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The “What Is Barack Obama” Debate

April 13th, 2010 - 3:00 pm

I totally agree with John–indeed I have written it myself–when he says that Obama’s view of the world is of a piece with the political correctness now rampant in American colleges and universities.  His mother was a trailblazer in this regard, and it shouldn’t be controversial to say it.

I’m baffled when John accuses David of somehow trying to make the president “responsible” for his mother.  It’s surely important to pay attention to biography, as John no doubt agrees in calmer moments.  I don’t understand his complaint about “speculation about…sexual history.”  It’s not speculative to say that she married a Kenyan and then an Indonesian, and produced children from both.

Finally, there’s the ugly part, when John, not content with expressing his rage at David’s paragraph, makes it all personal.  David was a Larouchean, and broke with the movement.  John would have us believe that David’s youthful blunder tars him irremediably:  “thinking of the sort revealed in this blog item is in the direct line of descent from LaRouche’s vision of the world.”  Certainly it’s important to know about David’s past.  But I don’t think that John would take kindly to anyone who wrote, let’s say, “thinking of the sort revealed in Norman Podhoretz’s book is in the direct line of descent from radical leftists with whom Mr. P once worked.”

The character of our president is an important matter.  I think both John and David have tried to illuminate it, but I wish John had taken more time with his latest tirade, gotten the facts right, and focused his considerable talent on the serious matters that rightly concern us.

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