Below is Richard Baehr's review of David Horowitz's new book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama(reprinted from American Thinker with permission). The book is volume 7 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz's conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.)We encourage our readers to visit BlackBookOfTheAmericanLeft.com which features Horowitz’s introductions to Volumes 1-7 of this 9-volume series, along with their tables of contents, reviews and interviews with the author.
Every year, there is some report of the blissful ignorance of American history demonstrated by the supposedly best and brightest at elite American universities. Suffice it to say the collected writings of David Horowitz on the American Left, which constitute part of a solid foundation for understanding the last half century of American politics, are nowhere to be found on any college or high school reading list.
Horowitz’s latest book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama, is the seventh volume in his nine-volume collection, The Black Book of the American Left. This new volume provides a collection of his writings over the last quarter century, focusing primarily on the Left’s control in our government and culture. As Horowitz reveals, even during the Bush years, conservatives were on the defense and leftists controlled the narrative as they attempted to destroy Bush and his chances for re-election in 2004. Their primary mode of attack was to undermine America’s efforts in Iraq almost from the start of the conflict, when just months earlier a majority of Senate Democrats and near half of House Democrats had supported the President. The Left then destroyed Bush’s second term with bogus charges of racist neglect in the handling of Hurricane Katrina. There was plenty of incompetence in the response to Katrina, but local and state officials — all Democrats, of course, and many of them African American — were the principal operators on the ground during the crisis.
The immediate abandonment of support for the Iraq war effort was a signal event in American history, sending a message that a large part of the Democratic Party was not remotely concerned about the morale of our men and women fighting overseas. The weak effort by some Democrats to hold onto an ounce of patriotic resolve -- “end the war, support the troops” -- was designed more for campaign speeches than any meaningful attempt to convey national unity for the effort underway by our armed forces. So too, the obsession with Abu Ghraib gave the lie to the Democrats’ “support our troops” message, as a broad brush was used to paint the incident as somehow what you would expect from our military on a routine basis.
Horowitz outlines this narrative, faulting the Bush administration for failing to fight harder to present its story of why we went into Iraq and the risks if we had done nothing. Regrettably, the Bush administration never had a chance to get a better defense of the Iraq war out to the media. Most in the media considered the Bush administration illegitimate due to its narrow victory in the 2000 presidential contest, a lie to be sure. Unfortunately, it is almost certainly true that the media today are far more in the bag for the left than ten or twenty years ago and work harder at pushing the left’s agenda. The soft liberalism of Walter Cronkite has been replaced by cable and national network anchors who routinely bury stories embarrassing to their side and focus on those that can do damage to the other side. During the current Presidential election cycle, we have seen the most prestigious media organs explain why it is necessary and appropriate for them to be biased this year. It is a special time, they argue, because Trump is, in their view, a unique threat to the Republic.
On the other hand, the media have been loath to consider the damage to the country caused by Barack Obama -- the loss of respect abroad for America’s will to fight, the degradation of our military readiness, the fraying of ties with allies, and the near obsessive outreach to America’s enemies that led to agreements such as the nuclear deal with Iran, best described as an abject surrender of American interests that will lead to the funding of fanatical nuclear regime. About 85% of those supposedly sensible pro-Israel Democrats walked the plank behind their great leader on that deal, with no visible regrets to date. There was simply too much political risk to oppose the first black president of their party. The media were happy to parrot the administration’s talking points for the nuclear deal, something the manipulators crowed over at the White House.
At least in the propaganda use of Abu Ghraib, the Left was honest in revealing what it thinks about the military. As Horowitz outlines in article after article, the Left is fighting a war that most Americans do not see, disguising its intentions through its aggressive, unceasing promotion of “progressive” policies “to make America a better place.” This commitment to deception emerges, Horowitz reveals, from the allegiance to the ideology of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” a formative doctrine for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The progressive goal is to achieve a new society that has never been seen before in this country, though it has been promised and has catastrophically failed in many places around the globe. In America, the Left is not only unconcerned with selling their program to the public, but also, Horowitz argues, it is fearful of the result of voters knowing what it is pursuing. One prime example was the admission of MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that health care law would never have made it through Congress if it had been presented honestly.
