Thursday, March 08, 2012

Brietbart's "vetting" of Obama may backfire

The footage shown last night on Hannity shows a law-school age Barack Obama giving a glowing introduction to a man that many on the right are deeming a dyed-in-the-wool left-wing radical. While I don't know enough about "critical race theory" to offer an opinion as to whether it was representative of good scholarship, or simply race-baiting, I did find David French's post at the NRO to be a useful summation of the "controversy."

He provides valuable context, showing the politically volatile situation at the HLS of the early '90s from his vantage point as a student. He also draws some useful conclusions about the temperment, ideology, and intellectual flexibility (malleability?) of our President. His conclusion shows, in my opinion, while B.O. won't be an easy out this November:
There’s little doubt that law student Obama was a political radical by any conventional, society-wide measure of the term. But that’s not the end of the story. At Harvard at least, radical was mainstream and conservative was radical. In fact, the radical view was so mainstream that one couldn’t help but think that even the loudest students would graduate, go to law firms, and fit in just as seamlessly to the new mainstream of their legal professions. And, in fact, most did. They weren’t intellectual leaders; they were followers.
My reading of Barack Obama’s political biography is pretty simple: He’s not so much a liberal radical as a member of the liberal mainstream of whatever community he inhabits. In that video, he was doing no more and no less than what most politically engaged leftist law students were doing — supporting the radical race and gender politics that dominated campus. When he went to Chicago and met Bill Ayers, he was fitting within a second, and slightly different, liberal culture. He shifted again in Washington and then again in the White House. But radical, “conviction” politicians don’t decry Gitmo then keep it open, promise to end the wars then reinforce the troops, express outrage at Bush war tactics then maintain rendition and triple the number of drone strikes.
Obama’s biography is essentially the same as many of the liberal mainstream-media journalists who cover him. They’ve made the same migration — from leading campus protests, to building families in urban liberal communities, to participating in a national political culture. At the risk of engaging in dime-store pop psychology, they like Obama in part because they identify with him so thoroughly and see much of themselves in him. They call him “pragmatic” or “moderate” or “technocratic” because they’re fully aware of legions of leftists who never made the transition from the purer form of activist politics.


ManBeast said...

I sort of agree that the right is making way too big a deal out of this. I read up a little on CRT. It is racist claptrap. But, watch the video. It's Obama making an introduction to a well-respected professor on his campus. Wouldn't you make a nice introduction to a professor on your campus if asked? Even if you didn't totally agree with him?

Republicans need to focus on jobs, gas prices, Obamacare and other actual issues.


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Always sniffing for the truth

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