The same separatist, anti-American theology of liberation that was so boldly and bitterly proclaimed by Obama’s pastor is shared, if more quietly, by Obama’s Gamaliel colleagues. The operative word here is “quietly.” Gamaliel specializes in ideological stealth, and Obama, a master student of Gamaliel strategy, shows disturbing signs of being a sub rosa radical himself. Obama’s legislative tactics, as well as his persistent professions of non-ideological pragmatism, appear to be inspired by his radical mentors’ most sophisticated tactics. Not only has Obama studied, taught, and apparently absorbed stealth techniques from radical groups like Gamaliel and ACORN, but in his position as a board member of Chicago’s supposedly nonpartisan Woods Fund, he quietly funneled money to his radical allies — at the very moment he most needed their support to boost his political career. It’s high time for these shadowy, perhaps improper, ties to receive a dose of sunlight.
The connections are numerous. Gregory Galluzzo, Gamaliel’s co-founder and executive director, served as a trainer and mentor during Obama’s mid-1980s organizing days in Chicago. The Developing Communities Project, which first hired Obama, is part of the Gamaliel network. Obama became a consultant and eventually a trainer of community organizers for Gamaliel. (He also served as a trainer for ACORN.) And he has kept up his ties with Gamaliel during his time in the U.S. Senate.
The Gamaliel connection appears to supply a solution to the riddle of Obama’s mysterious political persona. On one hand, he likes to highlight his days as a community organizer — a profession with proudly radical roots in the teachings of Chicago’s Saul Alinsky, author of the highly influential text Rules for Radicals. Obama even goes so far as to make the community-organizer image a metaphor for his distinctive conception of elective office. On the other hand, Obama presents himself as a post-ideological, consensus-minded politician who favors pragmatic, common-sense solutions to the issues of the day. How can Obama be radical and post-radical at the same time? Perhaps by deploying Gamaliel techniques. Gamaliel organizers have discovered a way to fuse their Left-extremist political beliefs with a smooth, non-ideological surface of down-to-earth pragmatism: the substance of Jeremiah Wright with the appearance of Norman Vincent Peale. Could this be Obama’s secret?