Occasionally, I stumble across an essay in Power Line that makes me work my way through the smug conservatism and tin ear lawyer prose. The latest example, Scott Johnson's "From Keith Ellison to Barack Obama, " starts out this way:
After Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination this past June, I set out a comparison between Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison and Barack Obama. (Minnesota's Fifth District covers Minneapolis and its inner-ring suburbs.) I think the comparison remains both valid and illuminating. I am taking the liberty of revisiting my argument this morning.
Watching the emergence of Barack Obama this year I have experienced at least a slight sense of déjà vu. With modifications and variations, the Obama phenomenon was anticipated by the rise of Keith Ellison in 2006.
What evoked this at least slight tingle? Johnson provides the context.
After I first posted an item or two about Ellison in June on Power Line, writing about him as carefully as I could, I started getting calls from prominent Democrats and other knowledgeable sources with first-hand knowledge of Ellison. They were unhappy at the thought that Keith Ellison might become the face of the Democratic Party in Minnesota's largest city. [Emphasis mine.]
In other words, the same types who feed their "concerns" to Michael Brodkorb, so they can undermine their in-party opponents, came to Johnson for some dirty work. After all, no Minnesota Democrat hoping for the party's nomination could suggest a black face would be the wrong one to replace the farina-hued countenance of Rep. Martin Sabo.
The media conspired in the political correctness, according to Johnson, by not sufficiently exposing Ellison's supposed radical Islamic affiliations.
Johnson continues in this fashion, conflating Ellison's embrace of Islam with Barack Hussein Obama's embrace of...
Obama nevertheless found the functional equivalent of Farrakhan in Jeremiah Wright. Wright had no such reservations regarding Farrakhan. He has an enduring relationship with Farrakhan that goes back at least as far as their joint trip to visit Col. Gadaffi in 1984. In casting his lot with Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama found the useful Christian analogue of the Nation of Islam.
Both Ellison and Obama have friends among home-grown terrorists.
Johnson can't see the actual pragmatism that links these "leftward-most viable candidates" (they both voted for the Wall Street rescue bills), but mentions their shared opposition to the Iraq War.
Obama staked his campaign on the proposition that he was the Ivory Soap candidate on the issue of Iraq.
Johnson no doubt means this as "100% Pure" on the war, but how many people will read the text and ignore its strong subtext?
And how does Johnson clinch his comparison?
Despite the natural alliance that should exist between them, Obama has scrupulously avoided Ellison.
See, being black lefties and all, the two should be tight, but Obama doesn't want to be seen as Muslim. Isn't their lack of association an important clue to Obama's real self?
Sort of like Johnson's piece provides a glimpse into the dark heart of today's conservatism.