H/T Little Green Footballs and TD Blog...
Today we had the revelation that on January 18, 2001 then-State Senator Barack 0bama gave an interview to Chicago Public Radio expressing the following thoughts on the United States court system and civil rights:
"If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.
But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted. One of the I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that... (cont'd)
... Maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way.
You just look at very rare examples during the desegregation era the court was willing to for example order changes that cost money to a local school district. The court was very uncomfortable with it. It was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.
The court’s just not very good at it and politically it’s very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally. Any three of us sitting here could come up with a rational for bringing about economic change through the courts."
On the heels of this blast from the past comes another extraordinary quote from the same interview:
“...just to take a, sort of a realist perspective...there’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home.”
If we are to believe the media, Senator 0bama is the clear-cut winner in Tuesday's election. Will this country actually elect someone who as President will be sworn to uphold the the United States Constitution which he sees as flawed & full of "negative constraints", but also apparently hates his country so much, the country that as President he will be sworn to protect, that he compared it to one of the most evil dictatorships in the past century?
Strange aside... ON THE SAME RECORDING ABOVE he compared America to Nazi Germany at the end of the Clinton Presidency, 2 days before George W Bush's inauguration.
Stranger still... one of his campaign posters has adopted a symbol of victory that is eerily similar to one used during Nazi Germany's genocidal reign:
Contrast & Compare: