Review of The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama by Barbara Kay
After the federal election, an African-American child asked at a family dinner if he was now “going to be treated as three-fifths of a human being.” A teacher from a rural black elementary school reported her students were asking her if they would become slaves again. A black student told a guide on an outing to the nation’s capital he was afraid the new president was “going to round up all the black people and kill them.”
Understandable, progressives might say. Considering the racism we saw expressed during the campaign and the people the president-elect has surrounded himself with, who can blame these kids for their fears?
The problem is, these anecdotes did not arise from the 2016 election, but from the 2000 election. No reasonable person can believe George W. Bush is or ever was a racist.
Yet, just as in this election, incredulous that their preferred candidate might lose, there were many irresponsible progressives in 2000 who filled their children’s heads with this damaging nonsense and much other nonsense besides.
In 2004, after his hotly contested narrow loss to Bush, Gore told audiences that Bush had won by stealing a million black votes, even though not a single case of black voter fraud was uncovered by civil rights organizations. The left never really loses an election; elections are stolen from them. Sound familiar in 2016?
I found the anecdotal material above in a column, “How Leftists Play the Race Card,” in the recently-issued seventh volume of David Horowitz’s Black Book of the American Left, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama.
What Horowitz calls a “climactic place” in his series, this volume was released before the election that against all odds brought Donald Trump to power. Reading it under the assumption Hillary Clinton was going to be the incoming president produces a markedly different response from reading it today.
I know, because I read half before and half after. In my mind it is almost like two different books, as I experienced first despair at all the wrongheadedness and corruption Horowitz’s columns reminded me of that were likely to continue, followed by triumphant elation at the knowledge that the Obama-and-Clinton kakocracies were well and truly behind us.
I see in some of these writings prescience where I might have seen wishful thinking. For example, in his 1997 column, “Conservatives need a heart,” Horowitz addresses the “confusion in conservative ranks.” Conservatives, he writes, have demonstrated three tendencies in their polemics: the “leave us alone” mentality of those advocating for less governmental regulation and intrusion; the emphasis on family values and the re-moralization of society; and the federalists, wanting more power returned to the states. What is missing, Horowitz says, is “a conservatism committed to national greatness.”
It took a while for the American people to internalize the source of their discontent, but that is what has just happened. Volume VII delivers a great deal of satisfaction to right-of-center readers in combing over the glowing ashes of all that has been found wanting in the Clinton-Obama nexus, and why.
“The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama” traces the history of the Democratic Party from center – to hard left. From the muscular anti-communism, civil rights and balanced budgets of JFK, the Dems came to embrace the Marxist agenda of the nanny state, identity politics and retreat from foreign-affairs leadership.
In a word, the party shifted from classic liberalism to progressivism, a benign locution to deodorize the uncomfortably redolent Marxism that greases the wheels of the party’s mission. Under the aegis of Bill and Hillary Clinton (it was never less than a presidential partnership) and Barack Obama, the administration became stacked with far leftists.
Outgoing President Obama (“outgoing”: it dances trippingly off the tongue) marinated his entire pre-presidential life in Islam apologism and the politics of progressivism. Mentored by communists, he came to power with a negative view of America’s history and distrust of the nation-state as a vehicle for human progress. Conversely he held an exaggerated and largely uncritical respect for America’s enemies, like Cuba and Hamas, but Iran especially.
Both Obama and Hillary Clinton took lifelong inspiration from the writings of political guru Saul Alinksy (1909-72), whom students of left-wing radicalism in the U.S. will remember as the American version of Machiavelli. Horowitz devotes a long essay, “Rules for Revolution” in Part III of this book (the original pamphlet form of this essay has been distributed and sold to more than three million people).
Alinsky wrote the book Rules for Radicals, a how-to manual for revolutionaries, which emphasized strategies of deception rather than open confrontation as the best way to advance a Marxist revolution in the U.S. Don’t sell your agenda as socialism, he urged, sell it as “progressivism” and “social justice.”
Alinsky’s strategy was to work within the system while accruing the power to destroy it. Many of the student radicals who went on to influential political careers were well-versed Alinsky acolytes. In fact, in 1969, a certain Wellesley College student named Hillary Rodham wrote an admiring 92-page senior thesis on Alinsky, likening him in cultural stature to Walt Whitman and Martin Luther King Jr. Barack Obama followed Alinsky’s rules with assiduous attention when he worked for ACORN as a community organizer.
