August 3, 2008

Stanley Kurtz reads Barack Obama's paper trail

Stanley Kurtz has an informative article in the Weekly Standard on Obama's years as a state legislator, 1996-2004. Although I'd often spoken of Obama's curious lack of a paper trail, an especially odd missing link in somebody so verbally adept, it turns out that he wrote columns during those years for his hometown Hyde Park Herald and gave lots of interviews to the local black paper, the Chicago Defender. Kurtz writes:

What they portray is a Barack Obama sharply at variance with the image of the post-racial, post-ideological, bipartisan, culture-war-shunning politician familiar from current media coverage and purveyed by the Obama campaign. As details of Obama's early political career emerge into the light, his associations with such radical figures as Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, Reverend James Meeks, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn look less like peculiar instances of personal misjudgment and more like intentional political partnerships. At his core, in other words, the politician chronicled here is profoundly race-conscious, exceedingly liberal, free-spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan. ...

Fundamentally, he is a big-government redistributionist who wants above all to aid the poor, particularly the African-American poor. Obama is eager to do so both through race-specific programs and through broad-based social-welfare legislation. "Living wage" legislation may be economically counterproductive, and Obama-backed housing experiments may have ended disastrously, yet Obama is committed to large-scale government solutions to the problem of poverty. Obama's early campaigns are filled with declarations of his sense of mission-a mission rooted in his community organizing days and manifest in his early legislative battles. Recent political back flips notwithstanding, Barack Obama does have an ideological core, and it's no mystery at all to any faithful reader of the Chicago Defender or the Hyde Park Herald.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


RKU said...

Goodness gracious! Barack Obama is a liberal!!!

It's totally, totally, totally astonishing that the Democratic Party would nominate a *liberal* for President. And he even long supported a big rise in the minimal wage! And Affirmative Action!

Kurtz deserves a Pulitzer Prize for such brilliant investigative journalism.

Scott said...

Long before there was stuffwhitepeoplelike, there was; it's funny and in the same spirit.

Lucius Vorenus said...

ATTN STANLEY KURTZ*: Please, PLEASE, PLEASE go back another ten years beyond 1996, all the way back to [circa] 1986, and investigate the various relationships between Barack, Michelle, the Ayers/Dohrn family, and the MINOW family.

As a starting point, read Stephen Diamond's startling essay:

Who "sent" Obama?

Diamond has also written about Obama in the 1990's:

That "Guy Who Lives in My Neighborhood": Behind the Ayers-Obama Relationship

But it's Diamond's earlier essay, about Barack & Michelle in the mid- to late- 1980's, which really intrigues me: Diamond outlines the possibility of a mid-1980's web of interconnections between Newton Minow [Sidley Austin partner & JFK's FCC Chairman], his daughter, Nell Minow, his other daughter, Martha Minow [Harvard Law School professorette with some bizarre specialties which would interest Spengler**], Michelle LaVaughn Robinson [Sidley Austin employee & possible Sidley Austin intern?], Bernardine Dohrn [Sidley Austin employee from 1984 to 1988], William Ayers's father, Tom Ayers, William Ayers's brother, John Ayers, and, of course, Barack Hussein Obama II himself.

Granted, Barack's radical roots go even deeper than that [having Edward Said as a professor at Columbia in the early 1980's, having a really bizarre relationship with the communist Frank Marshall Davis in the 1970's, being the spawn of a Kenyan marxist father and a Kansan marxist mother, etc etc etc], but the mid-1980's relationship with the Ayerses, Dohrn, and the Minows is just screaming for some explication.

* Or anyone else who can get the funding to do this.

** The infamous photo of William Ayers's office door at UIC indicates that radical, violent, anti-Western Luddism runs rampant in this circle of friends.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I doubt that the general premise is shocking (true RKU), but it is significant in view of Obama's move to the center to have it documented.

However, I don't think progressivism is the great worry over the long haul. Certainly, those are his instincts and he is not likely to push the Democrats in any more centrist direction while in office.

But he is above all an opportunist. Like the Clintons, who followed the polls faithfully after their first debacle on health care, he will want above all to be re-elected. We are more likely to be leaderless and drifting, as we were under Clinton 1994-2000, than pulled left by Obama specifically. That drift cost us terribly in the WOT.

It is impossible to read the man's mind, but it is entirely possible that his farther left stance was adopted out of ambition instead of principle, and his post-racial shtick adopted when he discovered that the kids would dance to it. Which is worse? Tough call, but I lean toward drift being more dangerous.

RKU said...

