Below is Lloyd Billingsley’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama, which is volume 7 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz’s conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.) We encourage our readers to visit BlackBookOfTheAmericanLeft.com which features Horowitz’s introductions to Volumes 1-7 of this 9-volume series, along with their tables of contents, reviews and interviews with the author.
“Ever since I abandoned the utopian illusions of the progressive cause,” writes David Horowitz, “I have been struck by how little the world outside the left seems to actually understand it.” A key part of what they fail to understand is the subject of Volume VII of The Black Book of the American Left: The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama. The story here is “the transformation of the Democratic Party from a party of the American center into a party of the political left.”
Going into the 2016 elections, “the views held by the Democratic leadership on national security were virtually indistinguishable from those of the Progressive Party, whose 1948 presidential campaign behind the candidacy of Henry Wallace defined itself by opposition to American ‘militarism’ and rejection of the Cold War policies, which the Democratic Party was then pursuing against the Communist threat.”
This transformation isn’t exactly clear to voters, candidates and, in particular, the establishment media reporters who, as presidential mouthpiece Ben Rhodes said, “literally know nothing.” As for David Horowitz, his vast knowledge of the Old Left, and first-hand experience with the New Left, comes through on every page. He knows, for example, that George McGovern, the Democrats’ candidate for president in 1972, launched his political career in the Wallace campaign. He knows that, with McGovern’s support, “the New Left radicals were able to take commanding positions in the party’s congressional apparatus, and eventually in its national leadership.”
David Horowitz doesn’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows, as Bob Dylan said. He does know, however, that Weatherman Bill Ayers, “organized a terrorist army in the 1970s with the intention of launching a race war in America and bringing down the ‘empire.’” The author shows how such radicals were able to colonize the Democratic Party, particularly during the two terms of Bill and Hillary Clinton. With a transfer of power from the current president to his designated successor Hillary Clinton a possible scenario in November, this material is highly relevant.
Hillary was converted to the Social Gospel at the United Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. Wellesley undergraduate Hillary Rodham wrote a 92-page thesis on Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky, whom she had interviewed. For Alinsky, a leftist admirer of Capone mob hit-man Frank Nitti, gaining and keeping power is “the all-consuming focus.”
As the Black Book notes, Hillary jostled with New Leftists at Yale. Full of the spirit, she became a pro-Castro volunteer in the Venceremos Brigade, helping to prop up a loathsome sado-Stalinist dictatorship. She called her politics a “Third Way,” an “independent socialism located somewhere between the Soviet gulag and America’s democracy.” As David Horowitz shows, there is no “Third Way.” There is only “the capitalist, democratic way based on private property and individual rights; and there is the socialist way of group identities, group rights, a relentless expansion of the political state, restricted liberty and diminished opportunity.”
This volume of the Black Book does not mention Hillary’s work for Bob Treuhaft, head of the California Communist Party, whose firm was a legal asset for the CPUSA and the Black Panthers. On the other hand, the author does recall that partisans of Hillary’s views found a home in the Clinton administration. For example, acting deputy attorney general Bill Lann Lee had been “involved in supporting, protecting or making excuses for violent anti-American radicals abroad, like the Vietcong, and anti-American criminals
at home like the Black Panthers,” all in the name of “social justice.”
Going into the 2016 elections, it may have been forgotten that the Clintons’ national security advisor Sandy Berger, “was a lobbyist for Chinese companies before being
appointed to his post.” Berger was also fined $50,000 and forced to give up his security clearance for ripping off classified material on terrorism from the National Archives. He stuffed copies of the documents in his jacket, destroyed some of the documents, then pretended he never possessed them in the first place. Who knows what Berger, who died last year, had stashed away on his computer, or maybe on his private server.
The Black Book also recalls John Huang, whom the Clintons made a top official in the Commerce Department, where he could access, “all the information an agent would need to strip America of the supercomputer technologies vital to the development of advanced weapons systems.” Huang also “inexplicably retained his top security clearance in the Commerce Department when he left the government.” The author wonders whether this was connected to “the Chinese Communist cash-flow to the Clinton-Gore campaign,” and if not, “what was the payoff the Chinese expected?”
