Authors claim to reveal Obama’s 2nd-term agenda

Book says President hiding Socialist goals

10/8/2012
BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
The book lays out what future that conservatives have been warning about.
The book lays out what future that conservatives have been warning about.

In “Fool Me Twice,” jour­nal­ist Aaron Klein and co-au­thor Brenda J. El­li­ott give us what they be­lieve is Pres­i­dent Obama’s agenda for a sec­ond term, and ac­cord­ing to them, it’s go­ing to be a So­cial­ist’s dream.

By show­ing links among pro­gres­sive groups such as Center for Amer­i­can Progress, ACORN, the In­sti­tute for Pol­icy Studies, and the Pres­i­dent and his ad­vis­ers, Mr. Klein tries to make the case that the Pres­i­dent hopes to im­ple­ment many goals of the pro­gres­sive move­ment.

Those goals are said to in­clude us­ing the mil­i­tary to carry out a “green agenda,” such as by con­vert­ing mil­i­tary equip­ment, in­stal­la­tions, and pro­cesses to ex­per­i­ment with clean en­ergy.

The goals, the au­thors say, would in­clude im­ple­ment­ing pol­i­cies that would dra­mat­i­cally boost the cost and role of the na­tional gov­ern­ment in sub­si­diz­ing low-in­come and work­ing-class peo­ple through man­dated paid fam­ily leave, a na­tional “liv­ing wage,” an end to de­port­ing il­le­gal im­mi­grants, a sin­gle-payer health sys­tem, a new Great De­pres­sion-era kind of Works Progress Ad­min­is­tra­tion with mil­lions of new fed­eral jobs, and even a plan to put the na­tion in the po­si­tion of fund­ing global ini­tia­tives to re­dress the wrongs done by in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and co­lo­nial­iza­tion.

It’s ex­actly the fu­ture that con­ser­va­tives and Re­pub­li­cans have been warn­ing against, and Mr. Klein’s and Ms. El­li­ott’s book — their third along these lines — plays to that au­di­ence. The book has been well-re­ceived enough to make the New York Times’ best-seller list.

In the in­tro­duc­tion, Mr. Klein says that Pres­i­dent Obama is a “highly skilled po­lit­i­cal rad­i­cal who has spent a life­time pre­par­ing to reach the pin­na­cle of Amer­i­can power and is for the most part suc­ceed­ing in im­ple­ment­ing the pro­gres­sive So­cial­ist agenda.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Klein and Ms. El­li­ott, this is an agenda that is be­ing ad­vanced by stealth, but the veil was par­tially ripped away when Pres­i­dent Obama said to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Dmitry Medve­dev that, in a mo­ment that was un­in­ten­tion­ally picked up by an open mi­cro­phone: “After my elec­tion, I have more flex­i­bil­ity.”

How­ever, as Mr. Klein him­self writes in the in­tro­duc­tion, most of his in­for­ma­tion can be found in plain sight. In fact, most of the groups quoted in the book are ea­ger to pro­mote their po­si­tions, and they of­ten do so in 50-page doc­u­ments that can be found on­line. There’s no es­pi­o­nage to be found in this vol­ume.

Mr. Klein and Ms. El­li­ott con­tend that Pres­i­dent Obama is not ac­knowl­edg­ing to the Amer­i­can pub­lic what he plans to do.

“I don’t have an agenda be­yond doc­u­ment­ing for the Amer­i­can pub­lic what Barack Obama’s spe­cific plans are or at least the rec­om­men­da­tions that have been given to Obama that will most likely form the blue­print for a sec­ond term,” Mr. Klein said in an in­ter­view with The Blade. “I was sim­ply try­ing to do what the Pres­i­dent will not and that is spell out his ac­tual plans if he gets elected.”

A key claim cen­ters on a pro­posed blue­print, “2012 Uni­fied Se­cu­rity Bud­get,” a joint prod­uct of the Center for Amer­i­can Progress and the In­sti­tute for Pol­icy Studies. Ac­cord­ing to the book, pre­vi­ous pro­pos­als of these two groups have been adopted by the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The cen­ter is run by John Pode­sta, a for­mer chief of staff to for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, and some­one who has been in­flu­en­tial with the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

It calls CAP the “idea cen­ter” of the Obama White House.

Ideas and peo­ple that have a rel­a­tively be­nign im­age in Amer­ica take on a sus­pi­cious hue in the book.

For ex­am­ple, Mr. Klein tells us that De­fense Sec­re­tary Leon Pan­etta has a “strong af­fin­ity” for the left-lean­ing IPS left over from his ca­reer as a Cal­i­for­nia con­gress­man. Sup­pos­edly a “core doc­trine” of pro­gres­sive groups such as IPS is the con­cept of “re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect,” which re­ori­ents the U.S. mil­i­tary from mak­ing war and de­fend­ing Amer­i­can in­ter­ests to de­fend­ing ci­vil­ian pop­u­la­tions against against re­pres­sive re­gimes.

Joe McNamara, a Toledo law­yer and city coun­cil pres­i­dent who is ac­tive in the Obama re-elec­tion cam­paign, at­tacked the book as the work of a con­spir­acy the­o­rist and of a genre that makes money by play­ing on the fears of a lot of peo­ple.

“Con­sid­er­ing this au­thor’s pre­vi­ous works, I have a hard time tak­ing him se­ri­ously. He’s a con­spir­acy the­o­rist who equates pro­gres­sives with So­cial­ists,” he said.  “There’s a large con­tin­gent in this coun­try who are en­thralled by con­spir­acy the­o­rists. The Pres­i­dent has had to de­fend his faith and his cit­i­zen­ship. This is part of that genre again. This is an at­tempt to try to re­ig­nite the idea that the Pres­i­dent is not an Amer­i­can who shares our val­ues.”

