Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript to Stanley Kurtz’s speech at the Freedom Center’s Texas Weekend, held June 17 – 18, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas Texas.
STANLEY KURTZ: What is the purpose of an election campaign? Supposedly, elections allow voters to decide who and how they want to run the country. The candidates explain their positions, debate the merits of the issues and then the voters choose.
You might remember a little thing called the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Well, nothing like that is happening these days. Let’s review. In 2008, Americans elected a president who advertised himself as a post-partisan unifier, a fellow who was famous for saying that there weren’t red states or blue states, only the United States. And a lot of Americans, even some Republicans, believed him. Yet, the man they elected turned out to be the most partisan, the most intentionally polarizing and the most leftist president in the history of the United States.
The people in this audience, I would wager, weren’t fooled by any of this, but, on the whole, the people of the United States were fooled. And the question now is are we, as a people, about to be fooled again?
You see, Barack Obama is a follower of Saul Alinsky, the founder of community organizing. Now, Alinsky taught the far left student radicals of the 1960s to cut their hair, clean themselves up and present themselves to the public as upstanding moderates whose only purpose was to follow the voice of the people.
But, in private, Alinsky taught his followers how to polarize the public, how to attack, mock, belittle and intimidate opponents into silence, how to use any means to go after the opposition sources of money, how to win dirty and how not to tell the truth. And Obama learned and learned well.
For a long time after the president’s election, we were told that his radical Alinsky-ite past didn’t matter. That was supposedly just a phase he was going through. Even though Obama himself, until he thought better of it, had boasted of his years as a community organizer again and again on the campaign trail.
And during the 2012 campaign, when there were warnings from people like me and many other of the people here at this conference that a safely elected Obama would tilt sharply to the left, those warnings were dismissed, dismissed, again, even by some Republicans who warned against calling Obama a radical. No, said the media, and even those Republicans, Obama is just more of the same old liberalism.
And besides, they said, the Republican House will keep Obama in check. Even if he wanted to be a radical, he couldn’t be. After all, there’s this thing called the Constitution. Well, our constitutional law professor president doesn’t seem to have remembered very much about the Constitution, but Obama does remember Alinsky, and Obama learned well.
So now comes Hillary Clinton, who also just happens to be a close follower of Saul Alinsky. And yet the media, and, again, even many conservatives, wait on Hillary’s every word to see how she’s going to campaign for the presidency. They wait, as if what Hillary says she’s going to do and be as president really matters. Well, it doesn’t matter, any more than Obama’s blather about hope and change and post-partisan moderation in 2008 mattered for his presidency.
So what does matter? What does tell us the truth about what Hillary Clinton will do as president? What matters with Hillary is the same thing that mattered with Obama, not the poll-tested positioning of a candidate on the way to the presidency, but the lifetime of conviction politics that preceded it, not the Senate run or the failed 2008 presidential bid, but the years on the left, the idolization of Saul Alinsky, the hard-left activism in law school, the internship at a literally communist-run law firm, the radical writings on children’s rights, the years as a board member of some of the most leftist organizations in America.
And in Hillary’s case, there’s something even more revealing than all this. There’s the time she spent in the White House, not merely as the First Lady, but as the de facto co-President of the United States.
It’s important to remember that before she entered the White House, Hillary actually tilted to the right, under the direction of Dick Morris. As First Lady and de-facto co-Governor of Arkansas, Hillary attacked the teachers unions from the right, demanding more testing and accountability. She knew she was under suspicion down in Arkansas as a crazy, leftist, hyper-feminist, ‘60s radical, so she tacked to the right, and it worked. Her polarizing assault on the teachers unions, which she consciously made into an enemy, cemented Bill’s image as a centrist Democrat and helped him to win the White House.
But once Hillary got safely within those White House walls, she made a hard-left turn. No clone of her husband, Hillary was the Elizabeth Warren of her day, leader of the left-wing of the Democratic Party, continually pressing Bill to move away from the center.
