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  • It Depends On What Your Definition of Radical Is

    Heritage Senior Legal Fellow and former Barack Obama student Robert Alt weighs in on the just unearthed 2001 Barack Obama “redistribution of wealth” radio interview.

    As with most of Obama’s public comments, his remarks in the interview were measured. In discussion of the high court’s liberal heyday under Chief Justice Earl Warren, for example, he said, “The court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and more basic issues of political and economic justice in the society.”

    As a former student of Obama’s at the University of Chicago, I’d note that this was rather typical of his teaching style – stating liberal propositions in a descriptive way, while neither acknowledging the radicalism of the underlying premise nor stating whether he agrees with it.

    After noting the Supreme Court’s lack of redistributional adventurism, he muses: “To that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.”

    Sure, the Warren Court invented a right to privacy out of whole cloth (or, if you prefer, out of the penumbral emanations of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments). Sure, it rewrote criminal law in ways that made it possible for thousands of criminals to walk free thanks to technicalities. But it didn’t engage in wholesale redistribution, so it wasn’t really “radical.”

    Obama’s umbrage at those who would “characterize” the Warren Court as radical isn’t terribly surprising. He has previously cited Earl Warren as the model for the kind of justice that he would pick. And he has repeatedly said he wants judges who demonstrate empathy – which, as luck would have it, appears to involve a bit of a redistributional ethic.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to It Depends On What Your Definition of Radical Is

    1. Purl Gurl says:

      Obama is creating the most divisive class warfare since the American Revolution.

      Our American Revolution, our kicking the British out, our Boston Tea Party, all of this was about taxation without representation. Obama is setting himself up to represent only a segment of our society.

      Obama claims to represent the middle class and the poor. This is pure deceit on the part of Obama; he is simply promising welfare checks in exchange for votes. Obama promises to lift up our middle class and poor. This will never happen under an Obama regime.

      Obama has declared war upon those of us who are hard working and successful. I am not writing the middle class and poor are not hard working; no insult is intended.

      Obama believes taking money from the successful then giving this money to others will cure our economic problem. This is plumb stupid. This socialist philosophy does NOT create jobs nor create new wealth. This philosophy only moves money around, only plays musical chairs.

      The only cure for our economic problem is creation of new jobs, increasing pay scales, improving productivity and grabbing a larger share of the global market for goods and services.

      Adding benefit to this is decreasing government spending and effecting programs which help people with health care costs along with helping people become better educated.

      Taking money from the affluent to give to the less affluent will not create new jobs, will not raise pay scales and will not increase our productivity. Nor will this help with health care costs nor help with affordable good education.

      Obama playing money musical chairs will prove a horrible financial disaster.

      McCain is firm but fair. McCain is offering good common sense.

      McCain is offering creation of jobs and opportunity. However, there is a caveat. McCain is saying to America, "I will provide opportunity but you must be willing to work to enjoy benefit."

      Opportunity and hard work, this is our American way.

      Obama's welfare and laziness, this is an insult to our traditional American values.

      Okpulot Taha

      Choctaw Nation

    2. William Lulias, St. says:

      Purl Gurl is right on point inasmuch as the downfall of our nation is laziness. The analogy, "I will provide the opportunity but you must be willing to work to enjoy benefit", is what made our country shine for two centuries. When Alexander Tyler spoke of the Greek State of Atens failing into decline, it reflects chilling similarities to today;

      "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship." ….. Alexander Tyler 1787

      I am hopeful history will not repeat itself.

    3. Sue says:

      Obama is an idealist and his philosophy on discontent of the masses, the rich, giving to your country,correcting wrongs, fairness and equality, is consistent with his redistributing wealth. He has big ideas for correcting what he sees as fundamental wrongs in our government. We will see widespread revolutionary changes in everything from foreign policy, trade, taxes, volunteering,labor, healthcare, immigration. The list goes on and on! Scary.

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