Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fact Checker on “Redistribution” Story

Not surprisingly, the righties seized on an interview that Barack Obama gave in 2001 and ran all over the Orcosphere with it because he said (gasp!) “redistribution of wealth.”

“Obama Bombshell Audio Uncovered. He wants to Radically Reinterpret the Constitution to Redistribute Wealth!!” runs the YouTube headline from the conservative video blog Naked Emperor News. “This video exposes the radical beneath the rhetoric.”

OMG! He’s a commie! Grab the smelling salts!

Actually, as the Washington Post’s Fact Checker discovers,

On closer inspection, the “bombshell audio” turns out to be a rather wonkish, somewhat impenetrable, discussion of the Supreme Court under Earl Warren. Obama, then a University of Chicago law professor and Illinois state senator, argued that the courts have traditionally been reluctant to get involved in income distribution questions. He suggested that the civil rights movement had made a mistake in expecting too much from the courts — and that such issues were better decided by the legislative branch of government.


In other words, Obama says pretty much the opposite of what the McCain camp says he said. Contrary to the spin put on his remarks by McCain economics adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin, he does not express “regret” that the Supreme Court has not been more “radical.” Nor does he describe the Court’s refusal to take up economic redistribution questions as a “tragedy.” He uses the word “tragedy” to refer not to the Supreme Court, but to the civil rights movement.

The entire transcript of the interview is here.

Today, the McCain campaign is planning to blow the lid off the dastardly plans they’ve uncovered: Barack Obama and the Democrats are plotting to take over the government by winning the election.