The recently deceased Andrew Breitbart delivered a stem-winding speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last month. In it he dangled a tempting treat before the assembled disciples of rightism in the form of a promise to expose the radical, Marxist roots of the young Barack Obama. Breitbart announced that…
“I have videos. This election we’re going to vet him from his college days to show you why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008. The videos are going to come out, the narrative is going to come out, that Barack Obama met a bunch of silver ponytails in the 1980s, like Bill (Ayers) and Bernadine Dohrn, who said one day we would have the presidency, and the rest of us slept as they plotted.”
That’s pretty heady stuff. It got the CPAC crowd worked up and initiated a stream of anticipation throughout the conservative community. What does Breitbart have? Are there videos of Obama conspiring with fugitive members of the Black Panther Party? Does the future president show up on film plotting the overthrow of the government?
Not exactly. The first part in the presumably continuing series of slander is not a video at all, but consists entirely of a poster for a play about conservative bogeyman Saul Alinsky.
The play “The Love Song of Saul Alinsky” was staged in 1998 in Chicago. Obama was a state senator at the time and, as a student of local history, had some knowledge of Alinsky and his work in the city. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Obama would participate in a post-play panel discussion about the author and community organizer. Nevertheless, Breitbart’s survivors at BigGovernment think they have unveiled the next Watergate via their crack investigation of the world of the theater.
Despite the dishonest headline that calls the play “Barack’s Love Song To Alinsky,” he had nothing whatsoever to do with it. This is another attempt to smear the President by association with a demon that the right invented. Alinsky was not the Marxist menace that Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich, and Fox News make him out to be. In fact, he explicitly rejected the communists of his era saying…
“My only fixed truth is a belief in people, a conviction that if people have the opportunity to act freely and the power to control their own destinies, they’ll generally reach the right decisions. The only alternative to that belief is rule by an elite, whether it’s a Communist bureaucracy or our own present-day corporate establishment. You should never have an ideology more specific than that of the founding fathers: ‘For the general welfare.’ That’s where I parted company with the Communists in the Thirties, and that’s where I stay parted from them today.”
Alinsky was always, first and foremost, an advocate for the underclass in society that was abused and oppressed by the powerful. That’s a message that Tea Partiers could adopt if they weren’t such tools of powerful manipulators like the Koch brothers.
It is a sad and ironic tribute to Breitbart that his web site has published his last article and it is brimming with the sort of lies and distortions for which Breitbart was famous in life. If this is any indication of what Breitbart meant when he claimed to have explosive materials that would impact the President’s reelection, then the Democrats don’t have much to worry about. But I wouldn’t rest too easy because the Breitbart machine is still alive and it is probably working overtime to fabricate its next batch of propaganda.