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Progressive Harvard Law Prof: Obama “must be defeated”

Progressive Harvard Law Prof: Obama “must be defeated”

The most shocking thing to me about this video is not that Harvard Law Professor Robert Mangabeira Unger looks so old.

When I was in law school he was a baby-faced rising star on the faculty (his photo from that time period still is on his faculty bio).  It always amazes me when others grow old while I have stayed pretty much the, um, same.

Back then, the word among the students was that no one could figure out what he was saying.  (See Instapundit for more about Unger.)

No, the most shocking thing is that he makes a point which even I can understand, via HuffPo (h/t HotAir):

“President Obama must be defeated in the coming election,” Roberto Unger, a longtime professor at Harvard Law School who taught Obama, said in a video posted on May 22. “He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States.”

Unger said that Obama must lose the election in order for “the voice of democratic prophecy to speak once again in American life.”

He acknowledged that if a Republican wins the presidency, “there will be a cost … in judicial and administrative appointments.” But he said that “the risk of military adventurism” would be no worse under a Republican than under Obama, and that “the Democratic Party proposes no new direction.”

Jump ahead to 6:00 for the really good stuff.

  • “His policy is financial confidence and food stamps.”
  • “He has spent trillions of dollars to rescue the moneyed interests and left workers and homeowners to their own devices.”
  • “He has delivered the politics of democracy to the rule of money.”
  • “He has disguised his surrender with an empty appeal to tax justice.”
  • “He has reduced justice to charity.”
  • “He has subordinated the broadening of economic and educational opportunity to the important but secondary issue of access to health care in the mistaken belief that he would be spared a fight.”
  • “He has evoked a politics of handholding, but no one changes the world without a struggle.”

He’s right, of course. Why any true liberal/progressive puts faith in Obama always has been beyond me.

Obama is a walking disaster for progressives, the embodiment of a cult of racial and class rhetoric over progress, which puts Obama at the center of the universe.


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I am a liberal Clinton Democrat. My opposition to Obama is not because he is a socialist or too left-wing. My opposition to Obama is based on the fact that he is a crony capitalist and a puppet of the special interests.

He talks like a Democrat, but he walks like a Republican.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to myiq2xu. | June 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Correction: He talks like a commie, walks like a commie, and quacks like a commie.

    You are stone-cold delusional if you think obastard would ever enjoy any success as a ‘pub.

      What is it with these Collectivists that they always seem to revert to a “cult of personality” (Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Obama) ?
      Yeah. The Right has Ronald Reagan, but then you have to go all the way back to Abraham Lincoln. The is no clut of Nixonians, or Bushites out there. Not even any Eisenhowerians or Teddy Rooseveltitist.

    Ragspierre in reply to myiq2xu. | June 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    He’s a Collectivist, with a strong penchant for fascist economic policy.

I am a liberal Lyndon Johnson-Barbara Jordan Democrat. My opposition to Obama is because he is a crony capitalist and a puppet of some very nasty foreign interests. His supporters are trying to foist a Marxist dictatorship on us, patterned after the mess the Russians made of their revolution.

He talks like a Liberal, but he walks like the classical, thieving oligarchs of the old, failed Soviet Union.

JackRussellTerrierist | June 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

My sympathies to the professor and any other person ever subjected to the pontifications of this obvious “Worker’s World” fellow traveler.

Jebus. It really is true. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”.

What a WONDERFUL exposition of gobbledegook…!!!

    No, Rags, I have seen the light. This isn’t gobbledygook. It is Harvard Thinking, deep beyond our understanding.

    Why, this man should be a U.S. Senator!

    (I hope the foregoing remains a joke: apparently John Kerry is trying to ram the Law of the Sea Treaty through, thereby bucking for Secretary of State in a second Obama administration.)

      Ragspierre in reply to gs. | June 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      “This isn’t gobbledygook. It is Harvard Thinking, deep beyond our understanding.”

