The Vetting, Part I: Barack's Love Song To Alinsky
by Andrew Breitbart
Prior to his passing, Andrew Breitbart said that the mission of the Breitbart empire was to exemplify the free and fearless press that our Constitution protects--but which, increasingly, the mainstream media denies us.“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” – “Who guards the guardians?” Andrew saw himself in that role—as a guardian protecting Americans from the left’s “objective” loyal scribes. Andrew wanted to do what the mainstream media would not. First and foremost: Andrew pledged to vet President Barack H. Obama. Andrew did not want to re-litigate the 2008 election. Nor did he want to let Republicans off the hook. Instead, he wanted to show that the media had failed in its most basic duty: to uncover the truth, and hold those in power accountable, regardless of party.From today through Election Day, November 6, 2012, we will vet this president--and his rivals. We begin with a column Andrew wrote last week in preparation for today’s Big relaunch--a story that should swing the first hammer against the glass wall the mainstream media has built around Barack Obama.***In The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama claims that he worried after 9/11 that his name, so similar to that of Osama bin Laden, might harm his political career.But Obama was not always so worried about misspellings and radical resemblances. He may even have cultivated them as he cast himself as Chicago’s radical champion.In 1998, a small Chicago theater company staged a play titled The Love Song of Saul Alinsky, dedicated to the life and politics of the radical community organizer whose methods Obama had practiced and taught on Chicago’s South Side.Obama was not only in the audience, but also took the stage after one performance, participating in a panel discussion that was advertised in the poster for the play. Recently, veteran Chicago journalist Michael Miner mocked emerging conservative curiosity about the play, along with enduring suspicions about the links between Alinsky and Obama. Writing in the Chicago Reader, Miner described the poster:Let's take a look at this poster.It's red—and that right there, like the darkening water that swirls down Janet Leigh's drain [in Psycho’s famous shower scene], is plenty suggestive. It touts a play called The Love Song of Saul Alinsky, Alinsky being the notorious community organizer from Chicago who wrote books with titles like Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals. On it, fists are raised—meaning insurrection is in the air.And down at the very bottom, crawling across the poster in small print, it mentions the panel discussions that will follow the Sunday performances. The panelists are that era's usual "progressive" suspects: Leon Despres, Monsignor Jack Egan, Studs Terkel . . .And state senator Barack Obama.Miner obscured the truth. His article only reveals only a small portion of the poster. Here’s the whole poster: AlinskyPosterFullRezAnd here’s the press release:So, what’s in the play? It truly is a love song to Alinsky. In the first few minutes of the play, Alinsky plays Moses – yes, the Biblical Moses – talking to God. The play glorifies Alinsky stealing food from restaurants and organizing others to do the same, explaining, “I saw it as a practical use of social ecology: you had members of the intellectual community, the hope of the future, eating regularly for six months, staying alive till they could make their contributions to society.”In an introspective moment, Alinsky rips America: “My country … ‘tis of whatthehell / And justice up a tree … How much can you sell / What’s in it for me.” He grins about manipulating the Christian community to back his programs. He talks in glowing terms about engaging in Chicago politics with former Mayor Kelly. He rips the McCarthy committee, mocking, “Everyone was there, when you think back – Cotton Mather, Hester Prynn, Anne Hutchinson, Tom Paine, Tom Jefferson … Brandeis, Holmes … Gene Debs and the socialists … Huey Long … Imperial Wizards of all stripes … Father Coughlin and his money machine … Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd … and a kicking chorus of sterilized reactionaries singing O Come, All Ye Faithful …”And Alinsky talks about being the first occupier – shutting down the O’Hare Airport by occupying all the toilet stalls, using chewing gum to “tie up the city, stop all traffic, and the shopping, in the Loop, and let everyone at City Hall know attention must be paid, and maybe we should talk about it.” As Alinsky says, “Students of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your juicy fruit.”The play finishes with Alinsky announcing he’d rather go to Hell than Heaven. Why? “More comfortable there. You see, all my life I’ve been with the Have-Nots: here you’re a Have-Not if you’re short of money, there you’re a Have-Not if you’re short of virtue. I’d be asking more questions, organizing them. They’re my kind of people – Hell would be Heaven for me.”That’s The Love Song of Saul Alinsky. It’s radical leftist stuff, and it revels in its radical leftism.And that’s Barack Obama, our president, on the poster.This is who Barack Obama was. This was before Barack Obama ran for Congress in 2000—challenging former Black Panther Bobby L. Rush from the left in a daring but unsuccessful bid.This was also the period just before Barack Obama served with Bill Ayers, from 1999 through 2002 on the board of the Woods Foundation. They gave capital to support the Midwest Academy, a leftist training institute steeped in the doctrines of -- you guessed it! -- Saul Alinsky, and whose alumni now dominate the Obama administration and its top political allies inside and out of Congress. Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief, described the Midwest Academy as a "crypto-socialist organization.” Yet almost no one has heard of Midwest Academy, because the media does not want you to know that the president is a radical's radical whose presidency itself is a love song to a socialist "community organizer."The reason Newt Gingrich surged in the Republican primary contest in January is that he was attempting to do the press's job by finding out who the current occupant of the White House actually is. Millions also want to know, but the mainstream media is clearly not planning to vet the President anytime soon. Quite the opposite.For example, Miner tries to turn Obama’s appearance on the Alinsky panel into a plus for the president:Obama was on the panel that talked about Alinsky the last Sunday of the play's run at the Blue Rider Theatre in Pilsen. Neither Pam Dickler, who directed the Terrapin Theatre production, nor Gary Houston, who played Alinsky, can remember a word Obama said. But he impressed them. "You never would have known he was a politician," says Dickler. "He never said anything at all about himself. He came alone, watched the play, and during the panel discussion was entirely on point and brilliant. That evening I called my father, who's a political junkie, and told him to watch out for this man, he's going places." Houston was just as taken by Obama—though he remembers him arriving in a group.But is it a good thing to impress the sort of people who show up to laud The Love Song of Saul Alinsky? Here are the other members of the Obama panel:Leon Despres: Despres knew Saul Alinsky for nearly 50 years, and together they established the modern concept of “community organizing.” Despres worked with secret Communist and Soviet spy Lee Pressman to support strikers at Republic Steel in Chicago in 1937; the strike ended in tragedy when 14 rioting strikers were killed and many wounded in a hail of police bullets. Despres worked with another Communist Party front, the Chicago Civil Liberties Committee, but eventually left because of the “Stalinism” of its leaders. Also in 1937, Despres and his wife delivered a suitcase of “clothing” to Leon Trotsky, then hiding out from Stalin’s assassins in Mexico City. Despres and his wife not only met with the exiled Russian Communist, but Despres’s wife sat for a portrait with Trotsky pal and Marxist muralist Diego Rivera while Leon took Rivera’s wife Frida Kahlo to the movies.Quentin Young: From 1970 until at least 1992, Quentin Young was active in the Communist Party front organization, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights – a group dedicated to outlawing government surveillance of radical organizations. He was also a member of the Young Communist League. Young, a confidante and physician to Barack Obama, is credited with having heavily influenced the President’s views on healthcare policy.Timuel Black: An icon of the Chicago left, Black was originally denied officer training because military intelligence claimed he had secretly joined the Communist Party. Black also worked closely with the Socialist Party in the 1950s, becoming president of the local chapter of the Negro American Labor Council, a organization founded by Socialist Party leader A. Phillip Randolph.In the early ‘60s Black was a leader of the Hyde Park Community Peace Center, where he worked alongside former radical Trotskyist Sydney Lens and the aforementioned Communist Dr. Quentin Young. Black served as a contributing editor to the Hyde Park/Kenwood Voices, a newspaper run by Communist Party member David S. Canter. By 1970, Timuel Black was serving on the advisory council of the Communist Party controlled Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.Timuel Black says he has been friends with domestic terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, “going back to 1968, since long before I knew Barack.” In April 2002, Black, Dohrn and Democratic Socialists of America member Richard Rorty spoke together on a panel entitled “Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?” The panel was the first of two in a public gathering jointly sponsored by The Center for Public Intellectuals and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Bill Ayers and Barack Obama spoke together on in the second panel at that gathering. Communist academic Harold Rogers chaired Timuel Black’s unsuccessful campaign for Illinois State Representative.Studs Terkel: A sponsor of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace in 1949, which was arranged by a Communist Party USA front organization known as the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions.Roberta Lynch: A leading member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and a leader of the radical Marxist New American Movement (NAM).Are we expected to believe that “Baraka Obama” was a countervailing voice of reason on a panel of radicals? The reason that Obama's Alinskyite past, and his many appearances in political photography and video from the 1990s, are conspicuously missing from the national dialogue is that State Senator Barack Obama's reinvention as a reasonable and moderate Democratic politician could not withstand scrutiny of his political life. Because the mainstream media did not explore his roots, the American public remains largely ignorant of the degree to which Obama’s work with ACORN and his love of Alinsky were symbolic of his true political will.