The perpetual amnesia of the mainstream media regarding much of what President Barack Obama never ceases to amaze. In Sunday’s New York Times, Jason Horowith previews Obama’s meeting later this week with Pope Francis by exploring the president’s early work as a community organizer sponsored by the Catholic church. The hope among Obama’s old colleagues, Horowitz says, is that he will “return to the church’s social justice values”–as if inequality, redistribution, and attacks on the rich have not been staples of his presidency.
Along the way, Horowitz touches on much of Obama’s past that the media did its best to ignore during the 2008 campaign, such as the fact that he was trained by Greg Galluzzo, a disciple of Saul Alinsky and one of Chicago’s most important radical figures, and the fact that he chose Jeremiah Wright’s racist Trinity Church because of his political aspirations.
Horowitz still soft-pedals–we don’t learn much about the content of Obama’s activism here: you have to turn to Stanley Kurtz for those details. But now, at least, the veiled past can be acknowledged.
It is all in service of a narrative to which the media will return throughout the week, one in which contrived questions about whether Obama will be “willing to rededicate himself to the vulnerable” will be resolved in the comforting affirmative by a successful meeting with Francis.
It is hard to take this sort of stuff seriously, either from Horowitz or the committed radicals whom he quotes, except as a veiled criticism of the actual effect of Obama’s policies on the poor and vulnerable, which is almost certainly not the way they intend the remark.
Progressive leftists tell themselves that Obama simply has not found the will to pursue their common agenda. It is a delusion designed to keep the failure of his left-wing policies as far out of sight as possible. The mainstream media version of this myth is that Obama has sacrificed much of his own agenda for the sake of bipartisanship.
And so we are invited to consider Obama’s past as a way of crafting new myths in the present, namely that the theme of inequality that he and fellow Democrats will pound until November is actually a new, or noble, idea.