Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online writes about San Francisco's new Plan Bay Area--a "regional" plan for San Francisco and the surrounding cities that is ostensibly aimed at making sure minorities can afford the local housing market, but which is actually aimed at forcing Americans to live in denser urban areas as part of state and federal initiatives aimed at slowing global warming by restraining suburban growth.
The background to Plan Bay Area, which is, Kurtz writes, essentially being imposed on local residents with help from the Obama administration, is an activist agenda from the 1990s aimed at redistributing the wealth of the suburbs into failing, Democrat-run cities. One of Barack Obama's community organizing mentors, Mike Kruglik, is involved in the effort, and Obama was once involved (together with Bill Ayers) in funding it.
Joel Kotkin has written about California's new planning regime before, accusing Democrats of waging "a hypocritical jihad against basic middle-class aspirations." But in the counter-cultural critique of Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, on which today's California leaders were nurtured, suburbs are little more than "ticky-tacky" vehicles of oppressive conformity and waste, those middle-class aspirations are precisely the problem.
That is the perspective Obama adopted early in his political journey, and it is reflected in the left's efforts to blame the failure of cities like Detroit on conservative policies. The left now wishes to export its failures: "The Obama administration is using traditional anti-discrimination language as a cover for a re-engineering the way we live. The real goal is to Manhattanize America, and force us out of our cars," Kurtz warns.