In those days, Hillary clashed again and again with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and the Clinton administration’s Wall Street contingent. The all-or-nothing extremism of the Clinton healthcare plan, the scorched-earth campaign to demonize its opponents, the paranoid secrecy of the planning process for that healthcare initiative, all of this was Hillary’s doing.
Don’t take my word for it. You can read about Hillary’s disastrous co-presidency yourself in memoirs and biographies actually written by pro-Clinton Democrats. So we’ve already seen Hillary’s modus operandi, overcome a richly-earned reputation for leftist extremism by moving right prior to a presidential campaign, then reverse course and shift left once elected.
But, of course, all of this has been forgotten or is considered to be something that Hillary is now immunized against. How silly of us not to see or believe what is so obvious. Hillary’s conduct since she left the White House and became a Senator has precisely mimicked the run up to the first Clinton presidency. It’s a sham and it will be reversed the moment she’s elected, and, yet, Democrats and Republicans alike have fallen for all this for a number of years.
In part, this is because Hillary has been fortunate in her opponents. Because she’s an Alinsky-ite, until very recently – and I’ll get to these changes that have happened recently – Hillary has been reluctant to show her true ideological colors. But the only real difference between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders lies in degrees of honesty.
Saul Alinsky himself, by the way, took hits from the ideological left, because they didn’t believe he was truly on their side. He wasn’t openly leftist enough for them. Well, that was silly of them. Any serious study of Alinsky confirms that he was a socialist. Hillary Clinton was right when she said at the conclusion of her undergraduate thesis on Alinsky, quote, If the ideals Alinsky espouses were actualized, the result would be social revolution, end quote.
But because even the American left is still American enough to yearn for an open and honest Lincoln-Douglas style presidential campaign, they’ve given their hearts to Warren and to Sanders and feel deeply suspicious of Clinton. Leftist Democrats and Republicans alike look at Hillary’s moneygrubbing and corrupt ways and her ties with Wall Street bankers and conclude somehow that she must be a moderate. I’m sorry. That is false. That does not follow.
How is it impossible to be a super-rich person and a leftist ideologue at the same time? Has no one heard of George Soros, Tom Steyer and virtually the entirety of Hollywood? How soon we forget. Hillary’s infamous investments in cattle futures occurred before she became First Lady, before she was the Elizabeth Warren of the 1990s.
Yes, Hillary interned for a law firm run by communists, but in Arkansas, she was a partner at the Rose Law Firm. You can’t get more establishment than that. Did this mean that Hillary had abandoned her leftist ways? Not at all. Hillary used to be famous as a greedy and corrupt leftist, but, again, we’re forgotten all that. Hillary’s defenders say that no one will take the idea of a crony-capitalist Alinsky-ite seriously. Don’t be silly. One’s president right now.
Nonetheless, many Democrats and Republicans now believe that Hillary Clinton is some kind of moderate. And here is the ultimate irony, now that Hillary is finally tacking to the left, no one believes she’s sincere. Well, I believe you, Hillary. I believe every leftist promise you make, even if all those Bernie Sanders supporters don’t.
The irony is that Obama has pushed the Democratic Party and the larger culture so far to the left that Alinsky-ite stealth may no longer pay off, at least for someone running for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.
Hillary is now at risk of being embarrassed by an open socialist in the primaries. She’s frantic, worried that people won’t believe her claims to be the leftist that she’s been all along. Well, I believe you, Hillary. I believe you. And here’s why:
There’s an old story about the day a bunch of very left-leaning labor leaders came into the Oval Office to talk to President Franklin Roosevelt. They asked him to do this and that, and when they were done, Roosevelt said, I agree with you. I want what you want. Now, go out and make me do it. Get it? Now, go out and make me do it means that Roosevelt was calling on the left to start a popular movement that would give him the political leeway to do what he wanted to do anyway, but couldn’t risk doing without more public support.
