“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
Barack Obama is the first American president from Chicago. That fact will be the trailblazing Obama’s most lasting legacy.
Chicago has long been stereotyped as a city where any-means-necessary politics have ruled, and where excess is preferable to moderation. Convicted felon Tony Rezko, leftist extremists Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger, radical Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky’s take-no-prisoners Rules for Radicals, felon and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich — all these were part of Barack Obama’s Chicago tutelage. Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel’s infamous adage — “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before” — was the unofficial motto of the Obama administration’s efforts to grow government, up-regulate, and borrow immense sums — measures impossible without a climate of induced panic and fear.
Director Brian De Palma’s 1987 film The Untouchables rejuvenated Chicago’s reputation for muscle over niceties. The film dramatized Chicago’s institutionalized bribery and corruption during the effort to bring down Roaring Twenties mobster Al Capone. Screenwriter David Mamet famously had characters brag of “the Chicago way.” On more than one occasion, a cop advised: “They pull a knife, you pull a gun.” Gun-control advocate and Chicagoan Barack Obama made waves in his 2008 presidential run when he echoed the film’s advice to a Philadelphia audience. He joked of what his campaign might do to his rival, John McCain: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Obama exemplified the Chicago stereotype of how to get business done when, that same campaign year, he advised his followers to confront their political opponents: “I want you to argue with them and get in their face.”
“Chicago politics” seems a common denominator in serial scandals involving political bias, cronyism, and incompetence at the VA, IRS, DHS, ICE, NSA, Secret Service, and, most recently, Office of Personnel Management. The NSA’s monitoring of the Associated Press journalists fit perfectly the Chicago stereotype, which often involves two prime characteristics: sending a message to political opponents that the power of government can be unleashed against unwise criticism, and using off-the record understandings and under-the-table sweeteners to close a deal.
Obama has been not just voicing Chicago clichés, but apparently living them. Was it just a coincidence that, right before the 2012 election, amateur video-maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula found himself put in prison for a minor parole violation? The administration had falsely blamed Nakoula’s little-watched video — rather than an al-Qaeda affiliate and the administration’s own lax security — as the cause of the lethal attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The public shrugged at the jailing of the distasteful Nakoula, as if the hounding of an American resident on a trumped-up charge to mask the culpability of the White House were a minor affair.
Was it just a coincidence that Senator Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) in April suddenly found himself indicted by a federal attorney on three-year-old, and previously aired, charges — right after he voiced sharp criticism of the administration’s ongoing Iran deal? Was the not-so-subtle message to congressional Democrats, “Don’t buck the administration if you know what’s good for you”?
Speaking of Iran, why is the administration suddenly talking of releasing master spy and traitor Jonathan Pollard ahead of his parole date? Pollard has served 27 years of a life sentence for spying for Israel. Previously, the Obama administration would not even let Pollard visit his dying father. Is administration talk of Pollard’s early release designed as a sop to Israel over the Iran deal — a supposed way to cool Israel’s loud opposition, which might threaten congressional ratification of the deal? In Chicago fashion, when a deal is stuck, you add extraneous sweeteners or punishments to move it along.
What are the recently exposed “side deals” with Iran? Why does the administration brag about the transparent provisions of the treaty, while hiding two concessions to the Iranian theocracy concerning its ongoing uranium enrichment and areas off-limits to inspections?
During Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, the Tea Party likewise learned about the Chicago way. At the high-water mark of that populist conservative movement, suddenly many Tea Party affiliates ran into trouble with the IRS. It was later found out — well after Obama’s reelection — that IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner had deliberately targeted conservative nonprofits on the basis of their politics. At the time, Obama feigned outrage. But more recently, he dropped that pretense and scoffed that Lerner’s politicization of the IRS was due only to a “crummy” law — and Republican cuts in the IRS budget. In other words, the Republicans were to blame for Lerner’s hounding of themselves.
We forget that politicizing the IRS worked, in the sense that on the eve of Obama’s reelection lots of conservative groups were deflated. More important, Obama subsequently established the deterrent idea that opposition to him might earn audits for his critics. Or, as Obama joked in Chicago fashion when denied an honorary degree from Arizona State, “President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.”
The Obama administration is now fishing for some way to shut down the Guantanamo detention center, after six years of failing to persuade or browbeat Congress to do so. It suddenly complains of the excessive cost of running the facility — this worry over budgeting from an administration that will leave office having doubled the federal debt, and having borrowed more than all previous presidencies combined.