In his column, “Candidate of the Left,” Horowitz reminds us of Obama’s lies that were swallowed uncritically by his starry-eyed followers. Who were they? “[E]very anti-Israel, anti-American, pro-Iranian communist in America is supporting Barack Obama; every pro-Palestinian leftist, every Weatherman terrorist…all Sexties leftists and their disciples…every black racist follower of Louis Farrakhan…every ‘antiwar’ activist who wanted us to leave Saddam in power and then lose the war in Iraq; everyone who believes that America is the bad guy and that our enemies are justly aggrieved; every member of ACORN, the most potent survivor of the Sixties left…along with al-Jazeera and Vladimir Putin and the religious fanatics of Hamas and the PLO.”
Examples of Obama’s lies? One was that he really had no idea who Jeremiah Wright, his pastor of 20 years, was, because the optics of friendship with “a racist, Jew-hating, terrorist-loving acolyte of Minister Farrakhan” didn’t look so good. Another was that unrepentant Weatherman Bill Ayers was not just “a guy in the neighborhood” as Obama claimed. Obama launched his campaign for a senate seat in Ayers’s living room, it was Ayers’s father who was responsible for Obama’s job at the Sidley Austin law firm, and it was Ayers who “hired Obama to spend the $50 million Ayers had raised to finance an army of anti-American radicals drawn from ACORN and other nihilistic groups to recruit Chicago school children to their political causes.”
But the lie that will never lose traction as the others did, because it affected so many Americans, was “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Obama lied about his healthcare plan, because, as Horowitz has often stated, “[t]he first truth about progressive missionaries is that the issues they fight for are not the issues. What drives all their agendas is the fantasy of a social transformation that will lead to a paradise of social justice.”
And therefore, as MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber explained, “This bill was written in a tortured way…[because] if you make it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed, okay? Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” Lack of transparency has been the hallmark of Obama’s reign and both Clintons’ entire political careers.
The column “Obama’s Communist Czar” demonstrates the depth and complexity of the far-left networks that flourished under Obama’s nurturing hand. Van Jones, for example, now a respected media commentator who never speaks of his past as a self-described communist, was appointed Obama’s “green jobs” czar. Before he joined the administration, he was a longterm activist for the communist group (with the Maoist title) STORM: “Stand Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.” He was (is?) a 9/11 “truther,” as those who believe 9/11 was an inside job call themselves, and who supported (supports?) Hamas’s view that all of Israel is “occupied territory.”
All the “social justice” movements are connected at the root level of funding and protest organization, and this column shows in detail how it works. Whether it is a global demonstration against the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, or coordinated, worldwide “antiwar” protests, or the Occupy movement, none of these events can happen without planning and funds to ensure large turnouts, as well as resources to keep protesters fed, postered up and rehearsed. If you follow the money, you inevitably end up with George Soros and his Center for American Progress.
As the final act of his presidency and a f*** you gesture both to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and incoming president Donald Trump, Obama has, as I write, just instructed the U.S. to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in “occupied” Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and the Western Wall, Israel’s most sacred site, defying heavy pressure from long-time ally Israel and President-elect Donald Trump for Washington to wield its veto. If there was any doubt of Obama’s longterm bias against Israel, even to diehard leftists, this should dispel the illusion.
This is therefore a good moment to read Horowitz’s long essay in Volume VII, “Obama and the War Against the Jews,” written with Jacob Laksin in 2010. I cannot do it justice here, but urge it upon anyone who wants a clear and relatively concise summary of Obama’s attempt, from his initial “apology tour” at the beginning of his presidency forward, to enable Iranian hegemony in the Middle East at the expense not only of Israel, but of America’s traditional Arab allies, by appeasing terrorist Hezbollah and Hamas, and subverting Israel’s legitimate claims to their indigenous lands from time immemorial.
The media today can’t wax indignant enough over the choices president-elect Trump is making for key cabinet positions. They’re too wealthy; they’re too right-wing; they’re too cozy with Russia. The agitated media pearl-clutching is a sight to behold.
