by Jamelle Bouie
Stanley Kurtz looks at Barack Obama and sees the specter of Karl Marx:
But the fact is that a lot of Radical-in-Chief is about good old fashioned Marxism. There's the story of Reverend Wright's adventures in Cuba, for example, which drew Obama to Wright's church, I claim. And Obama himself was a revolutionary Marxist at Occidental College. Also, many of the Swedish-style socialist organizers who trained and sponsored Obama supported Marxist regimes like Cuba and Nicaragua. Alice Palmer, who chose Obama to be her successor in the Illinois State Senate, was a fan of the Soviet Union. Bill Ayers often wears the red star.
Kurtz, if you're not familiar with his work, is a loyal soldier of the conservative movement. And for the last few years, he has devoted himself to exposing Obama's socialism and radical beliefs. As you can imagine, this is shoddy work. To wit: his definition of socialist is impossibly broad--encompassing everything from European social democrats to Rubinite neo-liberals--and his scant evidence comes from tenuous links and huge generalizations about Obama's motivations and drive. In Kurtz's narrative, Obama joined Jeremiah Wright's church out of Marxist solidarity and not the stated combination of professional obligation and spiritual need.
The truth, as we all know, is that Obama is a conventional American liberal, and like most conventional American liberals, Obama wants to account and compensate for the market's failures. The Affordable Care Act, financial reform--these aren't nefarious plots for socialist domination, they are attempts at reforming capitalism to save it.