That is a shame, because the story well explores Obama’s rise through Chicago politics and helps dispel the different notions that Obama is an otherworldly naïf or the idealist we have been waiting for. Essay author Ryan Lizza lays out Obama's political calculations and explains his contacts in enough detail to appeal to any budding political scientist.
This passage in particular shows how deeply sexual liberationism has embedded itself in the Democratic Party:
In electoral politics, operating in the world as it is means raising money. Obama expanded the reach of his fund-raising. Every network that he penetrated brought him access to another. Christie Hefner, Hugh Hefner’s daughter, who runs Playboy Enterprises from the fifteenth floor of a lakefront building, explained how it worked. Hefner is a member of a group called Ladies Who Lunch—nineteen Chicago women, most of them wealthy, who see themselves as talent scouts and angel investors for up-and-coming liberal candidates and activists. They interview prospects over a meal, often in a private dining room at the Arts Club of Chicago. Obama’s friend Bettylu Saltzman, a Ladies Who Lunch member, introduced Obama to the group when he was preparing his Senate run. Hefner, who declined to support Obama in 2000, was ready to help him when he came calling in 2002.
Not long ago, Hefner and I talked in her office; we were seated at a granite table strewn with copies of Playboy. “I was very proud to be able to introduce him during the Senate race to a lot of people who have turned out to be important and valuable to him, not just here but in New York and L.A.,” Hefner explained. She mentioned Thomas Friedman, the Times columnist, and Norman Lear, the television producer. “I try and think about people who I think should know him.”
While I think social conservatives are far too often exhorted to "change the culture" before attempting even defensive political action, here's a key example of how the erosion of cultural shame surrounding the pornography industry has crippled a political response. Were an aspiring Chicago politician to challenge obscene businesses, he would cut himself off from this powerbroker and her friends.
Further, it is naive to expect the pornography industry to make billions of dollars annually but never spend its money on politics. Any opponent of such a candidate could instantly attract a significant donation from the Caddish Businessmen's Association, almost by default.
The would-be crusader, finding that the lack of a financial interest in combating obscenity has hindered his campaign, must soften his stand or, having already cut himself off from certain elites, he now would have to rally much more local support than he otherwise would require.
Which do you think is the easier path?