      Oh, I totally agree…and concede. I’ve seen it before, in various guises and permutations.

      Compare and contrast this to Milton Friedman. Then, imagine life in the two alternate realities…one, incomprehensible and confused; the other exquisitely simple.

      Neo in reply to gs. | June 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Does he have any Chickasaw or Hopi blood coursing in his veins ?

      Ragspierre in reply to gs. | June 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Let me elaborate a bit…

      In some company, I have to allow, as did Forest Gump, “I’m not a smart maa-yan”.

      But the human mind is analogous to computers. All of them are “garbage in/garbage out” processors, no matter how powerful the architecture.

      I know “scarey smart” people who cannot drive, or form coherent sentences. I know some who are essentially self-made idiots, because of the premises they have put in their “computers”.

      All part of the wonderful thing we call “humanity”.

        scott0317 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

        Whether one acknowledges it or not, what you are seeing in the earnest professor is an example of the human brain’s computer-like attributes suffused by the real influence of the human spirit. It is the spirit of a person, I am convinced, that shapes and shepherds our values in a particular direction. The mind is a mere means to an end. It’s more complicated than this, of course, but that’s the gist of it. The good professor’s spirit, given to whatever higher power he respects, affects his mind’s synthesis of whatever input he receives. Since I take him to be a materialist, his emphasis will be upon equation-based programs that remove human interference to the degree possible. He thus will promote income redistribution and punishment for those who indulge the human inclination to make more money. The redistribution scheme, designed as it will be by human beings with agendas, is doomed, even if the wealthy can be “guilted” into forking over large sums of money to someone (the Feds) who can assuage their consciences and put them on the societal “nice” list and thus avoid being subjected to scorn and contumely from the media, such as befell the gentleman in Idaho who contributed to Mr. Romney’s campaign.

1. Short version: Tenured, highly paid Harvard professor condemns Obama as timid and insufficiently proletarian.

2. Unger may really believe what he is saying. That’s a danger of living in an echo chamber: you are tempted to stay the course even when you should change it.

3. As the campaign unfolds, the MSM will exaggerate or fabricate extremism on the Right and downplay or ignore extremism on the Left. Conservatives should take that into account if they want to win.

[…] stolen from Legal Insurrection: Progressive Harvard Law Prof: Obama “must be defeated” “President Obama must be defeated in the coming election,” Roberto Unger, a longtime professor […]

Oh, goodie!

Now I can post the links I (had a helluva time finding) was going to post this morning:

Obama was put into Harvard to fulfill a role:

How many of you have seen this video?

Obama and Khalid Mansour

Percy Sutton, former attorney for MalcolmX, reveals Khalid Mansour approaches Percy Sutton to sponsor Obama to enter Harvard by introducing Obama to Percy’s Harvard contacts.

More background:

Do l detect with a few on the left , who have a mind actually capable of forming thought , a loosening of the davots on the lifeboats? Are they now crying “Over here , over here to safety!” to their more numerous & dense herd members? ls this the start of the rats jumping ship?

    myiq2xu in reply to secondwind. | June 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    There’s a bunch of us on the left who NEVER supported Obama.

      Browndog in reply to myiq2xu. | June 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm


      (use big words-myiq1/2u)

      raven in reply to myiq2xu. | June 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Isn’t it interesting that no Progressive expressing his disgust with Obama ever mentions the astounding assault on free speech under this administration. I’ve not come across one. A progressive academic named Bromwich (from Dartmouth, I believe) has written lengthy screeds against Obama in the NY Review of Books, all about how Obama has failed the Progressive cause and hasn’t been tough enough against “moneyed interests”, is a “Neville Chamberlain” figure, etc. but says nothing about the First Amendment.

      Do “Clinton democrats” or old-fashioned liberals (you know, the kind who used to say they cared about the First Amendment ) have the least problem with Obama’s attacks on American individuals who oppose him, or do you intend to show any interest in defending the speech rights of those with whom you disagree (you know, like Andrew Breitbart defended Keith Olberman and Michael Moore), realizing in the end you are also defending YOUR OWN RIGHTS in the process?