Former Breitbart editor Steve Bannon has the media reaching for the smelling salts, yet they never complained when the Democratic National Committee appointed Carlotta Scott, former mistress of the Marxist dictator of Grenada and supporter of Communists during the Cold War, as “political issues director.” Her longterm commitment to Soviet interests is laid out in “A Question of Loyalties.”
Nor did we ever see the media taking to its fainting couch over Bill Clinton’s disgraceful record with the Communist Chinese dictatorship. Bill Clinton was not the ideological leftist his wife is, but he came of age in the counter-culture, and was therefore tolerant of the hard leftists favoured by Hillary, whom she invited into the Clinton entourage.
The Clinton team became more than tolerant in the course of their reign though. They are responsible, Horowitz writes, for “the most massive breach of military security in American history.” In “The Manchurian Presidency” (a must-read), Horowitz exhumes sordid activities by Bill Clinton’s that should have galvanized media too preoccupied with a pretty intern, cigars and a stained blue dress to notice their president was overseeing the handover of America’s nuclear secrets to Communist China.
The publication of the Report of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China, known as the Cox Report (Republican Representative Chris Cox chaired the committee that produced it), chronicled and assessed covert operations by the China within the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s.
The report revealed that Clinton had downgraded security controls at America’s nuclear laboratories, with the consequence that the Chinese were able to steal the designs of America’s nuclear-weapon arsenal, including her most advanced warheads, as well as the secrets of America’s intercontinental ballistic missile systems.
Horowitz writes: “In a little over five years [1994-99], the Chinese Communist dictatorship has been able to close a technology gap of twenty years and to destroy a security buffer that had kept America safe from foreign attacks on its territorial mainland for more than a hundred.” America became vulnerable not only to China, but to rogue states China has been happy to arm, like Iraq, Syria and Iran.
One of the more concerning aspects of Clinton’s cozying up to China was the Clinton administration’s failure to prosecute spies engaged in critical thefts of American military secrets.
Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwanese-American scientist working for the University of California at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, downloaded millions of lines of computer code, revealing the designs of nuclear warheads. But after being held for nine months, he was released in 2000, without being charged with espionage, although he pled guilty to mishandling computer files. Notably, a request to wiretap Lee’s phone was denied by the Clinton Department of Justice, a virtual first for the DOJ.
Peter Lee (no relation), a physicist born in China who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, pled guilty to lying on security-clearance forms and passing classified national-defense information to Chinese scientists on business trips to Beijing, educating Beijing on warhead testing techniques and the radar technology to locate American submarines. But he served only a year in a halfway house.
A Wikipedia entry on the subject unironically notes, “The issue was a considerable scandal at the time.” Not unlike the Rosenberg ‘scandal,’ called by its real name, “treason,” one might add, which ended in execution. Autres temps, autres moeurs, as the French say: other times, other customs.
As Horowitz points out, the whole intricate, perfidious story is recounted in Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II’s book, The Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash (1998). These two national security professionals uncover a history leading backward from Clinton’s triangulation with Communist China to relationships begun back in Arkansas.
Summary accounts of two men favored by the Clintons for their funding help in tight situations who were deeply involved in the China network: Arkansas resident James Riady, a Chinese-American scion of a multi-billionaire financial empire in a working partnership with Chinas military and intelligence establishment; and John Huang, Far East manager for the Arkansas-based Worthen Bank, who became a top official in the Commerce Department, make for fascinating reading.
I mentioned the very different attitude shown to traitors in the days of Stalinist fellow travellers from those in the Clinton era. Of the contrast Horowitz writes that it could at least be said of the Rosenbergs “that they did not do it for themselves, but out of loyalty to an ideal, however pathetic and misguided. Bill Clinton has no such loyalties – not to his family, his party, or his country….The destructiveness of Bill Clinton has emerged out of a need that is far more banal – to advance the cause of a self-absorbed and criminal self.”
Until the night of November 8, Bill Clinton had every reason to believe he would be back in the White House again with Hillary, this time nominally as First Gentleman, but practically as the co-president Hillary was in his tenure.
Will Donald Trump “make America great again?” Maybe, maybe not. But just knowing that their new president has America’s restored national greatness as his vision has already given Americans what they were promised and never received eight years ago: real hope and real change. Reading Volume VII of the Black Book is a salutary reminder of the bullet America has just dodged.