And that’s what’s finally happened to Hillary. The hyper-leftist Democratic Party in the age of Obama is finally forcing Hillary to be who she’s been all along. It’s liberating her from her Alinsky-ite disguise, and yet nobody believes that it’s happening. They think she’s just poll testing demographic groups to reassemble the Obama coalition.
Well, I’m not sure how this is going to turn out. At the very moment when Hillary is, in fact, more sincere about her political convictions than she’s been since 1994, she’s coming off instead as the least sincere presidential candidate in history. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
So how should Republicans run against Hillary? Hillary’s leftist past is definitely relevant. Nothing is more relevant, but will the public believe us when we say it, any more than they believe Hillary now, when she says that she’s a leftist, when she literally and accurately reminds her Democratic critics that she was the Elizabeth Warren of her day?
Actually, I think that an effort to educate the public on Hillary Clinton’s long-held leftist beliefs has an excellent chance of succeeding. Let me give you an example of how Hillary’s leftism might become a campaign issue.
For three years now I’ve been trying to alert anyone who will listen to a stunningly radical plan by President Obama to transform American society. I’m talking about Obama’s assault on America’s suburbs. My second book on Obama was all about his long involvement with a movement of Alinsky-ite community organizers dedicated to undercutting the political and economic independence of America’s suburbs.
In fact, the Alinsky-ite organizers who trained Barack Obama didn’t really believe that suburbs should exist at all. They blamed the suburbs for the problems of the cities, because when people move to the suburbs they take their tax money with them. And the first-choice remedy of these Alinsky-ites for the problem was to simply have cities annex their surrounding suburbs, thus taking control of their tax money.
Well, when the Alinsky-ite organizers who trained Obama discovered that annexation was a political non-starter, they reverted to a series of subtler strategies for grabbing hold of that suburban tax money, for preventing the formation of new suburbs and for moving some poorer residents of cities into the suburbs, even against the will of the municipalities involved.
Well, I wrote about all this in my last book, but a lot of people said, ah, it’s never going to happen. Obama can’t be that radical, even if he does get reelected. Alinsky-ites thought this was all in the past and so on and so forth.
Well, it turns out that the Obama administration is finally planning to release a hyper-controversial and socially-transformative new regulation called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. All of a sudden, the move people said Obama would never dare to make looks like it’s about to happen.
Just this week, there were op eds attacking Obama’s plan for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Congressional Republicans are up in arms, and, so far, at least, liberals and Democrats are conspicuously silent about the new rule.
This is the sort of leftist move that Obama has saved for the end of his second term. It isn’t politically advantageous. In fact, it’s probably going to be politically harmful to Democrats, and this problem is going to land squarely in the lap of Hillary Clinton.
Now, Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation is about as radical and Alinsky-ite, if you will, as a regulation can get. It will force America’s suburbs to build dense, low-income housing units at their own expense. In effect, it will nullify the zoning power of local governments across the United States. And in other very important ways it will transfer fundamental decisions on land use, transportation and even education away from municipalities and into the hands of the federal government.
Over time, this new rule will change the way we live, urbanizing suburbs and Manhattanizing cities. This new housing regulation realizes the dreams of the Alinsky-ite community organizers who trained Barack Obama. More than this, the regulation effectively forces local governments to consult leftist community organizations in their regions in an important sense. When you read it carefully, this regulation gives a substantial amount of de facto control over municipal government into the hands of Alinsky-ite groups.
The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule will take time to work. In the first stage, HUD will simply force municipalities across the country to collect detailed information on the racial, ethnic and class makeup of households within their jurisdiction.
Only after all of that information has been collected and sifted will gradually escalating pressure by the federal government on municipalities to change their zoning laws be placed, and also to have them build low-income housing and in other ways urbanize and densify both residential and commercial development.
All of this would have to occur under the watch of our next president, potentially President Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the new regulation is going to be managed, for now, by Obama Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, who some of you in Texas may have heard of, a man who just happens to be the most widely-touted vice presidential running mate for Hillary Clinton. And whether he wins or loses the vice presidency, Julian Castro will surely be touted as the next Obama, the next Democratic presidential candidate after Hillary.