      No Republican and certainly no conservative would ever mount this kind of determined assault on free speech, or abet those in his camp in doing the same.

        Ragspierre in reply to raven. | June 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm


        McAnus-Feingold. Jest keeping it real…

          raven in reply to Ragspierre. | June 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

          Well, not really the point. That was a boneheaded piece of feel-good legislation. Terrible and stupid on McCain’s part. But what we’re dealing with here is a willful, malicious, concerted assault on American individuals and on a political point of view with the goal of chilling, criminalizing and finally annihilating dissent.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm

          Not wishing to belabor the point or bump heads, but…

          a FLUCKING law is a LOT more dangerous than is being on an Obama “I hate you to pieces” list. Rush (fer instance) can ride over the latter like it doesn’t exist and make hay of it, whereas the former can mean fines or even jail time.

        You are right. However in lefty Newspeak world we will be accused of it in our dissent from the obviously superior left dogma.

      Neo in reply to myiq2xu. | June 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      I’m sure about now Michelle Obama is busy running around Washington DC screaming “klaatu barada nikto

    secondwind, a similar thought my mind when I saw a different Leftist piece.

    Straws in the wind.

That “financial confidence” he speaks of would be a “Confidence Game”, from which we get the title Con Man.

Fits pretty well. Fast talking smooth guy who promises the most amazing things and delivers nada, while taking off with your money.

TrooperJohnSmith | June 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

“Oh, the humanity (or lack, thereof) of it!”

It seems that the noble, highborn Progressive* cause has been hijacked by the Southside Chicago politics of quid pro quo and “How can I buy your vote?”

Conclusion: The Bill Ayers wing of the Democratic Party has foisted a Grand Imposter upon their fellow travelers in an attempt to push forward the violent revolution long sought by Ayers. Or, at the very least, it’s an attempt to foment a Cloward-Piven outcome!

* Word is always spoken with head tilted back appreciably, while looking down surgically-modified patrician nose at lesser beings.

    Browndog in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | June 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    That, or the progressives just lack patience.

    Understandable, since they’ve been waiting a long, long time to finally get all their pieces in place.

    Obama will have more flexibility after the election-

    Someone needs to transmit that to comrade Unger

Doug Wright | June 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

My goodness, Unger is the walking image of Harvard elitism and is a parody of an ivory tower idiot, especially with his twisted lip sneer; a classic. Yep, Unger the Learned telling us all how to live in his own image! Delightful except that it isn’t.

Commissar Professor Unger might be typical of those on the far Left, or as we often call them, “Commies,” or Carterites, or when we’re muddled minded, “Progressives,” but realize that he wants, and perhaps even demands, that Obama go even farther than his current crony capitalism statism political positions.

If the cult of the “Obama, our Dear Leader” seems less than well developed now, as somewhat demonstrated by the recent pronouncement by Obama on staying deportations (Or, did he in fact mean it to be his way of legalizing illegals?), just wait until after he is re-elected.

Still, I’m also expecting that Obama will throw in one heck of an October surprise as his way of gaining the upper hand. Of course, I also expect he’ll cancel the 2012 elections due to “great unrest” in the land because he just can’t wait; realize that to Obama, the elections of 1864 and 1944 were times of relative peace compared to today’s perilous times as that is defined by Obama.

    casualobserver in reply to Doug Wright. | June 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Yes, not only elitist, but what a gasbag! While watching the video, I couldn’t help but think Prof. Unger was trying hard to create a once in a lifetime oration to be placed in the annals of history. Not only does he come across as somewhat rehearsed and naturally pompous and self-important, but the entire production seems pristine. Nary a hair is out of place, nor is there a blemish in his wardrobe.

    I’ve tolerated a lot of egoism and pomposity in the classroom. If this is a routine for Unger, there is no way I could survive an entire semester or more. (I’m referring more to the grandeur as I realize he most likely doesn’t dress up so for clase….does he?)

