Thursday, November 15, 2012

Barack Obama's Troubled Father

Barack Obama's Troubled Father

This article from the January 27, 2007 Daily Mail is more than a year old, and most of it is an attempt to throw mud on Barack Obama by pointing out what a monstrous creep his father (Barack Obama, Sr.) was. It's a sad story, but not relevant to Obama Jr.'s character.

What is of some relevance, however, is the extent to which Obama's autobiography falsifies what actually happened:
Many believe Mr Obama is a serious threat to Hillary Clinton's hopes of becoming the Democrats' choice for their next Presidential candidate - and his lovingly written account of the debt he owes his father, also called Barack Obama, will do no harm at all to his Presidential hopes.
Indeed, by offering up a conveniently potted account of his personal history in this way, he might even have made a pre-emptive strike on those sure to pose the awkward questions that inevitably face a serious contender for the White House.
Yet an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has revealed that, for all Mr Obama's reputation for straight talking and the compelling narrative of his recollections, they are largely myth.
We have discovered that his father was not just a deeply flawed individual but an abusive bigamist and an egomaniac, whose life was ruined not by racism or corruption but his own weaknesses.
And, devastatingly, the testimony has come from Mr Obama's own relatives and family friends.

The article also takes Obama to task for his description of the constant racism that he encountered growing up:

Mr Obama was later admitted to read politics and international relations at New York's prestigious Columbia University where, his book claims, "no matter how many times the administration tried to paint them over, the walls remained scratched with blunt correspondence (about) niggers."
But one of his classmates, Joe Zwicker, 45, now a lawyer in Boston, said yesterday: "That surprises me. Columbia was a pretty tolerant place. There were African American students in my classes and I never saw any evidence of racism at all."
Family members and acquaintances believe that the real cloud over Mr Obama's life has been the discovery that his father was far from the romantic figure that his mother tried to portray.
A family friend said: "He is haunted by his father's failures. He grew up thinking of his father as a brilliant intellectual and pioneer of African independence only to learn that in Western terms he was basically a drunken lecher."

There's a saying that the higher the office a politician seeks, the more humble the home in which he was raised. (This is rather like the manner in which the older you get, the longer of a walk through the snow to school you had--at least, as you tell it to your kids.) I find myself wondering if Obama is telling Democrats the story they want to hear--how he overcame the ferocious racism of redneck America--you know, Hawaii, and Columbia University--rather than the more mundane story of a privileged kid working his way up the ladder. Texas Governor Ann Richards's description of President Bush as someone who was born on third base, and thought he had hit a home run, comes to mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment