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Tuesday, April 15, 2008
 
Politico Attempts Whitewashing of Obama's Dad

In response to Greg Ransom's discovery of Barak (Sr.) Obama's paper entitled Problems with Our Socialism, Ben Smith and Jeffrey Ressner labor mightily to convey the message that Barak pere was actually a moderate:

Elements of Obama's argument now seem prescient, others deeply dated, but his central aim – particularly in the context of the heady early days of African independence – was moderate and conciliatory.


And:

Obama Sr.'s 1965 paper, however, brims with confidence and optimism.

The article, with a loaded term in the title and a casual discussion of socialism, communism, and nationalization, has raised the hackles of some anti-Obama conservatives who have been discussing it online.


Boo! Those nasty anti-Obama conservatives. Lower your hackles!

But Kenya expert Dr. Raymond Omwami, an economist and UCLA visiting professor from the University of Helsinki who has also worked at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said Obama Sr. could not be considered a socialist himself based solely on the material in his bylined piece.


"The critics of this article are making a big mistake," says Omwami, who read the document and the associated internet debate at the request of Politico over the weekend. "They are assuming Obama Sr. is the one who came up with this concept of African socialism, but that's totally wrong. Based on that, they're imbuing in him the idea that he himself is a socialist, but he is not."


Undercutting this notion is the actual paper itself, which the Politico kindly provides. Judge for yourself whether these passages sound slightly socialistic:



Wants public ownership of land, not individual ownership. Wants "equitable" distribution of economic gains.



Use taxation as a method of forced savings? Here Obama, Sr., seems to be saying that the government can tax more than it needs to accumulate capital. No limit to taxation? It would be hard to find a purer statement of socialism than that.

Look, the fact that Obama's father was a socialist, or even a communist, is not all that significant, except to the extent that it reveals Barack Jr.'s own thoughts. But the effort by Smith and Ressner to claim that his papa was a moderate is absurd.

Sweetness and Light comes to the conclusion that the dad was a commie.

...Mr. Omwami pretends that Mr. Obama, Sr was not arguing for classical Marx philosophies — which seems to be obviously untrue.


John Cole, predictably, accepts the Politico's spin that the old man was not a socialist:

And once again, after digging up the paper written in 1965 by Obama’s dad, the bloggers prove they don’t understand anything, and the paper, contrary to previous assertions of Marxism, proves nothing of the sort.


I'm going to guess that Cole didn't bother to read the article himself. Why should he? A liberal read it and told him there was nothing to the claims.

Update: Greg Ransom responds with more quotes to back up his point.

I had a nice conversation with Ressner, but his article is a typical left of center MSM embarrassment. The article attacks my headline unfairly, completely misrepresents what I said, and deals with none of the rest of the content of my article.

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