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Deep State: Obama Agitators Are Subverting Government and Undermining Trump

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The leaks that led to Michael Flynn’s resignation are just the beginning. Obama and his loyalists in and outside government are working to undermine Trump.

There are exceptions, of course. Jimmy Carter threw himself into international diplomacy, mediating an agreement in 1994 to return exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power in Haiti, and generally agitating for a Palestinian state.

Then there is Obama. Less than a month out of office, the broad contours of Obama’s post-presidency career are already taking shape. Obama and his loyalists, it seems, will remain in the center of the political fray, officially and unofficially, in an organized effort to undermine the Trump administration.

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The bizarre scandal now unfolding over the resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn is a case in point. Flynn’s resignation was prompted by a series of coordinated and anonymous leaks from current and former Obama administration officials in our domestic intelligence agencies.

“Obama had eight years in the White House to secure his legacy. Any efforts on his part to undermine his successor aren’t just an affront to the principles of our democracy, they’re an admission that he and his acolytes never put much stock in democracy to begin with.”

Regardless of any valid criticism of Flynn, the leaks are part of a larger, loosely organized effort now underway to preserve Obama’s legacy. This effort involves Obama-era officials still inside the federal government, former Obama staffers working in the private sector, and Obama himself.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

This isn’t some conspiracy theory. After the election, Obama indicated he intends to stay involved in the political fray. In an email to his supporters on his last day in office, Obama encouraged them to stay engaged, promising “I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.” Less than two weeks later, he issued a statement saying he was “heartened” by anti-Trump protests over the executive order on immigration.

Attorney General Eric Holder To Resign

But there’s more to all this than Obama issuing solidarity statements to Trump protestors. For one thing, the former president isn’t moving back to Chicago. The Obama family will remain in Washington DC, within a couple miles of the White House, for the next two years as Obama’s youngest daughter finishes high school. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] REWIND: Andrew Breitbart Explains Cultural Marxism 

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Corrupt Propagandist Seattle Public School Teachers to Wear Anti-Cop Shirts to School

KING 5 reports teachers at John Muir Elementary School will allegedly be wearing t-shirts that read “Black Lives Matter, We Stand Together” to signify that they agree with Black Lives Matter’s mission.

“It’s something that can be controversial, but just the fact that our whole staff was on board with it, was pretty amazing to me.”

According to one of the teachers at the school, the entire staff will be participating.

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“It’s something that can be controversial, but just the fact that our whole staff was on board with it, was pretty amazing to me,” she said.

Jennifer Whitney, who came up with the idea for the t-shirts, told KING 5, “It’s part of the oppression, the systemic oppression continues on that’s the reason that we’re not seeing changes.” Read the rest of this entry »


UNSAVORYAGENTS: ‘This Woman is a Saul Alinsky-Trained Beast Who Has Zero Regard for the Unborn and the Law’

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Available in both
Bikini and Nude versions:
archival giclée print

20″x35″ – $30
30″x52″ – $50

I noticed someone had been inspired by my “Cruz” style poster and created a pro-Hillary version. I wasn’t going to have any part of that. I had to respond with my own.

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I didn’t want to focus on her many scandals, if I had she would have been covered from head to toe. Instead I focused on what I thought was in her heart or not in her heart.

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This woman is a Saul Alinsky trained Beast who has zero regard for the unborn and the law. She’s all about the Benjamins, GRRRL POWER, and death. What’s she holding behind her back, a knife, a gun, the head of Bernie Sanders? I don’t want to know.

CrEQ6tVVIAIuVmw

There are two version of this poster. The Artist’s Proof is the version without the panties because like both Hillary and the Cookie Monster like to remind us, “It’s all about the Cookie. Read the rest of this entry »


ATTENTION: Young People!

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The Alinsky Model: Six Alinsky Rules That Explain Obama’s Words and Deeds

DH

In spite of the media’s conspicuous silence on the matter, it is no secret that Saul Alinsky’s manual for “community organizers”—Rules for Radicals—exerted an immeasurable influence over the world’s most well recognized community organizer, President Barack Obama. 