The Left is also busy at work making it easier for itself to win politically. Horowitz provides chapter and verse on the Left’s efforts to rapidly change the composition of the voting pool -- motor voter registration with no birth certificate required, fighting every effort to combat voter fraud with charges of racism and “turning the clock back,” even when states were willing to pay for potential voters obtaining the needed documents to register, support for open borders, expansion of legal immigration, and amnesty and citizenship (and voting rights) for more than ten million already in the country illegally. Here the Left’s mentor and financier is George Soros and his buddies, who have funded dozens of organizations which fight on multiple fronts every day to advance the left politically. And Horowitz has done a great public service by his Discover the Network listing of the people responsible for America’s steady drift to the radical Left.
The Left uses the racism charge in many of the confrontations it creates. Of course, the problems of America’s inner cities, all under complete control of one political party for half a century, have never been of even near equal interest to the Democrats as their ability to continue to win enormous majorities among inner city voters, particularly African Americans. The Left has fully endorsed the teacher unions’ opposition to charter schools, and voucher programs, though both are popular with minority group parents and children. The two major teachers unions are simply too powerful a support group for the Democratic Party (campaign cash, votes, and volunteers) for the Left to support policies that might lead to a better future for kids as opposed to continued growth in expenditures for the teachers unions and their workforce.
In the last two years, the Soros-funded Black Lives Matter movement has created a near national hysteria over the alleged systematic effort by police to kill unarmed black men. Between two and three dozen unarmed blacks are killed by cops each year, many of them in situations where the ”victims” were almost certainly responsible for what happened to them -- Michael Brown in Ferguson is a prime example. One wonders where the news media are to report on the police shooting of unarmed whites, which greatly outnumber those of unarmed blacks. Perhaps because there are no riots, or looting, these incidents have no cachet. More likely, they do not fit the systemic racism charge now routinely thrown around by everyone from the current President to Hillary Clinton.
In Chicago in 9 months this year, over 400 blacks, mostly men, have been shot and killed, almost exclusively by other black men. By year end, over 4,000 Chicagoans will have been shot. One might think this was a bigger story of urban calamity and civil society breakdown than a shooting in Charlotte. Chicago’s mayor says that police “have gone fetal,” avoiding making stops in crime ridden neighborhoods, with the ACLU looking over their shoulder demanding a report for every stop, and activists in the neighborhoods treating the police with scorn and abuse, following a bad police shooting captured on video and kept hidden from the public by Chicago’s mayor to protect his re-election bid. Rahm Emanuel must also have read Alinsky, for he knows whose hide to protect first and foremost. The victims of the police pullback in Chicago, Baltimore, St, Louis and other cities, called “the Ferguson effect,” are many more dead black men, killed in crime waves that are reminiscent of the 1990s. Even the FBI Director admits the Ferguson Effect is real, when not covering for Hillary Clinton.
Horowitz’ latest book is full of insights and straight talk on the goals and the mission of the Left, and how it has advanced its cause this last quarter century. He provides the kind of arguments that keep his books from getting reviewed by the New York Times. And there is always a horrible slur available from the Left to describe a viewpoint that counters one of its missions. The Left chooses to ignore the argument and uses character assassination for the people making it. It argues that these are people (Horowitz included) unworthy of serious consideration, or respect.
Silencing the critic or the dissident or limiting his visibility has been a long time weapon of the Left. So far, Horowitz keeps writing, and America is free enough that the Left, though it clearly wants to, cannot ban his books. George Soros and his family have another $20 billion to spend on changing America. The Alinsky acolytes have their mission laid out to make use of the funds and create an America where the smart bureaucrats can organize society and distribute its wealth, so results are all equal. And we can all sing along with the Pete Seeger songs as we turn away from any role overseas (where of course we have primarily been an agent of evil) and disinvest in defense every year.
Let’s hope that some of America’s young will read Horowitz’ books,and learn what their professors and teachers won’t teach them.