Monday, October 27, 2008

Redistributing Obama

Those who support Obama are having severe palpitations at the moment with regards to this YouTube video that's been making the rounds on the blogs:

A transcription of the meatier quotes is provided by Stop the ACLU:
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
[Emphasis by Stop the ACLU]

I provide the video for one primary reason. It's one thing to read the words, and another altogether to hear them. In the transcript we read statements that could easily be written off as "offhand" remarks or something that was "taken out of context." But listening to the inflections in a speaker's voice can communicate volumes about what that person is saying. Similar to the way body language is vital in communication, vocal inflection indicates the degree to which a person has studied or thought about the topic at hand.

In this audio, which contains far fewer of Obama's omnipresent "ums," we hear a man who has studied, accepted, and now evangelizes the basis for socialist policy in a democratic society. One analysis of this event that I read tried to make the case that Obama actually was channeling more of Martin Luther King's thoughts than anything else, and was in fact supporting the conservative cause rather than the liberal. This is hogwash. "Redistribution of wealth" is one of the basic tenets of socialism, and was defined by Karl Marx himself as one of the steps towards his ultimate "classless society" of communism.

Joe Biden was well and truly embarrassed to find himself facing questions related to Obama's latent Marxism in a recent interview. For all his hemming and hawing, he never adequately answered the question of Obama's statement of "spreading the wealth around." Obama himself has not been able to quell the accusations of socialism that we on the right find his comments to represent. Nuggets like this 2001 interview audio only serve to solidify Obama's credentials as a nearly card-carrying socialist.

(I did read the link from Drudge where Obama was quoted as saying he was "bored" by the suburbs. Big hairy deal. This came on the heels of his selection as President of the Harvard Law Review and only showed his disdain for all things middle-America. Like this is news.)

Still, two key statements from this audio which should give any American pause for thought:

1. The idea that the Constitution is a flawed document. He uses the concept of "negative liberties," meaning that it places limitations on the powers of both the federal government and the states. It doesn't, he says, tell them what they must do (my emphasis) to help those in this country who may have become "dispossessed." Well, Mr. Former President of the Harvard Law Review, you may have missed those classes that discussed the idea that these "negative liberties" were not only deliberate, but necessary. These are part of the checks and balances that continue to give people like Barack Obama a voice in how this country is run. We may frequently disagree with those who hold the power at any given time, but there is no better model for government anywhere on the planet today. As broken as we feel things may be, there's always someplace far worse off than we are. Canada would be Exhibit A.

2. The idea that the Supreme Court (under Warren) did not go far enough in the redistribution of wealth. Hey, if Obama wants to redistribute his own wealth, that's his business. It may surprise Obama to know that many conservatives, myself included, frequently redistribute our wealth in numerous ways. What we don't want, and will not accept, is having the federal government dictate to us just how that wealth is to be redistributed. I already give far more money to the government than they either need or deserve. That they have never figured out how to spend it intelligently is a direct reflection of the greed, prejudices, and woodshed politicking of our Congress and President. (I leave the Supreme Court out of this indictment because, except when they're legislating from the bench, their primary budget outlays deal with keeping a sufficient supply of black robes on hand. Thank goodness they don't use white powdered wigs.)

I have my reasons for voting for John McCain in this election. Many of them are in this post.

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