2008 September 23 Tuesday
McCain And Obama Unfit For Presidency

Neoconservative commentator Stanley Kurtz says Barack Obama was chosen to head an educational foundation by an unrepentant communist 1960s bomber radical who co-founded the Weathermen. But does Obama know which way the wind blows?

Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.

Obama pretends to hardly know Bill Ayers. But Obama is misrepresenting the relationship. In other words, he's lying.

The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.

Ayers and Obama used CAC to promote radicalization of school curricula.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

Yet Democrats swoon over Obama. They sure have low standards.

But Obama faces stiff competition in the unfit-to-lead race for the top. Conventional conservative George Will sees McCain as unconservative, with a flawed temper, and serious judgment problems.

The political left always aims to expand the permeation of economic life by politics. Today, the efficient means to that end is government control of capital. So, is not McCain's party now conducting the most leftist administration in American history? The New Deal never acted so precipitously on such a scale. Treasury Secretary Paulson, asked about conservative complaints that his rescue program amounts to socialism, said, essentially: This is not socialism, this is necessary. That non sequitur might be politically necessary, but remember that government control of capital is government control of capitalism. Does McCain have qualms about this, or only quarrels?

On "60 Minutes" Sunday evening, McCain, saying "this may sound a little unusual," said that he would like to replace Cox with Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic attorney general of New York who is the son of former governor Mario Cuomo. McCain explained that Cuomo has "respect" and "prestige" and could "lend some bipartisanship." Conservatives have been warned.

Will argues that both Obama and McCain are not ready to be President of the United States.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

These are pathetic choices. A Leftist who hides the extent of his Leftism and an ill-tempered guy who seems to have learned nothing from the Iraq Debacle and whose mind is going to age considerably in the next few years.

Here's my take on it: McCain could become senile while in office. But if we are lucky (and we can't count on luck) then he'll stroke out a few months into office and Sarah Palin will take over. Now, Sarah is not the sharpest card in the deck. One could argue that she'll be in over her head. But if we are lucky she'll respond to the office by not doing very much. She leans rightward. But she's not a man. She doesn't have as much of a need for conquest or radical restructuring. At least that is my take.

What about Obama? Maybe he's grown up as he's gotten more connected and does not attach as much importance to advice from Bill Ayers as he used to. He might instead get lots of advice from the Ivy League. Such advice will cause problems. But has he really abandoned his radical past? I think he would have plenty of knobs of government to turn in support of harmful Leftist ideas.

Which one is worse? Hard to tell. We are only going to experience the disaster of one of them and we'll have to wonder whether the loser might not have been quite as bad as the winner will turn out to be.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 September 23 10:09 PM  Politics American Presidency

Robert said at September 23, 2008 10:54 PM:

It's amazing --- 300 million people, and this is the best the country can present?

And it's not like the smaller parties are any more appetizing --- Bob Barr as a libertarian? Ron Paul endorsing Chuck Baldwin?

Ugly stuff, man. Ugly stuff. Good time to be living abroad.

Stephen said at September 24, 2008 3:07 AM:

You can complain about the individuals all you like, but at the end of the day they're merely a symptom of a broader disease.

I prescribe a parliamentary system.

oh, and mandatory voting.

black sea said at September 24, 2008 4:41 AM:

This is why I won't be voting (again). I'm in no position to decide which is preferable, a hurricane or an earthquake. Too many variables, and a whole lotta downside. If there's an upside to either, I'm having a hard time seeing it. Maybe, as you point out, that one of them might drop dead soon. I'll leave the outcome to fate, not that my vote would decide anything anyway.

"Good time to be living abroad."

Bingo. I left the States in 2003, then returned last year for nine months. I couldn't wait to get back out. The UK is maybe 10 years ahead of America on this score, but I've known a lot of UK expats who've simply given up on Great Britain. They've had all they're willing to stomach, and are voting with their feet (sorry about the mixed metaphor). I can easily see this happening with the US as well. The country that you move to may be more screwed up in its own way, but since you're not a native, a lot of this just washes over you.

Sgt. Joe Friday said at September 24, 2008 7:33 AM:

I agree, what a rotten choice, a couple of megalomaniacs that make Hillary Clinton look like a mature, well adjusted individual. Obama thinks he's the messiah (or at least does nothing to put a stop to that nonsense), McCain thinks it's God's imperative for us to allow ourselves to be overrun by another country's surplus population - at least that's how I read his incessant references to "God's children" when he's talking about Mexico's illegal aliens.

Even though I'm nominally a Republican, I'm starting to wonder if Obama's not a little bit cooler, more cautious than McCain and therefore less likely to do dumb things and/or view everything as personal. McCain has already lied to us repeatedly about amnesty and now he wants Andrew Cuomo in charge of the SEC!? If McCain gets elected, you can bet he's going to use the presidency to settle old grudges and stab the GOP in the back. At least Obama might have the good sense to put Robert Rubin back in charge of Treasury or make him chairman of the Fed.

