Friday, December 12, 2008

David Horowitz on the Birth Certificate: An Anti-Federalist's Response

David Horowitz recently wrote an important Frontpagemag editorial that argued that conservatives should drop the birth certificate issue:

"64 million Americans voted to elect Barack Obama. Do you want to disenfranchise them? Do you think it's possible to disenfranchise 64 million Americans and keep the country? And please don't write me about the Constitution. The first principle of the Constitution is that the people are sovereign. What the people say, goes. If you think about it, I think you will agree that a two-year billion dollar election through all 50 states is as authoritative a verdict on anything as we are likely to get. Barack Obama is our president. Get used to it."

David and I exchanged several e-mails over this point last week. I disagree not so much with the possibility that the birth certificate may be ok (who knows?) but with David's claim that democracy ought to trump constitutional parameters and restrictions.

Majority rule was not contemplated when the nation was founded. The Progressives such as Herbert Croly argued for Rousseauean general will and unlimited democracy. Whether their agenda was this or whether Croly and his partner Walter Weyl were just re-processed Fabian socialists interested in furthering a Europeanized American elite is a matter for debate. But Croly's and the other Progressives' contempt for the founders together with their advocacy of unlimited, socialist-style state power reflected the essence of European statism and remain the essence of American P(p)rogressivism. Weyl's and Croly's Progressivism cannot be called conservatism in the American sense, yet the leadership of the Republican Party has discarded the last remnant of Jacksonian democracy, the "Reagan revolution", and adopted the Progressive platform. Thus, today we have no conservatives in Washington but rather a Progressive Party and a progressive one.

When the current Constitution was framed there were two schools of thought, the Federalists and the anti-Federalists. We remember the Federalists such as Hamilton and Madison, who wrote the Federalist Papers and the Constitution, but we don't have so clear a memory of the anti-Federalists, to include George Clinton, Robert Yates, Sam Adams and Richard Henry Lee. The anti-Federalists were in a number of senses more modern, or perhaps post-modern, than the Federalists.

The Federalists were proto-typical Progressives in the sense that they advocated centralization and a strong federal government. They were advocates of economies of scale that carried forward via the Progressives into the twentieth century. But the Federalists, like Madison, did not reject the basic notion of limited government. Madison argued that a durable Constitution would serve as a more potent limit on tyranny than would Jeffersonian generational revolutions.

The Federalists feared what de Tocqueville called "tyranny of the majority", and the most important theme that runs through the Federalist Papers, such as number 10, is fear of faction, specifically (emphatically) including majority faction. The Federalists did not advocate rule of the majority. They limited popular vote to vote for the House. The Senate was to be elected by state legislatures and the president by the Electoral College. Article II Section I of the Constitution does not provide for popular election of the president:

"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."

Although the Electoral College has received a great deal of criticism among pissant progressives, the recent election seems to me to confute the progressives' claims for unlimited democracy. The absence of a competent media in the United States means that popular opinion is misguided and that democracy necessarily devolves into a contemptible failure here. Conservatives ought to begin to fashion alternatives to the Progressive propaganda into which they have been indoctrinated at Columbia and elsewhere.

As unlikely supporters for ignoring the Constitution as were the Federalists, the anti-Federalists would have been much less likely to support ignoring Article II's natural born citizenship requirements (were they alive today) for they were opposed to a central government period. They would have scorned the idea that popular elections would have any meaning for the very reasons I adduce: the public has no way of evaluating candidates elected on so vast a scale, so large scale democracy must fail. 64 million Americans must be wrong because it is impossible to obtain good information. This is because of constraints on the media's ability to ask relevant questions, its cognitive limits on rationality, not just because it is owned by media conglomerates and biased in the progressive direction.

The anti-Federalists favored small batch production, small units, and local responsiveness. They were post-modern (as well as pre-modern). They favored local democracy in many cases, but not national democracy, an idea that they would have scorned.

There is a true question that no historian has asked as to whether adoption of hyper-decentralization in that early period, as the anti-Federalists favored, would have resulted in a more dynamic, more competitive and more productive American economy than the centralizing approach that Hamilton advocated. Progressivism has claimed that big business makes consumerism possible, but the facts do not seem to support this claim. Production methods of the 21st century are more consistent with the idea of "just in time" decentralization than with large-batch centralization. Perhaps the sub-optimal centralization of the Federalists and the Progressives could have been avoided. A more decentralized America would not have permitted as much lackadaisical big business, waste, railroad-related corruption and big city sleaze of the very kind that resonates today in Chicago.

Jefferson was on the fence. He was often a fellow traveler of the anti-Federalists and objected to centralization, but as president bought Louisiana and acted like a Federalist, establishing the navy and avoiding legislative restrictions on executive privilege and advocating use of state level sedition acts against his opponents.

The anti-Federalists lost the constitutional debate, although they are memorialized in the Bill of Rights, but the election of Jefferson in 1800 was a reassertion of a fossilized anti-Federalism within the Federalist system. Jefferson's election ended the Federalists as a political force, and both of today's political parties descend from Jefferson's Democratic Republicans. But both have rejected the decentralization in which Jefferson believed in principle.

Neither party has been perfect. The Democrats under Andrew Jackson smashed the central bank and emphasized states' rights, albeit for the wrong reasons. The centralizing, aristocratic, elitist element has always been present in American politics via the Whigs and the Republicans. But the decentralizing, anti-elitist element that started with the anti-Federalists and to which Jefferson and Jackson were sympathetic has all but died. This is the tragedy of American politics: our greatest tradition to which conservatism ought to be committed has been replaced by a pale copy of European monarchy, centralization and Fabian socialism via Weyl and Croly. The Republicans have become the Progressive Party and the Democrats the progressive Party. Meanwhile, the American people are scratching their heads.