So the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation is going to be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign, and it’s an issue that has Saul Alinsky written all over it. The ideas behind it came from Alinsky-ite community organizers.
The regulation itself gives community organizers substantial leverage over local governments. The regulation was created by our first Alinsky-ite president, Barack Obama, and could only become effective under our second Alinsky-ite president, Hillary Clinton. Julian Castro’s mother and political inspiration, by the way, was herself an Alinsky-ite community organizer in Texas.
These connections of personnel and policy are real, significant and will become recognizable as such once the new housing regulation is finalized and the public debate over its implications grows.
In principle, I think the same thing applies more broadly. However she does or doesn’t present herself, Hillary will increasingly be seen as running for Obama’s third term. As Obama’s leftism continues to emerge and its consequences continue to rankle – for example, as the other shoe continues to drop on Obama Care – the public will be both disenchanted and more open to evidence of the leftist past that unites Obama and Hillary.
What would the consequence of two Alinsky-ite presidents in a row be? Well, Hillary herself said it best, quote, the result would be social revolution, end quote. Despite all the cultural changes, despite the open extremism of today’s Democratic Party, I don’t think the American public is quite ready for all this. And in the wake of what’s about to hit them, they just might be willing to listen for the first time in a long time to the truth about the plans and convictions of our first Alinsky-ite president, Barack Obama, and his would-be successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Thank you. (Applause.)
Question & Answer Session
STANLEY KURTZ: Yes. The question was whether this Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation is just step one of a larger plan modeled on the famous Agenda 21, which I’ll talk about in a second for people who haven’t heard about it, but part of the idea of Agenda 21 and other such proposals is to move people from the city out to the suburbs, but there’s a theme of pushing suburbanites into the city.
Well, the answer is yes, that’s absolutely part of Obama administration policy. There’s yet another one of these under-the-radar initiatives called the Sustainable Communities Initiative. Many regions throughout the country are creating planning grants that plan land use, education, transportation for whole metropolitan regions over a 30-year period. Two of these have already been enacted in a preliminary but very powerful way in the San Francisco Bay area and in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
STANLEY KURTZ: Right. Agenda 21, the name Agenda 21 is a plan endorsed by the United Nations for imposing what’s called – what we often call Smart Growth. These principles we’re talking about here of, say, packing people tightly into the cities, so that they don’t drive in their cars and all of this.
Now, some people argue that Agenda 21 means that the UN is causing all this to happen. I don’t really think the UN is causing this stuff to happen. If the UN disappeared today all this stuff would still go on, because Obama believes in it, and there are leftist groups that are homegrown groups in America that believe in it.
When you say Agenda 21, if that’s saying the program that is enshrined in this UN document is parallel to the program that’s being imposed by Obama, that’s true, but it’s not that the United Nations is forcing – The United Nations doesn’t have to do anything, because Barack Obama has been into this kind of thing all along.
But, yes, part of this program is to – Basically, the organizers with Obama, when they realized that they couldn’t annex the suburbs, they said, Well, how do we get rid of the suburbs? Well, if you take people who now live in the cities and you move a trunk of them out into the suburbs and then you adopt policies that try to pressure people from the suburbs to move into the cities, and then you pass something called Regional Tax Base Sharing, which is what they have in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where, basically, the state passes a law that pulls Minneapolis-St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs into a giant region and divvies up the tax money – In effect, it grabs the tax money from the suburbs and it gives them to the city.
So if you take some people from the suburbs and put them into the cities and take some people from the cities and put them into the suburbs and you redistribute the tax money, in a sense, you’ve created an annexed region even without formally changing the political boundaries. And that’s what’s really going on.
STANLEY KURTZ: Well, for whatever group that we’re talking about, whether it’s Muslims or Hispanics or any group, assimilation ought to be the goal, and that was the way that America worked and has always worked.
