Ben Johnson

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Obama’s second-term agenda: A progressive army

Ben Johnson
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CHICAGO, November 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – In what he vowed was the last campaign stop of his life, President Barack Obama told supporters in Iowa last night they had evolved beyond a campaign into a “movement.”

“You took this campaign and you made it your own,” Obama said Monday night. “And you organized yourselves block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county, starting a movement that spread across the country, a movement made up of young and old, and rich and poor, and black and white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, Democrats and Republicans who believe we’ve all got something to contribute.”

“When the cynics said we couldn’t, you said, ‘Yes, we can,’” he said. “You said, ‘Yes, we can,’ and we did.”

Obama tasked Buffy Wicks, his National Operation Vote Director, with turning those campaign volunteers into a full-blown social movement. She has worked for five years to create a nationwide cadre of community organizers who will use Saul Alinsky’s tactics to permanently radicalize their communities.

As deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement she also has served as a back channel to the most far-left organizations in the country, allowing them to influence the president’s agenda. 

Whether Obama is re-elected or not, the left does not intend for this movement to disappear.

“We’re trying to create community organizers out of our activists,” Wicks has said. Spanish media reported that Cynthia Boaz, a coordinator with the radical group Code Pink, credited Wicks, her former student, with changing the Obama campaign “from the simple pursuit of votes in the creation of a social movement.”

Yet Wicks has said, “The value [placed on] community organizing comes from the top down.” 

Obama infamously worked as a community organizer in Chicago, teaching Saul Alinsky’s theory alongside ACORN members.

Wicks has seen that Obama campaign volunteers learned the same tactics. She brought Marshall Ganz, a United Farm Workers organizer and now a Harvard professor, to teach Alinsky’s tactics to campaign workers in 2007. She and Ganz had worked together in the Howard Dean campaign in 2003. 

According to The Huffington Post, Ganz “was mentored by figures from Saul Alinksy’s community organizing movement.”  Ganz still hails Alinsky – who dedicated his book Rules for Radicals to Lucifer – as he regales Harvard students with tales of Sixties radical “Tom Hayden, an old friend of mine.” 

Ganz’s “style of organizing really does speak to who Barack is as a candidate,” Wicks said. “Marshall really believes in empowering people and teaching them how to become community organizers.”

These new radical activists serve a double function: They create popular support for the president’s political agenda, and they attempt to influence the president by pulling him ever-further to the Left.

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Wicks, who worked with Marxist organizations while she was “stage managing” anti-American protests in San Francisco, has made clear the influence went both ways.

“With our policy groups, we had a recipiratory [sic] for information on the policy ideas that we had on the campaign,” she said. “And our policy teams took that very, very seriously.” She said the groups she worked with “were submitting policy ideas all the time.”

“I know that a lot of that stuff was incorporated into what ended up becoming a lot of our platform ideas,” she admitted.

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Wicks consulted with extremists and radicals, whom she ushered into the White House.

After the campaign, Obama repaid Wicks with a post as deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement (OPE), headed by his closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett

In May 2009, Wicks led an OPE “cultural policy summit” that invited several people associated with Van Jones, a woman who made a mural lionizing cop killers, three conspiracy theorists who claim the CIA sells crack in minority neighborhoods, a Jewish lesbian who confessed to having “a little crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” representatives of the SEIU and the Tides Foundation, a publisher who dubbed 9/11 “a major piece of performance art,” the head of a foundation that finances a speaker who gives out free vibrators on campus, and “the former International Spokeswoman for the Universal Zulu Nation.”

Michael Strautmanis – whom the Chicago Tribune said is like a younger brother to Obama – invited them “to advise and offer perspectives” to the White House.

One of the meeting’s participants, Judith F. Baca, seemed truly honored that Buffy Wicks “mentioned our name. She knew us. She read the materials.”

Wicks met with a Code Pink activist in the White House on at least two separate occasions in 2009. The group took $650,000 to “the other side” in Fallujah in 2004. 

One of the cultural policy summit participants, Sally Kohn, admitted such far-Left gatherings became a weekly event, the “Common Purpose” meetings held each Friday.

The Obamas’ friend Marilyn Katz, a Chicago socialist activist, has called on her fellow radicals to create a new popular movement to make Obama look like a centrist by becoming “the Left opposition.” 

The groups Obama partners with, in return, were expected to promote the Obama administration’s legislative agenda.

That August, Wicks took part in a conference call with federal grants recipients the administration hoped would spread its message at taxpayer expense. Wicks said she came “with some specific asks here,” encouraging NEA grant recipients to use their art to connect their viewers “with federal agencies, with labor unions, progressive groups, faith groups, women’s groups” and other members of the left-wing movement.

One of her supervisors in OPE, Tina Tchen, added, “The administration wants to sustain energy from the election process and turn it toward the agenda.”

“I think Barack Obama’s campaign, more than any other campaign I’ve ever seen, lets us be at the table,” Wicks gushed in 2008. A year later on the NEA conference call, fellow White House appointee Yosi Sargent boasted, “We’re setting the table.”

The Los Angeles Times described Obama’s campaign in 2008, writing, “It’s Marshall Ganz’s army, and it’s marching your way.”

Saul Alinsky would appreciate that description. He wrote in Rules for Radicals, “From the moment an organizer enters a community, he lives, dreams, eats, breathes, sleeps only one thing, and that is to build the mass power base of what he calls the army.”

Wicks is Obama’s lieutenant in the army, and its first stop is the voting booth. But the election is only its first battle.

This is part four of a series. Read part one, part two, and part three of the series.

Ben Johnson is U.S. Bureau Chief of LifeSiteNews.com. The author of three books, Ben was Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine 2003-10. He is also a regular on the AFR Talk network’s “Nothing But Truth with Crane Durham.” His personal website is TheRightsWriter.com.

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