Obama, Frankly
A president’s influences

Paul Kengor, author of The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, the Untold Story


LOPEZ: Have you seen Davis in Obama-administration policy?

KENGOR: I see similarities, for sure. In addition to what I noted earlier, consider these similarities: Frank Marshall Davis advocated wealth redistribution from greedy “corporations” to “health insurance” and “public works projects.” He favored taxpayer funding of universal health care. He supported government stimulus to rescue America from another Great Depression, or what he warned was a looming repeat of the Depression. He wanted to prevent “huge funds” from finding their way into the “pockets” of “Wall Street.” He favored nationalization and singled out General Motors for government action. In fact, he despised General Motors. Frank Marshall Davis would have fully supported Obama’s action with General Motors. No question. He saw the Catholic Church as an obstacle to his policies, plans, and vision for the state. At the same time, Davis argued that Christians should support his ideas and enthusiastically sought the support of the “social justice” religious Left for various causes and campaigns — and they often did just that. The religious Left were easy suckers for the various (concealed) Communist campaigns that Davis and his friends were pushing.

Here are some more examples:

Frank Marshall Davis did not view America as exceptional. To the contrary, he constantly ridiculed “the American way.” In foreign policy, Davis favored the Russians at the expense of countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia. He insisted that American foreign policy was about “big profits” for big oil. And get this: He despised Winston Churchill.

Are these similarities to Obama all mere coincidences? Perhaps. But they’re remarkable coincidences.

LOPEZ: You don’t really make a Churchill-bust connection, do you?

KENGOR: Frank Marshall Davis would have removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. No question. That would have been one of the first things he did. He loathed Churchill. Does Obama not like Churchill, and, if not, does he not like Churchill because of Frank Marshall Davis? Again, I can’t say so definitively. But again, the similarity is remarkable.

Obama met with Davis often. When they met, it was during long get-togethers late into the night. Davis usually drank during those encounters. He was very political. His politics were very vocal and angry. He despised Churchill because Churchill was anti-Communist and pro-colonial. I can easily picture a young Obama listening to extended Davis diatribes against Churchill.

LOPEZ: What are the most egregious mischaracterizations of Frank Marshall Davis?

KENGOR: I’m appalled by liberals’ portraying him as this merry civil-rights crusader hounded by Joe McCarthy. That’s utter nonsense. McCarthy never came anywhere near Davis. It was the Democrats who called him to Washington to testify on his “Soviet activities.”

LOPEZ: How is this all related to Dupes, your most recent book before this one?

KENGOR: Liberals are dupes for Frank Marshall Davis. Liberals are covering for Davis because Davis was a mentor to Obama. They will go to great lengths to cover for Davis, even framing him as anything but a Communist, which is ludicrous. No one doubts Davis was a Communist. We printed Davis’s Communist Party USA number on the cover of the book — 47544.

In order to protect Obama, liberals, ironically, are using precisely the same lines of defense that Davis and other Communists used in the 1940s. For instance, liberals today claim that Davis was simply advocating civil rights and, because of that, white-hooded racists and fascists pursued him. That’s outrageously false. Davis himself used that defense, though the men he framed as white-hooded racists and fascists were actually Democrats like Harry Truman, if you can believe that. Why attack Truman? Because Truman was opposing Stalin’s Soviet Union, which Davis and other Communist Party USA members literally swore an oath to defend.

And yet, here today, liberals are using those same phony lines to defend Davis. They don’t note or even realize that it was Democrats like Truman whom Davis was castigating. Instead, they simply blame Joe McCarthy and the Republicans. They are once again dupes to the Communist line.