The great confusion began with Abraham Lincoln, who was a Whig and a centralizer, but who adopted Jacksonian rhetoric that was carried forward by the Mugwumps. The Mugwumps such as Charles Sumner, EL Godkin and David Ames Wells adopted Jacksonian economics and favored the gold standard. But they had two interests that were consistent with their Whig roots and were the basis for the reassertion of centralization that was carried forward via the Progressives. These were a desire to rationalize government via civil service and an interest in establishing professions such as law and medicine.

The Mugwumps' fixation on professionalization and universities led directly to the modern American university's adoption of European standards, which in turn has been the major force for statism in American history. Thus, the modern university is a direct product of American political forces, notably the Republican Mugwumps' fascination with economic and sociological theory led them to send as many as 10,000 Americans to German and European graduate schools in the late nineteenth century. These young graduates came back and established anti-laissez faire centers at Johns Hopkins, Wisconsin and elsewhere via European-trained economists like John R. Commons and Richard T. Ely.

The Republicans thus reasserted themselves as a centralizing force in the late 19th century (the Republican cooptation of Jacksonian Democracy having lasted no more than 35 years, from the 1860s to the 1890s) and then the Progressives became the centralizing elitist force out of the remains of the late nineteenth century Mugwumps and Bourbon Democrats.

The Progressives were smart enough to assert European values in the name of the common man and trust busting, even though the effects of their programs were not so straightforward, and the Democrats then copied the Progressive Republicans in the 1930s, claiming to be for unions and the poor when they were really for Wall Street. The most important step Roosevelt took was abolition of the gold standard and freeing the Fed to create money, the greatest subsidization of business in American history.

Thus, by the 1930s the centralizing force had won, and the decentralizing, anti-elitist force ceased to be a political power except on the fringe. Of course, many and perhaps a majority of Americans still believed in the anti-elitism of Jackson and had decentralizing instincts, but the rhetoric of American politics became riddled with double talk, lies and deception ever since the Progressive era. The wealthy were able to pull off a centralizing coup, securing monetary-creation power for themselves while telling everyone, including idiots like William Greider, that the creation and handing of money to business interests was in the poor's interests. In a sense, through sleight of hand, a fringe elite has been running the nation ever since.

As a result, today we can truly say that America is a one party system, the Republicans who advocate for the Fed on behalf of the wealthy and say they are for free markets and competition, and the Democrats who advocate for the Fed on behalf of the wealthy but say they are for the poor.

So what does all this have to do with the Birth Certificate? The Constitution is in extremis. Ignoring Article II is one more nail in the Constitution's coffin. If you look back to the anti-Federalists, they warned of an over-powerful Supreme Court, fearing it would turn into a force for an aristocratic elite. Likewise, they opposed the central bank for the same reason. They were right. The Federalists believed that the Constitution would prove durable and serve as a restraint on centralized power.

But today even conservatives have forgotten that America is first a nation of liberty, not a democracy. Nor was it intended to be a democratic one, except according to the fringe Progressives who have come to dominate the central government, the very outcome against which the anti-Federalists warned.


raquel okyay said...

I'll have to respectfully disagree with David's view that the people have voted, and this vote trumps the U.S. Constitution.

While majority does rule (for the most part in this country), it doesn't mean that the majority is right.

There is a good movie, black and white, I wish I could remember the title, but it's about a town that has to vote on whether to continue to use the supposedly tainted water supply the town had been providing or switch to another. I really don't remember the specifics, but the point of the story was that the water wasn't tainted at all, and although the majority of towns people voted for using the new water supply and were purposely misled by the new water company, their majority vote was in error.

So, what's better David? Go with the majority or learn the true facts? For me the answer is the latter.

Mairi said...

I would just add, that many people who voted for BO are just now finding out.....if ever so slowly.....that there is a question of BO's citizenship. Many of them are scratching their heads and trying to figure out how this happened. I think you might be surprised at the number of BO supporters who are now saying.....just show the birth certificate!
The "pissant media" failed. Many of BO's people might have voted differently if they had known BEFORE the election......

A Jacksonian said...

The most interesting thing about the Anti-Federalists is that they deny easy categorization because of the gamut of viewpoints they held. They did, indeed, have many on the small government, high representative side of things, and a pretty harsh view on Republics, too. Some were quite intemperate and willing to use personal attacks, like Luther Martin, but he did feel justified on some of that due to the way he was treated... even the most hot-headed, ill-tempered usually had a point to their writings, and when boiled down you come to the horrifying idea that they had many of the key ways of democracies and republics going wrong square on the money. Robert Yates and John Lansing were both quite pointed, as was George Mason, and far from intemperate they deployed their reasoning to examine what was before them. We forget the lesser writers in this Brutus, Cato, Agrippa, Federal Farmer and others who made key and pointed views on the nature of government and society and how those both have worked in other forms in the near past. They look at more than just Britain, but the Netherlands, Swiss, and Venice. Further they bring up de Vattel, Locke, Grotius and those writers who had contributed greatly to what Nations are and how they work.

In some of the writings of Federal Farmer we get a criticism of the Federalists not from an Anti-Federalist standpoint but from a Federalist one (as in FF#3). That was shocking to run across and severely shakes how much whitewashing has gone on to try and paint the Anti-Federalists with a broad brush. Someone who takes the Federalist case and makes it that the Federalists are not putting enough federalism into the Constitution and backing it is not one you can call an 'Anti-Federalist'... yet that is where he ends up.

