By Ben Johnson
Friday, April 25, 2008
Integral to Hillary Clinton's triumph in the Pennsylvania primary on
Tuesday, Jacob Laksin observed in FrontPage Magazine, was convincing
Keystone State voters that she "understood the curious ways of more
humble folk." The former feminist liberationist, who channeled dead
spirits, belittled those who "stayed home and baked cookies and had
teas," and labored to sue handgun manufacturers for daring to make
the Second Amendment possible morphed herself into a gun-toting,
whiskey-swilling church lady. Her reinvention as a redneck queen only
went so far, though: she did tremendous damage by emphasizing Barack
Obama's ties to anti-American radicals Jeremiah Wright and Bill
Ayers. She has, in short, been lucky in her choice of opponents: a
mature candidate would have thrown both under a bus at the first
opportunity. Obama's refusal to do so, likening one to his
grandmother, has allowed Hillary to present herself as the voice of
She is no such thing.
Conservatives, amused at the once-invincible Obama finally facing
tough questions, would be ill-served if they allow her to establish
her new image as a plain vanilla moderate. From her crusading days in
Wellsley College through her choice of minister during her eight
years in the East Wing, Hillary has surrounded herself with a
consortium of radicals that would make Obama blush (or rather, feel
right at home).
The Mobster's Marxist
The former Goldwater girl would write her 1969 thesis for Wellesley
College on the ideas of native Chicago radical Saul Alinsky. Entitled
"There is only the Fight, An Analysis of the Alinsky model," its 92
pages explored the intellectual world of the Marxist organizer. The
young Ms. Rodham likened Alinsky – favorably – to Socialist Party
presidential candidate Eugene Debs, Walt Whitman, and Martin Luther
King Jr., stating "each embraced the most radical of political faiths
– democracy." Hillary had one difference with Alinsky: she did not
believe street demonstrations were effective avenues to promote their
shared, far-Left values. Instead, she affirmed her commitment to
working "inside the system," because she believed all change came
about only by acquiring political power. Three years after her
thesis, Alinsky revealed the source of some of his methods, "I
learned a hell of a lot about the uses and abuses of power from the
mob, lessons that stood me in good stead later on, when I was
organizing…Everybody owned stock in the Capone mob; in a way, he was
a public benefactor." Alinsky certainly benefited: he consorted with
Al Capone and Frank Nitti, among other mafiosi. Alinsky knew a
ruthless leader when he saw one, offering Hillary a job at his
Industrial Areas Foundation Training Institute.
Peeping for the Panthers
She declined in favor of attending Yale Law School. There, she
studied under the infamous Thomas ("Tommy the Commie") Emerson.
Emerson introduced her to Charles Garry, an attorney for the Black
Panther Party. When Panthers were put on trial in New Haven,
Connecticut, for the torture and murder of Alex Rackley, Hillary
monitored the trial – on behalf of the Panthers. (Although this is
the subject of an urban legend, the monitoring did, in fact, occur.)
Her aim, and that of the students she organized, was to look for
"civil rights violations" that could be used as technicalities to
dismiss the charges against the Panthers.
"Our Law Firm was a Communist Law Firm."
Unsuccessful in these efforts, in 1972 Hillary Rodham took her
unmarried companion, Bill Clinton, to Berkeley, where she worked as
an intern at her hand-picked law firm: Treuhaft, Walker, and
Bernstein. The practice, founded by current or former members of the
Communist Party USA, had long acted as a legal asset for CPUSA, the
Black Panthers, and other Bay-area radicals. Founding partner Bob
Treuhaft had been labeled one of the nation's most "dangerously
Had the future presidential candidate somehow inadvertently joined a
Marxist law firm 3,000 miles away from her home college? Treuhaft
disclosed, "She did want to work for a left-wing movement law firm.
Anyone who went to college or law school would have known our law
firm was a Communist law firm." In fact, Treuhaft and his wife,
Jessica Mitford, left the Party, not because of ideological variance
with the Communists, but because "It was ineffective." In 1992, the
co-president-elect wrote, "I am an admirer of Jessica Mitford." While
Rodham was doing her internship, Treuhaft feverishly worked at
getting charges dismissed in Huey P. Newton's 1967 murder of a police
officer. (Hillary's apologists often claim she monitored the Rackley
trial to protest "mistreatment" of Bobby Seale; ironically, Huey
Newton abused Seale far worse than any legal system.)
Not all partners in the firm had cut ties with the Communist Party.
Doris Brin Walker remained a member of the CPUSA 30 years after
Rodham's intership had ended. Having just finished a stint as
president of the National Lawyers Guild when Hillary reported for
duty, Walker longed for a "Second American Revolution." As Hillary
left the firm, Walker successfully defended Angela Davis against
multiple felonies resulting from a shootout that left a California
judge dead. Walker said she undertook the case at the instruction of
the CPUSA. She once mused, "For Hillary to pick the most left-wing
firm really at that time in the Bay Area, it's still a surprise to me
that more hasn't been made of that."
Hillary did yeoman's work while learning at the feet of the masters.
Associates say Hillary helped draftees get themselves declared
conscientious objectors, so they would not serve in Vietnam. They
insist Hillary served VA interns seeking to avoid taking a loyalty
oath to the United States. Some hint she worked on Black Panther
cases, or attended their trials. And she undoubtedly assisted
Berkeley student body president Daniel Siegel obtain admission to the
bar, which he was denied after he thundered: "The question is not
violence versus non-violence; the question is when violence, and how
violence, and what violence." He graciously specified targets: "I can
see very little objection theoretically, politically, or morally, or
anything else, with burning down the Bank of America and all its 500
branches." Mr. Siegel now shares his legal wisdom at the bench,
thanks to Miss Rodham.
A Check in Every Pot, a Government Babysitter in Every Garage
Hillary's own views continued to reflect a radical orientation toward
economics and the traditional family. She worked on Kenneth
Kingston's tome All Our Children: The American Family Under Pressure,
which advocated a guaranteed minimum annual income. In a November
1973 article for the Harvard Educational Review, Hillary proposed
liberating children from "the empire of the Father." In that article,
she asserted, "Along with the family, past and present examples of
such [unjust] arrangements include marriage, slavery, and the Indian
Reservation system." As if to stick it to her opponents, who
publicized this quotation during the 1992 election, Hillary authored
her first book shortly after taking office: It Takes a Village to
Raise a Child.
At the same time, she would meet the woman who would focus her quest
for state socialism: Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's
Defense Fund. In 1996, Edelman exhorted Jim Wallis' leftist religious
group Call to Renewal: "Let's guarantee a job. Let's guarantee health
care and children [sic.] care. Let's turn this welfare repeal into
real welfare reform." She endorsed full employment, socialized
medicine, federally funded babysitters for all, and infinite welfare
benefits for those not inclined to forsake indolence. But what will
give way in the budget? Defense, of course. Edelman wrote in her1987
book Families in Peril, "We must curb the fanatical military weasel
and keep it in balance with competing national needs."
Government Lawyers for Leftists
To sure up the support of her now-husband, Jimmy Carter named Hillary
Clinton to the board of the Legal Services Corporation from
1978-1980. The LSC, purportedly a program to help the poor, has
dedicated the time of its taxpayer-subsidized lawyers to serving
grassroots leftist organizations, easing restrictions against
criminal illegal aliens, and expanding government welfare rolls.
Hillary soon became chair of Legal Services, reportedly in a coup
against Carter's preferred candidate. Funding tripled during her
reign, reaching its highest ever budget in inflation-adjusted
dollars. At that time, LSC opposed California's Proposition 13, which
cut property taxes by more than half, although organizing a political
campaign "broke its own rules," according to Michael Barone.
