Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Stanley Kurtz, author of the new must-buy book, Radical in the White House. Kurtz reveals the true agenda of Barack Obama.
Stanley Kurtz hit an Organizing for America nerve during Barack Obama’s campaign for president. Stanley, a Harvard-educated social anthropologist, is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and has written for National Review and National Review Online for over a decade. When he started not only asking questions but digging into Barack Obama’s academic and activist past, the campaign tried to shut him down — literally, organizing a phone slamdown on Chicago radio.
Well, this still is America. And so Stanley has done what he is trained to do — research and present evidence to present a complete picture, in this case of the man who is currently president of the United States. The fruit of that project is a gripping, meticulous new book, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, which he discusses with me here.
The interview in The National Review Online is very enlightening. Here are some excerpts:
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What is so bad about being a Radical-in-Chief?
STANLEY KURTZ: There are two key problems. First, Obama’s slow-motion socialism undercuts liberty and prosperity on behalf of a highly questionable view of fairness. Second, and at least as disturbing, Obama’s practice of disguising his ideological views is bad for democracy, which depends upon informed public choice.
LOPEZ: How important is ACORN to understanding Barack Obama and the Democratic party today? Is ACORN still a factor?
KURTZ: I present a great deal of new documentary evidence detailing Obama’s longstanding relationship with ACORN. When you compare all this new material with Obama’s statements in 2008, it’s obvious that he lied about his relationship with ACORN. That’s important because it calls into question Obama’s credibility on the matter of his radical beliefs and associations. To this day, Obama and the Democrats blame the financial crisis exclusively on deregulation. The contribution of ACORN and the Democrats to the origins of the subprime-lending crisis is not as widely known as it should be. The book uncovers archival documents that allow us to recover ACORN’s extensive role in the origins of the financial crisis. Fascinating documents with ACORN’s inside account of its meetings with President Clinton and his officials tell us everything about the financial crisis that Obama and the Democrats don’t want us to hear. The mentality that got us into the crisis is still at play, with both Obama and the Democrats. That is the big lesson. But ACORN itself hasn’t disappeared. ACORN is a kind of giant organizational shell game, and the recent change of name is just another move in that game.
LOPEZ: If Obama is so smart, why are the Democrats going to lose big on Tuesday?
KURTZ: Most people don’t realize that community organizers fail a lot more often than they succeed. That’s not because they’re dumb, but because, fundamentally, they are trying to manipulate people into following the organizer’s own political path. It isn’t easy to get people to travel down a political path that is not truly their own, but that is what community organizers try to do. Smarts alone can only get you so far along that road. Having said that, I argue in the book that Obama isn’t in quite as hopeless a position as he may seem to be right now. Obama has adopted a high-risk strategy. His long-term goal is to polarize the parties along class lines, thereby driving the country substantially to the left. He’s taking big chances to get there, but there is a plausible long-term scenario for success. I go into this in some detail in the final chapter.
STANLEY KURTZ is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, as well as a contributing editor for National Review Online. He has also written for National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, Policy Review, and Commentary.