Calling a Spade a Spade

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 3:02 pm by Neal

Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, exposes the new organization, No Labels, founded by David Frum and William Galston.

Here’s an excerpt from Kurtz’s article in National Review Online, David Frum, Speech Policeman:

All Galston and Frum have done is to make explicit — and reinforce — the mainstream press’s existing determination to ignore and silence critics of Obama’s radicalism. Once No Labels gets going, public resentment at these silencing techniques is bound to increase. Contrary to Galston and Frum, the way to reduce polarization is not to suppress disagreement but to invite reasoned debate on the issues that actually divide us. Since a substantial portion of the public views the president as a covert radical, let the topic be debated in the widest and most respectable forums. If the president’s accusers offer mere bluster, or his defenders are living in denial, we shall see it all then.

Abused as they may often be, we can’t even think without labels — which is to say, without categories. Galston and Frum label their own opponents when they decry them for “brain-dead partisanship.” Apparently, Frum consigned my book to that category without even reading it. Who was the brain-dead partisan there? Galston and Frum don’t actually mean “no labels.” What they really mean is, “no labels of which we disapprove.” Their new group might more aptly be named “Shut Up.”

As to the numerous critics who understood even before the 2008 election that Obama was a Socialist, Kurtz pays this complement:

Two and a half years of research into Obama’s past has left me with a healthy respect for the many Americans who concluded long ago that Obama was a socialist. No doubt some of these folks are intemperate and open to criticism. But I’m struck by how the critics were largely right — and for the right reasons, too. They looked at Obama’s questionable political partnerships, the not-so-hidden hints of radicalism in his memoirs, his own unguarded remarks during the campaign, the general tenor of Alinskyite community organizing, and the upshot of his political program. This yielded a rough-and-ready judgment that was harsh, but by no means unsupported. Two years of painstaking research in archives scattered across the country confirms that, on the whole and in the round, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Joe the Plumber, a host of bloggers, and even John McCain were correct: Obama really is a socialist. These critics are the folks Galston and Frum want to delegitimize and silence, but they had Obama correctly pegged from the start. My book irks Frum because it proves that his favorite targets have been right all along.

No Labels? No thanks.

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