No wonder they hate Joe the Plumber

Speaking of outrages, don't miss the recording of an on air PBS interview from 2001 in which Barack Obama discusses how best to implement the redistribution of wealth. (M. Simon linked it earlier, and I don't want to be duplicative, so just scroll down to his post to listen.)

Obama says that the courts might not be the best place, but he makes it clear that he's all for the concept.

Via Newsbusters, a link to the transcript of the video (which I've posted below, for those who want to read it).

Looks like the unlicensed plumber was onto something.

MORE: Bill Whittle reacts to Obama's utterly damning statements:

...we have never, ever in our 232-year history, elected a president who so completely and openly opposed the idea of limited government, the absolute cornerstone of makes the United States of America unique and exceptional.

If this does not frighten you -- regardless of your political affiliation -- then you deserve what this man will deliver with both houses of Congress, a filibuster-proof Senate, and, to quote Senator Obama again, "a righteous wind at our backs."

That a man so clear in his understanding of the Constitution, and so opposed to the basic tenets it provides against tyranny and the abuse of power, can run for president of the United States is shameful enough.

As Bill says, he's "just getting started."

Read it all.

TRANSCRIPT:
MODERATOR: Good morning and welcome to Odyssey on WBEZ Chicago 91.5 FM and we're joined by Barack Obama who is Illinois State Senator from the 13th district and senior lecturer in the law school at the University of Chicago.
OBAMA: 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 vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I'd be okay.
But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried 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 it's been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you, it says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted. One of the I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that 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 coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that.
MODERATOR: Let's talk with Karen. Good morning, Karen, you're on Chicago Public Radio.
KAREN: Hi. The gentleman made the point that the Warren court wasn't terribly radical with economic changes. My question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically and is that that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place - the court - or would it be legislation at this point?
OBAMA: Maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn't structured that way.
You just look at very rare examples during the desegregation era the court was willing to for example order changes that cost money to a local school district. The court was very uncomfortable with it. It was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.
The court's just not very good at it and politically it's very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally. Any three of us sitting here could come up with a rational for bringing about economic change through the courts.

posted by Eric on 10.27.08 at 12:23 PM










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