Likewise, the LSC tried to force the New York Transit Authority to
hire heroin addicts. In 1978, it filed an amicus brief in the Bakke
case, supporting racial quotas in public universities. During her
co-presidency in the 1990s, LSC's budget soared to $400 million; and
its case load at the time included such causes as:
keeping drug-dealers from being evicted from public housing;
getting drug addicts disability benefits;
defending illegal aliens convicted of felonies from deportation;
suing to get welfare benefits for a criminal illegal alien who had
once been deported;
demanding bilingual education;
opposing Proposition 187, the California voter initiative that would
have banned non-emergency aid for illegal aliens; and
supporting homosexual adoption.
Clearly, she was within her element.
Hillary's Pastor Problem
The first major chink in Obama's electoral armor came with questions
of his relationship to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the recently retired
pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ and a longtime Obama family
friend and confidant. Hillary took the unusual move of exploiting the
issue during a Democratic primary, along the way positioning herself
as a the voice of centrist reason. As Donna Brazile reminded voters,
the Clintons have their own connection to Rev. Wright: Bill Clinton
invited Wright to the 1998 White House Prayer Breakfast, and penned a
thank you note afterwards for Wright's attending this event during
the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Oh…and Hillary was present, too.
This would be a minor blip, if it were an isolated connection to the
Religious Left, particularly as Hillary the Hunter cast herself as a
conservative churchgoer while campaigning in rural Pennsylvania. She
did not disclose that she spent eight years faithfully attending
Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., currently
pastored by Rev. Dean J. Snyder. Snyder recently praised Jeremiah
Wright as "an agent of racial reconciliation" who proclaims
"perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear."
To be clear, Snyder did not serve during the 1990s. However, the
previous pastor, the Rev. Dr. J. Philip Wogaman, was equally radical.
A year after the Berlin Wall fell, he wrote, "Christian socialism's
critique of the excesses and brutalities and idolatries of the free
market still need to be heard." He had earlier lauded Communist Cuba
and China's "modest but real economic success." As long ago as 1967,
Rev. Useful Idiot wrote in his Protestant Faith and Religious Liberty that:
The USSR is characteristic of the more tolerant Communist
arrangements for religion. In Russia there are specific
constitutional guarantees of freedom of worship, and some provision
has even been made for the upkeep of churches and theological seminaries.
Wogaman's Russia: the Gothic Archipelago.
Traditional Christians were outraged by Wogaman's views, on this and
much else. As Bill Clinton did, Wogaman accused his critics –
Christian columnist Cal Thomas, by name – of instigating the Oklahoma
City bombing. "People in the media don't plant bombs. But if they
plant hatred and division, doesn't that affect the behavior of
unstable hearers or readers?" (Apparently Wogaman did not listen to
Bill Clinton: Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich were responsible for
Even these were not Hillary's first ties to religious radicals.
Hillary's Anti-Feminist, Wife-Abusing Hero (Not Bill)
In her memoir, Living History, the junior senator from New York
lauded Yale's chaplain during her years at the law school, Rev.
William Sloane Coffin Jr., for his "articulate moral critique of
American involvement" in Vietnam. That critique involved his
traveling to Hanoi in 1972. Seven years later, he would make a
friendly trip to Tehran, the first modern Islamic theocratic state
which had just stormed a U.S. embassy and kidnapped dozens of his
His friendly sojourns in countries engaged in kidnapping, torturing,
or murdering Americans is not the only part of Coffin's history that
should be troubling to the feminist Clinton. Coffin, who taught Judo
in the Army, repeatedly beat his second wife, Harriet, once giving
her a hairline skull fracture. Discussing the matter years later, the
good reverend related his emotions that night: "I said, 'What the
hell, I've got to do this again?'" However, he expressed regret that
he "didn't take quite enough aim." Harriet's crime, in the words of
one academic, was that she "developed a bad drinking problem and
interests in psychology and feminism, and Bill didn't take to any of
that. Harriet became desperately unhappy and tried to force Bill into
discussing matters he preferred to avoid." One of Coffin's friends
described it thus: Harriet longed "to be on a podium with him -- a
podium of equal height with his. And Bill just doesn't function that
way." But savaging his wife in order to avoid diatribes on feminism
did not cost him Hillary Clinton's admiration.