Thus, to understand why Obama does what he does, we need to be familiar with the vision that Alinsky delineated in his book.

Below are six ideas, six “rules,” that the Godfather of community organizing packs between the covers of Rules, ideas that Obama’s imbibed hook, line, and sinker.

(1). Politics is all about power relations, but to advance one’s power, one must couch one’s positions in the language of morality.

Community organizers are “political realists” who “see the world as it is: an arena of power politics moved primarily by perceived immediate self-interests, where morality is rhetorical rationale for expedient action and self-interest” (12).

(2). There is only three kinds of people in the world: rich and powerful oppressors, the poor and disenfranchised oppressed, and the middle-class whose apathy perpetuates the status quo.

“The world as it is” is a rather simple world.  From this perspective, the world consists of but three kinds of people: “the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want Mores.”  The Haves, possessing, as they do, all of “the power, money, food, security, and luxury,” resist the “change” necessary to relieve the Have-Nots of the “poverty, rotten housing, disease, ignorance, political impotence, and despair” from which they suffer (18).

The Have-a-Little, Want Mores comprise what we call “the middle class.”  While Alinsky believes that this group “is the genesis of creativity,” (19) he also claims that it supplies the world with its “Do-Nothings.” The Do-Nothings are those who “profess a commitment to social change for ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, and then abstain from and discourage all effective action for change [.]”  Alinsky remarks that in spite of their reputable appearances, the Do-Nothings are actually “invidious” (20).

This being so, they are as resistant to change as are the Haves.

(3). Change is brought about through relentless agitation and “trouble making” of a kind that radically disrupts society as it is.

Since both the middle and upper classes have none of the organizer’s passion for radical change, he must do his best to “stir up dissatisfaction and discontent [.]”  He must “agitate to the point of conflict.”  The organizer “dramatizes…injustices” and engages in “‘trouble making’ by stirring up” just those “angers, frustrations, and resentments” (117) that will eventuate in the “disorganization of the old and organization of the new” (116 emphasis original).  He is determined to give rise to as much “confusion” and “fear” as possible (127).

(4). There can be no conversation between the organizer and his opponents.  The latter must be depicted as being evil. Read the rest of this entry »


REWIND: Reason Magazine’s 1983 Interview with William F. Buckley Jr.

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I came across this delightful interview with William F. Buckley Jr. the other night when searching and browsing Firing Line video archives (see the 1990 Christopher Hitchens Firing Line episode, from earlier today, here) started reading it, and ended up reading it multiple times. What a pleasure to discover this. It’s captured from the pre-digital era, so it’s stored as a PDF of a photocopy directly from the print magazine, you can access the whole thing here. Below is just one image file, which links to Reason. The March 1983 interview reveals Buckley’s characteristic thoughtfulness, charm, rich vocabulary, humor, and well-mannered social persona, his Roman Catholicism, the founding of the National Review, decades of work on Firing Line, his friction with figures like Ayn Rand, his literary and scholarly alliances, and opponents, his spy novels, his views on libertarianism, contemporary conservatism, and much, much more. The Reason interviewer’s questions are good, too, informed, and engaging.

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I was particularly interested in Buckley’s use of the word “schematic”, to describe what he doesn’t have an appetite for, favoring instead an eclectic and evolving world view. This interview barely scratches the surface. To get a sense of the fresh appeal (and timelessness) of Buckley’s thinking, refer to National Review’s “Our Mission Statement“, which Buckley wrote in 1955. As one NR reader notes, “the edits on this for 2014 would be minimal.” Though 1980s references appear in the discussion, I’d say the same could be said about this interview.

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[VIDEO] Buckley Birthday Bonus: William F. Buckley’s 1967 Saul Alinsky Interview

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William F. Buckley, one of the most influential figures in the history of conservatism, founder of National Reviewprolific writer and expert debater, stood athwart history, yelling Stop.

[Also see – William F. Buckley Jr: Conservative Icon – by  – Heritage.org]

But in yelling stop, he chose to engage with his ideological opponents, true to his belief that the American system requires a free flow of ideas in the intellectual marketplace.

