During the 2008 presidential campaign, I argued — until I was blue in the face — that Barack Obama would be a dangerous president because he was a person of radically liberal views. I drew this conclusion not because I had stumbled across a classified document providing a roadmap to the secret hidden world of Mr. Obama. It was instead because I relied on the most dependable thing possible: the public record.
I based my grave concerns about Mr. Obama on three things. First, his close, decades-long association with the anti-American bigot the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr., as well as with the domestic terrorist William Ayers and other radicals. Second, Obama’s voting record in the Illinois state senate and the United States Senate. And third, the environment in which Mr. Obama seems most at home, from the academy to his Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago.
When I issued my warnings about Obama, I was attacked by the Left as a fearmonger; the charges, they said, were unfair, reckless, and laughable. Even some fellow conservatives, while no fans of Obama, felt that my judgment was too swift and too harsh. Obama deserved the benefit of the doubt, the argument went. He was, we were told, a man with a moderate temperament and an open mind. He might surprise us.
Surprise us he has. Mr. Obama has turned out to be even more radical than most of us feared.
We see this extremism on almost every front. There is, for starters, Attorney General Eric Holder, who has championed civilian trials for the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Miranda rights for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber; who reopened an investigation of CIA interrogators after career prosecutors had cleared them, and who thus caused the morale at the agency to collapse; who has pushed for closing Guantanamo Bay without any plan for dealing with the detainees; and who said that on the matter of race America is a “nation of cowards.”
We see evidence of Mr. Obama’s leftism in his Supreme Court appointment of Sonya Sotomayor, who holds extreme race-conscious views. And we see it in the Obama administration’s acceptance of legislation that crosses what was previously a red line in the culture wars: subsidizing abortions with taxpayer money.
We see the true nature of Obama’s presidency in his routine blasts at the United States while on foreign soil and his serial apologies for this country. We see it in his clear dislike for our close democratic ally Israel, his clear discomfort about standing with the freedom movement in Iran, and his clear eagerness to bow before foreign leaders. And we see it in the praise Mr. Obama earns from the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.
We have seen Mr. Obama’s extremism in his eagerness to determine the pay of corporate heads, in his record-busting spending spree and the massive tax hikes that are sure to follow, and most especially in his engineering the federal government’s takeover of our health-care system.
But like most radicals in a hurry, Mr. Obama has overreached — and in overreaching, he has given conservatives their opening.