He re­jected the book’s prem­ise that Pres­i­dent Obama is try­ing to im­ple­ment a stealth agenda, say­ing in­stead Mr. Obama reached across po­lit­i­cal lines to craft bi­par­ti­san solu­tions to re­build the econ­omy.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Con­gress spent the last four years des­per­ately try­ing to re­turn to the same bad ideas that crashed the econ­omy in the first place,” Mr. McNamara said.

Mr. McNamara said the book is part of the same genre oc­cu­pied by the doc­u­men­tary 2016: Obama's Amer­ica.

That movie, by con­ser­va­tive au­thor Dinesh D’Souza, con­tends that Mr. Obama has adopted the anti-co­lo­nial out­look of his late father and is try­ing to weaken Amer­ica and dis­trib­ute its wealth to the less-de­vel­oped world. As with the book, the movie makes pro­voc­a­tive but ul­ti­mately specu­la­tive claims.

On the other hand, Mr. McNamara didn’t try to take is­sue with any of the facts in the book. One might ask what harm is done by in­ves­ti­gat­ing and re­port­ing on the rec­om­men­da­tions and back­grounds of the peo­ple whom Mr. Obama is known to lis­ten to and ask­ing whether these ideas don’t have a bet­ter chance of be­ing im­ple­mented than those of, say, Karl Rove. The left made sim­i­lar claims against cor­po­ra­tions that had the ear of the George W. Bush Ad­min­is­tra­tion a de­cade ago.

The tone of the book views this quiet agenda as a dan­ger­ous, anti-free­dom one, but per­sons of lib­eral and pro­gres­sive views might come away from it en­cour­aged to see their ideas be­ing put into prac­tice.

Mr. Klein and Ms. El­li­ott also wrote The Man­chu­rian Pres­i­dent in 2010. The book doc­u­mented what it says are “Barack Obama's ties to com­mu­nists, So­cial­ists, and other anti-Amer­i­can ex­trem­ists,”" its jacket claims.

One of its claims is that David Axel­rod, the Pres­i­dents chief po­lit­i­cal strat­e­gist, is “com­mu­nist-linked.” Mr. Klein says his re­port­ing show­ing that for­mer Obama “green czar” Van Jones once formed a com­mu­nist or­ga­ni­za­tion and signed a pe­ti­tion ac­cus­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent George W. Bush of pos­si­ble in­volve­ment in the Sept. 11, 2001, ter­ror­ist at­tacks. The reve­la­tions forced Mr. Jones to re­sign in Sep­tem­ber, 2009.

Mr. Klein, 32, is the Jeru­sa­lem bu­reau chief of World Net Daily (WND.com). The book was pub­lished by WND Books.

Mr. Klein told The Blade in an in­ter­view,. “I was sim­ply try­ing to do what Pres­i­dent Obama will not do, and that is spell out his ac­tual plans if he gets elected. I think for the Amer­i­can pub­lic, it’s the fair thing to do.”

Con­ven­tional wis­dom is that Mr. Obama’s first term has been a dis­ap­point­ment to many of his back­ers be­cause of the fail­ure of im­mi­gra­tion re­form, the Em­ployee Free Choice Act (which would make it eas­ier for unions to or­ga­nize work­places), clos­ing the prison at Guan­tan­amo Bay, Cuba, re­peal­ing the Patriot Act, and so on.

When Barack Obama and Joe Biden were run­ning for of­fice in 2008, Mr. Biden told pro­test­ers that there would be “no clean coal” in the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion. This year, the ad­min­is­tra­tion put $5 bil­lion to­ward clean coal re­search to try to win over coal min­ers in south­east Ohio who blame Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion reg­u­la­tions for forc­ing the shut­down of coal mines.

On the other hand, pro­gres­sives had a lot of suc­cesses — the stim­u­lus, the res­cue of the auto in­dus­try, the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act, man­da­tory con­tra­cep­tion cov­er­age by em­ploy­ers, an end to the Iraq War, stop­page of the XL Key­stone Pipe­line, and pres­i­den­tial sup­port for same-sex mar­riage.

“He did a lot in his first term. He did more than most pres­i­dents in their first term,” Mr. Klein said.

Mr. Klein and Ms. El­li­ott don’t show a lot of proof that the rec­om­men­da­tions made by left-lean­ing think tanks have been con­verted into ac­tual pol­i­cies ad­vanced by the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

One large sec­tion is de­voted to a bill that was in­tro­duced in the House to give vir­tual am­nesty to all im­mi­grants liv­ing here le­gally or il­le­gally. The law was in­deed in­tro­duced — in 2009 — but it is stalled and there’s no claim made that Mr. Obama has tried to move it for­ward.

Another claim of the book is that the Obama White House wants to im­ple­ment a “na­tional pop­u­lar vote,” un­der which the Elec­toral Col­lege would be dis­banded and pres­i­den­tial elec­tions would be de­cided in the coun­try’s big­gest pop­u­la­tion cen­ters. Of course, that would mean the end of pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates cam­paign­ing in Toledo or Bowl­ing Green. The same chap­ter ex­plores the ex­pan­sion in U.S. elec­tions by a Spa­nish elec­tions soft­ware firm that al­leg­edly is vul­ner­a­ble to hack­ers. 

In­ter­est­ing, but what this has to do with Pres­i­dent Obama isn't made clear. The as­sump­tion ap­pears to be that, be­cause some pro­gres­sives want a na­tional pop­u­lar vote, that Pres­i­dent Obama must want it too.

In the end, the book does noth­ing more than urge that what­ever agenda is ad­vanced by this or any pres­i­dent is thor­oughly dis­closed.

Con­tact Tom Troy at: 

tom­troy@the­blade.com, 

or 419-724-6058.