The latest shining celebrity in Right Wing Land is John C. Drew, someone who blogs as an Anonymous Political Scientist, but who posts quite a lot about himself on the Internet. He has been a blogger on ResistNet since the beginning of the Obama administration, where he posted in February, 2009:
I met Barack Obama, for the first time, when he was a sophomore at Occidental College and I was a graduate student at Cornell. I was back in California to visit with my friends who were still undergraduates at Occidental.
The little bit of historical evidence I can offer is that Barack Obama was definitely a Marxist socialist of the worst sort back in the Fall of 1980. I should know, because I was one too.
Over the subsequent years, however, I out grew this hateful, limited, and dysfunctional ideology. My old friend Barack Obama, however, appears to be stuck in it today.
Last August he posted to the Caucus Blog comments section:
I was born in 1957. I was 12 years old when the Weathermen began their terrorist campaign in 1969 and 15 years old at the time of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. I met Obama at Occidental College when he was a sophomore. At the time, I was a graduate student at Cornell. I graduated from Occidental in 1979 and was deeply involved with the leftwing student politics of the time.
Why someone who had been “terrorized” (he says his father worked in a government building) by the Weathermen as a teenager would become, less than five years later, a “Marxist-Leninist”—as he has described his younger self—may seem odd, but college is a time of political and philosophical experimentation for most people. If you’ve never sat around talking with your peers about Marxism and Capitalism, one way or the other, you’ve probably never been to college.
According to Drew, his present conservative world view resulted, in large part, from adult rejections, as he was denied tenure in a series of teaching jobs, he believes, due to affirmative action policies, for which he blames the Democratic Party and deserves “reparations.”
Here are a few of his Tweets:
I wanted to be recognized as the best in the nation @_ccm Winning award from APSA didn’t overcome racial preferences for minorities.
Can you imagine how painful it is to live in poverty, study 10 years, @_ccm then hear, “Sorry, you’re white.” #tcot #p2 I need reparations.
I repeatedly came in 2nd to minority candidates with less credentials. @_ccm It’s painful to interview and compete for nothing.
There are a lot of us @_ccm with the same story of being harmed by affirmative action. Democrats don’t understand our anger.
Democrats hurt me w/ affirmative action. @_ccm I felt betrayed by people who encouraged me to become a political scientist.
In June, 2009, Drew posted to the Caucus Blog:
I grew up with and went to school with folks who think like Sotomayor. For example, I knew Barack Obama as a friend when he was a sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Barack Obama attended Occidental College from fall 1979 through spring 1981. A year and a half after graduating from Occidental College, in late December, 1980, returning to LA as a Cornell graduate student, Drew says he first met Obama.
He writes on his blog called Anonymous Political Scientist:
I met him later that same year in late December 1980. At the time, I was in my second year of graduate school at Cornell. I was visiting a girlfriend who was still attending Occidental College who introduced me to him and his friend Mohammed Hasan Chandoo, a wealthy Pakistani student.
So let’s get one thing straight: John Drew and Barack Obama did not go to school together. John Drew had graduated the spring before the fall Barack Obama entered Occidental College. They spent an evening together in 1980 with mutual friends, the evening they first met. John Drew says so above and I haven’t, so far, seen any word of further contact, except for their meeting a second time at a party six months later.
Still, Drew writes on his ResistNet blog:
As one of the people who knew Barack Obama during his undergraduate days at Occidental College in Los Angeles, I can assure you that he was 100% Marxist socialist in 1980. I should know. I’m a political scientist and I wrote my undergraduate thesis at Oxy on the topic of Marxist economics.
I can assure you that in the 1970s and 1980s, in Soho and Greenwich Village, I discussed Marxism with many people, some of them Marxists and others not, who wrote theses and dissertations on such topics, economists, physicists, political scientists, even, who today are as bourgeois as John Drew or Barack Obama. Is this really a big deal to people?
Drew also writes:
All in all, it takes me back to remember my days as a young revolutionary, the moments when – like Barack Obama – I sincerely believed a Marxist socialist revolution was coming to turn everything around and to create a new, fairer and more just world.
He didn’t “sincerely believe” it for long. That was at the end of 1980. Within three years, he was no longer a Marxist. At Williams College in Massachusetts, where he taught from 1986 to 1989, Drew was already a Republican opposing affirmative action:
As a young assistant professor, I was only one of three registered Republicans on the faculty. …
Personally, I witnessed the damage caused by affirmative action face-to-face as objectively more qualified white faculty candidates were discriminated against in favor of African-Americans without comparable publication or research records. I complained about this injustice at the time…stressing the idea that affirmative action took away the honor of being a Williams College professor.
Having listened to a couple of interviews, where Drew sounds rather like a calm and gentle person, the extent of his envy of other people’s circumstances, when you read him, is jarring. For example, in 1988, Drew was a Republican candidate for the Massachusetts Assembly, when he met Ted Kennedy:
I immediately noticed that his eyes seemed to sparkle as if the departed President John Kennedy was looking at me. It was eerie. This face-to-face meeting helped me understand the unreasonable affection that voters in MA seemed to have for Sen. Ted Kennedy.
The second thing I remember is that his bullet proof vest was a lot smoother and rounder looking than the one I had left behind in my Williamstown apartment. It was apparent to me that wealth and power had its privileges…include the ability to protect yourself while still looking cool to the general public.
