Friday, September 05, 2008

Obama 's Disdain for Community Organizing

From the New Republic:

In truth, however, if you examine carefully how Obama conducted himself as an organizer and how he has conducted himself as a politician, if you consider what he said about organizing to his fellow organizers, and if you look at the reasons he gave friends and colleagues for abandoning organizing, then a very different picture emerges: that of a disillusioned activist who fashioned his political identity not as an extension of community organizing but as a wholesale rejection of it. Indeed, the most important thing to know about Barack Obama's time as a community organizer in Chicago may not be what he gained from the experience--but rather why, in late 1987, he decided to quit.

Yet there is considerable evidence that, even as he was writing these words, Obama was having doubts about community organizing. By the early fall of 1987--a little more than two years after he had come to Chicago--Obama had decided to apply to Harvard Law School. At some point thereafter, he began to explain his decision to friends and colleagues. The most revealing of these discussions are not reported in Dreams from My Father.

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