Obama Hands McCain The Quota Issue. Will He Use It?
July 27, 2008, 05:00 AM
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Predictably, Senator John McCain's presidential campaign isn't picking up much traction. Running on a platform of Four More Years of George W. Bush's grand strategy of invade-invite-in hock is a less than knockout concept.

Yet, also not surprisingly, McCain hasn't completely slipped beneath the waves in the polls—because a substantial fraction of the electorate retains a healthy skepticism about Barack Obama.

So far, McCain has done little to exploit voter concerns about who Obama really is. Yet McCain, who has survived five lost planes, is not an unlucky man. Obama has handed him an actual issue—one on which McCain could both take a stand on principle and highlight Obama's fundamental vulnerability: the unanswered question of whether  Rev. Wright's long-time congregant's primary loyalty is to all Americans …or just to African-Americans.

As you'll recall, mid-term Election Night 2006 was a dreary experience. The Republicans certainly deserved the drubbing they endured, yet the Democrats didn't deserve their victory. The one intriguing development was in Michigan. Ward Connerly's Michigan Civil Rights Initiative banning racial preferences in state business, having finally made it to the ballot over the united opposition of the state's powers-that-be and the thuggish left, won a thumping 58-42 victory.

And that's despite Obama recording a radio commercial for the pro-quota opposition.

Connerly, who led the successful 1996 campaign for Proposition 209, authored by Tom Wood and Glynn Custred, and a similarly victorious initiative in 2000 in Washington, will likely have anti-racial preference initiatives on the ballot in three states this November: Colorado, Nebraska, and John McCain's own Arizona.

Obama opposes Connerly's initiatives. This year, Obama's spokeswoman explained:

"Sen. Obama believes in a country in which opportunity is available to all Americans, regardless of their race, gender or economic status. That's why he opposes these ballot initiatives, which would roll back opportunity for millions of Americans and cripple efforts to break down historic barriers to the progress of qualified women and minorities."

Somehow, "regardless of their race" winds up meaning, in Obama-speak, "regardful of their race."

When asked whether his daughters should benefit from affirmative action, Obama routinely makes a head fake in the direction of supporting adding class-based preferences to the mix.

But he's not serious about this.

Nobody has ever adequately explained how class-based quotas would actually work, since class is a hazier concept than race. What class was Obama as a young man? For that matter, what class was McCain as a youth? Economically, McCain wasn't particularly well off, but within his caste, he was a prince of the finest blood—the son and grandson of admirals.

Moreover, you can intentionally lower your kid's class through your bad behavior. You can write the cartoon caption: "I'm drinking my kid into Harvard."

Finally, Obama knows perfectly well that his closest friends in Chicago's black corporate business elite benefit hugely from affirmative action. The plain truth is that, the farther up the social ladder a black person is born, the more money affirmative action puts into his pocket.

Consider Obama's friend John W. Rogers Jr., founder of Ariel Capital Management, who manages eleven-figures worth of Other People's Money. Obama knows Rogers through his brother-in-law Craig Robinson, who was Rogers's teammate on the 1979 Princeton basketball team.

I've followed Rogers' career since the early 1990s. He's a smart, cautious, responsible investor.

But let's not kid ourselves: Rogers profits from "minority set-asides"quotas. To take one of many examples, Black Enterprise reported in 2000:

"Raytheon looks to NCM, Ariel and MDL Capital to oversee pension fund monies. An $800 million deal via the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition's Wall Street Project has set up several minority-owned money management firms for a big payday.

"The Raytheon Co., which had $19.8 billion in revenues in 1999… will now entrust 5% of its pension fund assets to women-owned and African American-owned capital management firms during 2000. The Fortune 500 firm employs 105,000 and has $14 billion in its pension plan. Among the minority-owned firms chosen by Raytheon…Ariel Capital Management, based in Chicago …"

The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is, of course, the shakedown racket run by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. What's the human connection between John W. Rogers and Jesse Jackson? Well, let's see … Rogers's old teammate and former employee Craig Robinson has a sister who used to be named Michelle Robinson. Long ago, Michelle was Rev. Jackson's babysitter. She became a lifelong friend of the Rev.'s daughter Santita Jackson, who is the godmother of the first daughter born to Michelle Robinson Obama.

Are you starting to see how it all fits together?

John W. Rogers is not a poor kid from the streets who needed a break. He's the scion of perhaps the most upper crust black family in Chicago. His father was a judge. His mother, Jewel Stradford Rogers LaFontant Mankarious, was a third generation Oberlin graduate who served as Deputy Solicitor General in the Nixon Administration and Ambassador-at-Large in the first Bush administration. Rogers's mom was on the boards of directors of Mobil, Equitable Life, TWA, Revlon, Harte-Hanks, Hanes, and Bendix.

