IN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN WHITEHEAD OF THE ONLINE JOURNAL “OLDSPEAK”
by John Charlton
(Dec. 14, 2009) — “I am beginning to think that this guy is a phony. Obama seems to have no firm principles that I can discern that he will adhere to. His only principle is his own aggrandizement. This is a very dangerous mindset for a president to have”: so says Nat Hentoff, renowned liberal, free-speech advocate.
Hentoff made his remarks in an interview with John W. Whitehead, published in the on-line journal, “oldSpeak.” The interview was republished by The Review Messenger, last Friday, Dec. 11th, and bears the title, “American under Barack Obama.”
Whitehead says Hentoff has: “… earned the well-deserved reputation of being one of our nation’s most respected, controversial and uncompromising writers.” And gives this short summary of his life accomplishments:
Born in Boston on June 10, 1925, Hentoff received a B.A. with honors from Northeastern University and did graduate work at Harvard. From 1953 to 1957, he was associate editor of Down Beat magazine. He has written many books on jazz, biographies and novels, including children’s books. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Commonwealth, the New Republic, the Atlantic and the New Yorker, where he was a staff writer for more than 25 years. In 1980, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Education and an American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award for his coverage of the law and criminal justice in his columns. In 1985, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Northeastern University. For 50 years, Hentoff wrote a weekly column for the Village Voice. But that publication announced that he had been terminated on December 31, 2008. In February 2009, Hentoff joined the Cato Institute as a Senior Fellow.
From the very opening of the interview, Hentoff does not mince words:
I try to avoid hyperbole, but I think Obama is possibly the most dangerous and destructive president we have ever had. An example is ObamaCare, which is now embattled in the Senate. If that goes through the way Obama wants, we will have something very much like the British system. If the American people have their health care paid for by the government, depending on their age and their condition, they will be subject to a health commission just like in England which will decide if their lives are worth living much longer.
In terms of the Patriot Act, and all the other things he has pledged he would do, such as transparency in government, Obama has reneged on his promises. He pledged to end torture, but he has continued the CIA renditions where you kidnap people and send them to another country to be interrogated. Why is Obama doing that if he doesn’t want torture anymore? Throughout Obama’s career, he promised to limit the state secrets doctrine which the Bush-Cheney administration had abused enormously. The Bush administration would go into court on any kind of a case that they thought might embarrass them and would argue that it was a state secret and the case should not be continued. Obama is doing the same thing, even though he promised not to.
So in answer to your question, I am beginning to think that this guy is a phony. Obama seems to have no firm principles that I can discern that he will adhere to. His only principle is his own aggrandizement. This is a very dangerous mindset for a president to have.
Hentoff, in the subsequent paragraphs of the interview, shows how Obama is not a “people’s candidate”, but rather a statist who is their Public Enemy Number One.
The entire interview is not only worth reading, but printing out and handing to everyone.