[Celebrate William F. Buckley’s birthday with his tension-filled Saul Alinsky interview from 1967 – Read the full text at The Blaze]

To celebrate the legacy of the man born some 89 years ago today, we thought we would share the following video from the YouTube archives of Buckley interviewing “Rules for Radicals” author Saul Alinsky back in 1967 on Buckley’s “Firing Line” program.

Buckley attempts to cut to the heart of Alinsky’s philosophy, and Alinsky bobs and weaves around Buckley’s jabs, in a characteristically obfuscatory fashion.

In the video, Alinsky makes some interesting assertions…(read more)

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Dinesh D’Souza and MSNBC’s Eric Boehlert in Explosive Battle over Slavery

Dinesh D’Souza, the man behind the controversial new documentary America, jumped into the lion’s den today with an appearance on MSNBC, facing off against Ed Show guest host Michael Eric Dyson and panelists Eric Boehlert and Zerlina Maxwell over slavery, America’s comparative ills in world history, and whether President Obama is a dangerous “radical.”dsouza-msnbc

D’Souza contended that people exaggerate past sins like taking land from Native Americans and slavery. Dyson challenged him on slavery, arguing it was worse (to a degree) when America did it because there was actually religious justification being trotted out. D’Souza pointed out there were free black slave owners back then, and furthermore, slavery was abominable, but the United States “fought a great war to end it.”

Boehlert challenged D’Souza on another issue he’s raised: Obama and Hillary Clinton are radicals influenced by Saul Alinsky tactics. Boehlert said D’Souza completely misrepresents liberalism and makes out Obama and Clinton to be these “monsters of the left.”

D’Souza insisted that Obama was strongly influenced by and admires Alinsky’s tactics, while Clinton had an actual relationship with him, and so the criticism is perfectly legitimate.


Meet The New Counterculture: Modern Conservatives Employ Tactics Formerly Associated With Radical Left

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This is reported from the perspective of a highly regarded liberal media institution regarding conservative culture as an alien, unfamiliar phenomenon. (even though conservatives occupy about 90% of the land mass of the U.S.) so the Post‘s unavoidable bias is hard to miss. There are (or will be) better, more balanced articles about this, but this one certainly has its merits.

For the The Washington PostPhilip Bump reports:

The American counterculture was once defined by hippies marching on the streets of San Francisco or taking over buildings at Berkeley. This overlapped during the 1960s with the Supreme Court of Earl Warren, the popular benchmark of an activist judiciary.

“John Hawkins suggested that conservatives ‘learn from what he wrote and give the Left a taste of its own medicine.'”

[Also see – Packed Murrieta Town Hall Sounds Alarm On Illegal Immigrant Invasion]

protests-border

A scene from Murrieta. (REUTERS/Sam Hodgson)

[More – Deportation of Minors Drop 80% Under Obama]

That was then. Now, this group is older, whiter, and much less likely to have voted for Eugene McCarthy.or-die

“Townhall.com ran an essay arguing that conservatives should see Saul Alinsky’s famous how-to guide Rules for Radicals not as a reason to mock their opponents, but as a useful guide for their own protest.”

In Murrieta, California, scores of conservative protesters block buses filled with immigrants from arriving in the city. In Nevada, hundreds rally to bolster rancher Cliven Bundy’s fight against what they see as improper government intrusion. These are to some extent offshoots of a broader, fading movement — the tea party — which saw protests at statehouses, over phone lines, and at the Capitol as a critical form of engagement. Read the rest of this entry »


The Left Is Eating Itself

Ouroboros

For Ricochet writes:  The Ouroboros is an ancient image showing a large serpent consuming its own tail. Venerated by Greeks, Egyptians and Norsemen of yore, it serves as an apt metaphor for modern American liberalism.

The Democratic coalition was largely built on grievance politics. For decades, progressive leaders divided Americans into subgroups based on race, gender, class, age and sexual orientation. Political leaders were the first to stoke this fire, but educators soon joined in, as did the media, NGOs, big business and popular culture.

This coordinated strategy finally bore fruit with the arrival of the Obama era. Democrats had finally convinced the majority of American voters that Republicans are rich, old, white males who couldn’t possibly care about the poor, the young, women or non-whites.