Zylonet said at September 24, 2008 7:41 AM:

"It's amazing --- 300 million people, and this is the best the country can present?"

The problem is the vetting process. I know a lot of people who would run for office, unfortunately, what do you do with the skeletons in your closet. Maybe your wife was a stripper for 4 months. Maybe you on camera drunk as a skunk. The more information permeates society, the lower the calibre of candidate. The more people vote, the lower the common denominator.

blue said at September 24, 2008 10:20 AM:

I wrote this comment on Half Sigma's site some time ago.

We need more requirements for president and other high positions. What about something like a civil service exam that you have to pass before you can stand for election?

The requirements I'd like are:

1. Age limit. How about 52? This way, if you serve 8 years, you will be no more than 60 when you leave office.
2. Stable family life. Stable marriage. 0 divorces. 0 mistresses. Well behaved children. (No unwed pregnant daughter or druggie son). Well behaved brother, sister, mother, father. This is both because (1) the president sets an example and (2) if he has various personal dramas going on, he will be more stressed and less able to focus on his work.
3. At IQ of 130 at the time one runs for office. Perhaps more than that to account for mental decline with age while in office.
4. Passing grades in basic tests of law, economics, finance, military affairs, geography, etc.
5. One term as governor or head of some large organization.

Then voters can choose whom they would most like to have a beer with or whatever.

Randall Parker said at September 24, 2008 6:13 PM:


Mandatory voting is absolutely the wrong direction to go in. Our population is getting dumber every year. It is already too dumb already.

What we need is more limited voting rights. Many systems for filtering potential voters have been proposed. Do it on IQ, wealth, income, former military service, ability to solve a quadratic equation, just anything that makes it more selective based on ability and accomplishment.

Grout said at September 24, 2008 7:14 PM:

"What we need is more limited voting rights. Many systems for filtering potential voters have been proposed. Do it on IQ, wealth, income, former military service, ability to solve a quadratic equation, just anything that makes it more selective based on ability and accomplishment."

Never going to happen...We used to have literacy tests in order to vote. Of course that was racist, so we now have dumb blacks putting down their malt liquor for a few hours to get out and pull the lever for their tribal chief. Plenty of illegals will vote as well. Their English isn't too good, but we can fix that by providing all kinds of "services." Many of these voters don't have IQs higher than 85 or 90, but apparently that isn't a problem.
Forget any filtering system. Forget any voting. Forget any kind of representative gov't if you are a white male. You'll just foot the bill and be told to shut the fuck up. The future won't be a pretty one, that thread at gnxp was right. Just wait until the violence starts.

Stephen said at September 24, 2008 8:38 PM:

Randall, I understand your view but no one has come up with a workable filter that doesn't lead to insurrection in a generation or two.

It seems to me that mandatory voting helps remedy the problem in at least two ways: first, the extremists and/or idiots tend to cancel each other out; second, politicians are less pressured to develop bad policy to molify a narrow constituency merely because it is capable of turning out the vote. I suppose the latter point is a varient on the responsible government vs representative government - mandatory voting encourages responsible government, voluntary voting encourages representative government.

HellKaiserRyo said at September 24, 2008 9:19 PM:

"The future won't be a pretty one, that thread at gnxp was right. Just wait until the violence starts. "

The paradigm shift would be state-mandated (or more probably subsidized) embryo selection or the emergence of cybernetic cognitive enhancements, nootropics, or nanobots to alter intelligence. Will those technologies be available before it is too late? I think they might be available in the 2030s.

Income and wealth requirements would decrease the amount of younger voters. I do not expect this will gain any popular support nor be feasible to enact.

Disgusted by your CRAP said at December 20, 2008 12:50 AM:

"What we need is more limited voting rights. Many systems for filtering potential voters have been proposed. Do it on IQ, wealth, income, former military service, ability to solve a quadratic equation, just anything that makes it more selective based on ability and accomplishment."

I cannot recall having read a more ridiculous piece of drivel in my life. What you really mean by your statement, and from what I have seen from all of the racist posts on this site, only college educated white males should have the right to vote. In other words, only people like you. I came to this site via a link about hurricane Katrina, read some of the utterly ridiculous posts there then decided to see if anything else here had any redeeming qualities. It appears not.

However, there is ONE redeeming factor to this site. When the time comes where racist bullshit like this is no longer tolerated, they will only need to go to sites like this where all of the psuedo-intellectual racists assholes gather, get the IP information, go to your homes, arrest you, and shoot you in the fucking head so that less racist bullshit will be bred into the next generation and perhaps we can come closer to being what Christ wishes us to be.

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