Madison, Hamilton and John Jay are the best remembered of the Federalists (remembering that Jefferson was in Paris during the Constitutional Convention). Jefferson would have his qualms, and even lobbied for smaller government at a distance, but changed his tune once he was President. Hamilton, wanting a stronger, centralized role for government in the economy was stymied by Madison to a degree, but was able to get a National Bank put into place. Jefferson's views changed from Paris to Presidency, but would stand up for the assertion that the President, as both Head of State and Commander of the Armies and the Navies, had the power to go against those waging private war without needing Congressional approval. He knew his Grotius, de Vattel and Blackstone, and that won the day.

If Hamilton and Jefferson represent two out of four of the threads of US politics, as Walter Russell Mead suggests, then the third one, coming in after the founding then plays the small government response to the Federalists. That you can see in comparing two Presidents, one the quintessentially modern, progressive and the other the small government side by looking at their writings and views on government. If Theodore Roosevelt was the most expansive and progressive of interpreters of federal power, Andrew Jackson was the most restrictive and keeping to the structure as it was set up and vetoed the National Bank. Jacksonianism would be the undercurrent until the late 19th century when populism and progressivism both started up in full. After Roosevelt we get the last of the four views of US politics and that is the fully progressive and toss out the past and just make it up to suit your need Woodrow Wilson. He actively denied that the Declaration had any meaning outside of starting off the Revolution and that it encapsulated nothing more than that and only that and was only parchment and a historical relic. He saw the Constitution similarly.

Thus these four strains have been at it for awhile, with the Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian and Wilsonians all showing up during peace time and seeking to gain more power for the federal government over time... people don't overlike want to keep to non-nosey, non-interventionist and non-big government until it starts to take your vital liberties to itself. Then you find yourself starting to realize that government is, as Tom Paine said, a punisher and necessary evil. I read Common Sense and find much common sense in it... not that anyone wants to read that, these days when it is most needed.

Anonymous said...

Well David, If Obama comes clean and tells the whole world what he is hiding, if he shows his Birth certificate and allows forensic scientist to validate it, then I will get over it. If articles stop coming down on the internet everytime Obama gets caught then I will get over it.

When the scandal burst yesterday, Obama told reporters he had no contact with Blagojevich about filling the seat. But a Nov. 5 news report by KHQA TV’s Carol Sowers posted to the station’s website stated “one of Obama’s first priorities” on the day after his election was a meeting with Blagojevich planned that afternoon to discuss the Senate seat.

The station removed the links to the archived stories yesterday, however, and posted an explanation--ostensibly after they were circulated on a bevy of Internet blogs and reported by Internet giant WorldNetDaily.

If the DNC would come out and say hey, we vetted him, he is okay. The FBI has been contacted if they came out then we would get over it too. No one is talking. David is saying regardless if Obama's election was bought and paid for by Fabian socialists, get over it.

America for sell is what David is saying.

I am sick of these supposed writers telling us to get over it like we are whining because we lost. We would have nothing to ask if Obama would simply tell the truth. David feels we should not expect truth from the president then he is setting everyone up for 4 years of hell. A president gone wild with no media watchdogs to cover his fraud. Blago and Rahmbo in the White House.

If Obama is a Hamas terrorist supporter we are suppose to get over it because the people were lied to in order to elect Obama?
What evidence does Horowitz have that he is not a supporter of Hamas? In fact evidence we know says that Obama is a Hamas supporter. That's the point David, we have no idea who Obama is. And now you say because the people spoke we should let it all go. Did Obama promise you a spot?

To say we should get over it when we feel the people have been duped and lied too is saying I have come over the dark side. I will cover Obama on anything now. I will ask no questions.

How very lemming of you as you sell out what America stands for.

Anonymous said...

And what could conservatives be thinking when they push this issue as though it were important (as The American Thinker did last week)? Do we want to go challenging the legitimacy of an election that involved 120 million voters? Have we become deranged leftists like Al Gore who would attack the one binding thread that makes us a nation despite our differences? The mystique of elections is the American covenant. Respect it. Barack Obama is the president of the United States. Get used to it.

Hey David, Neither Al Gore or Bush were ineligible to run for POTUS. Obama being a fraud had nothing to do with Gore thinking he should have won. Apples and oranges.

Gee I don't know what conservatives could be thinking when they want the Consitution upheld and they are worried that a President who invalidates it to get elected will feel it is meaningless. Gee david, what could they be thinking? Maybe we will be seeing Horowitz stomp on a flag like Ayers did soon.

Anonymous said...

Yet another irrational article. How in the hades did we ever become the greatest nation in the world by giving up and giving our Constitutional rights away?

Thomas Jefferson says forget about Barack's birth certificate

Warner Todd Huston
December 9, 2008

I have discovered that Thomas Jefferson has already told us upon which side we as conservatives should descend over the question concerning Barack Obama's birth certificate and his eligibility for the office of president of the United States. Mister Jefferson would tell you all to shut up, accept cruel fate, and get ready to claim Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America.

That's right, forget about it. Move on. Nothing to see here.

Before you get your Constitutional shorts in a bunch, I absolutely agree with you that we are a nation of laws and not men. Jefferson did too, once saying that we must consider what the original intent of the Constitution was before we rush into a decision and the original intent in this case was clearly to make sure every president was a natural born citizen of this country before being eligible to run for that highest of offices. ("The Constitution on which our Union rests, shall be administered ... according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States at the time of its adoption — a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated [for it]..." — Thomas Jefferson)

The simple reason that the founders wanted the president to be a natural born citizen was because they were keen students of history. The phrase "let history be our guide" was not just a trope. The founders knew well the many instances when a foreign ruler had entered a country and, using that country's own laws and customs, immorally proclaimed himself the ruler of a subjugated nation. The founders wanted to prevent that possibility and also wanted to make sure that there were no divided loyalties in an American president, that the welfare of the USA would be first and foremost in the mind of anyone elected to that office. What better way than to preclude the foreign born?

