Michael Gaynor
February 22, 2011
Stanley Kurtz's Radical-in-Chief could (and should) have given Obama much more grief
By Michael Gaynor

Kurtz's failure to include MonCrief was as foolish as trying to prosecute Communist Alger Hiss without Whittaker Chambers and his "Pumpkin Papers" would have been.

Stanley Kurtz's Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, officially released on October 19, 2010, is a valuable book, as far it went. It is required reading for people concerned about America's future and cognizant of the need to understand the past in order to cope with the present and shape the future. Kurtz identified ACORN as a stealth socialist candidate and publicized "internal ACORN documents at the Wisconsin Historical Society," but those documents were from the last millenium. Kurtz's book would have been much more impactful if Kurtz had interviewed ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief on the subject of ACORN and Obama. Kurtz's failure to include MonCrief was as foolish as trying to prosecute Communist Alger Hiss without Whittaker Chambers and his "Pumpkin Papers" would have been. See http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hiss/pumpkinp.html.

Kurtz is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a contributing editor for National Review Online. He appreciated the connection between ACORN and the financial crisis that paved the way for the Obama presidency before Election Day 2008.

The product description of Kurtz's book is as follows:

"President Barack Obama surprised many voters during a pre-election interview when he approvingly noted that Ronald Reagan had 'changed the trajectory of America' in a way that other presidents had not. In effect, Obama was saying that he, too, aimed to transform America in some fundamental way. Yet while Americans in 1982 may have been divided over Reagan's politics, at least they knew what he stood for. Do we really understand Obama's vision for our country?

"In his controversial new book, veteran journalist Stanley Kurtz culls together two years of investigations from archives and never-before-tapped sources to present an exhaustively-researched expose of President Obama's biggest secret — the socialist convictions and tactical ruthlessness he has long swept under the rug.

"A personable figure, a thoughtful politician, and an inspiring orator, Obama has hidden his core political beliefs from the American people — sometimes by directly misrepresenting his past and sometimes by omitting or parceling out damaging information to disguise its real importance. The president presents himself as a post-ideological pragmatist, yet his current policies grow directly from the nexus of socialist associates and theories that has shaped him throughout his adult life.

"Kurtz makes an in-depth exploration of the president's connections to radical groups such as ACORN, UNO of Chicago, the Midwest Academy, and the Socialist Scholars Conferences. He explains what modern 'stealth' socialism is, how it has changed, and how it continues to influence the Democratic Party. He sheds light on what the New York Times called a 'lost chapter' of the president's life — his years at Columbia — and proves that Obama's youthful infatuation with socialism was not just a phase. Those ideas have shaped his political views and set the groundwork for the long-term strategy of his administration.

"It could be argued that Obama's past no longer matters, but, in a sense, it matters more than the present. Obama has adopted the gradualist socialist strategy of his mentors, seeking to combine comprehensive government regulation of private businesses with a steadily enlarging public sector. Eventually, in his hands, capitalist America could resemble a socialist-inspired Scandinavian welfare state.

"The gap between inner conviction and public relations in Obama's case is vastly wider than for most American politicians. If Americans understood in 2008 the facts Kurtz reveals in this shocking political biography, Obama would not be president today. The fears of his harshest critics are justified: our Commander-in- Chief is a Radical-in-Chief." Stated simply, Obama is a stealth socialist and Kurtz demonstrates it.

Kurtz closed his book's ACORN chapter this way:

"Given all this, it seems fair to say that Barack Obama knowingly lied about his ties to ACORN during the 2008 campaign. But while a 'lie' is certainly included in the problem, I think something much larger than a single infraction against the truth is at stake here, Obama'a suppression of his ties to ACORN is part of a systematic and deep-lying pattern of deception about his radical political past. Obama's campaign stance was so completely at odds with existing information on his ACORN ties — not to mention the archival evidence — that it is a matter for wonder that the candidate kept to his story, and did so with a straight face. Obama could have confessed more, I think, if full exposure of his ACORN ties hadn't threatened to unravel his entire radical network. As we've seen, rightly understood, Obama's ACORN connection encompasses everything from Reverend Wright, to Bill Ayers, to the Midwest Academy, to socialist crisis theorists like Richard Cloward, Frances Fox Piven, and Peter Dreier, to the social thinkers behind the New Party. The role of ACORN in the financial crisis was raised by McCain, and this turned the ACORN issue into political dynamite as well. ACORN is at the center of Barack Obama's political world, and the very immensity of the fact required nothing less than a brazen attempt at deception when the issue emerged in 2008. Yet the story of ACORN is Obama's story too."

Turgid prose translation: Obama shamelessly lied about his ACORN ties and "the story of ACORN is Obama's story too."

But Obama's ACORN lies should not be a subject of wonder, especially to those who have read or heard MonCrief: With the liberal media establishment in the tank for Obama during the 2008 presidential race and his presidential campaign doomed if the truth had become generally known, the slick "Radical-in-Chief" chose to lie and did so smoothly.

That Obama lied about it is beyond legitimate dispute. In private campaign remarks to ACORN, Obama said: "I definitely welcome ACORN's input. You don't have to ask me about that. I'm going to call you even if you don't ask me. When I ran Project Vote, the voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it. Once I was elected there wasn't a campaign that ACORN worked on down in Springfield that I wasn't right there with you. Since I have been in the United States Senate, I have always been a partner with ACORN as well. I've been fighting with ACORN, along side ACORN, on the issues you care about my entire career."

Obama could have added that his presidential campaign was illictly coordinating with Project Vote, an unoffically non-partisan 501(c)(3) corporation that was part of the ACORN "family of organizations," and that National Journal had ranked him the most liberal United States senator, ahead of Vermont's admitted socialist, Bernie Sanders.

What IS "a matter of wonder" is why Kurtz ignored MonCrief and the decision of The New York Times to spike an Obama/ACORN expose that Times reporter Stephanie Strom had been working on with MonCrief a couple of weeks before Election Day 2008. (Strom is mentioned at pp. 221-22 of the book.)

Michelle Malkin wisely and wonderfully highlighted that in her number 1 best seller Culture of Corruption.

At amazon.com, there are 23 customer reviews of Kurtz's book, and 568 of Malkin's book.

Had Kurtz contacted MonCrief, he would have produced a much better book and generated much higher sales.

Much more importantly, the ugly truth about Obama and ACORN would already be more widely known.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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