A couple of times, a friend and I have both agreed that we'd be *enormously* more enthusiastic about poor Barack if he promised that right after the election he'd immediately bring over a whole big bunch of his Kenyan relatives---and their machetes!---and have them thoroughly "clean up" DC.

I'm sure they'd qualify for those "special professional skills" visas...

gabo said...

"Long before there was stuffwhitepeoplelike, there was; it's funny and in the same spirit."

It's not in the same spirit - never was. It was written by the same type of people who are mocked by SWPL.

Anonymous said...

So, all that talk about Obama having no paper trail isn't true, I guess.

I'm not terribly impressed with Stanley Kurtz in general-when he isn't beating the drum for the Israel lobby, he's making arguments about the horrors of gay marriage that don't seem to be backed by actual data. So I was a bit surprised that Kurtz' article wasn't a total waste of my time.

A little local knowledge (or talking to someone with it) would have benefited Kurtz a lot: Obama is closely tied to IL. Senate President Emil Jones (D). If you know that, and you know that Jones has a bit of a stake (politically and, allegedly, financially) in expanding casino gambling in Illinois, you'll have a better understanding of why Obama was so upset that some black representatives weren't backing a riverboat casino plan. (People with real local knowledge will know that the lack of unity has something to do with the rivalry between blacks from Chicago's West and South Sides; Jones is from the South Side.)

Still, even though the article wasn't a total waste of time, is it really that damaging?

I don't plan to vote for either Obama or McCain (I'm thinking of writing in Horace Greeley-since he's dead, he can't do that much damage if he manages to win), but nothing I've read from the Republican equivalents of Pravda and Izvestia (that would be the Weekly Standard and National Review) has really made me think I can convince anyone who wasn't planning to vote for McCain anyway to not vote for Obama.

Of course, the point of articles like Kurtz' is to rally the troops for the 4 Minutes Hate, so that doesn't matter.

Oh, how I wish we had "None of these losers" as an option on our ballots, so I could voice my opposition to McCain, Obama, Barr, McKinney, Nader, Baldwin, and all the other kakistocrats vying for the job of First Citizen.

Planetary Archon Mouse

Anonymous said...

Kurtz is a national treasure. He has also written about cousin marriage and its consequences for the Middle East as well as Muslim assimilation in the West. Has SS taken some points from this man? And a Jew no less!

Scott said...


I interpreted the "Black People Love Us" site as a mechanism to mock "whitepeople," and it is probably written by whitepeople (note Lander has written that his site’s point is to mock people LIKE himself).

testing99 said...

Gay marriage is a disaster because it opens the door to polygamy. Legally, you can't prohibit one but not the other, as has been the experience in every other nation that legalized gay marriage.

Polygamy IS a huge disaster. And Kurz points that out as well.

Assistant Village Idiot -- you might be right on drift vs. aggressive move to the left on Obama's instincts, but I think you overlook his political power base. Which is the Chicago Hard-Left racial lobby including Farrakhan, Ayers, Dorhn, etc. and the "we hate Centrist-Clinton crowd" including Pelosi, Boxer, etc.

Obama's political power base will IMHO FORCE him to move to the Left, the hard left. Including: reparations (he's been on all sides of that issue), general disarmament in the WoT, an "Obama Corps" as big as the military, which will be gutted, etc.

And of course MORE culture wars: Heather has Two Mommies as the standard, along with single motherhood, and the nuclear family as the "enemy" and so on.

Anonymous said...

Obama's a black partisan social democrat with no understanding of economics? Bring it on! The Executive Branch will be a PC/multi-cult/kook clusterf***, with proposals tied up for ages because they haven't been reviewed by the Undersecretary for Disabled Transgendered Affairs. There'll be capital flight, an Italian-style underground economy, massive urban corruption, a military that just starts ignoring the latest hare-brained orders...After four years, a shell-shocked Obama will leave the WH in disgrace, with politicians in Sunbelt states talking openly about secession.

Hey, a guy can dream can't he?

--Senor Doug

Born Again Democrat said...

Like some others, I doubt Obama's "core" beliefs are necessarily what he stood for when representing Chicago's South Side. He is is a politician after all, and doesn't appear to be a true believer in anything accept his own destiny.

The biggest danger, almost guaranteed, is that he is going to be a big disappointment to the left. How disillusioning will that be?

gabo said...


I too thought it was funny after my initial read years ago, but the deeper I got into it, the more it became clear that the goal/ideology-whatever was to bag on people who truly didn't think black people were the greatest thing since the sun. It is written by white people, you're correct, but they're not making fun of themselves.

