Barack Obama: The Harvard Daze

I hesitate to write this because I don’t want to come off as personally attacking a President who is, to many – whether they think he’s doing a good job or not – a “likeable” guy, but I think it’s important to chronicle and document just what a prepackaged candidate Barack Obama was in 2008 and before, prior to his election to the US Senate, and even prior to that, as a State Senator in Illinois who cozied up to the likes of Chicago’s most influential public figures – like domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and the racist America hater Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as he climbed the social and political ladder in one of America’s most politically corrupt cities … a ladder he supposedly emerged from “unscathed.” Uh huh.

Via Power Line’s Scott Johnson comes a link to a fascinating article by Obama critic and author Jack Cashill, who has long asserted that Barack Obama’s ghost writer for Dreams From My Father was Bill Ayers.  Johnson sets up Cashill’s latest inside look at the man behind the media myth:

Cashill now turns his attention to a 1990 letter Obama wrote as president of the Harvard Law Review in defense of affirmative action. Cashill accurately characterizes the letter as “patronizing, dishonest, syntactically muddled, and grammatically challenged.”

The letter is a response to Jim Chen, with whom Cashill seems to be unfamiliar. Chen is the Dean and professor of law at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. He is a former law clerk to Justice Thomas and a former professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. Dean Chen has eloquently argued on occasion that the policy of affirmative action stigmatizes its beneficiaries, and apparently did so as a student in the context of a debate over using affirmative action to increase the number of women on the Harvaerd Law Review. Chen served as executive editor of the Review over the 1990-91 school year, when Obama served as its president.

Obama’s response as the Harvard Law Review’s first black president is interesting, to say the least. The letter reflects a substantial gap between Obama’s office and his abilities. It also reveals his way with a threat, in this case to any employer who might harbor guilty thoughts about the presumed beneficiaries of affirmative action, a class in which Obama places Dean Chen as well as himself. Let’s just say, as one of Shakespeare’s characters holds, what’s past is prologue.

If you do nothing else this evening, make sure to read Cashill’s piece on Obama’s letter.  Here’s an excerpt:

On November 16, 1990, Barack Obama, then president of the Harvard Law Review, published a letter in the Harvard Law Record, an independent Harvard Law School newspaper, championing affirmative action.

Although a paragraph from this letter was excerpted in David Remnick’s biography of Obama, The Bridge, I had not seen the letter in its entirety before this week.  Not surprisingly, it confirms everything I know about Barack Obama, the writer and thinker.

Obama was prompted to write by an earlier letter from a Mr. Jim Chen that criticized Harvard Law Review’s affirmative action policies.  Specifically, Chen had argued that affirmative action stigmatized its presumed beneficiaries.

The response is classic Obama: patronizing, dishonest, syntactically muddled, and grammatically challenged.  In the very first sentence Obama leads with his signature failing, one on full display in his earlier published work: his inability to make subject and predicate agree.

“Since the merits of the Law Review’s selection policy has been the subject of commentary for the last three issues,” wrote Obama, “I’d like to take the time to clarify exactly how our selection process works.”

If Obama were as smart as a fifth-grader, he would know, of course, that “merits … have.”  Were there such a thing as a literary Darwin Award, Obama could have won it on this on one sentence alone.  He had vindicated Chen in his first ten words.

Although the letter is fewer than a thousand words long, Obama repeats the subject-predicate error at least two more times.  In one sentence, he seemingly cannot make up his mind as to which verb option is correct so he tries both: “Approximately half of this first batch is chosen … the other half are selected … ”

Another distinctive Obama flaw is to allow a string of words to float in space.  Please note the unanchored phrase in italics at the end of this sentence:

“No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind.”  Huh?

The next lengthy sentence highlights a few superficial style flaws and a much deeper flaw in Obama’s political philosophy.

Please read the whole thing.  This guy was elected as President of Harvard Law Review yet his writing from that time -which we, sadly, are only now just being able to read, suggests someone who in reality should have had a tough time getting into Harvard in the first place.

Is this petty to even bring up at this point? I don’t think so.   While it’s not something that I think needs to be made an issue by whoever the eventual GOP nominee is, it provides an essential piece to the puzzle of who Barack Obama was and is, and just reaffirms why the guy no one – not even those who voted for him – really knew very well should have never have been elected President in the first place.  Events over the last near-three years have proved right those of us who believed he was little more than an empty suit.  Think about it:  How did he get elected to the Ill. State Senate?  Using legal tactics, he had all of his Democrat primary opponents disqualified from the ballot when he ran in 1995, and forced the the incumbent Senator at the time – Alice Palmer – to withdraw her candidacy after she lost a special election in which she attempted to win a US Congressional seat.  He faced token opposition in the fall election in 1996, easily winning.  

The guy had a kingmaker in the Illinois State Senate: Then-Senate President Emil Jones, who had other Senators to do all the legwork on tough high-profile legislation while getting Obama to “close” the deal on them,essentially allowing Obama to take credit for the work others in the State Senate did.  Every bill he got passed in the Illinois State Senate was passed in his last year in a Democrat-controlled state legislature.   In 2000, he attempted to defeat Rep. Bobby Rush in a primary for Rush’s seat in the US House.  Because Rush was a popular, legitimate opponent with no baggage, Obama lost the primary soundly.  Obama was re-elected twice as the State Senator for Illinois’ 13th district, one that was tailor-made for Democrat politicos.

In a wide open Democrat primary for the US Senate seat in 2004 which saw numerous candidates, Barack  Obama surprisingly won.  His opponent in the general election was supposed to be the formidable Jack Ryan, the winner of the Republican Senate primary.  But a sex scandal forced Ryan out in June of that same year.  That next month, the unknown Illinois State Senator would deliver the keynote address at the Democrat National Convention, and a celebrity was born.   Obama’s opponent after Ryan dropped out was goofball Alan Keyes – no competition whatsoever.  Obama, unsurprisingly, easily won that election with 70% of the vote.  He later ran for President after insisting he wouldn’t, utilizing the keen political instincts of political maestro and lobbyist David Axelrod, who in turn packaged Obama as a rhetorical genius just as he had clients John Edwards and MA. Gov. Deval Patrick.  The rest is history.

This is a guy who has had some extraordinary luck, who also made sure he was in the right places at the right times, associating with who he needed to in order to climb the ladder to the top in Chi-Town and beyond – not hesitating to throw under the bus any Chicago “pals” who hindered his climb (see: Wright, Jeremiah and Rezko, Tony for more).  He’s not stupid by any means, but he’s also far from the “smartest man in America” left wingers have desperately tried to make him out to be for the last several years.    Keep this in mind the next time some elitist left-wing windbag you encounter talks down the pre-political accomplishments of George W. Bush, who they have – for decades – treated with a visceral contempt over, among other things, their belief that he would have gotten no where in the public arena without the help and name of the political powerhouse connection that is Bush’s father.  Remember: It was ok for the left to smugly assert that Bush got into Harvard thanks to daddy, got out of serving in ‘nam thanks to his daddy, etc – but suggest Barack Obama himself used his radical left wing connections, legal machinations, a powerful kingmaker, and dare I say his color? to make it to the top, and all of a sudden you’re a raaaacist. 

They can call me a racist all they want.  Doing so is a substitute for acknowledging the truth about their “lightmaker” – that behind the facade of intellectual superiority and pomposity is a rather ordinary every body … and one who should never have been elected to serve in the highest office in the land in the first place. 

Let’s rectify that in 2012, shall we?

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