As President Obama assumed power, his Alinskyite past served as the template for a renewed politics of envy, personal grievance and payback. The One Percent must be punished for their wealth. Traditional marriage supporters are hateful bigots on the wrong side of history. Mitt Romney gave old women cancer and locked the younger ones in binders. “The Cambridge police acted stupidly” and “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

As one blogger notes, “Barack Obama thinks his job is to lead the mob, not the country.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Jim Geraghty: Why it’s So Hard to Make Progressives Live Up to Their Own Rules

Reid-Obama

Unruly Progressives 

Rules for Radicals are Different than Rules for You and Me

Jim Geraghty writes: Shortly after Barack Obama rose to the presidency, the Right became fascinated by Saul Alinsky, and in particular by the philosopher and community organizer’s “Rules for Radicals.” Many on the right focused their attention on Alinsky’s Fourth Rule: “Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

ruleforradicalsRules for Radicals, Amazon has it. 

The strategy of “making them live up to their own book of rules” is frequently mentioned and discussed these days at Breitbart.comInstapunditAce of Spades, and just about every other conservative website and blog.

James O’Keefe, the activist and journalist behind the famous ACORN videos, articulated the approach directly: “The Left doesn’t care about the laws or the rules. They are hypocrites, and the only way to win is to make them live up to their book of rules. I have found that the only thing they care about is racism, sexism and exploitation.”

“…not that many liberals care whether their brethren are following their own book of rules. They’ve demonstrated a remarkable acceptance for one another’s hypocrisy.”

Not to take away from O’Keefe’s work, which generates must-watch videos and scandal-inspired resignations with metronomic regularity, but there may be a flaw in this strategy. Ultimately, not that many liberals care whether their brethren are following their own book of rules. They’ve demonstrated a remarkable acceptance for one another’s hypocrisy.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Community-Organizer-in-Chief, Part One: The Alinsky Ethics

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“A radical is one who advocates sweeping changes in the existing laws and methods of government.” 

– Hillary Rodham (Clinton) in her 1969 thesis “There Is Only The Fight : An Analysis of the Alinsky Model”

As voters stagger through the long hot summer of the 2012 Presidential campaign, activists who want to defeat President Obama are fighting an uphill battle to help their fellow citizens get an honest assessment of who Barack Obama is and what he believes. The mainstream media are certainly no help in vetting Obama, having proven themselves both as slippery and as shallow as a puddle of bacon grease.

Obama’s past matters because it isn’t just his past. As author Stanley Kurtz shows in his upcoming book Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, the President’s background past is relevant today because it leads directly to his wealth redistribution policies and other radical plans to reshape America.

Because of the Fourth Estate Fail, it’s incumbent on conservative activists and citizen journalists to do the job of explaining to voters the truth about Barack Obama. This article is the first in a series that uses Kurtz’s Spreading The Wealthas a jumping off point to lay out in stark detail how President Obama has practiced distinct brand of Chicago-style politics has had implications for every aspect of his policy, from Obamacare to the housing crisis.

The plain truth is that President Barack Obama has operated in a manner completely consistent with his political roots as a Alinsky-style community organizer. That simple assessment is accurate but useless as an explanation. Most voters have no idea who Saul Alinsky was or even what being a “community organizer” means. Ironically, this ignorance is especially acute among liberals.

The good news is that understanding Alinsky and his profound impact on Obama’s policies & political operation can be simple.

Alinsky’s manifesto Rules For Radicals lays out the principles of community organizing and the blunt, modern language makes it an easy read. Yes, it’s evil–but it’s seldom pedantic.

