Obama’s Hug-a-Thug Crime Policy
By Paul Sperry
FrontPageMagazine.com | 11/3/2008
The triple homicide of actress-singer Jennifer Hudson’s kin has thrown crime into the national spotlight – along with Barack Obama’s hometown, which is the new murder capital of the U.S. Chicago has seen more murders this year than both New York and Los Angeles.
Yet you won’t hear Obama talk about crime or his policy to fight it. That’s because he doesn’t have one – unless you call hugging thugs a crime policy.
One of the first things Obama would do as president is repeal mandatory minimum sentences for crack and other drug offenders to “reduce the ineffective warehousing” of such criminals, according to his website. He favors “drug rehabilitation” over incarceration for even “a second-time offender,” according to a 2007 interview he gave to the Michigan Chronicle, Detroit’s second-largest African-American newspaper.
Decriminalizing pot is also on the table. “We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws,” said Obama, who admits to smoking weed and doing “a little blow” as a young man.
As an Illinois state senator, Obama voted to weaken penalties on gangbangers who deal drugs in schools.
He also wants to rehabilitate inmates through prison-to-work programs. Obama’s pet charity, ACORN, has such a program. It hired 59 inmates at its Las Vegas office this year. They proceeded to fraudulently register voters using the names of Dallas Cowboys football stars. A police affidavit quoted a supervisor describing them as “lazy crack-heads” who just wanted money for drugs.
ACORN and Obama have been working to restore voting rights for felons, which would be another priority of his administration. “At a minimum,” Obama told the black Detroit paper, “those who serve their sentences should be re-enfranchised.”
In Illinois, he unsuccessfully sponsored a measure to expunge some criminal records. He thinks they are used as a “stigma” against blacks.
Obama also wants to outlaw police use of racial descriptions as a means to capture suspects, including Middle-Eastern terrorists. As a U.S. senator, he’s already co-sponsored federal legislation to ban “racial profiling.”
At the same time, he wants to limit your right to protect yourself from criminals by permanently banning assault weapons, among other gun-control measures to de-“cling” you from your guns.
As a state lawmaker, Obama supported a ban on the sale and transfer of all forms of semi-automatic firearms, along with a bill limiting handgun purchases to one a month. In a 1996 questionnaire supplied by a liberal Chicago nonprofit group, he answered “yes” to supporting legislation to “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.”
Obama fought a bill in the Illinois senate that would send youth who commit a second violent felony to prison. He fought to keep even the most violent juvenile offenders out of the adult system.
Instead, “We must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime,” he said at the Denver convention. One ladder he has in mind is funding contractors who train “ex-felons on projects that can benefit the community as a whole: insulating homes and offices to make them energy-efficient, perhaps.”
Terrorists could also catch a break. “I would vote to repeal the U.S. Patriot Act,” he said in 2003. Now he says he would merely repeal the parts of it that are “just plain wrong,” whatever those are.
Obama, who would as president have the power to pardon criminals, isn’t a big fan of U.S. laws in general, at least not as currently written. He thinks they are racist, along with the courts.
“We have certain sentences that are based less on the kind of crime you commit than on what you look like,” he told Howard University students last year. “It’s time to seek a new dawn of justice.”
“Laws are sometimes malleable,” he wrote two years ago, and he plans to “fix” what he sees as a “broken” criminal justice system. And he favors judges with the “empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American.”
That worries some legal analysts. “If Obama wins,” warns Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi, “we could possibly see the abolition of capital punishment and mass freeing of criminal defendants.”
In fact, Obama in the 1996 questionnaire responded “no” to supporting capital punishment. His website now calls for unspecified “reform” of the death penalty, which he contended in his book “does little to deter crime.”
Obama will, however, get tough on “hate crimes.” He plans to pack the criminal section of Justice’s Civil Rights Division with African-American prosecutors, and make “hate crime a priority.”
He will “reinvigorate federal civil-rights enforcement” by prosecuting alleged civil-rights abuses by local officials, such as the Jena, La., district attorney. “As president,” his website says, “Obama will ensure that the section vigorously pursues such cases.”
Suburban employers won’t be safe from Obama’s race cops, either.
“Anyone who thinks that such enforcement is no longer needed should pay a visit to one of the suburban office parks in their area and count the number of blacks employed there,” Obama complained in his 2006 autobiography.
And woe to suspected disenfranchisers. “When fliers are placed in our neighborhoods telling people to vote on the wrong day, that won’t only be an injustice, it will be a crime,” he promised black graduates at Howard.
Also, “I will crack down on predatory lenders who all too often target the African-American community,” Obama vowed, “with tough penalties that treat mortgage fraud like the crime it is.”
It’s plain where Obama’s priorities lie.
“Jesus has a soft spot for thugs,” preaches Rev. Otis Moss, the “wonderful young pastor,” as Obama described him, who took over the pulpit from retired Rev. Jeremiah Wright at Obama’s longtime church in Chicago.
Apparently so does Obama.
Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington. He can be conacted at Sperry@SperryFiles.com.