Accuracy in Media

On the Fox News program Hannity & Colmes Monday night, analyst Dick Morris made the absolutely critical point that President Bush has taken the country so far to the left, in terms of his socialist-style Wall Street bailout program and his integration of the U.S. economy into a new emerging international financial order, that anything Barack Obama does in this area seems almost mainstream. This is because what we were expecting from Obama we are now getting from Bush. So Obama doesn’t look so radical anymore.

Based on Obama’s associations and influences, which we can document over most of his life and career, one must realistically conclude that he is a revolutionary Marxist. One of his more troubling associates, as we at AIM have written about for many months, is Anthony Lake, a Democratic Party foreign policy specialist who made headlines by doubting whether Alger Hiss, the United Nations founder and a U.S. State Department official, was really guilty of espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. Lake is not a figure from Obama’s distant past; rather, he has been one of Obama’s closest foreign policy advisers for the last two years. In the 1980s, he had controversial ties to the pro-Marxist think tank known as the Institute for Policy Studies, which was dedicated to the establishment of revolutionary Marxist and anti-American regimes in Central and Latin America and elsewhere.

What we are witnessing, in terms of recent Obama news conferences and public announcements of appointments, is a process that is fooling a number of people and which is clearly designed to pull the rug out from under the prospect of political opposition to the Obama agenda. It seems like some conservatives are eager to raise the white flag of surrender and even support the Obama administration. I couldn’t believe my ears when William Kristol of The Weekly Standard declared, “Fine with me,” when discussing the nomination of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. He thought she would turn out to be fine on Iraq and Iran, which seemed to be all that mattered to him.     

Part of the perception problem, certainly in the economic realm, is the common but fallacious assumption that Big Business and Wall Street are Republican entities. Hence, Timothy Geithner of the Federal Reserve, who is a member of the Wall Street crowd and close to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former Goldman Sachs CEO, becomes by definition somebody whom conservatives can automatically respect. Geithner is Obama’s pick to be Treasury Secretary.

The respected conservative writer Mona Charen writes on National Review Online that “As president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank he [Geithner] has been knee-deep in bailouts over the past three months. But that datum doesn’t distinguish him from the Bush administration or anyone else in the mainstream of America’s economic elite.” She concludes that Geithner and others constitute a “centrist” economic team.

But the Geithner selection must be understood in the context of current events. President Bush is providing Obama with an opportunity to continue and expand upon a massive effort to socialize the U.S. economy. This is what Obama wanted to do all along.

Think about it from Obama’s perspective. He tried desperately to conceal his Marxist background, especially his connection to Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, and his socialist leanings. He even talked about tax cuts for most people.

But the façade started to unravel near the end of the campaign when Joe the Plumber got him to admit to a philosophy of spreading the wealth around. The McCain campaign quickly seized upon this. But the financial crisis, which just happened to emerge, courtesy of Treasury Secretary Paulson, just six weeks before the election, convinced many people that Obama’s Marxism was less of a concern than the collapse of America’s capitalist system, which they blamed on the Republicans.

Now, as President-elect, Obama must be thinking how incredible it is that he can pursue a socialist course as president by relying on Wall Street and Big Business figures, rather than having to appoint left-wing “progressives” from his far-left base who might engender opposition from the Republican Party and be potentially controversial or difficult to get confirmed. Indeed, Obama is forever in debt to the forces on Wall Street which collapsed the economy at the best time possible to benefit him politically. He is in debt more ways than one, by virtue of the fact that he took so much of their money to get elected.

In terms of foreign policy, the same sleight-of-hand can be seen, and once again some conservatives are falling for it. “The losers in the Obama administration, as of now, are Joe Biden and Susan Rice, favorites of the left,” writes Fred Barnes on the website of The Weekly Standard. “Biden’s role in foreign policy is likely to be minimal with Clinton at the State Department. She’ll squash him if he sticks his head up. Rice, an assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration and an Obama campaign adviser, may wind up as United Nations ambassador, a highly visible but inconsequential post. She’ll have little influence.” In fact, Rice did get that post.

How on earth can Barnes claim that Rice will have “little influence?” That’s wishful thinking on his part and not good reporting. She is, in fact, one of Obama’s closest advisers, and along with Anthony Lake ran his foreign policy operation during the campaign. She is a true window into Obama’s real thinking on foreign policy issues because she has been so close to him for so long. If you read her many articles and speeches on the subject of “global poverty,” you understand why Obama sponsored the Global Poverty Act in the Senate and talked about the subject during his Clinton Global Initiative speech in September. Like Obama, she is a big booster of the U.N. and its causes. And he has made her position into one of cabinet rank. This was a big reward for her dedicated work on his behalf.

The Barnes claim that Biden will suffer because of Hillary doesn’t hold up and doesn’t even make any sense. They share the same globalist philosophy. Both, for example, were co-sponsors of Obama’s Global Poverty Act. And both believe in Senate ratification of various U.N. treaties, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Hillary has a long association with the World Federalists and Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott, a world government advocate who served in her husband’s administration, while Biden’s pro-U.N. credentials are just as strong.  “How I Learned to Love the New World Order” was the title of an article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal. This year, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he held stacked hearings in favor of the Law of the Sea Treaty and passed it out of committee, with the support of the ranking Republican member, Senator Richard Lugar, and the Bush Administration.

“As for Hillary,” writes Mona Charen, “well, she is no Jeane Kirkpatrick.” But on the other hand, Charen maintained, “she is not Carl Levin or Dennis Kucinich or Anthony Lake or Samantha Power.”

Charen may not recall that Lake served in the Clinton Administration as national security adviser. Lake and Clinton also share many views. And Samantha Power, who left the Obama campaign for a while after bad-mouthing Hillary Clinton, is back on the Obama transition team handling State Department issues. In any case, the views of Mrs. Clinton are virtually indistinguishable from those of Anthony Lake and Samantha Power in the area of expanding U.N. power in world affairs. And all of these figures favor Senate ratification of many controversial U.N. treaties.  

I don’t doubt that Obama’s brain, David Axelrod, is behind this propaganda effort to convince people, including conservatives, that Obama really isn’t so radical after all. Such an effort could pay enormous political dividends.

To be fair, some picks do look good. Consider, for example, General James Jones, Obama’s choice for national security adviser, who is a four-star Marine general. But a military figure of this stature in the administration will be absolutely necessary if Obama has any hope of pushing through the Law of the Sea Treaty, as he has vowed to do. Indeed, the Bush Administration ordered Navy Admirals to go to Capitol Hill to sell that same treaty earlier this year.

In terms of propaganda value, if Republican senators are convinced by people like Barnes and Charen that Obama is really a moderate or centrist on foreign policy, they may be more inclined to vote to ratify the treaties he sends to the Senate. Keep in mind that, even if the Democrats get their 60 votes in order to stop a filibuster, they will still need 67 votes to pass treaties. And that means some Republicans will have to be convinced to go along with the program. What better way to get those votes than to create the public perception that Obama is a moderate? It is an Axelrod masterstroke.     

Whether Lake or Power ultimately gets a high-level job is really beside the point. They have already been very influential behind-the-scenes. And there is no reason to believe they disagree with any of Obama’s picks. 

In the end, as Obama has emphasized, he is responsible for the “vision” and he expects his team to carry that out. Obama will give the orders and even a four-star General will have to obey.

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