However, I think an even better place to start is the astounding, in-depth interview that Playboy magazine did with Alinsky in 1972. The entire interview at the link is from a political website and there isn’t a NSFW photo anywhere.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Dinesh D’Souza and Bill Ayers Debate

Not since Christopher Hitchens was alive, engaging intellectual opponents in debates, on stage, anywhere, at the drop of a hat, or when Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy did speaking engagements as a duet, on tour, do we have an unlikely pair like Ayers and D’Souza sharing a stage…

Roger Simon has some good analysis–including a candid comment about a genuine nightmare he experienced after seeing Ayers speak at length for the first time, and the dizzy depression that followed– jump over to his site to read the whole thing. Here’s a money quote:

“Bill Ayers is Saul Alinsky on steroids”

Roger L. Simon writes:

 It’s a testament to Dinesh D’Souza’s mettle that he even showed up for his scheduled debate at Dartmouth (his alma mater and mine) with Bill Ayers last Thursday.  D’Souza is only recently under what is apparently selective prosecution by the federal government for campaign law violations (see “Amnesty, but Not for D’Souza” by Andy McCarthy) and that was probably some of the reason the pundit/filmmaker seemed off his game.

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He fared much better debating the existence of God with the late Christopher Hitchens.  But that was in part because Hitchens played fair, enjoying the intellectual jousting and search for truth between two exceptionally bright people.  D’Souza’s Thursday adversary, Mr. Ayers — former Weatherman revolutionary and retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he held the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar — did everything but.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Scheme behind the Obamacare Fraud

A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately

“The public is too ignorant and disengaged to catch me, the press is too deep in my pocket to raise alarms.”

Lies smooth the transition to a fundamental transformation of our health-care system

Andrew C. McCarthy writes:  Fraud can be so brazen it takes people’s breath away. But for a prosecutor tasked with proving a swindle — or what federal law describes as a “scheme to defraud” — the crucial thing is not so much the fraud. It is the scheme.

To be sure, it is the fraud — the individual false statements, sneaky omissions, and deceptive practices — that grabs our attention. As I’ve recounted in this space, President Obama repeatedly and emphatically vowed, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan, period.” The incontrovertible record — disclosures by the Obama administration in the Federal Register, representations by the Obama Justice Department in federal court — proves that Obama’s promises were systematically deceitful. The president’s audacity is bracing, and not just because he lies so casually while looking us in the eye. Obama also insults our intelligence. It is one thing to tuck evidence of falsehood into a few paragraphs on page 34,552 of a dusty governmental journal no one may ever look at. It is quite something else to announce it in a legal brief publicly filed in a case of intense interest to millions of Americans aggrieved by Obamacare’s religious-liberty violations. To be so bold is to say, in effect, “The public is too ignorant and disengaged to catch me, and the press is too deep in my pocket to raise alarms.”

Still, to show that politicians lie is like pointing out that it gets dark at night. The lie, the fraud, does not tell us why they lied in this instance. The fraud does not tell us what the stakes are. To know that, we must understand the scheme — the design.

Read the rest of this entry »


Political Roots: Obama’s Council Wars, from Chicago to Washington

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Joel B. Pollak writes:  If you want to understand Barack Obama’s presidency, you have to dig into his political roots.

You have to understand the organizing tactics of Saul Alinsky, the anti-colonialism of Edward Said, and the constitutional vision of Derrick Bell.

younginchicagobamasMost of all, you have to know the story of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, whose election drew Obama to Chicago, and whose political battles Obama likely imagines he is re-living today.Unknown

Washington was elected in 1983, defeating the remnants of the Daley political machine, which was dominated by white ethnic blocs. Until Washington, blacks had to know their place in the Chicago Democratic Party. And the party bosses he had beaten were determined to claw back their power.

They formed a 29-vote faction in the 50-alderman city council–enough to block anything the mayor did, yet not enough to overturn his veto.

For three years, Washington and the aldermen faced off in what came to be known as “Council Wars.” The mayor could not appoint key officials or pass his agenda, and his opponents could not enact their own. Read the rest of this entry »


ObamaCare: freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it

The Handbook of dirty tricks, Hijacked by the Right

The Left’s Sacred Handbook of dirty tricks, hijacked by the Right

John Hayward writes:  When I put together a roundup of ObamaCare horror stories on Friday, I concluded as follows:

I personally dislike the “human prop” strategy for making political arguments, but that’s how things work these days – political debates must be personalized to become effective. There’s no reason it should be an exclusively liberal strategy. Republicans need to get some of these folks on stage for press conferences and photo ops. The Left is all about abstract costs and humanized benefits – a lot of people get quietly rooked, while a few grateful beneficiaries are hauled onstage at political rallies. ObamaCare’s failure isn’t just about website errors. It has a very human face.

