Round The Bend

Round The Bend

The crowd at The Corner seems to have gone well and truly insane. It all starts when David Frum asks:

“Does anybody really seriously believe that Barack Obama is a secret left-wing radical? And if not, then what is this fuss and fury supposed to show?”

There follow a series of posts at The Corner which basically answer: yes. Jonah Goldberg:

“Well, yes. Lots of people do. For me, it depends on what you mean by “radical” …”

Mark Levin:

“How can anyone who actually follows this stuff, who reads Freddoso, Kurtz, and scores of other reliable sources of information, conclude that Obama is not some wild-eyed radical?”

Andy McCarthy:

“If you accept the premise that he was a radical, how has he changed such that he should no longer be considered a radical? Obviously, he is very smooth and he presents himself as a reasonable, moderate fellow. But that doesn’t affect substance.”

There follow several more posts, and then we get to the pièce de resistance, from McCarthy again:

“Obama’s radicalism, beginning with his Alinski/ACORN/community organizer period, is a bottom-up socialism. This, I’d suggest, is why he fits comfortably with Ayers, who (especially now) is more Maoist than Stalinist. What Obama is about is infiltrating (and training others to infiltrate) bourgeois institutions in order to change them from within — in essence, using the system to supplant the system. A key requirement of this stealthy approach (very consistent with talking vaporously about “change” but never getting more specific than absolutely necessary) is electability. With an enormous assist from the media, which does not press him for specifics, Obama has walked this line brilliantly. Absent convincing retractions of his prior radical positions, though, we should construe shrewd moves like the ostensibly reasonable Second Amendment position as efforts make him electable.

This is why Ayers is so important: it is a peek behind the curtain of Obama’s rhetoric.”

So, if I understand this correctly: Barack Obama is in fact a radical; if not himself a Maoist, then at least someone who “fits comfortably” with people who are “more Maoist than Stalinist.” But he is disguising this fact in order to infiltrate bourgeois institutions and implement his radical vision from within. A quiescent media does not press him for specifics, thereby allowing his centrist disguise to go unquestioned. Only his relationship with Bill Ayers allows us “a peek behind the curtain.”

This is delusional. It would be interesting to ask, for instance, why so few of Obama’s law students have come forward to talk about his attempt to transform them into Maoist cadres, or why the lawyers in his firm have not mentioned his commitment to cultural revolution, or how he has managed to conceal his desire to nationalize the means of production from, well, everyone. Was he secretly plotting to get asked, unexpectedly, to speak at the Democratic Convention, take a chance on running for President, and succeed, back when he was on the Harvard Law Review? That, plus absolutely iron self-control, might explain why no one caught a glimpse of Obama’s secret radicalism: he has been concealing it for decades, the better to bore away at our bourgeois institutions.

There’s only one problem with that hypothesis: if Obama were as stealthy as that, if he had lived a secret life for decades, completely concealing his inner Maoist, he would never, ever have blown his cover by getting on a board with William Ayers.

Corner: you’re getting into When Prophecy Fails territory. Get a grip.