    Browndog in reply to Doug Wright. | June 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Still, I’m also expecting that Obama will throw in one heck of an October surprise as his way of gaining the upper hand.

    I expect something somewhat different:

    Been telling my woman for a month-

    Obama will become unhinged at some point before the election.

    No matter what he is philosophically, emotionally we’re talking about a petulant child and a narcissist.

      Ragspierre in reply to Browndog. | June 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      “Been telling my woman for a month-”

      “…my woman…” MY woman…???

      Holy mole, denounce yourself NOW…before it is too late…!!!

LukeHandCool | June 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

“Obama must be defeated.”

—Spoken just like a tenured member of the Class of ‘01%, Professor U.

“It always amazes me when other grows old while I have stayed pretty much the, um, same.”

—Oh my God. Who do you sound like, Professor J?

Conservative Beaner | June 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Professor Unger is more worried about the state of the progressive movement than he is about the country, elitist scum.

“He has spent trillions of dollars to rescue the moneyed interests and left workers and homeowners to their own devices.”

This guy isn’t against spending trillions, believes taxpayer loot should just have been spread around to “other people” who don’t deserve it.

We’d be much farther along in a recovery if the government had done absolutely nothing.

“His policy is financial confidence and food stamps.”

Financial confidence? … Keynesian borrowing and spending has done more to undermine confidence, as well as Obama’s attacks on every industry market.

This guys thoughts are so screwed up it would take…
Well he’s infected with a terminal case of liberalism so we may never know.

[…] stated at Legal Insurrection, check out the 6:00 minute mark for some doozies.It really is interesting to finally hear a true […]

Two points: Why is he stationed on the “right” side of the video frame and why are comments “disabled”? Oh…wait…I know the answer to the second point. He’s a Harvard professor and is therefore not “answerable” to the peons he professes to protect.

[…] Professor Jacobson is a former student of Unger and says back then the word among his students was that no one could figure out what he was saying. […]

Henry Hawkins | June 18, 2012 at 12:09 am

Had the Nazis maintained control of Germany and/or parts or all of Europe, their fascist ways would have run out of real and perceived enemies and eventually begun munching on its own tail; the Nazi machine would have eaten itself.

In similar fashion, modern progressives are unable to rule once they assume power because they are comfortable only with the dissenter role, revlutionaries, perpetual underdogs. The political ‘skills’ of the Obama team in 2007-09 quickly devolved into buffoonish ineptitude once in power, and even now their reelection campaign – run from the highest seat of power and not from the underdog or usurpers’ position – is displaying even greater ineptitude.

And true to the progressive (lack of) style, having vanquished the evil Bushites in 2008, and desperately casting about for enemies to demonize, they now begin to eat themselves. This professor is no island in the academecian seas, and the Obama surrogates who cannot seem to stop undermining their own leader are not outliers.

As (or if) an Obama loss this November becomes more apparent, I expect to see his here-to-fore adoring MSM begin to abandon him like lice from a burning scalp, the better to salvage something out of the nightmare that is the Obama presidency, if only the shreds of their tattered credibility. In fact, it has already begun, as evidenced by some of the media liberal trashing of Obama’s supposed economics reset speech in Ohio last week. The trashing of Obama by mainstream media libs, unheard of till the past few months, is increasing, while at the same time the standard counter-trashing of liberal critics of Obama is lessening.

Given that the Obama administration has proved itself no respecter of law, truth, honesty, or of anything else standing between it and its power-sponging goals, I have great fear over what they might do out of political desperation and out of desperation to protect the Obama ‘legacy’, especially in that they hold no clear objective view of what anything is in reality. All is unicorns and demagogic spells, and Obama acts as would a President Merlin.

[…] of the highlights of the professor’s commentary, from Legal Insurrection: “His policy is financial confidence and food stamps.” “He has spent trillions of dollars to […]