraq would be assimilable if the alternative were, say, someone who advocated the ridiculous positions Barack does on the stump and actually believed them. Then Barry is your guy. But the two alternatives are Hilary, a more competent version of the same bilious resentments as Barack, and John McCain. Barack is a hack; he says nothing because he knows nothing because, at the core, he believes nothing. He is not even an empty suit but an empty garment bag swirling in the winds. It is this nothingness that lets his slavish, and dimwitted supporters project any aspiration on to him. He is the Sin-Eater. He is the Big Brother. He is the font of all Good Things. It is pitiful. This huckster, real-estate hustler, this mountebank. This fraud. And if you don't believe me, ask Bill Clinton.

Oh, and the worst immediate outcome of an Obama Administration; instant defeat in Iraq and in the GWOT generally. Even if he wanted to fight the war, he is unequipped and he doesn't want to fight it. McCain has married himself to the war, as it succeeds, so will he. As it fails, so will he. Love or hate the policy, he actually says what he means publicly. Barack, only behind closed doors. What a disgrace.

Posted by: megapotamus at April 15, 2008 11:16 AM

And Barry nakedly embraces the iconography of the socialist-realist. My girlfriend's dad has one of these posters. It was $400 on ebay. Scary, scary stuff if you remember the Iron Curtain. I do.

Posted by: megapotamus at April 15, 2008 11:29 AM

"Being a racist, elitist and communist are mutually exclusive, Rafar? "

Well, obviously, yes they are. Communism (in theory) espouses the bortherhood of man regardless of race, gender, etc. Elitism is directly contradictory to Communism by definition. You can, of course, be a racist elitist.

(No, of course the theory and reality are not the same, but are you honestly suspecting Obama of wanting to set up collectivist farms in the US? Seriously? Communism's dead baby, it died years ago just a few bits of the world haven't worked that out yet.)

Anyway, I was just wondering where this was going next, or whether we had settled on the official smear for the election.

Posted by: Rafar at April 15, 2008 11:41 AM

As the official smear, I don't think you can go wrong with The Truth which is Obama is the most consistently, predictably leftwing politician in modern times. Worse than Kerry, even. All that implies; the collectivist spending policies, the anti-Americanism, protectionism, the disdain for work and responsibility, the sense of personal and professional entitlement, statist mentality and class warfare are not merely present but thrown in our faces by Buddy Barry whenever he opens up his yap. Which is daily. What have you guys settled on for McCain? That his long residence at a spa in Souteast Asia was payed for by lobbyists?

Posted by: megapotamus at April 15, 2008 01:01 PM

Snobama a Marxist, modern socialist, progressive Stalinist or Metrosexual Lennist? Who cares, it walks like a racist duck with fertilizer clining to its butt mouthing the same class warfare rhetoric with a bitterness that is surprising. One gathers his bitterness is due to his failure to compete in a capitalist society and has therefore forced to seek "fairness" to compensate for his failures.

This is to be expected from a man whose father never married his mother (legally) and who abandoned him. So many issues to deal with. Add to this is wife who mirrors his mother's beliefs and I'll show you someone who worships regullary at Lenin's Tomb.

Posted by: Thomas Jackson at April 16, 2008 10:13 AM

So are our choices
(1) guns
(2) religion
(3) politics
(4) democrats
(5) party politics

... I think I'll choose guns. (2) through (5) are right up there on par with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Posted by: ruralcounsel at April 16, 2008 01:03 PM

You know, Irving Kristol's neoconservative doctrine traces its roots to Troskyism. Does that mean the Kristol family is a bunch of commie pigs bent on establishing totalitarian rule in the USA?

No. Two very different philosophies can share some common ideas, but that doesn't erase the distinction between the two schools of thought. That's why this argument by Kristol and — by extension — CY is totally disingenuous.

Again, hit Obama on his policies. That's where he's weak. If "Obama is a Communist" is best argument conservatives can come up with, then I think it's going to be a very good year for democrats.

Posted by: Juan Manuel de Rosas at April 16, 2008 05:52 PM

Juan, this may shock you, but Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat.

Democrats once believed in lowering taxes and a strong national defense... that idol of the Democrats, President John F. Kennedy, stood for both.

First, for national defense, see "Cuban Missile Crisis." 'Nuff said.

As for tax cuts, see this speech by President Kennedy to the Economic Club of New York, specifically this section:

The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system — and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes to be enacted and become effective in 1963.

I'm not talking about a "quickie" or a temporary tax cut, which would be more appropriate if a recession were imminent. Nor am I talking about giving the economy a mere shot in the arm, to ease some temporary complaint. I am talking about the accumulated evidence of the last five years that our present tax system, developed as it was, in good part, during World War II to restrain growth, exerts too heavy a drag on growth in peace time; that it siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power; that it reduces the financial incenitives [sic] for personal effort, investment, and risk-taking. In short, to increase demand and lift the economy, the federal government's most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities for private expenditures.

Mr. Kennedy would be considered too conservative for today's Democratic party, and would probably be treated like Mr. Lieberman has been.

And the tax cuts Mr. Kennedy proposed were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson after Kennedy's death, so we have two Democratic Presidents on the side of tax cuts.

So, if we take your logic, Juan, we would say that the Democrats, because of the legacy of JFK, are a conservative party, and that's so absurd that it not only fails the laugh test but breaks the meter.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 16, 2008 07:11 PM

JFK would be considered a war mongering neocon today

Posted by: Purple Avenger at April 16, 2008 08:56 PM

@C-C-G: It should be noted that I was pointing out how utterly rediculous such logic is. It's also the logic Kristol used in his terrible, terrible article.

I was merely pointing out that calling Obama a communist because one of his views is similar to that of Marx is disingenuous. That's like accusing a politician of being a fascist because they — like Mussolini — made trains run on time. Now if Obama decided to impose an imperialistic totalitarian state aimed a radically redistributing wealth (ie. Confiscating land and personal property not simply raising your already low taxes), then yeah, he'd be a communist.

By the way, I do agree with you. I'm a moderate that generally leans democrat, although I have voted republican in the past. I believe in free-market economics and free trade, and I do believe that the Democratic party has strayed too far into protectionist territories. This is the stuff you guys should be talking about if you want McCain to win. I don't give a damn about Barack's preacher or whether or not he knows someone who was in The Weather Underground. I care about policy, and that's what you should be talking about.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Juan Manuel de Rosas at April 17, 2008 12:47 PM

The point, Juan, is that Obama is advocating policies that are nearly indistinguishable from communism. He wants to impose a totalitarian system on health care, for one instance. He opposes the free ownership of certain types of property (firearms) for another. I could go on and on and on.

Bottom line, if he's not a capital-C Communist, he certainly is a small-c communist, because Stalin would be right at home with Obama's policies.

"From each according to his means, to each according to his needs" would be a good slogan for Obama. And it was originally penned by Karl Marx. Think on that one for a while.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 17, 2008 07:02 PM