- The Washington Times - Friday, October 31, 2008

COMMENTARY:

The October surprise may turn out to be a seven-year-old interview with Barack Obama in which he strongly suggests that the U.S. Constitution is an impediment to his desire to redistribute the nation’s wealth. How does Mr. Obama credibly take the oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” when he thinks it impedes his socialist agenda?

Is socialism too strong a word? Consider one of its definitions from dictionary.com and tell me it is something other than Mr. Obama’s economic philosophy: “A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor.”

A complete restructuring of society is what Mr. Obama advocated in a 2001 interview on a Chicago public radio station. According to Politico.com, in that interview, Mr. Obama, “reflecting on the Warren Court’s successes and failures in helping to usher in civil rights, said, “I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples.” He has it backward. The Creator already endowed African-American people with these rights, which is precisely the argument powerfully made by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Any rights that are “vested” in people by other people may be removed by the same or future people. Endowed rights are “unalienable” and what America did was to finally recognize those rights. The distinction is crucial because it also relates to abortion and many other social issues. If a court can take away the right to life, then no endowed right is safe.

Mr. Obama continues with a comment that the “Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of the redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.” Does he mean that for real “justice” to have been achieved, the Warren Court should have taken from the rich and given to the black poor? Mr. Obama never said what would happen once the redistributed money ran out. Perhaps this was not to be a one-time event, but a lifetime of “reparations” for slavery, as some other left-wing black leaders have proposed.

On Bill O’Reilly’s Fox show Monday night, former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro defended high taxes in New York and Mr. Obama’s pledge to raise them nationally, saying, “At least they’re not taking it all.” It may have been an attempt at humor, but this betrays the Democratic Party’s attitude. They have the right to say how much of your hard-earned money you can keep. We should be telling government how much of our money we will allow them to spend. Anyone hoping to make more money and improve their lives will have to work even harder to overcome Mr. Obama’s redistribution plans.

Mr. Obama thought the Warren Court should have “broken free” from the constraints placed on the Constitution and the courts by the Founding Fathers. This is remarkable hubris. Mr. Obama said the Constitution mostly “says what the states can’t do to you… what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.” That’s because the Constitution is about liberty and protecting citizens from oppressive and invasive government.

This is scary stuff. That it is only now surfacing is another reminder of the poor job the mainstream media have done in vetting Mr. Obama. Barack Obama thinks the Constitution and the country it helped create should be remade in his image. He wants to be a founding father of a different America, one that would bear little resemblance to the country we have known. This is radical in the extreme and Mr. Obama, along with his many acolytes who are itching to get their hands on unchecked political power, are a danger to this nation’s survival. Listen to the interview: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck).

John McCain stands in the way of a complete liberal coup that would transform America in ways the Founders and most Americans would oppose. Mr. McCain may be dull at times; he may have run an imperfect campaign; he should have spent more time exposing Mr. Obama as a radical socialist instead of worrying what the media would say if he did, but John McCain is a patriot who has proved his love, service and dedication to this country in ways Mr. Obama cannot begin to achieve or appreciate.

Electing Barack Obama president of the United States would be a roll of loaded dice. We will live (and possibly die) to regret it. Republicans have made many mistakes and deserve the punishment they are now getting, but the one charge that cannot be laid at their doorstep is that they wanted to rewrite the Constitution and weaken the country.

Mr. Obama will do that and more. Wake up, America, and stop flirting with this guy because you are flirting with potential disaster.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist.