by Michael Ledeen
Update: Please read The Obama “thesis” hoax.)
I missed this first time around. Brian Lancaster at Jumping in Pools reported on Obama’s college thesis, written when he was at Columbia. The paper was called “Aristocracy Reborn,” and in the first ten pages (which were all that reporter Joe Klein–who wrote about it for Time–was permitted to see), the young Obama wrote:
“… the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.”That’s quite an indictment, even for an Ivy League undergraduate. I wonder if the prof–and I’d like to know who the prof was–made an appropriate marginal comment, something about historical context, about the Constitution’s revolutionary status in the history of freedom, and about the separation of powers in order to make the creation of any “shackles” as difficult as possible. Maybe instead of fuming about words that Rush Limbaugh never uttered, the paladins of the free press might ask the president about words that he did write. Maybe he’d like to parse “the so-called Founders,” for example. I’d like to know what he thinks of those words today. And what about the rest of the thesis?
BUT WAIT: In the middle of Limbaugh’s rant, some Limbaugh staffer discovers that Ledeen has reported that this post about the Obama Thesis is a HOAX. See that Update: up there? So, Limbaugh announces this on the air, but says it doesn’t matter.
BUT WAIT: Michael Ledeen. Does that name sound familiar? He was the long-time "Freedom Fellow" at the American Enterprise Institute. He brokered the Iran/Contra deal in the Reagan Era. He was involved in shady dealings in the lead up to the Iraq War, the Niger thing? He wrote books about Machiavelli in Modern Times. He was a megaHawk for War with Iran. He was a columnist in the National Review. He’s not just some blogger. He’s an arch-neocon.
Now, I got a note from a researcher who has been scouring the Internet, and the note says this: "Rush Limbaugh: Mini-warning on these quotes." Because the paper that Obama wrote, "Aristocracy Reborn," the first ten pages were all that reporter Joe Klein was permitted to see; and it says here that Klein did write about it for TIME Magazine. A researcher has been scouring the Internet and can’t find any sources for the quote. "The blog that Ledeen cites doesn’t have supporting info," supposedly. The source post that was from August, says it’s going to be in an upcoming report from Joe Klein, but the researcher can’t find anything that has come out since, and nothing in Klein’s blog. There have been no matches found on the Internet for any of the info or quotes other than the source posting. So I now say that the blog from which this came has no sourcing data other than Joe Klein upcoming report and Joe Klein hasn’t written his upcoming report.
So we have to hold out the possibility that this is not accurate. However, I have had this happen to me recently. I have had quotes attributed to me that were made up, and when it was pointed out to the media that the quotes were made up, they said, "It doesn’t matter! We know Limbaugh thinks it anyway." Sort of like Dan Rather said, "I don’t care if these documents are forged. I know that Bush did what he did at the National Guard. I don’t care if the documents are forged." I don’t care if the Limbaugh quotes are made up. So, I can say, "I don’t care if these quotes are made up. I know Obama thinks it. You know why I know Obama thinks it? Because I’ve heard him say it." Not about the Constitution, but about the Supreme Court.