This is the recurring theme in all of Drew’s writings: Somebody has something better than I have and they need to suffer for it. Isn’t this reminiscent of the way the right often views the left? Drew went to very good private schools on scholarships and good for him. But his getting breaks along the way seems only to have intensified his jealousy of those who have succeeded beyond him; although I think he would deny that, because like many right wingers, even while everything is all about what they want, self-awareness is not such a prominent characteristic.
I got a track scholarship to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles. All the folks around me at Oxy seemed to think the best thing on earth that you could do with your life was to become a college professor. So I went with the program. I got a scholarship to attend graduate school where I got to study with the some of the best professors in the nation in American government and public policy.
Speaking of the right, at Cornell, he says Tweets, he had been Ann Coulter’s teaching assistant [OFGFS: See update below]:
I tried to get the story out. @tonysharon04 I was Ann Coulter’s teaching assistant at Cornell. Nothing worked. It just wasn’t news.
When was this? Ann Coulter was an undergraduate at Cornell until 1984, while Drew was there in graduate school. Why would a graduate student be a teaching assistant to an undergraduate? Drew was teaching in Massachusetts from 1986 to 1989. Coulter received her J.D. at University of Michigan Law School in 1988. Thereafter she worked at the law until 1995, when she took a job as an aide to US Sen. Spencer Abraham of Michigan. I suppose she could have taught at Cornell at some point and John Drew could have been her teaching assistant, as he claims, but I don’t see teaching at Cornell in any of her online bios. Unless he is saying he was a teaching assistant in a class where she was a student. It’s a little confusing. But how is this remarkable, enough, to make the news media interested in John Drew’s little story?
More recently, Drew attended at least one Tea Party event in April, 2009, in Santa Ana CA, and gives himself some credit for helping to start the Tea Party movement by posting to ResistNet in January, 2009. Interestingly, while he makes all sorts of dire predictions for the first Obama term, he makes no mention in that particular blog post, his first on that site, of having known or even met President Obama as a college student.
By January, 2010, he was celebrating the end of the “Obama revolution” when Scott Brown won the presidency (joke) in Massachusetts. In early February, he posted and removed a YouTube video called, “Barack Obama – What’s Up with Your Marxism?”
I am not entirely sure, but it may be this video:
Since 2001, he runs a firm called Drew & Associates:
Drew & Associates is a management consulting firm that applies its expertise to assist its clients in the fields of grant-writing, fund-raising, survey research, and program evaluation.
His profile on his YouTube channel:
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is known in the Southern California area as an author, an award-winning teacher, and as a speaker on public opinion polls, grant-writing, and charismatic leadership. Combining his market research skills with fundraising expertise, John has helped turn around some of the Southland’s most famous charities including the Museum of Latin American Art, the Friends of the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Opera Pacific, the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Walking Shield American Indian Society. John has taught at Cornell University, Hope International University, University of Oregon, and Williams College in Massachusetts. He and his wife Patricia have lived in Laguna Niguel, California since 2003.
He has published a booklet called, “The Nine Greatest Pathways for Profiting from Grants”:
The booklet gives you state-of-the-art information on how to get started in obtaining government benefits, scholarships, individual grants, and Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loans. It gives you directions on how to start-up your own non-profit organization or how to establish yourself as a grant writing consultant. Finally, it provides effective tips for winning federal funding for both non-secular and faith-based organizations.
The booklet was published last year.
Helping people rake up grant money, including federal money, I don’t know, is that capitalist or is that socialist? I don’t care, especially, and I think it is a good thing to do, but it’s the sort of contradiction that turns up with this fellow. It’s the sort of contradiction that turns up with most people, as they move along in life from youth to maturity, ideas changing, viewpoints adjusting, new directions taken. A person could start a career as, say, a leftist community organizer, a few years later decide on law and politics, and eventually become President of the United States. It happens.
To sum this up, from what we know at this time, based on the word of John Drew, unless someone comes forward with other information: John Drew graduated Occidental College in 1979 and went from there to Cornell University in New York State as a graduate student. The following semester, Barack Obama started college at Occidental. Drew visited his girlfriend in California at Christmas 1980 (or possibly a few months earlier) and she introduced him to her classmate, Barack Obama. Drew saw Obama again at a party in June 1981, when Obama was finishing Occidental, ready to transfer to Columbia University in New York. Drew says nothing about having known Obama in New York, when Drew was a few hours upstate at Cornell in Ithaca.
John Drew refers to the young Obama as his “friend,” his “old friend”; to himself as “one of the people who knew Barack Obama.” Unless there is more to this—and I don’t see a struggling, self-described poverty-stricken, grad student flying back and forth across the country to see his girlfriend on the West Coast too many times in six months—how well could John Drew have known Barack Obama? Did he first meet Barack Obama “in the Fall of 1980,” as he says? Or did he first meet Barack Obama “in late December 1980,” as he also says?
Preliminarily, I conclude the wingers are being led down the garden path by yet another bull-jiver, who, quite obviously, is playing out some personal psychodrama with the President. I don’t see how he dines out much longer on this story, as it stands. If he makes it juicier, say, a blowjob in the back of a limo, a somewhat longer time.
Update 9/19/2011: Dr. Drew has requested I clarify his use of “teacher assistant” with regard to Ann Coulter. I will let him speak for himself in a blog post dated September 15, 2011.