There has been bad blood between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ever since their acrimonious 2008 nomination fight. Hillary should beware: Obama has a long Chicago memory, and as an unfettered lame duck he no longer worries about polls or national elections. Coincidentally, Hillary just learned that federal officials are once again looking into her private e-mail mess and her possible release of classified information to friends and associates. She should remember what happened to General David Petraeus, whose use of private e-mails and sharing of classified documents were apparently known to the Obama administration well before the 2012 election — but mattered more opportunely after the Obama victory, when it led to Petraeus’s resignation and eventual guilty plea to a federal charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information. In Chicago style, the sword of Damocles falls when the boss chooses.
Even more curious, as Stanley Kurtz has pointed out, the Obama administration is apparently going ahead with its bizarre plan to force elite suburbs to diversify and become more racially proportionate under federal guidance (certain tony enclaves like Oprah’s Montecito or Silicon Valley’s Woodside will no doubt be exempt). Disbursements of federal money will apparently be used to alter zoning laws in wealthier areas, with the purpose of granting access to the underprivileged. Guess which exclusive enclave the Obama administration tried targeting first?
Westchester, N.Y. – home to Hillary Clinton. Pettiness too is a Chicago presidential trait.
9 thoughts on “The Obama Administration’s Chicago Politics”
Depending on who believe, our own (Republican) leadership may be as guilty.
As another Chicago native, Al Capone, put it,”You can get further with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone”.
Sounds like you’re on to him—a racist whose best buddy is Al Sharpton; a Marxist who looks just like his father/mentor, Frank Marshall Davis; and, a radical Islamist who was brought up as a Muslim in Indonesia and somehow in spite of the Islamist State still declares Islam as a religion of peace!!!
How did such a radical antigen like Barak Obama ever get elected? The evidence of his radicalism, despite the Media’s attempt to either ignore or downplay it, was in plain sight. Was there mass revulsion when video surfaced of Rev. Wright’s thundering “God Damn America” comments made one week following 9/11 in a church that Obama had spent 20 years attending and had baptized his kids? Perhaps the smelly Tony Rezko land dead would have prompted the Media to investigate the unknown Obamas with the same verve and excitement used against George W. Bush when bogus accusations about his National Guard service made front page news? Did Michelle’s angry unpatriotic outbursts give the American public cause to rethink its blind embracement of her and her largely mysterious husband? Shouldn’t the pretense of “hardly knowing” radical domestic terrorist Bill Ayers have insulted the intelligence of most Americans? And when you add all of these disturbing red flags to BO’s glaring lack of executive experience, his thin résumé, his secrecy regarding his college transcripts which included an apparent dearth of “outstanding” essays as editor of the Harved Law Review, and his unremarkable record as an Illinois state senator where the guru of Hope and Change had voted “present” 130 times a clear picture emerges of phony, unqualified, and dangerously radical presidential candidate. Yet, we elected him twice.
Since the Sixties, the radical Left, like a mutating virulent bacterium, has learned how to overcome the immune defenses of our democracy. By using political correctness to control language and, thus, political discourse we have inadvertently elected the most damaging, far-left ideologue imaginable. And he’s now completely untethered by the checks and balances of our government, the probing eye of a disintersted media, and the result of his next election.
Buckle-up, a year and a half is a long time.
“” Russia’s defense ministry to set up new air assault group in Siberia.”” From Tass. “” Russians wary of land deals with China asia times.”” Tibet became China. Mongolia will become China………..
I keep seeing the evidence of corruption – The Dr. is preaching to the choir. What I don’t see is the 50% of the population that worships our fearless democratic leader budging in their unfailing loyalty to all things “big and bigger government”. (Don’t get me started on the media and npr).
VDH is a marked man, how does Obama leave VDH spewing such hatred?
Great article however did not mention Nobama’s punishment of Dinesh D’Souza, which was shameful, even by Chicago standards.
Don’t forget up-Nuker!
I can only hope that Obama now embarking on busting neighborhoods , makes his inaugural push to infest posh neighborhoods with the worst of the worst. I hope he does it in Beverly Hills–home of his Marxist supporters. Now that his spying operation is complete–he knows everything about us never mind that this spying on citizens is unconstitutional without a warrant.–our salaries, our savings, our pensions, our spending, our debt, our race, what our homes are worth etc. and he is ready to come in for the kill. Infiltrate good neighborhoods and schools with the dreck of society and illegal alien criminals and resettlement of unvetted muslim refugees all on full welfare for life. Then use our tax dollars to accomplish this Marxist wet dream of his. It will be his good- bye gift to us as he goes off to retirement with secret service protection for life and also for his family and Valerie jarrett and a huge pension and an office and a huge allowance for operating said office to spew even more muslim, Marxist propaganda.