To see why affirmative action benefits blue-blooded blacks like Rogers most, think about it from, say, Raytheon's perspective. Jesse Jackson has badgered us into establishing a racial quota for our pension fund management. Okay, fine, we can afford a quota, just as long as the quotees don't lose all our money. So, are we going to hand millions over to some guys we never heard of operating out of a storefront on the West Side? No, we're going to find somebody who seems trustworthy, like this guy Rogers, whose mother was a famous Republican.

In 2008, Connerly has had to put up with determined attempts by the far left groups BAMN and ACORN (which is one of the beneficiaries of the new housing bill just passed by Congress) to intimidate his signature collectors trying to qualify the anti-racial preference initiatives for the November election. Please check out this extraordinary video from the earlier Michigan struggle of a  BAMN rent-a-mob overturning a table in an attempt to intimidate election officials. (And John Fund has a good column on their 2008 antics in the July 26 Wall Street Journal, The Far Left's War on Direct Democracy.)

BAMN is generally treated by the Main Stream Media as if it's a legitimate civil rights organization. But its very name bespeaks extortionate intimidation. BAMN stands for "By Any Means Necessary," a term made popular by Malcolm X. According to Wikipedia, (as of today) Malcolm apparently borrowed it from Jean-Paul Sartre, who invented it during one of his Stalinist phases:

"It is not by refusing to lie that we will abolish lies: it is by eradicating class by any means necessary."

"By Any Means Necessary" is a euphemism for violence. Wikipedia explains:

"It is generally considered to leave open all available tactics for the desired ends, including violence; however, the 'necessary' qualifier adds a caveat—if violence is not necessary, then presumably, it should not be used."

That's the mugger's point of view—if he has to slug you to steal your wallet, then the violence is your fault.

And ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has also been active in blocking Connerly's signature collectors this year, is a 1970 spinoff of the notorious National Welfare Rights Organization that did so much to weaken the moral fiber of black Americans in the 1960s. For the last two decades, ACORN has been heavily funded by Fannie Mae and other major players in the mortgage industry. It's provided the big boys with a perfect excuse (helping minorities become homeowners) for doing what they really wanted to do all along (lower standards of creditworthiness in order to pursue a policy of "Heads we win, tails the taxpayers and savers lose" via what Kevin Phillips has called "Wall Street socialism".

Interestingly, Barack Obama has a lengthy history with ACORN. He was a leadership trainer for ACORN, and ACORN provided many of the staffers for Obama's 1991 voter registration drive which, according to Obama's official website enrolled "150,000 African Americans" (not "Americans", boasts Obama, but "African Americans".)

Endorsing Connerly's Arizona initiative would be a natural strategy for the senior Senator from Arizona, J. McCain.

Update:

A few hours after I wrote this, McCain briefly answered a Sunday news show question by saying he favored Connerly's Arizona Civil Rights Initiative:

" 'I do not believe in quotas,' McCain said on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos. 'But I have not seen the details of some of these proposals. But I've always opposed quotas.'  McCain sides with ban on affirmative action, By David Jackson, USA TODAY,  July 27, 2008.

Of course this is untrue, as USA Today's Jackson immediately points out:

"When the Arizona Legislature considered a similar plan 10 years ago, McCain told a Hispanic group that 'rather than engage in divisive ballot initiatives, we must have a dialogue and cooperation and mutual efforts together to provide for every child in America to fulfill their expectations.'"

Obama immediately snapped back:

"Speaking to a conference of minority journalists on Sunday, Obama said he was 'disappointed' by McCain's position. 'I think in the past he had been opposed to these kinds of Ward Connerly referenda or initiatives as divisive. And I think he's right,' Obama said, referring to a leading critic of affirmative action. [McCain backs ban on affirmative action in Arizona, AP, July 27, 2008]

"Divisive," of course, is elite Newspeak for a policy that unites a majority of American voters.

Equal treatment of Americans is "divisive" because it's anti-diversity. Diversity, on the other hand is, by definition, not divisive. Got it? Then you've mastered 21st Century Doublethink and could have a fine career ahead of you in public affairs.

The question, as I noted in February, is whether McCain is the ultra-competitive fighter jock he likes to pretend to be, or whether he's just a tame Main Stream Media talking head.

Does he have the "Right Stuff" to go to the mat with Obama?

Or will he back off when he has "seen the details" of Connerly's proposals?