Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Smoking Gun?

Apparently the tape that Andrew Breitbart was talking about before his death, which has now been released, shows Barack Obama as a law student embracing Professor Derrick Bell.  On the Breitbart site, they are saying  that "this video is a smoking gun showing that Barack Obama not only associated with radicals, he was their advocate." 

A smoking gun? Really? To check that, I pulled out my trusty paperback copy of David Remnick's Obama biography The Bridge, and flipped to the index under Derrick Bell. Lo and behold, there are several pages on the guy, including, on page 214, a description of exactly what can be seen on the supposed "smoking gun" tape, including that the young Obama hugged Bell in front of a cheering crowd.

I'm not surprised if whomever had custody of this tape did not want it released during the 2008 campaign, since any tape showing a youthful Obama appearing at any sort of campus rally would feed into the image the right has been trying to create for years, that Obama is in reality some kind of fearsome student radical type. But the truth is, as people Remnick interviewed for his book tell it, Obama never really fit that image:
Everyone remembers Obama in much the same way: that he held generally progressive views on the political and racial controversies on campus, but never took the lead. He always used language of reconciliation rather than of insistence.
The Bridge, p. 214.  Think about it. Harvard is a notoriously political campus, known for its ongoing strife among the faculty and administration over diversity and other issues. Derrick Bell was the first black professor on the Harvard Law School faculty, and got into frequent spats with the administration over the pace of hiring additional black law professors. And Barack Obama was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, which was a very big deal at the time.  How would Barack Obama not speak up in support of Derrick Bell at that time and place? Not that there was anything particularly radical about standing up for Bell, but in doing so, what seems most notable about Obama's speech is its lack of militancy, its attempt to ingratiate himself and Professor Bell with all sides in the controversy, as well as early signs of the eloquent speaking qualities we have come to know so well. What we can be most thankful for is that Obama has since learned to keep his hands out of his pockets when he speaks.

Smoking gun? Yes, this is proof positive that even back in law school, Barack Obama was showing all the signs of becoming exactly the kind of leader that we see in him every day.

10 comments:

  1. Our dear leader embracing a radical crackpot Leftist racist? We already knew about Rev. Wright.

    There will be more videos, but anyone with eyes knew about Obama's past.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This tape is so benign it looks like something the administration released. In fact, the tape is rather endearing to the young man. Even cute! As well, he spoke well without a teleprompter!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i have to agree kp.....and breitbart was a fool!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fox "News" is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one. BTW, the tape was never hidden. PBS showed it in 2008 and it was available online since for anyone who wanted it.

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/mitchell-reports/46656536#46669745

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have to think this is not the tape Breitbart was referring to. I would bet a bundle there is some tape that is inflammatory. We shall see.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Breitbart's associate Joel Pollack said that in fact this was one of the tapes he was referring to. But of course, as we have heard since the 2008 campaign, there is always some bombshell in the offing that is going to expose the "real" Obama. Don't hold your breath.

    ReplyDelete
  7. For one, I don't want to see it. I detest destruction type politics of progressives and the far right. Neither group represents America. But you can't help the blind see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear you say that. Anyway, the guy has been president for more than three years. That's the record he has to run on. At this point, does anybody really care what he did in law school?

      Delete
    2. I am not too concerned what he did in law school twenty five years ago. To change my opinion of the man a tape would have to be quite disturbing. It has been well established I am concerned about what he has done the last three years.

      My daughters asked me about the tape last night at dinner. I told them it was flattering to the President. They both commented adding that facebook will be used as an additional source of character assasination in the futre and how it will limit the quality of candidates we have to choose from. That fact pains me!

      It's not enough to control what each of us post. It is their "friends" that may use liberty.

      Delete
    3. I have nieces and nephews who are half black and half white aged 16 to 30 years old. It is interesting to watch them settle as they age where race is concerned. Heck, it's interesting to watch us all settle as we age!

      Delete