Over at Ace’s place, DrewM is thinking along the same lines, and gives the Republicans some absolutely perfect advice:

No Republican, from Boehner on down to the least likely to win next year challenger in a deep blue district, should appear anywhere across the country without someone who either tried and failed to sign up for ObamaCare or someone who tried and found out their premiums are skyrocketing and/or they can’t keep their doctor.

When these Republicans get asked, “What time is it?” They answer, “This is Mary. She signed up for ObamaCare and her premiums have increased by……”. When they get asked, “Aren’t you worried about defaulting” they answer, “This Jose. Jose tried to sign up but couldn’t because the system doesn’t work and now he’s going to face a penalty from the IRS because the government says he has to buy something but the government can’t sell it to him. And that’s why……”

That’s exactly what they should do.  Note to Republicans: when the reporter interviewing you rolls his or her eyes in exasperation at your latest “This is Mary…” talking point, you’re doing it right.

Read the rest of this entry »


Chicago’s Real Crime Story

Why decades of community organizing haven’t stemmed the city’s youth violence

The beating death of Derrion Albert captured national attention last September.

The beating death of Derrion Albert captured national attention last September.

Heather Mac Donald writes: Barack Obama has exploited his youthful stint as a Chicago community organizer at every stage of his political career. As someone who had worked for grassroots “change,” he said, he was a different kind of politician, one who could translate people’s hopes into reality. The media lapped up this conceit, presenting Obama’s organizing experience as a meaningful qualification for the Oval Office.

This past September, a cell-phone video of Chicago students beating a fellow teen to death coursed over the airwaves and across the Internet. None of the news outlets that had admiringly reported on Obama’s community-organizing efforts mentioned that the beating involved students from the very South Side neighborhoods where the president had once worked. Obama’s connection to the area was suddenly lost in the mists of time.

Yet a critical blindness links Obama’s activities on the South Side during the 1980s and the murder of Derrion Albert in 2009. Throughout his four years working for “change” in Chicago’s Roseland and Altgeld Gardens neighborhoods, Obama ignored the primary cause of their escalating dysfunction: the disappearance of the black two-parent family. Obama wasn’t the only activist to turn away from the problem of absent fathers, of course; decades of failed social policy, both before and after his time in Chicago, were just as blind. And that myopia continues today, guaranteeing that the current response to Chicago’s youth violence will prove as useless as Obama’s activities were 25 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Why decades of community organizing haven’t stemmed the city’s youth violence

City Journal 
Heather Mac Donald
Chicago’s Real Crime Story

Barack Obama has exploited his youthful stint as a Chicago community organizer at every stage of his political career. As someone who had worked for grassroots “change,” he said, he was a different kind of politician, one who could translate people’s hopes into reality. The media lapped up this conceit, presenting Obama’s organizing experience as a meaningful qualification for the Oval Office.

This past September, a cell-phone video of Chicago students beating a fellow teen to death coursed over the airwaves and across the Internet. None of the news outlets that had admiringly reported on Obama’s community-organizing efforts mentioned that the beating involved students from the very South Side neighborhoods where the president had once worked. Obama’s connection to the area was suddenly lost in the mists of time.

Yet a critical blindness links Obama’s activities on the South Side during the 1980s and the murder of Derrion Albert in 2009. Throughout his four years working for “change” in Chicago’s Roseland and Altgeld Gardens neighborhoods, Obama ignored the primary cause of their escalating dysfunction: the disappearance of the black two-parent family. Obama wasn’t the only activist to turn away from the problem of absent fathers, of course; decades of failed social policy, both before and after his time in Chicago, were just as blind. And that myopia continues today, guaranteeing that the current response to Chicago’s youth violence will prove as useless as Obama’s activities were 25 years ago.

