MIAMI, Fla. — To many of the far-right speakers and people attending the three-day “Taking America Back” conference here, President Obama doesn’t just espouse policies and ideology they loathe. They’re convinced he’s a Muslim, a communist or both.
Not only is Obama a communist, but the Democratic Party is “indistinguishable from socialists or communists in the way they think,” Jerome Corsi told a receptive and enthusiastic audience today, the conference’s second day. Corsi is a frequent contributor to the right-wing World Net Daily (WND) that organized the confab at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, and has written books savaging Obama and Sen. John Kerry, when Kerry was the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004.
Corsi also claimed that Obama’s autobiography was “most likely written by Bill Ayers.” Ayers was an anti-war activist during the Vietnam War and co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described revolutionary communist group. He and Obama knew each other in Chicago, decades after Ayers’ alleged illegal activities. Major media organizations have concluded the two men never had a close relationship, but Corsi and others like him insist it was something more.
Corsi also implied that Obama is a Muslim and derided him for not attending church services in Washington, D.C. “He can’t pick a church because he doesn’t believe in God, as far as I can see,” Corsi said. He called on the president to renounce Lucifer and Islam in order to prove that he’s a Christian. For his part, Obama has clearly described himself as a practicing Christian for decades.
Another speaker, Robert Knight, a correspondent for ultra-conservative Coral Ridge Ministries of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., claimed that the Obama Administration is taking the United States closer to communism than any president in history. The administration is “staffed with socialists and communists of all stripes,” he said, without naming any examples.
WND’s Jerusalem-based reporter Aaron Klein — who had a book published this year calling Obama a “Manchurian candidate” — told the crowd that Obama “has a certain affinity” for Muslims, but that he’s found no evidence he is one. Still, he added, the president studied the Koran and attended a mosque as a child in Indonesia. And he contended that Obama’s policies and statements regarding Islam have endangered America. Yet another speaker claimed that “there’s evidence” that Obama’s education was paid for by the Saudis. The purported evidence was not described.
The perceived evils and dangers of Islam comprised a good part of today’s discussions. During a question-and-answer session with the audience, one conference attendee proposed that the United States impose a moratorium on Muslim immigration and education until the Koran’s teachings become compatible with the U.S. Constitution. Many in the audience cheered the idea. Conservative activist and perennial candidate for public office Alan Keyes responded, “We should be eager” for Muslims to come to America. “It saves us the trouble of going over there to evangelize,” he said. “I think we’ve become timid. I think we’ve become afraid.” He, too, got applause.
But nobody seemed to get a louder ovation than Corsi. One of the most prominent and persistent of those on the far right who maintain that Obama hasn’t proved that he was born in America, Corsi again insisted that the president needs to produce the “long form” of his birth certificate. Obama is the “liar in chief,” Corsi said, claiming that the president stole the Social Security number of somebody else to establish a U.S. identity. While even most Republicans say they believe Obama was born in Hawaii, Corsi and World Net Daily never seem to tire of the subject. Corsi said he’s releasing a book next year titled “Where is the Birth Certificate?”
Like other speakers and attendees at the conference, Corsi also complained that the Republican Party’s allegedly benign attitude toward homosexuals and same-sex marriage is unacceptable. “If this is where the Republican Party wants to go, as far I’m concerned, they can go there alone,” he said. “The big-tent Republican Party doesn’t work.”
Corsi drew loud cheers when he proposed that the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Education be dismantled. “All they want to do is teach our kids sex education,” he complained of the latter. He left the stage to a standing ovation.
The political rhetoric extended outside the ballroom where the conference is being held. Decals were affixed to urinals in at least one men’s room that expressed the sentiments of many at the conference.
“Hitler, Stalin & Mao all loved gun control,” read one decal. Said another: “Vote intelligently in November. It may be your last chance to preserve freedom.”