Things That Go Boom in the Capitol
Hillary also attacked Obama for his close ties to Bill Ayers, a
former Weather Underground member who believes he did not do enough
to advance his revolutionary agenda. Hillary helpfully told a live
television audience, "What they did was set bombs. And in some
instances, people died. So it is – I think it is, again, an issue
that people will be asking about."
Obama, in an otherwise disastrous debate performance last week,
pointed out the omnipresent Clinton hypocrisy: "By Senator Clinton's
own vetting standards, I don't think she would make it, since
President Clinton pardoned or commuted the sentences of two members
of the Weather Underground, which I think is a slightly more significant act."
Clinton pardoned Weather Underground members Susan L. Rosenberg and
Linda Evans. Police caught the pair of domestic terrorists in 1984,
in possession of 740 pounds of explosives and a submachine gun.
Rosenberg had been involved in the Brink's heist that left a
policeman dead in Nanuet, a city in Clinton's adopted home state of New York.
Far from penitent, Rosenberg dedicated a poem to another cop-killer:
"To Free Mumia Abu Jamal." For her part, Evans has taken to
organizing. FrontPage Magazine's John Perazzo writes:
Evans still refers to her fellow Weathermen as "comrades," and claims
that all inmates in American prisons are victims of white racism,
imperialism, and "political circumstance." "The prison industrial
complex," she writes in one of her organizational screeds, "is an
interweaving of private business and government interests [with] a
monumental commitment to lock up a sizeable percentage of the
population." In March 2002 she helped organize a conference (held in
Cuba) titled "Tear Down The Walls," whose purpose was to make a case
for the release of "political prisoners" who had been "incarcerated
because of their involvement in political activities which challenged
the unjust nature of the US socioeconomic system and its hegemonic
policies around the world." Chief among these "political prisoners"
were Evans' fellow Weather bomber Boudin, Symbionese Liberation Army
member Kathy Soliah (aka Sara Jane Olson), and convicted cop-killers
Mumia Abu Jamal and Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (aka H. Rap Brown).
Among those who opposed the pardons, issued on the last day of the
Clinton co-presidency, were Hillary's future NY Senate colleague,
Chuck Schumer, and U.S. Attorney in New York Mary Jo White. (White, a
Clinton appointee, strongly objected to the Clinton administration's
erection of "The Wall" between intelligence agencies tracking
terrorists, reportedly writing in a scathing memorandum years before
9/11: "It will cost lives.")
Similarly, Bill Clinton pardoned members of the Puerto Rican Marxist
terrorist organization FALN in order to bolster his wife's political
fortunes. The FALN was responsible for 130 bombings in nine years,
including a number within New York City and Chicago. The Justice
Department opposed the pardons, as did FBI Director Louis Freeh. FBI
Assistant Director Neil Gallagher said boldly, "They are terrorists,
and they represent a threat to the United States." Although Hillary
denied any involvement in the decision, a NYC Councilman, Jose
Rivera, had asked her to "speak to the president and ask him to
consider granting executive clemency" to FALN members.
One can say a number of things about such a long and distinguished
intellectual history of leftism, as well as her open lust for enough
power to radically alter the American way of life. One cannot say it
is moderate in any sense. Unlike Sen. Obama's histories with Wright
or Ayers, Hillary Clinton's history of radicalism consists of
autobiographical journaling, personal activism, and advocacy on
behalf of convicted, murderous terrorists.
It should make one wonder whom she would pardon if she ever wields
the pardon pen. Wonder and fear.
Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and author of
the book 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's