- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2010

President Obama is close to completing his socialist revolution. Since coming to power last year, he has sought relentlessly to transform America. From his days as a student radical, Mr. Obama has been obsessed with smashing the traditional free-market system. Like most leftists, he thinks capitalism is the enemy.

“He was a Marxist-socialist in college,” said John C. Drew, who knew Mr. Obama as a university student, in an interview. “He kept talking about the need to overthrow capitalism in favor of a working-class revolution.”

One of Mr. Obama’s favorite philosophers was Frantz Fanon, a post-colonial Marxist who championed Third World liberation movements. Fanon argued that the West - led by America - was based on racism, imperialism and the economic exploitation of the world’s poor. The only remedy was authoritarian socialism and a massive redistribution of wealth from Western nations to developing countries.

Throughout his career, Mr. Obama has had radical associations. At Columbia University, while teaching constitutional law, he embraced postmodernist legal theory that maintains that the U.S. constitutional system presents an artificial veneer for liberty while actually advancing the economic interests of powerful white males. As a community organizer in Chicago, he studied and tried to mimic the activism of Saul Alinsky - a neo-Trotskyite who championed “permanent revolution.” His longtime associates, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are supporters of Marxist liberation and share a deep hatred for the United States. They believe only fundamental, sweeping change can redeem America.

Rather than being a pragmatic centrist - as the mainstream media insists on portraying him - Mr. Obama is the very opposite: an ideologue who is pursuing his political project even at the risk of badly damaging the Democratic Party.

This explains his bizarre, almost reckless desire to ram Obamacare through Congress. The president has said he wants an “up-or-down vote” on his health care overhaul - preferably by the end of this month, before the Easter recess. In other words, he has given the green light to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, to use reconciliation, a parliamentary process designed to fast-track budgetary measures. Under these arcane rules, a simple majority in the Senate of 50 Democratic votes plus a tie-breaker from Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be enough to pass health care reform. The filibuster will be rendered impotent.

This is unprecedented. Never in our history has reconciliation been used to pass a major piece of social legislation on a narrow partisan majority. Obamacare will overhaul nearly one-sixth of the U.S. economy. By contrast, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid passed with overwhelming bipartisan consensus. Contrary to popular myth, numerous Republicans endorsed the New Deal-Great Society welfare state. This is why repealing it has been so difficult (if not impossible).

The White House and its media allies claim that the 1996 welfare reform bill, the 1997 children’s health insurance program and the 2001 Bush tax cuts were passed using reconciliation. This is misleading. Every one of these measures had strong Democratic support - especially in the Senate.

Mr. Obama is engaged in an abuse of power. He is thwarting the will of the majority of the American people who do not want socialized medicine. They rightly fear that the proposal’s massive $1 trillion price tag will add to our skyrocketing national debt, which has brought us to the brink of ruin. They understand it will stifle medical innovation and reduce the quality of care, leading to rationing and longer waiting lines. It represents the greatest expansion of entitlement spending since the 1960s.

Moreover, Mr. Obama’s actions are undermining the traditional system of checks and balances established by the Founding Fathers. The institutional role of the Senate is to serve as a bulwark against raw majority rule. By circumventing the filibuster, Mr. Obama is not only thumbing his nose at the voters - including those in Massachusetts who elected Republican Sen. Scott Brown - but the very constitutional safeguards meant to prevent this kind of usurpation of power.

His proposal seeks to create a centrally planned medical economy that will erect a gigantic government bureaucracy based on massive taxes, subsidies and regulations. Mr. Obama is willing to sacrifice his party’s political fortunes in November - and even his own re-election in 2012 - because he understands one fundamental fact: Nationalized health care is the heart of cradle-to-grave statism. No country that has ever embraced socialized medicine - Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy - has ever been able to regain economic freedom.

This is not because government-run health care is so effective or beloved; rather, it fosters a debilitating spirit of dependency that is fatal to a self-governing people. In short, it kills the self-reliance and individualism critical to a free-market democracy.

For Mr. Obama, that is precisely the point. Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, laid out the Marxist blueprint that has been followed by the radical left since 1917. Lenin urged that any disaster should be exploited to “hasten the destruction … of the capitalist class.” The 2008 Great Recession brought Mr. Obama to power. He has been seizing this crisis in order to overthrow the old capitalist order.

Mr. Obama is relentlessly giving birth to a new nation: the United Socialist States of America - the U.S.S.A.

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.

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