Political Hay

Boehner Takes On Radical-In-Chief

House GOP to battle socialist realignment strategy revealed in Stanley Kurtz book.

By 1.4.11

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"In sum, the fears of Obama's harshest critics are justified. The president of the United States is a socialist."
-- Stanley Kurtz, writing in Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism

Within hours, John Boehner, a son of the Ohio working class, will become Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Just in time.

In an exhaustively researched book Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, released at the end of 2010, longtime journalist Stanley Kurtz provides a thorough documentation of what so many have suspected of President Barack Obama. Although he was initially skeptical, Kurtz's extremely detailed research done over two-years in archives and with information from fresh and knowledgeable sources has led him to a disturbing conclusion. In Kurtz's concluding, blunt words:

The president of the United States is a socialist.

Kurtz also focuses on the late American socialist Michael Harrington's "socialist realignment strategy" -- deliberately dividing Americans by class "with Republicans marked out as the aggressors," forcing the "have-nots" to act as a unified, pro-socialist -- and electorally dominant -- force.

Had this book been written in 2008 when Sean Hannity was uncovering the connection between then-Senator Obama, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and, as Hannity correctly terms him, the "unrepentant terrorist" Bill Ayers, Obama would surely still be in the Senate, with either Hillary Clinton or John McCain now preparing their State of the Union address.

Yet ironically, perhaps it really is better that the book is still freshly sitting on bookstore shelves as John Boehner prepares to lead 63 Republican House freshmen into the majority on the morrow. It is a must read for every one of those 63 members and their new Senate counterparts.

Why?

 While Boehner will be installed with the title "Speaker of the House," in fact history has thrust him into the role of a commanding general in what has now become an American war against this "socialist realignment strategy" -- the political cancer that is socialism. Most importantly, he will have the fresh troops he needs to do battle with the pernicious political doctrine that the late F.A. Hayek all too correctly labeled as one that has the capability to

destroy, perhaps forever, not only developed individuals and buildings and art and cities (which we have long known to be vulnerable to the destructive powers of moralities and ideologies of various sorts), but also traditions, institutions, and interrelations without which such creations could hardly have come into being or ever be recreated. 

Two years into the Obama presidency, with a hard record of performance as opposed to airy campaign rhetoric about a post-ideological pragmatism, the American people have learned the hard way just why Obama has been so vague about certain aspects of his background. Including but not limited to government takeovers of car companies and financial institutions, the massive stimulus spending and resulting unemployment, the first FCC attempts to corral free speech on the Internet, and last but not least the all-out assault on the American health care system known as "Obamacare," Americans have absorbed the body blows of learning just what hard core socialism can begin to mean. 

The Wall Street Journal put it this way in a New Year's Eve editorial assessing what Americans had learned in the last two years -- and what lay ahead:

For today's left, the main goal of politics is not to respond to public opinion. The goal is to impose the dream of an egalitarian entitlement state whether the public likes it or not…. The lesson for Republicans is to understand the nature of their political opponents and this long-term bet.

Say again: "The lesson for Republicans is to understand the nature of their political opponents and this long-term bet."

It falls to John Boehner to understand that as he takes the gavel from Nancy Pelosi he and his new majority are not dealing with a collection of separate, seemingly disconnected issues. Whether the subject is repealing Obamacare or raising the debt ceiling, cutting spending or investigating the Department of Justice decisions on the New Black Panthers or trying al Qaeda terrorists in New York, the overarching issue is the attempt to impose what Kurtz calls "stealth socialism" -- deliberately dividing Americans by class and hence transforming America forever into some sort of European-style socialist state. A nation where, as the WSJ editorial also points out, the goal is to totally reshape America so that "the government will control 40% to 50% of all economic resources."

Let's put just one face on how the results of all this would work if Obama were to succeed -- and Boehner to fail.

Since Obama Medicare chief Dr. Donald Berwick has re-launched the "death panel" debate by inserting the government into end-of-life decisions by way of a secretly hatched fiat, let's discuss Linda O'Boyle to illustrate just why John Boehner's job has surprisingly cast him into the role of a general even more than a Speaker.

Linda O'Boyle was a 64-year old British mother of three sons and grandmother to four. She had bowel cancer, a disease that can bring excruciating pain. Her doctor prescribed Cetuximab, a medication she was told would improve her chances of fighting the disease.

Enter socialism.

Mrs. O'Boyle was told by Britain's National Health Service -- the kindly government institution that provides so-called "free" medical care -- that they decided she couldn't have the drug. They simply refused to pay for it on grounds of rationing resources. O'Boyle promptly withdrew her savings and bought the drug herself. Finding this out, the NHS angrily informed her she had broken their bureaucratic rules -- and henceforth would be denied all treatment. Mrs. O'Boyle -- beloved by family and friends -- was left to die a painful death, which she did, within months. Uproar ensued.