One year out of college, Barack Obama took a job as a community organizer, hoping for an authentic black experience that would link him to the bygone era of civil rights protest. Few people know what a community organizer is—Obama didn’t when he decided to become one—yet the term seduces the liberal intelligentsia with its aura of class struggle and agitation against an unjust establishment. Saul Alinsky, the self-described radical who pioneered the idea in Chicago’s slaughterhouse district during the Depression, defined community organizing as creating “mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people.” Alinsky viewed poverty as a political condition: it stemmed from a lack of power, which society’s “haves” withhold from the “have-nots.” A community organizer would open the eyes of the disenfranchised to their aggrieved status, teaching them to demand redress from the illegitimate “power structure.”

Alinskyite empowerment suffered its worst scandal in 1960s Chicago. The architects of the federal War on Poverty created a taxpayer-funded version of a community-organizing entity, the so-called Community Action Agency, whose function was to agitate against big-city mayors for more welfare benefits and services for blacks. Washington poverty warriors, eager to demonstrate their radical bona fides, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into Chicago’s most notorious gangs, who were supposed to run job-training and tutoring programs under the auspices of a signature Alinskyite agency, the Woodlawn Organization. Instead, the gangbangers maintained their criminal ways—raping and murdering while on the government payroll, and embezzling federal funds to boot.

The disaster failed to dim the romance of community organizing. But by the time Obama arrived in Chicago in 1984, an Alinskyite diagnosis of South Side poverty was doubly irrelevant. Blacks had more political power in Chicago than ever before, yet that power had no impact on the tidal wave of dysfunction that was sweeping through the largest black community in the United States. Chicago had just elected Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor; the heads of Chicago’s school system and public housing were black, as were most of their employees; black power broker Emil Jones, Jr. represented the South Side in the Illinois State Senate; Jesse Jackson would launch his 1984 presidential campaign from Chicago. The notion that blacks were disenfranchised struck even some of Obama’s potential organizees as ludicrous. “Why we need to be protesting and carrying on at our own people?” a prominent South Side minister asked Obama soon after he arrived in Chicago. “Anybody sitting around this table got a direct line to City Hall.”

Pace Alinsky, such political clout could not stop black Chicago’s social breakdown. Crime was exploding. Gangs ran the housing projects—their reign of thuggery aided by ACLU lawsuits, which had stripped the housing authority of its right to screen tenants. But the violence spread beyond the projects. In 1984, Obama’s first year in Chicago, gang members gunned down a teenage basketball star, Benjy Wilson.

The citywide outcry that followed was heartfelt but beside the point. None of the prominent voices calling for an end to youth violence—from Mayor Washington to Jesse Jackson to school administrators—noted that all of Wilson’s killers came from fatherless families (or that he had fathered an illegitimate child himself). Nor did the would-be reformers mention the all-important fact that a staggering 75 percent of Chicago’s black children were being born out of wedlock. The sky-high illegitimacy rate meant that black boys were growing up in a world in which it was normal to impregnate a girl and then take off. When a boy is raised without any social expectation that he will support his children and marry his children’s mother, he fails to learn the most fundamental lesson of personal responsibility. The high black crime rate was one result of a culture that fails to civilize men through marriage.

Obama offers fleeting glimpses of Chicago’s social breakdown in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, but it’s as if he didn’t really see what he recorded. An Alinskyite group from the suburbs, the Calumet Community Religious Conference, had assigned him to the Roseland community on the far South Side, in the misguided hope of strong-arming industrial jobs back to the area. Roseland’s bungalows and two-story homes recalled an era of stable, two-parent families that had long since passed. Obama vividly describes children who “swaggered down the streets—loud congregations of teenage boys, teenage girls feeding potato chips to crying toddlers, the discarded wrappers tumbling down the block.” He observes two young boys casually firing a handgun at a third. He notes that the elementary school in the Altgeld Gardens housing project had a center for the teen mothers of its students, who had themselves been raised by teen mothers.

Most tellingly, Obama’s narrative is almost devoid of men. With the exception of the local ministers and the occasional semi-crazed black nationalist, Obama inhabits a female world. His organizing targets are almost all single mothers. He never wonders where and who the fathers of their children are. When Obama sees a group of boys vandalizing a building, he asks rhetorically: “Who will take care of them: the alderman, the social workers? The gangs?” The most appropriate candidate—“their fathers”—never occurs to him.

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