Friday, May 22, 2009

Personal Aside: So-Called “Human Rights” Lefties Roil Obama in White House Meeting Prior to His Big Speech


“Let Us Bear Any Burden…”

Barack Obama is learning the hard way with the closing-Gitmo issue how campaign demagoguery conflicts with governing. His speech before a masterly David Axelrod-contrived backdrop of the Constitution and Declaration as symbols mesmerized at least one source--the zombie-like Associated Press.

Minutes after the president delivered his oration (which contained no solution to the impasse) the wire service’s Steven Hurst wrote an analysis piece that could be used for the 2012 campaign brochure, terming the former U of Chicago untenured law lecturer who allowed his law license to expire “a constitutional scholar.” Axelrod probably connected with a forest of upraised hands conveying High 5’s for that sucker story embellished with loving whopping inaccuracy.

Oh and how the dazzled Hurst went on, prattling that the president glided “through a long, carefully reasoned brief in the rotunda of the storied National Archives” which sneered in contrast at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s “message across town in a cramped-by-comparison conference hall at the conservative [sic] American Enterprise Institute.” The AP continues to label such think-tanks as AEI and Heritage as “conservative” but name groups like the liberal Brookings “non-partisan.” Just another thumb-in-the-eye from the wire service

In the welter of praise for Obama the “scholar,” Hurst never got around to reporting that despite Axelrod’s Cecil B. DeMille like backdrop…and the soft strains of violins Hurst certainly detected in his imagination…Obama failed to deliver a solution to the problem he created for himself when he huckstered the Left to his cause of closing Guantanamo in January, 2009 without a plan in God’s green world about what to do with terrorists. Nor did it occur to the journalist to refer to the leaked Pentagon report that concludes one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from Gitmo has gone back to terrorism.

When I first began as a stringer for the AP in central Minnesota in 1953, writing and phoning in stories for $40 a week, I would have been slapped silly by the AP editor in Minneapolis for missing part of the story—but now the wire service has fallen upon tough times, prompted in part by its liberal outspokenness. Among other papers, the “Tribune” is discontinuing its subscription with them…as are others… and the AP manager just told an off-the-record town hall meeting of writers that he has to cut 10% of the staff in 2009…which means that with a total complement of 4,000 at least 400 will be let go.

Let us hope that one of them will be the roundup writer who…assigned to cull colorful quotes from economics academe…credited two to far-lefty Nobel prize-winner Paul Krugman (Princeton don and the writer of a regular column for The New York Times who admittedly yearns for a socialist economy), only to find that Krugman was quoting others. And that another to join a buy-out will be Hurst, an Obama-clone with 30 years of liberal thumb-sucking from Jimmy Carter through Fritz Mondale, Al Gore, John Kerry and Obama.

Not much reporting has come about an unannounced White House meeting on the eve of the President’s speech between a number of so-called human rights advocates…who believed Obama’s campaign rhetoric on “torture” and Gitmo. The only place I saw it was, believe it or not, on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow as reported by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff (whose bosses had rejected the story of Monica Lewinsky performing fellatio on the disinterested body of Bill Clinton as unbelievable, which rejection did us all a favor by leading to the ascension of Matt Drudge—but I digress).

Obama called the meeting to apply the same old snake oil, showing that in his heart of hearts he is sympathetic. He began as he always does on everything else: blaming George W. Bush for the “mess” Obama inherited. But one of the audience interjected that for a man who is severely critical of Bush, Obama is following the 43rd president’s path so closely as to see his policies labeled the “Bush-Obama” policy.

Obama became offended at the suggestion—deeply offended. Not long later it was announced that 48 terror suspects at Gitmo will be sent to other nations. How did that happen when the word was that “other nations” including European ones refused to accept any? The answer is as old as the Peace Corps in which I served. Foreign aid is the key. You take so many or you’ll have trouble getting foreign aid.

The same process was used in a much more positive way when the Peace Corps was founded. R. Sargent Shriver the first director found that developing nations were not interested in inviting the new agency believing that it was composed largely of blond, blue-eyed liberal arts majors from Winnetka (among other places) to teach the natives English as a second language when they sorely needed to built latrines and roads.

But p. r. demanded developing nations request the idealistic young volunteers. So Shriver got on the horn and told the leaders of these nations with the same directness that the Soup Nazi did in “Seinfeld.” No soup for you (i.e. foreign aid) if you don’t line up and take these kids. The line immediately formed to the right and Shriver became celebrated for his powers of persuasion to convince the developing nations to buy JFK’s program…getting JFK’s new agency going like a house afire.

The Politics of Gitmo.

You’ll notice that the Senate voted heavily…94 to 6…against funding Gitmo’s close-down. Our little hustler Dickie Durbin voted with the president but Roland Burris…deciding he didn’t need yet more baggage…went the other way.

It will be interesting to see Chris Kennedy…who is surely practicing before a full-length mirror, jabbing the air with one finger while the other hand rests securely in his jacket pocket, ala his uncles…will do about some of these things. Axelrod’s heirs at his old firm are preparing to do the handling.

Let’s see how would I write it to get the old Kennedy effect ala Jack and Teddy…echoing Ted Sorenson and re-cycling it with Bob Shrum rhetoric (which has never won a presidential election no matter how oracular). Aha, I’ve got it:

Chris says at his announcement maybe at Maggiano’s Little Italy where I can stuff my face with delicious food as I thrill to his words:

“Now the trumpet summons us again—not to bear arms, not as a call to battle but to the great task of supplying to those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of misery a fresh detachment of former terrorists…at least let us hope they are former…together with the admonition to these host nations to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of our president’s campaign pledge to empty Guantanamo. Therefore I say: Ask not what America will do for you until and unless you accept the wretched refuse of our Guantanamo’s shores which will enable our president to get this damnable burden off his back. Then we shall talk of gratitude in the form of big bucks in aid as you begin anew the quest for peace before the dark powers of destruction which you have accepted overwhelm.”


  1. I am sure you know that Obama was a SENIOR lecturer at the University of Chicago, which is equal in status to professor, and that he was offered tenure several times, but refused.

    It is misinformation like this that makes what you publish suspect. A former reporter should know better.

  2. The entire Obamania thing is seeming more and more like one of those Dracula movies where his minions have no will of their own or are so afraid of his displeasure that they don't question HIS demands.

  3. elizabeth alexanderMay 23, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    Jerry, I repeat. Obama did have the rank of professor at the University of Chicago and turned down the school's offer of tenure.

    Mr. Roeser, for reasons of his own, is being less than truthful.