Result, the bureaucracy decided to edge away from this and that policy that resulted in the death of Linda O'Boyle. To issue another government edict from another set of bureaucrats.

But the chilling point remains for Americans. This is what happens when bureaucrats -- not doctors and patients -- wind up making medical decisions.

Plainly put, socialism killed Linda O'Boyle. While bowel cancer may have eventually brought about her death, make no mistake. Socialism took this woman's life.

What does the lesson of Linda O'Boyle mean for John Boehner? What does this have to do with the thorough details of Barack Obama's life and political vision as unearthed by Stanley Kurtz?

It means that Americans can now understand all too vividly just what Barack Obama's vision for America really is. They can understand why Obama and his allies think and act the way they do. They can understand the point the WSJ makes when it writes:

For today's left, the main goal of politics is not to respond to public opinion. The goal is to impose the dream of an egalitarian entitlement state whether the public likes it or not…

The imposition of this "dream of an egalitarian state" explains exactly why millions of Americans don't have a job or why oil drilling in the Gulf is banned or why the Federal Communications Commission is attempting to control the Internet, among other things. And it explains why we are headed for a health care system that will produce the inevitable tragedy of American Linda O'Boyles if Boehner doesn't work to stop this socialist agenda in its tracks.

Earlier in the WSJ, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., the founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator, noted that:

In the tumultuous history of postwar American liberalism, there has been a slow but steady decline of which liberals have been steadfastly oblivious. The heirs of the New Deal are down to around 20% of the electorate…..As a political movement liberalism is dead. They do not have the numbers. They do not have the policies.

Tyrrell is right. Which makes the WSJ point of an American left -- 20% of the electorate -- hell-bent on imposing "an egalitarian state" on the other 80% all the more disturbing.

What are some of the things that Kurtz's research has unearthed?

What specifically is it that he has found that makes John Boehner's job more important than that of the average Speaker of the House?

Whether documenting Obama's attendance at events like the first Socialist Scholars Conference while a student at Columbia University, the role played in his thinking by Marxist theorists like Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, and the Communist Frank Marshall Davis (the latter an Obama family friend mentioned only by first name in Obama's Dreams from My Father) the parade of socialist mentors (like Jeremiah Wright), the role of Chicago socialist Mayor Harold Washington, radical friends, involvement with extremist left-wing organizations like ACORN or the Midwest Academy, Kurtz connects the dots not visible in 2008 with those that were surfaced during the presidential election by Hannity and others who are not the reluctant mainstream media.

Taken together with the record of the first two years of the Obama administration, Radical-In-Chief communicates the importance of the task that lies ahead of Boehner and his new colleagues.

Barack Obama and his allies are attempting to re-make America into a nation of perpetual class-warfare, a land divided between the "rich" and "the poor." Precisely the kind of country that would have kept the working-class John Boehner forever poor and denied opportunity -- an opportunity which, through his own hard work, will now make this working-class America kid with 11 siblings the third most powerful official in the government.

In leading this fight, both Boehner and other Republicans will have to be careful.

Says Kurtz: 

[W]hen President Obama says "Go for it" to Republicans who hope to repeal his health-care-reform law, he means it. Those who already see Obama as a socialist tend to think of his insistence on backing health-care reform in the face of collapsing political support as the suicidal impulse of a true ideologue. It's more likely that Obama has a long-term class-based realignment strategy in mind. Obama would love the Republicans to try to take away the health care he's offered to millions of uninsured. Taking a leaf from the Cloward-Piven [socialist] handbook, Obama hopes that a Republican campaign for repeal will ignite a political movement of the poor that will energize and radicalize the Democratic Party.

Which is to say, when John Boehner takes the gavel as Speaker of the House, he will now be leading the fight in the House of Representatives not just against Obamacare or any other specific Obama-backed piece of legislation or regulation.

The new Speaker and his 63 troops -- and those new Senators like Florida's Marco Rubio, Kentucky's Rand Paul, and Utah's Mike Lee -- will be leading the charge against Obama's version of Michael Harrington's "socialist realignment strategy."

It will be the first political battle royal of the second decade of the 21st century. To borrow from the late, unlamented Saddam Hussein, this will be the mother of all political battles. Coming to a head in November of 2012.

One can only hope as Boehner and his new conservative troops set out on this battle that they will remember this from Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech for Barry Goldwater. A speech from another time -- yet for the same battle Boehner faces today;

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

That "first step into darkness" that Reagan spoke of is here. Now. Obamacare is in fact that first step into darkness of which Reagan spoke. As the WSJ noted, it is the "main chance" for the left. Obamacare will "fundamentally change the relationship between government and individuals if it is not repealed or replaced." We are now on the path that Ronald Reagan warned could only lead to disaster -- just as it has in fact done for Linda O'Boyle.

John Boehner's task is to get America off that path.

It won't be easy, either. But failure is not an option.

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.