Lander has used the intelligent deflection of "they're just like I" in several interviews regarding the target of his site. It's smart, but obviously not true, particularly since he's a Steve Sailer reader.

To sum up:

SWPL - written by one of us
BPLU - written by one of them

Anonymous said...

I second that Kurtz is an outstanding journalist. At a paper that has been lurching Left, he writes persuasively as a conservative, especially on gay marriage. Kurtz truly is a softer, kinder Steve Sailer.

BTW, here is a great blog I found through Mencious Moldbug: latte island. She's an anonymous race realist who was cruelly mugged by reality. I recommend it because, as a woman, she tends to tell stories and anecdotes. Her stuff is very strong and she may go too far for many, but I recommend her nonetheless. This is probably her seminal post:

J. said...

Having Obama so near the Presidency wonderfully concentrates people´s minds. All of us following Steve Sailer´s research, know that Obama is not an opportunist but has a hard political ¨core¨. He will never "sell out" the South Chicago poor people but will use State funds to improve their welfare. If one thing, he is more honest than most politicians, and we know what to expect from him. Even the obtuse Wall Street Journal is starting to understand. Prof. Boskin wrote a good article on Obama.

Anonymous said...

"Long before there was stuffwhitepeoplelike, there was; it's funny and in the same spirit."

It's not in the same spirit - never was. It was written by the same type of people who are mocked by SWPL.

And even more comically it has comments from blacks and whites who dont even get the joke.

whate said...

I was perusing quickly around It surely seems to be in the same spirit as SWPL. It mocks white people who are so desperate to be seen as enlightened. One mock "quote" on the site is a great example: "Johnny is always saying to me (a pic of a black appears next to it) that he has so many black friends."

What am I missing?

none of the above said...

Testing99: Which countries are those, which started by allowing gay marriage, and are now allowing polygamy?

Polygamy in a big-man sense can be pretty nasty, but I think it would be an immensely hard sell in the west. De facto polygamy isn't much harder than de facto gay marriage--if you live together, manage your sleeping arrangements as suits you, and don't make a fuss, in most places nobody is going to bother you. There are a hell of a lot of gay couples doing this, visible even in small towns if your eyes are open ("Say, why did the history teacher move in with the PE teacher after her divorce? I guess they must just be rooming together to save money."). As far as I can tell, poly relationships of this kind are extremely rare.

As far as I know, the only large-ish polygamous communities in the US require pretty intense indocrination of girls to convince them to go along with being the 5th wife of the local 50 year old FLDS big man. Without that intense indoctrination, they're going to look for someone closer to their own age, and have zero interest in being baby factory and bed warmer number five for some guy old enough to be their dad.

Shorter summary: I think polygamy is about item number six thousand on our list of serious issues to worry about.

michael farris said...

Polygamy is a much harder issue legally than SMS.

SMS just requires that the sex of the marriage partners is irrelevant and doesn't require any great rewriting of marriage laws. Polygamy brings up all kinds of legal snags:

In the traditional arrangement, two or more women would be married to the same man but not married to each other.
On the other hand, modern polyandrous configurations everyone would be married to each other.
And the mechanism for deciding how to add a spouse to an existing arrangment would need to be worked out (harder than it might sound in a legalistic culture). Do widows inherit equally? According to seniority? Children? Can a partner marry add (or divorce?) a spouse without the consent of the old one(s)?

Now, if would-be polygamous ... units do the work of figuring out these and other issues, then I suppose that the rest of us will have to think about it, but there's no indication they are.

headache said...

At his core, in other words, the politician chronicled here is profoundly race-conscious, exceedingly liberal, free-spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan. ..."

Well Steve. Looks like you were a little early. And of course you don't belong to the Neocon grouping. If I recall correctly you found this out about 1 year ago, when it could have made a difference to the primaries. But then all the snooty "conservative" liberal pundits were too worried about looking like racists to notice, even though I suspect they read about it on your blog first.

Kurtz got 1 thing backwards though. The fact that Obama is free-spending is not an additional adjective, but rather a necessary condition for being practically race-conscious. Race-based programs always cost a stack of money. You basically have to subsidise lots of people who normally don't make the cut. Of course they money comes from those you like to frown on. At least they are good enough to finance the system which ultimately kills them.

gabo said...


I gave an example from the site, but probably because of the language therein, Steve didn't let it pass. I suggest that insteand of perusing quickly, you do so slowly.

anonymous, you're spot on about none of these people getting the joke. They clutter the comments section at SWPL as well. Someday we'll see, as Twain mentioned, the great power possible in utilizing humor as an effective weapon.

Actually, we probably won't.