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From Cynicism to Madness

By Matthew Yglesias

"From Cynicism to Madness"

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You expect the waning days of a presidential campaign to feature some cynical and underhanded attacks, but my guess is that National Review‘s Andy McCarthy believes every word of this:

Second, and relatedly, Obama’s radicalism, beginning with his Alinski/ACORN/community organizer period, is a bottom-up socialism. This, I’d suggest, is why he fits comfortably with Ayers, who (especially now) is more Maoist than Stalinist. What Obama is about is infiltrating (and training others to infiltrate) bourgeois institutions in order to change them from within — in essence, using the system to supplant the system. A key requirement of this stealthy approach (very consistent with talking vaporously about “change” but never getting more specific than absolutely necessary) is electability. With an enormous assist from the media, which does not press him for specifics, Obama has walked this line brilliantly. Absent convincing retractions of his prior radical positions, though, we should construe shrewd moves like the ostensibly reasonable Second Amendment position as efforts make him electable.

What I’m wondering, though, is that if Obama is secretly a Maoist then does it really make sense to wonder if he’s also secretly much more liberal on gun control than he lets on? I mean, they have some very stringent gun ownership regulations in the United Kingdom, but even though I take a pretty right-wing view on gun control issues I think life under Gordon Brown is still clearly preferable to life under Mao.

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