'Community organizer' is to Barack Obama what 'war hero' was to John Kerry

Discussion in 'Congress' started by SolarEnergy1, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. SolarEnergy1
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    SolarEnergy1 Member

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    South Side Veterans for Truth
    By JAMES TARANTO


    Last week we wrote that " 'community organizer' is to Barack Obama what 'war hero' was to John Kerry." We didn't know the half of it.

    Kerry staked his claim to the presidency on the pretense that he was a war hero, notwithstanding his showy repudiation decades earlier of the war and his fellow veterans. According to a new exposé in the liberal New Republic, Obama, before embarking on a career in politics, similarly, albeit quietly, repudiated "community organizing," only to re-embrace it decades later, apparently out of political expediency.

    TNR's John Judis tracked down Jerry Kellman, who in 1985 "hired Obama to organize residents of Chicago's South Side." Kellman describes a conversation the two "community organizers" had at a conference on "social justice" in October 1987:

    "[Obama] wanted to marry and have children, and to have a stable income," Kellman recalls.
    But Obama was also worried about something else. He told Kellman that he feared community organizing would never allow him "to make major changes in poverty or discrimination." To do that, he said, "you either had to be an elected official or be influential with elected officials." In other words, Obama believed that his chosen profession was getting him nowhere, or at least not far enough. . . .
    And so, Obama told Kellman, he had decided to leave community organizing and go to law school.
    Another way of putting this might be that Obama left community organizing because he wanted a job in which he had actual responsibilities (and, of course, earned more money).

    But Obama did not decide only that "community organizing" was not for him. Judis reports the future senator took part in a September 1989 symposium in which he "rejected the guiding principles of community organizing: the elevation of self-interest over moral vision; the disdain for charismatic leaders and their movements; and the suspicion of politics itself." Later, Obama "would begin to construct a political identity for himself that was not simply different from his identity as a community organizer--but was, in fact, its very opposite."

    Judis offers the closest thing we've heard to a job description for "community organizers." What they do, he writes, is "unite people of different backgrounds around common goals and use their collective strength to wring concessions from the powers that be." To help illuminate this rather vague description, Judis also enumerates some of the tasks Obama and his colleagues undertook.

    Before Obama's arrival in Chicago, Kellman and his "partner," Mike Kruglik, set out "to revive the region's manufacturing base--and preserve what remained of its steel industry--by working with unions and church groups to pressure companies and the city; but those hopes were quickly dashed." Apparently the presence of "community organizers" is not a strong selling point for companies making location decisions. Go figure.

    Obama set his sights lower, but still missed the mark. He "got community members to demand a job center that would provide job referrals, but there were few jobs to distribute." Then "he tried to create what he called a 'second-level consumer economy' . . . consisting of shops, restaurants, and theaters. This, too, went nowhere."

    These efforts at economic development having failed, Obama "began to focus on providing social services for Altgeld Gardens," a government-owned and -operated apartment complex:

    "We didn't yet have the power to change state welfare policy, or create local jobs, or bring substantially more money into the schools," [Obama] wrote. "But what we could do was begin to improve basic services at Altgeld--get the toilets fixed, the heaters working, the windows repaired." Obama helped the residents wage a successful campaign to get the Chicago Housing Authority to promise to remove asbestos from the units; but, after an initial burst of activity, the city failed to keep its promise. (As of last year, some residences still had not been cleared of asbestos.)
    It is both funny and scary that one of America's major political parties would offer this record of sheer futility as its nominee's chief qualification to be president of the United States. Even more striking, though, is how alien the world in which Obama operated was by comparison with the world in which normal Americans live.

    Reader, when your toilet breaks, do you wait around for some Ivy League hotshot to show up and organize a meeting so that you can use your collective strength to wring concessions from the powers that be?

    Or do you call a plumber?

    As a "community organizer," Obama toiled within a subculture of such abject dependency that even home repairs were "social services," provided by government (or, in Obama's Chicago, not provided). It was an utterly bizarre intersection between the cultural elite and the underclass. By Judis's account, Obama's Columbia degree was useless. He would have been more helpful if he'd gone to vocational school instead.

    Judis quotes an Altgeld resident as telling Obama, "Ain't nothing gonna change. . . . We just gonna concentrate on saving our money so we can move outta here as fast as we can." Certainly no one can fault Obama for doing the same thing. But what did Obama move outta there to do? To become a politician--specifically, an "idealistic" politician who wants "to make major changes in poverty." Guys like that created this mess in the first place.

    In his political career, has Obama done or even said anything to suggest that he has a different approach to "poverty," one that would reduce dependency rather than promote it? His recent rediscovery of the glories of "community organizing" certainly isn't an encouraging sign.

    Best of the Web Today - WSJ.com
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Not a real glowing report on his community organizing is it ?
     
  3. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    That wise crack backfired on Palin.
     
  4. AllieBaba
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    Lol. I knew the "community organizer" thing was BS when a detailed and illuminated report of all the wonderful things he'd accomplished as a "community organizer" didn't appear.

    Community organizer is an acronym for "no accomplishments" or maybe "rabble rousing".
     
  5. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I'm sure there are some who do some hard self sacrificing work to improve their communities but Obama sure wasn't one of them. Where are the tales of his successes?
     
  6. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    I saw a whole special on all the good works he has done. You didn't see it? Must not have been on Fox or Rush.
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    link us up----since when have you ever been shy ?
     
  8. Ninja
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    Ninja Senior Member

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    :rofl:
     
  9. AllieBaba
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    Once again. I only have CNN, sadly.
     
  10. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    It's hilarious how it's fashionable for republicans to shit on Kerry's military service, DESPITE THEIR 04 HOMEBOY, while the DEMS are capable of extending respect to Mccain's service. For real, fellaz.. this dead horse won't make your 04 choice any less of a silver spoon PUSSY who didn't have half the balls Kerry did in 'nam.
     

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