And I would ask you to come to the talk that I’m fortunate to be able to give this afternoon on the controversy over the new and large controversy that’s breaking out over the teaching of American history. How do we assimilate new immigrants by teaching them the principles of America, American government, American history? That is also being completely subverted right now in a way that I’ll explain to you in the afternoon talk.
So, yes, of course, in principle, immigration is great and makes this country work, but if we don’t assimilate in the way that we used to, if we don’t teach new Americans the principles on which the country is based, then we’re destroying ourselves, in effect.
STANLEY KURTZ: Well, yes, I decided to sort of go big and also talk about the campaign relevance, but the most interesting thing – and I don’t know how many people have even heard about this because the mainstream media, while they covered it maybe a little bit for a day, they didn’t really focus on it – but something very interesting happened about eight or nine months ago. A letter was discovered. This was by a woman named Alana Goodman, who used to write for Commentary, but did this under the auspices of the Washington Free Beacon, I believe.
And what Alana Goodman found in an archive, I think, of one of Hillary’s friends was a letter that Hillary Clinton had written to Saul Alinsky. Now, we already knew that Hillary was close to Alinsky. She met Saul Alinsky when she was still in high school because the – I believe it was a Methodist pastor, the very, very left-leaning pastor who drew her away from conservatism in Chicago knew Saul Alinsky and introduced her to Alinsky then.
Once she got to Wellesley, she wrote her senior thesis on Alinsky’s work, and then Alinsky, having read the thesis – And I tell you, Hillary is very smart. Don’t let anyone tell you Hillary’s not smart. I used to teach at Harvard and I used to read honors theses for a special honors program at Harvard, and I’ve read Hillary’s senior thesis, and I’m telling you, it’s a very good thesis. And Saul Alinsky agreed with that and offered her a job. Well, Hillary turned down the job because she felt, in the end, that she could have more of an impact on changing American society by going to Yale Law School.
So the first thing she did when she became First Lady was she ordered Wellesley not to allow this thesis to go out to the public. It only was released after the Clinton administration was over. But she also continually harped on this idea of, Alinsky offered me a job and I said no. I went to Yale Law School. And that was her big defense. I decided that wasn’t really the way to go.
Well, this letter that was exposed was written after Hillary was – In fact, it was written the same summer she was interning for that sort of communist-run law firm, so after the time when Hillary basically had supposedly parted ways with Alinsky.
Instead, she writes, in this sort of gushing letter, saying, Whoa, you’ve got this new book coming out, I hear, you know. This is what would be Rules for Radicals. And she says, Well, I’ll tell you, you know, I practically memorized your first book – which is called Reveille for Radicals – and I’ve mentioned it maybe in a thousand discussions, you know, I know it backwards and forwards. I can’t wait for your next book to come out, you know, What’s going on? You know, what are your plans? When are you going to be in the area? All of these things.
So, supposedly, her going to law school was a proof that she had set aside this Alinsky-ite radicalism. Now – this gushing letter saying that she’s –
By the way, when people talk about Alinsky – I’ve never understood this – they always look at Rules for Radicals. If you’re a real conservative, you practically aren’t a conservative unless you’ve read at least a chapter’s worth of Rules for Radicals, I think.
But nobody pays attention to poor Reveille for Radicals, and if you read the first book, he’s even more obviously radical there. He actually says, What does a radical want? A radical wants the people to have control of the means of production. He literally is endorsing the core Marxist ideological tenet in this book, and this is the book that Hillary says that she’s memorized and knows it backwards and forwards and quoted to people a million times.
I wrote a piece called Deja Two, as in déjà vu, but Deja Two, about the co-presidency issue, Deja Two. You can Google that. And what I do in that piece is I talk about this behind-the-scenes stuff that was going on in the Clinton White House, but I don’t use unlimited access. I don’t use the conservative attack books, but basically we’re all correct.
But what I do is I go to the liberal books. If you actually go – And I think if we could just copy these – get copies of these liberal books and make every American read them about what the first Clinton administration was like and how Hillary behaved, she’d be dead in the water. I’m telling you –
Q: How do we get the Republicans to take off their gloves and tell the truth about her?
STANLEY KURTZ: You know, again, I think we’re in a very interesting moment right now because Hillary is trying to tilt left, as I said in here, and in a way that may open up the gates for what we haven’t been able to do up to now.
Plus, as I say, as I argued in the talk, I think, as the Obama administration keeps moving left, left and left in these last two years, and it becomes clear that Hillary is following in that wake, I think some of the arguments telling the truth about where Hillary’s been coming from will find a more receptive audience in the country. Maybe I’m being naïve about that.
STANLEY KURTZ: Means to an end?
STANLEY KURTZ: To ascent. I think she is a true believer. I think she’s absolutely sincerely a leftist. That’s what I’m arguing here, as that’s what I think her past was. I think she’s – I think, as the previous questioner suggested, that she keeps that [down].
Now, she wants to ascend by hook or by crook. She’ll do anything to get where she has to get, and that’s – you know, those are Alinsky-ite tactics, so to speak. But I believe she’s – in her mind, the things she does with money, the liberties she takes with the truth, all of this is justified, in her mind, because it’s for the cause. It’s for the ultimate good cause, and that’s how Alinsky saw it. I think she is a true believer.
But, again, if you look at the whole life trajectory, I think that’s the sensible interpretation, but things get so confused after all of her tacking back and forth and everything else, that people tend to dismiss her as just someone who is personally out for power and money.
I don’t think that’s really what’s going on. I think she is a true believer. And the question is how do we cut through and get people to buy that at this point? Since Hillary has worn so many masks, even, as I say, even when she actually is telling the truth, people no longer believe her.
STANLEY KURTZ: Well, that’s a really good question, and that’s what I talk about in this article Deja Two. What I do in that article is first I look over all the – So many problems in the – of the Bill Clinton years had to do with the co-presidency, which doesn’t really work.
There’s a reason the framers of the Constitution, they argued and they decided – They actually wondered for a while whether we should maybe have two or three chief executives. They took this very seriously, because they were reacting against the excessive power of a king. But they finally decided that it just wouldn’t work, and they had some very specific reasons for having only one president.
We had a kind of de facto co-presidency, and a lot of the chaos of the first Clinton administration had to do with that, and I think that’s all going to return when Bill comes back.
But in terms of the campaign, what you saw in 2008 was that Bill, at first, stayed out. He tried not to mess with things, because he’s very effective, and when he’s campaigning and Hillary’s campaigning, he tends to make her look bad by comparison, because he’s so good.
So he stayed out of everything until Iowa, when it looked like Hillary might be in trouble in Iowa. Then he jumped in, and, sure enough, she started to look bad. At first, though, the media and the Democrats thought this was a tremendous advantage, as they have again this time. Bill is the most loved politician. He polled very well. He’s going to be an asset. Some people – There were even bumper stickers in Iowa in 2008, Vote Hill. Get Bill. Okay? So he seemed to be an asset.
But, then, in South Carolina, he went on the attack. He became the attack dog, almost like a substitute vice presidential candidate, against Obama, cause he realized that the press was sort of coddling Obama and wouldn’t say anything negative. But he kind of went overboard in a way that alienated a lot of the Democrats and South Carolina voters. He was accused of being racist in his comments. I’m not sure that that was at all true, but he was in a kind of trap of criticizing Obama.
And then you saw all sorts of articles come out from the liberals, who were for Obama, saying, Wait a minute. This co-presidency thing could be a real problem. You saw people actually saying – Gail Collins actually wrote an article, You know, I always used to dismiss these Republicans who complained about the Hillary co-presidency, but, come to think of it, a co-presidency can be really disruptive. It really messed up the Clinton administration. Are we in for that again?
Part of this was just convenience, because they were for Obama, but part of it is that they’re telling the truth, a co-presidency really is a mess. So Bill always seems like he’s going to help, but then it messes up and deteriorates, and I think that’s going to happen again.
STANLEY KURTZ: Well, I think the scenario, if you want a scenario, the most-likely scenario that I think might happen for replacing Hillary as the Democratic nominee – and I do think that there may be some left-leaning people in the media and Democrats who have this scenario in mind – and that’s behind some of the things they’ve been writing, and that would be that, again, that Bernie Sanders – Bernie Sanders has pulled within 10 points of Hillary in two respectable polls in New Hampshire, and he went to South Carolina the other day and he got a very positive reception.
I think Bernie Sanders could play the sort of Gene McCarthy role. Bernie Sanders could embarrass Hillary by coming – I think – I can’t remember, but I think Gene McCarthy got maybe 40 or 41 percent of the vote in New Hampshire just before Lyndon Johnson said he wasn’t running for reelection.
And I think if Bernie Sanders were to embarrass Hillary by getting close in a couple of states, then it could weaken her and then Elizabeth Warren might come in, and I think that’s what some Democrats are hoping.
STANLEY KURTZ: Well, I mean, I’m all in favor, in the right context, of playing hardball within limits, but I think Republicans and – This is something where I agree with David Horowitz when David Horowitz says that Republicans are too polite. They’ve been too polite about Obama and Hillary. They haven’t been willing to speak the truth about them. That I agree with.
But Republicans are understandably reluctant, and I share their reluctance, to lie and to cheat and to try to, you know, intimidate people by going to their homes and scaring them and their neighbors and things like that. I mean, we don’t play that way and I don’t think we should play that way. So we ought to be more courageous in speaking the truth, but we shouldn’t go the full Alinsky. That’s my view.
STANLEY KURTZ: Well, like I say, you know, I don’t want to go name names, but, you know, I kept referring in my talk to the – When I say even some Republicans, even some Republicans – You know, I’ve written – I wrote – I’ll tell you – I’ll just narrow it down. Again, maybe I’m being too sort of self-focused here, but let me just narrow it down to the one thing that I’ve done where I’ve run into these sort of forces in our own party.
After I put out my first Obama book, I actually found what you could call a smoking gun. It was already clear in my first Obama book, and I gave a lot of evidence to the effect that Obama had been a member of something called the New Party, a leftist third party. And just – I don’t think anyone could have had reasonable doubt, and I had all of that evidence in the book. That was ignored.
But after I wrote the book, and before I wrote this second thing about the suburbs, I actually discovered in an archive the ultimate smoking gun. I discovered that – I had discovered the list of members of the New Party, and it had Obama’s name on it. And I discovered the minutes of the meeting where Obama had joined this New Party. It’s called the New Party. And the date of the minutes of the meeting was the same as the date on the membership list as the date joined. I mean, this is, you know, you can’t get more smoking gun than that.
So the article comes out in – National Review one version came out and it was called, Obama’s Third Party History. Came out in National Review online, and then there was a longer version in the print thing. And it got huge – most attention anything I’ve ever written ever got. It got on Drudge and all these things.
Well, the establishment Republicans wouldn’t touch it. Even though, not only was it clear that he belonged to a leftist third party, but that his campaign had lied about that in 2008.
Can you imagine if George Bush running for – I mean, Dan Rather tried to get him on bogus charges of something about the National Guard. What if they had found real, legitimate evidence that George W. Bush, running for his second term, had been a member of a rightest third party and had lied about it? Do you think the media would not have covered that?
But not only did the mainstream media not pick this up, but the establishment Republicans specifically decided that they didn’t want to use it. So I just throw up my hands at something like that. I mean, I don’t know what to do. I did my part, you know. I put it out there. They just didn’t want to use it. They didn’t want to use it. I think it’s crazy.
STANLEY KURTZ: Yes.
STANLEY KURTZ: Red State, I’ve never spoken to Red State. No, but, you know, like I say, that article in National Review, everyone knew that that was there.