So, yes, the proscriptions against the foreign born candidate are important and should not be cast aside. We should never knowingly present a candidate not born as a citizen of the U.S. Further, we should take pains to verify the provenance of every candidate's claim to natural citizenship.

But... and you knew the "but" was coming. There is an original intent that rises above the Constitution itself. In fact, there are a few, but one in particular comes to bear here.

Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Franklin, nearly every member of the founding generation placed a particular emphasis upon the locus of power in the governing philosophy of the American system and it was a locus that was unique for its day — as well as the reason many detractors felt we could not survive as a nation.

That locus was in the will of the people.

Let's start with an 1813 letter to Samuel Dupont authored by Jefferson. In that letter, Thomas Jefferson said that the people "are in truth the only legitimate proprietors of the soil and government." In 1821 he wrote to Spencer Roane that, "[It is] the people, to whom all authority belongs." And in 1823 he told William Johnson that, "The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union."

Earlier in 1799, to Edmund Randolph Jefferson made for a longer explanation.

"The whole body of the nation is the sovereign legislative, judiciary, and executive power for itself. The inconvenience of meeting to exercise these powers in person, and their inaptitude to exercise them, induce them to appoint special organs to declare their legislative will, to judge and to execute it. It is the will of the nation which makes the law obligatory; it is their will which creates or annihilates the organ which is to declare and announce it..."

Near the end of his life he took up the theme once again. In an 1824 letter to John Cartwright he also reiterated the meaning of the Second Amendment and the rest of The Bill of Rights.

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved), or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press."

What are we to make of these words then? Only that in the people of the United States is vested the true power in our system. We decide. We hire and fire, we create and destroy. We the people are sovereign.

Unfortunately for our side, on November 4th, 2008, the people made their will known. Over 39 million voted to place Barack Obama in the White House. There is no doubt that the people have spoken.

Now here is the problem a conservative constructionist faces. You may have heard the saying that the Constitution is not a suicide pact? Well, that sentiment applies here. We have suffered through eight years of the left illegitimately claiming that the Supreme Court "chose" George W. Bush, that his election was not legitimate. In the minds of many we placed the will of the people in doubt that time and got away with it — whether true or not a very large number of people feel this way. But, trying it a second time, and so soon on top of that, will undermine the integrity of the election process especially in this case where it was a clear majority that voted for Barack Obama.

The last time the people felt their will was so thwarted, a major upheaval in our system occurred. That upheaval resulted in the system being changed to one of popular election and Andrew Jackson took his seat in the White House after being previously denied that seat by what he claimed was a corrupt bargain. After Jackson won his first election, the anger of the people gave his party, the Democratic Party, controlling power for decades afterward.

The question remains, do we now strangle our conservative movement by making it to appear forever more that we don't care what "we the people" have authoritatively decided in a fair election? Do we commit suicide with the letter of the law even when the people voted for their man in good faith? Worse, do we want a major upheaval of our current system should we deign to thwart this particular election?

Perhaps Barack Obama is knowingly lying about his status as a natural born citizen. But those that voted for him did not have the slightest inkling that he may not be eligible when they cast their ballot. And it will not be taken lightly should he be barred from the office millions elected him to take. In fact, it is likely that if we nullify Obama's election, conservatives would only stave off but briefly a resurgent Democratic Party that would end up having the fullest support of the people for decades to come, putting conservatives in a self-manufactured seemingly permanent minority.

Of course, Obama's foreign birth, if it comes to be true, will undermine his presidency. But better to have a single president's legitimacy undermined due to his actions than to undermine the entire electoral process. It should be noted that Nixon understood this point well. In 1960 it was pretty clear that the Kennedy's stole the election in Chicago and that LBJ stole it in Texas in order to put Kennedy into the White House. Nixon could easily and legitimately have contested that election. But Nixon did not dispute the 1960 election so as not to undermine the entire system. He felt the will of the people had been heard and for the good of the nation it should stand.

So, while the Constitution is mighty important, the will of the people is supreme. And the will of the people has been clearly heard in this case. The vote was not close. Barack Obama won, fair and square in the minds of the electorate.

There have been rules of ascension before. Constitutions existed before 1780, too. But a true first American principle is that the people hold the highest power. And we as conservatives, we who claim the mantle of the founders as our own, should not be so quick to obviate that truest of our first principles.

Believe me, I don't want this clearly socialist man as our president. I think he will do us some damage. I want his policies stifled as much as you do. So, let us oppose this man certainly. But let us do it manfully and in the spirit of our most cherished ideal.

And let us plan for 2010 and 2012.

© Copyright 2008 by Warner Todd Huston

Anonymous said...

Cross-posted with some minor edits at Free Republic

Ted said...

The consequences of the Supreme Court declining to address the US Constitution’s “natural born citizen” clause on the morning of Monday 12/15/08 — thereafter enabling the College of Electors to transform the crisis from “law” to “political and Congressional”, leading to the ‘inauguration’ of Mr. Obama, are nothing less than catastrophic. Lawsuits by members of the military challenging his ‘commander in chief’ status are INEVITABLE. And a military takeover to oust the “usurper” may be inevitable as well. Where is the media? This is no “tin foil hat” joke.

Anonymous said...

