This column by ACRU Policy Board Member J. Christian Adams was published on January 21, 2014 on the Frontpage Mag website.
In the Spring of 2011, National Security Council staffer Samantha Power sent emails to top Pentagon officials. Her emails contained GPS coordinates in Libya. She demanded that the Pentagon launch immediate air strikes on top of these coordinates, no questions asked. Power, you see, had friends in NGOs on the ground in Libya looking to borrow American might for a moment or two.
Her emails were ignored at the Pentagon. But her cavalier and hasty email demand that American airmen be launched on a dangerous mission to benefit her friends might seem incompetent and reckless.
But like so much about the age of Obama, Republicans mistake leftist ideology for incompetence. In the five decades-old orthodoxy of the foreign affairs left, pilots in supersonic jets with laser guided missiles are most appropriately used in small ways, and to serve small causes. To radicals like Power, American might should be used for their political ends, and the old conventions on target selection, chains of command and strategic aims are obsolete.
So admit it Republicans: you’re confused. You can’t understand why President Obama’s policies and his nominations are so radical. It doesn’t make sense, you think, for him to pick extremist nominees who would have radical skeletons that would have disqualified them in any other administration.
You also can’t understand why he continues to lurch left on almost every foreign and domestic issue.
Get over it. It isn’t 1990 anymore, and leftist radicalism is a prerequisite for jobs in this administration, not a disqualifier. Leftist radicalism is the administration’s reason for existence.
This is why Obama chose John Kerry as Secretary of State. Kerry first distinguished himself as a stooge for America’s enemies. In his first campaign for Congress, Kerry said, “I’m an internationalist. I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.” He even travelled to Europe to hold talks with North Vietnamese Communists while American soldiers were dying in Vietnam. His views about American power didn’t moderate over the years, as he continued to aid America’s enemies. Now he is Secretary of State.
Until the Republican Party understands that these extreme leftist policies and personnel choices are core deliberate features of the Obama era, they will never learn to combat them.
It isn’t enough to express shock that someone like Tom Perez would be nominated as Labor Secretary with his extremist history. The Obama administration isn’t afraid of your shock and strongly worded letters. The administration is instead marching forward into a bold future without you. When they march right over you, they assume you will complain.
What the Obamites are really afraid of, and haven’t seen from most in the Republican Party, are effective counter-attacks to their radicalism. They are afraid of the most radical policy units inside their government being defunded by the House. They are afraid of the impeachment of lower-level federal officials who abuse power, such as IRS or DOJ employees, by the House. They are afraid of rough power being met with rough power.
But the Obamites don’t have much to worry about. One can’t stop what one can’t even recognize.
Many won’t even attach a name to what we are all witnessing: leftist radicalism. So step one to effectively stopping Obama is to stop giving his radical nominees and radical policies the benefit of the doubt.
First, purge the word “incompetence” from your lexicon. Never use it on another Fox News hit. Never write it again. The Obama administration policies, ranging from Fast and Furious, to the New Black Panther dismissal, to the debacle of Obamacare, are not incompetent follies. They are instead representative of ideological desires deliberately implemented through the mechanisms of power available to this administration.
Fast and Furious emerged because of hostility to the constitutional right to bear arms. The New Black Panther dismissal happened because the civil rights industry today doesn’t think civil rights laws should be used against “people of color.” Every nutty and seemingly dumb Obama policy has a genesis in ideological radicalism.
These and other seemingly dumb Obama administration decisions are features; they are not glitches. Stop treating them like glitches.
Second, stop assuming we enjoy a measure of immunity from their radical policies because “they would never get away with it.” History is filled with victims who failed to act in time. Assuming that America enjoys a unique cultural ability to resist the ideological aims of the new left is a dangerous assumption.
History never stops turning the soil and what seemed impossible not long ago is always possible. Had you brought up fears in 2005 that the federal government would take over General Motors, shut down coal plants, destroy secured creditor rights of Chrysler bondholders, or taken over the health care system, polite company would have moved to the other side of the room. “Couldn’t happen here,” would have been the response.
Third, listen to what they plainly say they want to do. What about “fundamentally transform America” didn’t you understand? What about the numerous open public appearances together with Eric Holder and the radical race hustler Al Sharpton makes you think they are not simpatico? When radicals say they plan to transform the nation and hobnob (or pardon) the most destructive extremists in America, you better pay attention.
This is not your grandfather’s Democratic Party.
Right now the nomination of Debo Adegbile to run the Justice Department Civil Rights Division is before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Adegbile was the former NAACP Legal Defense Fund head. In that role, he oversaw the defense of the cop-killing Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. The Fraternal Order of Police has demanded that President Obama withdraw the nomination.
Adegbile has pushed every other crackpot racial theory popular among the civil rights industry. His career has been characterized by attacking school discipline policies and employer background checks as racially motivated. He fought to keep Abigail Fisher out of the University of Texas Law School merely because she was white.
Just a decade ago, this radical racialist background would have been a disqualifier for any nominee to the Justice Department. But today, radicalism is a prerequisite for the job.
Adegbile’s racial radicalism is so far from the mainstream that even Democratic senators such as Mark Pryor from Arkansas should question his nomination. Surely even some Democrats have a problem with a man who volunteered to help a black panther who killed a cop?
The radicalism of the administration is on open and continuous display for anyone to see. Attorney General Holder and President Obama routinely meet with the race hustler Al Sharpton. Holder has spoken at Sharpton’s National Action Network convention. Sharpton has been invited to the White House for behind-closed-doors policy debates with top Justice Department officials.
Don’t forget, Sharpton’s past would disqualify him from even obtaining a security clearance. His racially motivated lies about Tawana Brawley are just a start. He led racially motivated rallies against Jewish-owned Freddie’s Fashion Mart in New York City. Afterwards, Ronald Smith went in with a gun, told the black customers to leave, and then burned the store down killing one. Sharpton was also the primary instigator of the 1991 Crown Heights riots where Orthodox Jews were attacked randomly and Yankel Rosenbaum was murdered. Sharpton even led rallies calling Jews “diamond merchants.”
No worries. Sharpton’s past has produced lots of White House invitations and plenty of high profile administration love. Sharpton is not embraced by the Obama administration in spite of his radical past. He is being embraced because of it.
Yet Republicans seem unable to comprehend this central feature of the age of Obama.
Consider Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. As Jonathan Tobin has noted, Hagel had two qualifications that resulted in his nomination for Secretary of Defense – his distaste for Israel and his willingness to make nice with Hamas and Iran. Nevertheless, most media outlets focused on Obama’s bipartisan willingness to nominate the former Republican senator from Nebraska. His extremist views toward Israel were largely ignored.
Obama has profited by extremist actions and the radicalism of nominees being ignored throughout his administration. The extent of the radicalism places the GOP in unfamiliar territory. Many in leadership still behave and speak as if they are dealing with a president from the Democratic Party of the Kennedy era. This impotent response will complete the job for the radicals and ensure the fundamental transformation they seek. Radicals who are treated like moderates are free to implement policy without scrutiny or exposure.
A small percentage of Americans share the views of the radicals in the Obama administration. Failing to label radicals as radicals means this deep wellspring of American opposition to their policies will remain untapped. Failing to recognize a radical official as a radical means the administration official enjoys a measure of undeserved mercy. Assuming that President Obama is unaware of the radical backgrounds of his nominees or the radical policies of his agencies risks our national future. So stop giving the radicals the benefit of the doubt.