Right now, I’m re-reading Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage. More accurately, I’m reading it to its end this time—not yet reached. It’s a history of Left Wing activist/terror era of the late 1960s and the 1970s, featuring these well-known players: Students for a Democratic Society, Weather Underground, the Black Panthers (old-school version) and the Black Liberation Army. There may be other major organizational players, but I haven’t reached the point in the book where they are named.
Individual actors are also very well-known: William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, and so forth.
Without going into Leftist activism’s crimes during that era, suffice it to say that they failed to reach their short-term goals due to two things: arrogance and ineptitude—a recipe for failure which, often, has death as a side dish.
Looking back on what has happened since those days—especially with Dorhn and Ayers being the political “god”parents of former President Barack Obama—one “wonders” if the Organized Left found a more strategically effective way to destroy the American system that they repeatedly declared to be their enemy. Bombing bathrooms and playing Underground games didn’t achieve much in that direction.
But how much damage to that system has the Obama Administration done to it? After all, infiltration of an enemy target achieves far more extensive destruction than bombardment from the outside.
I suspect that this is the lesson that Weather, etc. learned from their failures 45 years ago.
So, now we are seeing the results of the lesson. The Dohrn-Ayers strategy has yielded success; they blew up National Intelligence.
On the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks, Jeremiah Wright, then Obama’s pastor, bellowed, “God d–n America” and “America’s chickens are coming home to roost” from the pulpit of his Chicago church.
Two nights from now President Barack Obama will give his farewell address in Chicago, his adopted hometown. The Hawaii-born 44th president moved to Chicago a year after graduating from college where he worked, with at best mixed success, as a community organizer on the Far South Side. It’s an area still beset by violence and poverty with no hope of a turnaround thirty years after Obama left that post so he could attend Harvard law school.
It was in 1996 Chicago where Obama launched his political career. One of his first campaign stops–perhaps his first–was at the home of his friends, unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Eight years later another Chicagoan, state Senate President Emil Jones Jr, put Obama’s name on some key bills that bolstered his liberal credentials. Obama scored a surprise win in the Democratic US Senate primary, and after the Republican nominee imploded, he easily won in the general election.
You know the rest of the story.
However, Obama was not a slam-dunk in the 2008 presidential election against John McCain–what we now call the Great Recession sealed the deal–and America elected its first black president.
Chicago is still recovering from the ’08 economic collapse. Of the nation’s 35-largest cities, Chicago has the largest percentage of underwater home mortgages.Two years ago Chicago enacted its largest property tax hike in history, the impetus for it was to pay for underfunded municipal pension funds. What does this have to do with Obama? Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1931, Obama is the most hyper-partisan president in memory. Along the White House ride for Obama was Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisor and “Berlin Wall,” the former slumlord was a deputy chief of staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. It’s Daley, not his successor, former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who bears the responsibility for the Chicago pension debacle. But Chicago’s generous municipal pensions are political payback for public-sector unions, who’ve been an arm of the Democratic Party in all but name for decades.
Obama has always been very cozy government labor unions.
Two years ago–under Emanuel’s watch–Moody’s downgraded Chicago’s bonds, and those of Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District to junk. Other rating services haven’t followed suit yet, but they absolutely don’t view Chicago favorably.
Chicago’s population is at it lowest level in 100 years.
Last year at least 762 people were murdered in Chicago–an appalling 57 percent increase over the year before. Chicago suffered more killings than New York City and Los Angeles–combined. One of the reasons cited for the soaring murder rate was Rahm Emanuel’s inept handling of the shooting of unarmed black teen Laquan McDonald–with sixteen bullets–by a white cop, all of which has compelled Chicago Police officers to use less aggressive law enforcement tactics. Chicago is a hotbed for Black Lives Matter activists. The outgoing president has been supportive of this radical group, which deems racist the statement All Lives Matter.
That leads to last week’s racist atrocity in Chicago, the torturing of a white special needs man–thirty minutes of which was streamed live on Facebook–by four blacks in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side. The victim was bound, gagged, beaten, slashed, forced to drink toilet water, and coerced to say “F–k Donald Trump” and “F–k white people.”
Two months earlier in another West Side neighborhood a white man was pulled from his car and brutally beaten by four blacks. That attack was captured on video, the assailants screamed, “You voted Trump” and “Beat his a–.” While the victim was indeed a Trump voter–yes, there are a few in Illinois besides me–he told authorities that there was no way the thugs could have known that. There was no Trump bumper sticker on his car–he was white and that was enough provocation for these creeps.
Obama’s chickens–and those of Chicago Democrats–have come home to roost.
Our collectivist president has practiced identity politics for his entire adult life. which for the most part means race politics. Us versus them. And as a collectivist Obama has appointed himself as the savior to put the pieces back together.
But breaking things is much easier than putting them back together.
Some final thoughts.
As a public service I am recommending that if you are planning to attend Chicago’s McCormick Place address, please use public transportation. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit 45 of our 50 states. With the exception of Detroit, the worst-maintained streets and roads I’ve encountered are in Chicago. And while you’re driving around potholes and crevices, please beware of Chicago’s ubiquitous red light and speeding cameras. An astounding 1.9 million traffic camera tickets were issued between 2010 and 2015. Chicago has 2.7 million or so residents. Most of those tickets were written while Emanuel was mayor.
Someone needs to come up with a misery index for big cities like Chicago, which should include such items as corruption, low high school graduation rates, unfunded pension obligations, red light cameras, crumbling infrastructure, population loss, taxes, and yes of course, crime.
Perhaps Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s amiable pal who is an economics professor at the University of Chicago, can absolve himself of leftism and get to work on this much-needed project.
Thank God I left Chicago for the suburbs nearly two decades ago.
And Obama, at least for now, won’t live in Chicago after he moves out of White House next week. He’ll probably only return to visit his presidential library.
John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Chicago area resident who writes the Marathon Pundit blog. The Chicago Convention and Tourism Board had no input in composing this blog entry.
The poet called Miss Liberty’s torch “the lamp beside the golden door.” Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we’re here tonight. The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the ’80s unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America’s is.
Last week former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani unleashed a debate about Barack Obama’s patriotism when he said at a private dinner held for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” The next morning Giuliani added, “I do hear him criticize America much more often than other American presidents…it sounds like he’s more of a critic than he is a supporter.”
While Reagan’s ascent to the presidency was circuitous–from broadcaster to actor to union leader before finally turning to politics, his love for America was always evident. As for Obama, he entered politics in his mid-30s–and infamously began his public career in the living room of two America-hating terrorists, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. For twenty years Obama sat in the pews of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side and listened to the anti-American bile of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
When President Obama was asked in 2009 if he believed in American exceptionalism, he responded, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Ronald Reagan would have replied this way: “Of course I do!”
Shortly before winning the presidency Obama boasted, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” America is of course open to improvements, but if Obama truly loved America there would be no need for fundamentally transforming it.
In closing let me thank you, the American people for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.