Hillary Clinton may be “America’s most prominent leftist,” as the author contends, but The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama does not come up short on the current president, “born, bred and trained in the progressive movement.” His mentors were “Communists and their progressive successors,” so no wonder he presided over “ the institutionalizing of the policies of the left in government” for eight years. His global “apology tour” conceded “guilt” towards the Muslim world “but also towards surviving members of the Soviet bloc in Central America.” His foreign policy featured “retreats from America’s battlefronts against Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Going into the 2016 elections, that should be evident but this volume recalls players such as Van Jones, the president’s “green jobs” czar. Establishment reporters who “know nothing” can learn that Jones, a self-described “communist,” served a prison term after being arrested in the LA riots and then became an activist with the Maoist organization STORM—“Stand Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.” This far-left radical was a 9⁄11 “truther” and a supporter of the Hamas view that the entire state of Israel is “occupied territory.” On this theme, the chapter “Obama and the War Against the Jews” will prove enlightening.
The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama documents how the current president has “transformed a nation that had been the world’s bulwark of democracy and freedom into an enabler of the very forces that are intent on destroying them.” The author finds it “hardly coincidental, therefore, that Obama’s tenure in office has been accompanied by a rash of terrorist assaults.” What was once the arsenal of democracy is “now under the command of an anti-American president.”
On the domestic side, the author does not neglect “the toxic bailouts, stimulus packages,
and entitlement programs” that generate “increasingly unsustainable debt” and create dependency on big government. The president “and the leftists in his administration are fully aware of the effects of their actions, yet they are determined to stay the course they have set for themselves.” The strategy, devised by the radical left forty years ago, “is to dismantle America’s private enterprise system and implement a socialist redistribution of wealth.” Going into the 2016 elections, that reality should painfully evident to all but the willfully blind.
Unlike some collections, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama delivers more than it promises. Readers will find helpful background on leftist bagman George Soros, Occupy Wall Street founder Kalle Lasn, Eric Foner, Edward Said and Reps. Ron Dellums and Barbara Lee, whom the author met in the 1970s, when she was an aide to Huey Newton, “Minister of Defense” of the Black Panther Party. The leaders of Black Lives Matter may be favored guests at the White House but for the author BLM is a “roving lynch mob whose premise is the claim that a systematic war is being waged on black people.”
Readers of The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama won’t need a Weatherman, or any of their friends and supporters, to know which way the wind blows. In the Age of the Tweet and a nation with the attention span of a hummingbird, it is helpful to recall that soi-disant progressives are congenital liars.
In 1917, for example, Lenin’s slogan was not “Socialist Dictatorship! Firing Squads! Gulags!” Rather, it was “Peace! Land! Bread!” In similar style, President Obama said “You can keep your plan, period,” but you can’t. “In sum,” Horowitz writes, “it is necessary to lie to the people in order to pass progressive laws, and the lie is justified for the greater good.” His “Treason of the Democrats” chapter, meanwhile, will make exactly clear what’s happening here, why it happened, and where it came from.
“To the progressives seduced by Stalinism,” David Horowitz explains, “democratic America represented a greater evil than the barbaric police states of the Soviet bloc.”
This happened because “the Stalin regime was identified with the imaginary progressive
future,” and all its nefarious actions blamed on its enemies, primarily the United States.
“Once a promise of redemption is juxtaposed to an imperfect real-world actor, all of these responses become virtually inevitable.” Hence “the gluing of the brain” Leon Trotsky associated with Stalinism remains evident on every hand.
“The Soviet Union is gone, and history has moved on,” Horowitz observes. “But the Stalinist dynamic endures as the heritage of a post-Communist left, which remains wedded to fantasies of an impossibly beautiful future that bring it into collision with the flawed American present. This left is now the dominant force in the Democratic Party.”
Going into the 2016 elections, and beyond, that may be the best takeaway from The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama.