From the Horses’s, . . . er, . . . Mouth

Reader DJ has found the ultimate Barak “Spread the Wealth” Obama quote. From an NPR interview in 2001:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in the society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Redistributive change.

So we have proof that Obama understands the purpose of the Constitution – “a charter of negative liberties.” But he decries that the Warren Court didn’t go farther and re-interpret the Constitution to give the government the powers of “redistributive change.” Barring that, the civil rights movement should have eschewed the court system (or at least not have concentrated so exclusively on that path) in order to achieve said redistributive change by other means.

Here it is, 2008, and Barack “I’m Not a Socialist” Obama still holds the same beliefs.

But you have to catch him by surprise to get him to admit it.

More at Stop the ACLU.

Jennifer Rubin has something to say about it, too.

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