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Every successful socialist revolutionary has had a right-hand man to do his dirty work, someone not afraid to crack heads and get into the gutter, while the leader - supposedly standing above the fray - articulates a vision of economic justice and social harmony. Vladimir Lenin had Josef Stalin. Fidel Castro had his brother, Raul. Mr. Obama has Mr. Emanuel.

The central lesson of the 20th century is that utopianism leads to gangsterism. Mr. Obama is trying desperately to impose his progressive- socialist revolution. The more resistance he meets, the more determined he becomes - and the more he needs to rely on political thugs such as Mr. Emanuel. Mr. Obama, who promisedto reform Washington, is instead leading more like a gangster than a statesman.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank. He is the daily radio host of “The Kuhner Show” on WTNT 570-AM (www.talk570.com) from noon until 3 p.m.