"I think you might be surprised at the number of BO supporters who are now saying.....just show the birth certificate!"

I think you would be surprised at how few. 70 mil voted for him and 92k anonymous worldwide signed the kook petition to see his birth cert.

Barry Truthgun said...

What would author of the Federalist Papers say?

Alexander Hamilton's early version of the law written a month after John Jay's natural born letter stated "No person shall be eligible to the office of the President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States."

Diogenes said...

Ahhhhh, Mitchie-dom at its finest: the steady drone of annoying gnats, trying to drown out the truly important issues that face this country.

Yes, if the Supreme Court doesn't address all of these "appeals" on Monday morning, before the electoral college meets in the respective states, we will be faced with a military junta threatening to take over the country.

And it's NOT tinfoil madhatters???? Think again.

Actually, think. For the first time, apparently, for many of you.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about the Horowitz article last night. I had ordered a book from Horowitz but I as yet not read it. Horowitz surprises me with this article because the book was published in 2006 and it is about how in 2008 America will be taken over by the radical extremist George Soros shadow party. The difference was Horowitz said it would be Hillary and not Obama.

So George Soros sold out Hillary and replaced her with immigrant Obama for his plans and that makes a difference to Horowitz? It is obvious Soros was Obama main organizer of funds with his alliance and his funding for HuffPo. I believe Obama's election was bought by fraudulent funding from many sources to hide it from the FEC. Untraceable funds through things like purchased disposable cards with cash amounts.

Did Soros like Obama more because of the immigrant factor? That he could control Obama more with the threat of giving him away?

If you read just the cover of the book it goes on to explain almost everything we know about Obama down to his interview to change the Constitution, gun control etc. As you read this below you will similarities with Kenya and how Obama advised Odinga to go forward if he lost the election.

I will also say Soros, Obama, Lord Malloch Brown, Georgia President Sashkavilli are all friends. I also believe Georgia commited great crimes against Ossetia and I do not beleive Russia got involved wrongly. I think Soros planned it all at the right time and wanted Bush to go to war with Russia. At Huffpo they said Bush was eating popcorn when Georgia was attacked. Had Bush ordered military in you know what Huffpo would be writing instead.

It is all happening just as the book said it would. But now Horowitz is saying get over it.

The Shadow Party | Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A new book by David Horowitz and Richard Poe has enraged the Left and alarmed many conservatives. It exposes the machinations of a radical clique working at the highest levels of government and finance to undermine American power. That book is The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party. It hit the New York Times bestseller list in its first week in print.

Here to tell us about The Shadow Party is co-author Richard Poe, our esteemed colleague at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, where he serves as director of research. Mr. Poe has written a number of bestselling books. His last two releases were Hillary's Secret War and The Seven Myths of Gun Control.

FP: Richard Poe, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Poe: Thank you, Jamie.

FP: So what exactly is the Shadow Party?

POE: The Shadow Party is the real power driving the Democrat machine. It is a network of radicals dedicated to transforming our constitutional republic into a socialist hive.

The leader of these radicals is multibillionaire George Soros. He has essentially privatized the Democratic Party, bringing it under his personal control. The Shadow Party is the instrument through which he exerts that control.

FP: How does it work?

Poe: It works by siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions that would have gone to the Democratic Party in normal times, and putting those contributions at the personal disposal of Mr. Soros. He then uses that money to buy influence and loyalty where he sees fit.

In 2003, Soros set up a network of privately-owned groups which acts as a shadow or mirror image of the Party. It performs all the functions we would normally expect the real Democratic Party to perform, such as shaping the Party platform, fielding candidates, running campaigns, and so forth. However, it performs these functions under the private supervision of Mr. Soros and his associates.

The Shadow Party derives its power from its ability to raise huge sums of money. By controlling the Democrat pursestrings, the Shadow Party can make or break any Democrat candidate by deciding whether or not to fund him.

During the 2004 election cycle, the Shadow Party raised more than $300 million for Democrat candidates, prompting one of its operatives, MoveOn PAC director Eli Pariser, to declare, “Now it’s our party. We bought it, we own it…”

FP: Everyone knows that Soros has poured money into MoveOn. Can you name some other Shadow Party groups?

Poe: The Shadow Party is always changing. New groups form and old ones dissolve. For instance, America Coming Together -- which raised $135 million for Democrat get-out-the-vote drives in 2004 – has been mothballed, at least for now. The most active Shadow Party groups today are probably the Center for American Progress, America Votes, Democracy Alliance, the New Democrat Network, the New Politics Institute, ACORN and, of course,

FP: How does Soros use his influence over the Party?

Poe: He uses it to push the Party leftward. He is systematically purging the Party of moderates and packing it with radicals. For instance, the Shadow Party ousted Senator Joseph Lieberman in favor of Ned Lamont, because Lieberman refused to support a “cut-and-run” policy in Iraq.

FP: Isn’t that just politics as usual, though – wealthy fat cats funding their favorite candidates?

Poe: Funding ordinary candidates, be they Democrats or Republicans, would be politics as usual. Funding radical candidates who seek America’s destruction is not. Money is a tool. It can be used for good or evil. The Shadow Party is using it for evil.

FP: Does the Shadow Party really seek to destroy America?

Poe: Judge for yourself. In his new book The Age of Fallibility, Soros writes, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.” He announced in 2003 that it is necessary to “puncture the bubble of American supremacy.” Soros is working systematically to achieve that goal.

On the economic front, he is shorting the dollar in global currency markets, trying to force a devaluation. At the same time, Soros is orchestrating a nationwide movement to encourage mass immigration into the United States, and to mandate the provision of free social services to illegal immigrants. These measures alone have the potential to bankrupt the nation. However, if they fail, Soros has another program that will certainly finish the job. A long-time Soros operative named Jeffrey Sachs has been placed in charge of the United Nations Millennium Project – a global war on poverty designed to transfer wealth from rich countries to poor ones. Sachs is currently demanding that American taxpayers turn over $140 billion per year to his global welfare bureaucracy.

On the political front, Soros has poured massive funding into such groups as the ACLU, which uses lawsuits to hamstring the War on Terror. Soros also funds Amnesty International, whose US executive director has called for the arrest of President Bush as a war criminal. Another Soros-funded group, The Center for Constitutional Rights, has drawn up detailed articles of impeachment against the President.

FP: Why don’t more Americans know that Soros is pushing these destructive policies?

Poe: The Shadow Party operates through deception. It uses the Democratic Party as camouflage. By posing as ordinary Democrats, Shadow Party candidates trick mainstream voters into supporting them. Their true agenda remains concealed. As Soros writes in The Age of Fallibility, “[T]he Democratic Party does not stand for the policies that I advocate; indeed, if it did, it could not be elected.”

The fact is, Soros aspires to establish a neo-socialist order in America. In the Atlantic Monthly of February 1997, he wrote, “The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.”

FP: Tell me about Soros’ efforts to rewrite the U.S. Constitution.

Poe: Mr. Soros advocates deep structural change in our system of government. In April 2005, Yale Law School hosted an event called, “The Constitution in 2020”, whose stated goal was to formulate “a progressive vision of what the Constitution ought to be.” Of the event’s five institutional sponsors, one was Soros’ flagship foundation The Open Society Institute, and two others were Soros-funded Shadow Party groups; the Center for American Progress and the American Constitution Society. We nicknamed that event the Shadow Constitutional Convention.

FP: What parts of our Constitution does Soros want to change?

Poe: He appears to have a special animus against the Bill of Rights. Take freedom of worship, for instance. Soros seems to favor some sort of religious apartheid, with fundamentalist Christians banished to a socio-political Bantustan. For example, in a New Yorker interview of October 18, 2004, he said of President Bush, “The separation of church and state, the bedrock of our democracy, is clearly undermined by having a born-again President.”

Then there’s the Second Amendment. Soros has provided massive funding to anti-gun groups and anti-gun litigators. The unprecedented assault on gun rights during the 1990s was largely bankrolled by Soros.

FP: You and David Horowitz have also accused Soros of promoting political censorship in America.

Poe: Most Americans do not realize that the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 was a Trojan Horse. Its stated purpose was to reform campaign finance law. Its actual effect is to regulate political speech. McCain-Feingold was a Shadow Party initiative. Soros and a group of leftwing foundations spent over $140 million to get it passed.

Here’s how it works. McCain-Feingold authorizes federal election officials to decide who may or may not run political advertisements during election season, and what sorts of ads they may run. In September 2004, a federal judge expanded McCain-Feingold’s reach by ordering the FEC to begin censoring the Internet. Blogger outrage forced the FEC to back down, but McCain-Feingold remains on the books. Sooner or later, it will be enforced, to the full extent its creators envisioned. We can thank Mr. Soros for these developments.

FP: Of course, we can also thank Republican Senator John McCain, who co-sponsored the bill.

Poe: Yes, but McCain has a long history of collusion with the Shadow Party.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Soros sponsored two so-called “Shadow Conventions,” held at the same time and in the same cities as the Republican and Democratic Conventions, in Philadelphia and Los Angeles respectively. Their purpose was to promote campaign finance reform. John McCain gave the keynote speech at the Philadelphia “Soros Convention” (as columnist Robert Novak dubbed it), while Russ Feingold did so at the LA event.

McCain’s service to the Shadow Party brought him financial benefits. In 2001, McCain founded the Reform Institute for Campaign and Election Issues. The Institute’s major funders were mostly leftwing foundations. Prominent among them was George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

FP: It seems ironic that Soros spent ten years lobbying for campaign finance reform, only to emerge as one of the biggest influence buyers in Washington.

Poe: As I said, the McCain-Feingold Act was a Trojan Horse. It made the Shadow Party possible. Among other things, it forced the Democratic Party into a financial crisis, enabling Soros to swoop in and buy up the Party at a bargain-basement price.

Democrats have traditionally relied on large, soft-money donations from unions, while Republicans relied more on small, “hard-money” donations from mom-and-pop donors. When McCain-Feingold outlawed soft-money donations to the parties, Republicans were not unduly hampered, but Democrats flew into a panic. They faced the real possibility of bankruptcy.

Enter George Soros. After forcing the Democrats into a fiscal crisis, he then offered to rescue them. He set up a network of non-profit, “issue-advocacy” groups – the Shadow Party – and invited all the big Democrat donors to contribute to his network. Thus they could still contribute to the Democrat cause, but without giving directly to the Party. The Party became dependent on Soros to raise campaign contributions which the law now forbade the Party itself to raise.

FP: You and David Horowitz charge that Hillary Clinton has a secret alliance with Soros.

Poe: That’s right. They have to keep their alliance secret because any political coordination between them would violate federal election law. Soros’s Shadow Party is barred by law from coordinating its activities with official Democratic Party candidates, such as Hillary.

It’s a poorly-kept secret, however. At the annual Take Back America conference on June 3, 2004, Hillary gave Soros a glowing introduction, saying, “We need people like George Soros, who is fearless, and willing to step up when it counts.” More importantly, her right hand man, Harold Ickes – who served the Clinton White House as deputy chief of staff – now serves Soros as de facto CEO of the Shadow Party. Ickes plays a significant role in running Hillary’s political machine and Soros’ Shadow Party simultaneously. This is arguably illegal, but no controlling authority seems willing to intervene.

The institutional manifestation of the Hillary-Soros axis is a group called the Center for American Progress, whose president John Podesta formerly served as chief of staff to the Clinton White House. Hillary has no official connection to the Center. However, her dominance of the organization seems to be something of an open secret among leftists. One insider told a UPI reporter that the Center is “the official Hillary Clinton think tank.” Robert Dreyfuss of The Nation wrote of the Center, “It’s not completely wrong to see it as a shadow government, a kind of Clinton White House-in-exile – or a White House staff in readiness for President Hillary Clinton.” The Center for American Progress received its start-up funding from Soros and was, in fact, Soros’ brainchild.

FP: You and Mr. Horowitz have said that the Shadow Party purged Joseph Lieberman, in retaliation for his pro-war stance. How do you square that with the fact that Hillary supported Lieberman?

Poe: Hillary supported Lieberman only with lip service. She was just hedging her bets. What mattered was her announcement that she would support whomever won, be it Lieberman or Lamont. Please note that, within 24 hours of Lamont's victory over Lieberman, HILLPAC became the first Democrat political action committee to pledge money to Lamont’s campaign. With friends like that, Lieberman doesn’t need enemies.

FP: Some conservatives welcome Soros’ intervention. They say that the farther left he pushes the Democrats, the fewer people will vote Democrat.

Poe: It would certainly be nice if we could just sit back and wait for the Shadow Party to fizzle out of its own accord. Given what is at stake, however, I think a more energetic approach is in order.

In my view, the farther left Soros pushes the Democrats, the more dangerous they grow. The Party is becoming more cult-like and fanatical by the day. History teaches that a fanatical minority can prevail over a moderate majority. The Bolsheviks proved that in 1917. Before our eyes, the Democratic Party is transforming into a totalitarian cult, bent on seizing power by any means necessary. This is a time for vigilance, not complacency.

FP: Are we talking Red Guards in the streets? That’s a little hard to imagine.

Poe: Actually, the Shadow Party funds a number of groups which specialize in street action. Last March, about half a million protesters brought Los Angeles to a standstill, calling for open borders and free immigration. Some burned American flags and fought with police. Similar protests occurred simultaneously in many cities. The whole extravaganza was a Shadow Party operation. Virtually every sponsor was a Soros-funded group – at least eight organizations – including ACORN, La Raza, MALDEF and others. One of the organizers, the Center for Community Change, has received $5.2 million from Soros’s Open Society Institute.

FP: What is their plan? How does the Shadow Party intend to take power in America?

Poe: They appear to be pursuing a three-phase plan. The first two phases are based upon the successful strategy which the left used to force regime change in America during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

Phase One is to impeach President Bush for allegedly deceiving the nation into war. We call this phase Watergate II.

Phase Two is to force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and to cut off aid to the Iraqi Republic, just as Democrats cut off aid to South Vietnam after Nixon resigned. We call this phase Vietnam II.

Phase Three is velvet revolution. This is a term used in Eastern Europe to describe the sort of bloodless coup for which Soros is well-known in that part of the world. He has used these methods to topple regimes in many countries, such as Yugoslavia, Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia.

Soros’ velvet revolutions always follow the same pattern. The rebels wait for an election, then precipitate a crisis by charging voter fraud.

We believe the Shadow Party may attempt something similar in the USA. If they fail to win legitimately in 2008, they will likely cry voter fraud, fomenting an electoral crisis similar to the Bush-Gore deadlock of 2000.

We must expect, however, that the left has learned a few lessons since 2000. It seems doubtful that they will stake their revolution on a decision of John Roberts’ Supreme Court. More likely, they will press for international arbitration this time, possibly under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This group actually monitored our elections in 2004. Its relations with Soros – and with the Democratic Party – are extremely cordial, to say the least.

In normal times, Americans would never accept foreign arbitration of an election, but a destabilized America, demoralized by military defeat, discouraged by the fall of a president, and alarmed by orchestrated unrest in the streets, might just go along with any plan that promised to restore order.

The 2004 election almost seemed like a dress rehearsal for such a maneuver, given the raucous demand by some Congressional Democrats for UN election monitors, and the so-called Boxer Rebellion, in which Senate Democrats challenged Bush’s electoral vote count.

FP: Will Hillary be the Shadow Party candidate?

Poe: That is likely, but not inevitable. Even a “velvet” candidate needs the illusion of mass support. That could prove difficult for Hillary to conjure up. Even so, Hillary can only benefit from these machinations. If the Democrats win, we can rest assured that Soros and Hillary will be pulling the strings behind the scenes, no matter which figurehead they choose to sit on the throne.

FP: How can we fight these kinds of radical tactics?

Poe: In the short time left before 2008, we need to learn everything we can about the Shadow Party and open the eyes of as many Americans as possible to its plans.

FP: Richard Poe thank you for joining us.

Poe: My pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I think you would be surprised at how few. 70 mil voted for him and 92k anonymous worldwide signed the kook petition to see his birth cert.

December 13, 2008 11:15 PM

Actually I think you woudl be surprised at how many online bloggers and posters know all too well that Obama sends in his people to dispute truth. The same old lines are posted with basis in fact. If they are questioned they can't answer so they spout hate and lewd remarks instead. You know them the minute they post. Same old tired responses.

I know NOT ONE person who voted for Obama. I have a extremely large friendship circle as well as a large family. I know NOT ONE person as a friend, family member or business acquaintance who feels Obama is not scarier than hell and will destroy America little by little. And Everyone says Obama must come clean and hand over his birth certificate or he is not our president. Everyone says if he has nothing to hide then he would have shown it by now.

Until you go online then they all pop up everywhere like you. I sometimes imagine Michelle and Obama hitting every website to dispute the truth so they wonot lose their chance to bring marxism to the United States. Then we have Huffpo and her supporters ready to post anything. Huffy says truth is not important as long as you win.

I feel for Obama's daughters. They are too young to know what the plans are and their lives will be ruined by Obama and Soros. Being a sociopath Obama has no clue that is hurting anyone but jsut attaining his goals.

Anonymous said...

Alexander Hamilton's early version of the law written a month after John Jay's natural born letter stated "No person shall be eligible to the office of the President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States."

Yup, they grandfathered themselves in and then said no more.

This Blago arrest and the Rezko loan lawsuit should end Obama for good hopefully. They will spill.

Anonymous said...

Representative Presents Proof of Citizenship Bill (2012 Obama Showdown) ^ | December 13, 2008

Republican Representative Mike Ritze has introduced a bill requiring candidates who file for office in Oklahoma to show proof of citizenship.

The idea came about from the controversy around whether President-elect Barack Obama meets the U.S. Constitutions citizenship requirements.

Ritze's bill requires all candidates, running for any office, to show a copy of a certified birth certificate as well as driver's license or other government-issued identification upon registering with the Election Board.

Currently, candidates must only sign an affidavit stating they are registered voters. Ritze doesn't think Obama's submitted birth certificate is authentic.

The U.S. Supreme Court wouldn't hear a challenge of Obama's electoral eligibility Monday, but more challenges are pending. The certificate Obama has shown reflects a birthdate and place of August 4th, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Anonymous said...

"I know NOT ONE person who voted for Obama. I know NOT ONE person as a friend, family member or business acquaintance who feels Obama is not scarier than hell and will destroy America little by little. And Everyone says Obama must come clean and hand over his birth certificate or he is not our president."

Biased sample. You survey only those who didn't vote Obama and feel he is scarier than hell.

Anonymous said...

More on George Soros. The man behind Obama. What could Horowitz be thinking when he tells America to give up asking Obama to document his citizenship when all trails lead to Soros paying for Obama's election through fraud. This is a coup d’├ętat.

Everyone needs to be aware of this future Hitler. It is up to you if you want to believe or not but with research you will find the truth. And the truth is scary.

Our domestic Marxists apparently have come to appreciate that as Joseph Stalin, the mass murdering enforcer of Marxism, once intoned, "The people who cast votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

Since 2006, George Soros's Democracy Alliance and its multiple partners have shoveled cash into the SoS Project, knowing that a relatively small amount of money could put "the right people" into an office that seldom garners much controversy.

I am sure many here have read where the Colorado electors spoke out and said they will be placing their votes for Obama. One of the electors, a ex teacher in marxist theology, said elector Camilla Auger. "There are so many problems in the country right now, we need to work together."

So problems trump the Constitution and fraud by the President elect and his team. If our world did not any problems would then she then say let's look deeper at this accusation?

A quick look at the Colorado electors irritated at the letters they have received concerning Obama, you have a couple of immigrants who fight constantly for immigration, you have a few other extreme liberals in the mix and two that I could find anything on. The immigrants of course want their families here and they want whoever is here now to get amnesty, their needs are more important than taking a good look at this Constitutional crisis.
Camilla Auger was as outraged as Soros when her party lost in 2004 and her bitter remarks are out of anger to the people. How nice they were given this duty to vote for POTUS and they despise the citizens so much.

They know this will never happen again and it would not have happened now without the election being bought and paid for. They will go to all lengths to make sure Obama is seated.

There are two Colorado wealthy elite that are a part of Soros alliance. The two of them have changed the political scenery by buying Governor Ritter. They were able to get locker rooms and restrooms non gender specific. So a pedophile can walk into any public restroom in Colorado regardless of man or woman. The two high profile men are gay. They wanted restrooms and locker rooms not gender specific so no ones feelings get hurt. Like a transexual in other words was how I read it. But it opens up so many other dangers with children it was a very dangerous decision by Ritter. Ritter has sold his people out in Colorado over Soros party.

This is your new world that the progressives voted in. You will not only have these types of laws and regulations but just wait until Pelosi and her ilk start the Folsom street fair in a town near you. That all perversions, S&M, street sex should be allowed because they have rights too.

Diogenes and others who defend Obama and voted for him, Thank you for destroying America and our values. sarcasm Keep your HUYA so we can find you when this all comes falling down. Progressives are the first to whine. We will know you.

The Colorado model

In just four years, Colorado has flipped from conservative Red to liberal Blue, almost entirely due to the efforts to set up that state as a model that can be replicated elsewhere in future years.

Anonymous said...

Biased sample. You survey only those who didn't vote Obama and feel he is scarier than hell.

December 15, 2008 3:32 AM

Yes, as I wore my tinfoil hat I surveyed all of the United states that was in my phone book.

Obama, George Soros, Bilderbergs,Rockefellers are scarier than hell and if you value your children and their future you will not want Obama as POTUS.

Or maybe you do because you would rather sell out the youth of America for social programs, welfare, free healthcare and eventual total socialism than to work for it all yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe you do because you would rather sell out the youth of America for social programs, welfare, free healthcare and eventual total socialism than to work for it all yourself."

The youth got sold out the last 8 years gaining a deficit they will have to bear. Prince Abdullah, Prince Bandar, Haliburton, Ken Lay, the Carlyle Group really valued children.