STANLEY KURTZ: No. Well, they – I’m telling – I don’t want to go into names, but there were people who I think you could say were part of the Republican establishment who actually – At that point, it got to the point where someone actually said, You know, people have been saying to me – this is a Republican establishment person – Why don’t you use this stuff about Obama’s third party? And then he explains, in a publicly-written thing, actually says, I don’t think the American people are interested in that sort of thing.
Well, they’re not going to get interested if you don’t actually explain it to them and inform them. And, normally, it wasn’t the third party, but he lied about it. So that’s relevant.
So what I’m saying is it’s not that the communications have broken down and they don’t know where to reach me. It’s they know all about this and they’ve made an intentional decision not to use it.
MALE SPEAKER: Maybe have time for maybe one or two last questions, so …
STANLEY KURTZ: Okay.
STANLEY KURTZ: Yeah. Go ahead. I don’t see any other hands. You’ve gone before, but go ahead.
STANLEY KURTZ: Well, like I say, it’s not because the lines of communication aren’t there. It’s because certain parts of the Republican and conservative establishment simply have made a conscious decision not to argue [in that sort of way].
MALE SPEAKER: (Inaudible.)
STANLEY KURTZ: Yeah, you could potentially not accept these community development block grants, which are the main grant that comes out, but that’s hard for a municipality to do. Maybe they ought to think about that now.
But this whole – Like I say, you know, I wrote a book on this three years ago, and, once again, no one wanted to talk about it, considered it too much of a hot potato.
But the interesting thing is Obama himself doesn’t talk about this. This rule I’m talking about was actually – First, they have to promulgate an initial version of the rule. Then they finalize it. Well, they’ve delayed finalizing it way beyond when they had to, cause it’s such a political hot potato.
But the rule itself has been out there, and, yet, even when the rule, the preliminary rule has existed, does Obama ever mention this at a news conference or a speech? Does he talk about it at the State of the Union? No.
And since the whole thing has become a public issue just in the last couple of weeks, I haven’t seen a single serious response at a liberal site defending the thing, the regulation. So what I’m saying is, actually, not so much on the local as on the national level, if just – if everyone learns about this and if we make it into a widely-discussed national issue, it will cut heavily against the Democrats.
So this needs to become a campaign issue, and then it will badly hurt, because people will be helpless on the local level, but if it gets attended to and widely debated, it will badly hurt the other side, in my view.
There will be a rebellion, but like everything, just like with Obama Care, once again, they aren’t going to do anything at first and will say, Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s not really a problem. They’ll just collect the data and then they’ll turn the screws once they get the data.
And also the regulation itself, while it’s bad enough as it is, they have these – something called the comment period when you put out the initial regulation, and all the community organizations then come in, and all the housing activists come in, and they say all the ways that they want the regulation to be strengthened.
So, now, the regulation says you just have to change one big thing, one big thing, the schools, the transportation, whatever, just pick one. And when the comments come in, they say, Make it so they have to do more than one. And, of course, all that will happen.
What will happen is they do it as gently as they can at first, but if it gets entrenched, then all these recommendations that are pouring in on how to turn the screws and give it even more teeth will eventually be put into effect. It’s a frog-boiling kind of a thing.
So people do have to rebel, but they need to rebel now. They need to rebel before the campaign. The winning scenario for the other side is to just only collect the information until after the presidential election, then Hillary gets in and then she starts to demand all the things. We can’t let it go to that point.
STANLEY KURTZ: Google my – Once again, I’m doing this. Google my name and San Francisco Bay or Plan Bay Area and Google my name and Minneapolis-St. Paul and you’ll see the dream test cases for this.
STANLEY KURTZ: The idea is get people out of their cars. So that’s why California has this bullet train. The idea is don’t have people in their cars. Have them in densely-packed cities living near transportation stops, living near a metro line that connects to the big bullet train. And the dream is people won’t use their cars nearly as much.
And so major investments in trains is a big part of this general program, of this Smart Growth, so-called Smart Growth idea. And the government is, indeed, trying to impose that through this regulation, through the Sustainable Communities Initiative, for a whole bunch of stuff that no one’s talking about, but should be.