David Horowitz speaks about The Left in Power: From Clinton to Obama in Los Angeles California on December 14, 2016
Introduction to Volume VII
The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama
By David Horowitz
This seventh volume of the Black Book of the American Left reviews the administrations of three presidents and the transformation of the Democratic Party from a party of the American center into a party of the political left. The magnitude of this change can be measured in the distance Democrats have traveled since the presidency of John F. Kennedy, once a liberal icon. The Kennedy policies—militant anti-Communism, hawkish defense, a capital gains tax cut and balanced budget—are now firmly identified with the Republican right. At the same time, Barack Obama’s Democrats are committed to the agendas of the left: income redistribution, socialized health schemes, and military retreat abroad.
and to cripple American power—all in the name of furthering economic equality and social justice.
The 1948 progressives failed to defeat Harry Truman or achieve their foreign policy objectives, and became marginal to the political dramas of the next decade. Then, in the 1960s, a younger generation of progressives created a political movement that described itself as a “New Left.” But while New Leftists developed an innovative rhetoric to distance themselves from their Communist forbears, they were in fact mobilized behind the same antiindividualist, anti-capitalist and anti-American agendas as the Communist movement from which they sprang.
As the Sixties progressed, the New Left became more and more overtly radical until, in 1968, activists staged a riot at the Democratic Party convention to destroy the candidacy of Hubert Humphrey over his support for an anti-Communist war. Following the convention debacle and Humphrey’s electoral defeat, New Left activists moved from the streets into the ranks of the party. With the support of the Democrats’ 1972 presidential candidate, George McGovern, who had begun in his political career in the 1948 Henry Wallace campaign, the New Left radicals were able to take commanding positions in the party’s congressional apparatus, and eventually in its national leadership.
As the activists acquired power, their aggressive tactics achieved a series of political victories: the betrayal of the Vietnamese and Cambodians by the “Watergate class” of congressional Democrats who cut off military and economic aid to the anti-Communist regimes; the appeasement of Communist insurgencies in Central America and obstruction of the Reagan administration’s anti-Communist policies such as support for the Contras; the betrayal of Iraq and sabotage of the war on terror; the thirty-year assault on the nation’s borders; the undermining of public health measures during the AIDS epidemic; the traducing of the civil rights movement and its transformation into a lobby for race-based policies and racial preferences; the subversion of the modern research university and the suborning of its liberal arts divisions into training centers for the Democratic Party and the radical cause; and finally the rise of a campus support movement for Islamists and anti-Semites. These victories—documented in previous volumes of the present series—culminated in the election of Barack Obama in 2009 and the institutionalizing of the policies of the left in government over the next 8 years.
Brotherhood; and a major foreign policy effort to bring America’s mortal enemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran, into the community of nations, fund its terrorist regime and provide its leaders with a legitimized path to nuclear power.
Bill Clinton had been the first Democratic president with political roots in the so-called “antiwar” movement, although he himself was not an ideological leftist in the way his wife and political partner was. Accordingly, the opening chapter of this volume focuses on the views of Hillary Clinton and the cohort of leftists she brought to the White House. Leftists figured prominently in the Clinton entourage, and their agendas became prominent themes of an administration that eventually presided over the most massive breach of military security in American history—a story told in the last three chapters of Part I of this volume and now all but forgotten. This breach and the policies associated with it could not have been implemented if the political atmosphere had been confined to a few individuals, even as influential as Mrs. Clinton.
Important chapters in the Democrats’ defection from the bipartisanship which had characterized American foreign policy during the postwar years is told in other volumes of this series, in particular the essay “How the Left Undermined America’s Security Before 9/11,” which appears in Volume 3, The Great Betrayal. It describes the shift in Democratic Party attitudes on national security from the McGovern campaign through the Clinton years. Domestic effects of the progressive party line, which became a defining feature of Democratic politics over the next several decades, are analyzed in Volumes 5 and 6.
this development, described in Part 2 of the present volume, was laid in the demonization of George Bush and the Republicans, for staying the course in Iraq despite the Democrats’ defection from a war they had authorized. The part played by the left in this dramatic turn of Democratic policies was first described in my book Unholy Alliance (2004), which examined the still-poorly-understood events leading up to the invasion of Iraq and the growing sympathies of the political left for Islamist agendas.
to more than three million people, and is thus the most popular work I have written.
in previous volumes, the selections have been edited and revised for readability, but the perspectives have been left unaltered. As previously mentioned, Volume 3 of this series, The Great Betrayal, provides a running account of the reversal and the Democrats’ unprecedented sabotage of an American war in progress. A third book, Party of Defeat (2008), co-authored with Ben Johnson, also deals with these events, and includes the essay “How the Left Undermined America’s Security Before 9/11.” In 2014 I published Take No Prisoners, which deals with some of the same subject matter from the perspective of political tactics that conservatives might use to confront the Democratic agendas. One chapter from that book, “How Obama Betrayed America,” is included in the present volume.
The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama
Table of Contents
Introduction to The Left in Power 1
Part I: Clinton 7
1 · First Lady of the Left 9
2 · Gays March on the Pentagon (with Peter Collier) 25
3 · Conservatism Needs a Heart 35
4 · Political Roles Reversed 39
5 · The African-American Amen Chorus 45
6 · Clinton’s Academic Shills 51
7 · Moral Issues in Politics 59
8 · Misdemeanors or High Crimes? 67
9 · A Question of Loyalties 77
10 · The Manchurian Presidency 85
Part II: Bush 95
1 · W” on His Game 97
2 · Al Gore’s Missile-Defense Dodge 101
3 · The Bad Fight (with Peter Collier) 111
4 · First Blood 117
5 · How Leftists Play the Race Card 125
6 · Who Is Guilty? 133
7 · The Doctrine of Pre-Emption 139
8 · The Liberal Hate Campaign 145
9 · Counsels of Cowardice 149
10 · Party of Defeat 153
Part III: Obama 157
1 · Candidate of the Left 159
2 · From Red to Green 167
3 · Obama’s Communist Czar 171
4 · Rules for Revolution 177
5 · Rules for Revolution Applied (with Liz Blaine) 207
6 · Obama and the War Against the Jews (with Jacob Laksin) 223
7 · From Shadow Party to Shadow Government (with John Perazzo) 253
8 · Why I Am Not a Neo-Conservative 287
9 · Occupy Wall Street 289
10 · How Obama Betrayed America 329
11 · War and Peace 345
12 · Obama’s Treachery 349
13 · The Hell That Is the Obama White House 353
14 · Thank You, ISIS 357
15 · The Blood on Obama’s Hands 361
16 · How Many Lies? 365
17 · Bush Was Right 369
18 · Treasons of the Democrats 373
19 · The Hate That Dares Not Speak Its Name 381
Black Book Matters: A Review of Volume VII
How the Left hijacked the Democratic Party.
By Lloyd Billingsley
“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 TheBlack 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.
Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Film Industry.