The GOP has certainly had a late start. They're just now discovering something that was out there in July. Original Chicago Public Radio Blog post: "Barack Obama wearing his professorial hat" by Director of Internet Strategy, JOSH ANDREWS:
There was a great article in the New York Times yesterday about Barack Obama's time as a faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School. The timing was uncanny for me, as I had recently pulled some CD's out of our archive room and been listening to some appearances that Obama made as a guest on Odyssey, the talk show I used to produce here at Chicago Public Radio. We had Obama, then a State Senator and Senior Lecturer at the Law School, on the program 3 times between 1998 and 2002. When he joined us, he was more than willing to set aside his political persona and put on his academic hat. He participated in discussions on the evolution of the right to vote, the politics of electoral redistricting, and the uneasy relationship between slavery and the constitution in early America.I don't know how to embed the audio file.. Video audio courtesy of NakedEmperorNews.
Here's an excerpt from the call-in segment for the Slavery and the Constitution show that aired in September of 2001. The other voices you'll hear are the host, Gretchen Helfrich, and UIC historian Richard John.
I hope the callers will never be found by the bots.They're probably already hacking into the station's phone records. Note how obama actually sounds like he know what he's talking about and has a firm position - something not glimpsed before in this campaign. This is a role he is comfortable in and should have stayed in.
HELFRICH: Good morning and welcome to Odyssey on WBEZ Chicago 91.5 FM and we’re joined by Barack Obama who is Illinois State Senator from the 13th district and senior lecturer in the law school at the University of Chicago.
OBAMA: If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.
But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.
OBAMA: One of the I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that.
[ACORN is one of those community organizations. Obama is a disciple of Saul Alinsky, which ACORN grew out of.]
HELFRICH: Let’s talk with Karen. Good morning, Karen, you’re on Chicago Public Radio.
KAREN: Hi. The gentleman made the point that the Warren court wasn’t terribly radical with economic changes. My question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically and is that that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place – the court – or would it be legislation at this point?
OBAMA: Maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way.
You just look at very rare examples during the desegregation era the court was willing to for example order changes that cost money to a local school district. The court was very uncomfortable with it. It was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.
The court’s just not very good at it and politically it’s very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally. Any three of us sitting here could come up with a rational for bringing about economic change through the courts."
Fine I think he can think about it and has studied it but how is he going to ACT on his thoughts? No one can say because he hasn't ACTED on anything. I know in one of the debate clips I saw recently he was discussed about reparations and I can't recall what he said. I'm sure it involved a pre-programmed obamanation. I'll try to find it.
UPDATE: Josh Andrews was a tad surprised when he saw all the commotion about the tapes. He was particularly upset that they were spliced and provided the full broadcasts. Doesn't change his words or his ideas. Full transcripts provided if curious.