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Obama, we hardly know ye

July 30th, 2009 - 8:09 am

Sick of the Obama birth certificate wheeze? Me too. National Review has an excellent editorial about the subject here.

And yet, and yet . . . When it comes to Obama, mendacity is never far behind. Andy McCarthy has a must-read piece responding to that NR editorial and making the key point that the real issue surrounding the President’s provenance concerns not geography but candor, that is, the lack of candor that characterizes the President. As many of us on the politically mature side of the aisle pointed out during the campaign, one of the alarming things about the prospect of an Obama presidency was that we knew so little about the candidate. And much of what we did know was the opposite of reassuring. The connections with dubious characters like Bill “the Bomber” Ayers, Jeremiah “the racist” Wright, Tony “the crook” Rezko, Rashid “the Islamic radical” Khalidi; the mystery years as a “community organizer,” the shadowy college years (why can’t we see those records?), the competing narratives about his religious upbringing, etc., etc. Exactly who, we wondered, was this chap Barack it’s-racist-and-Islamophobic-to-use-his-middle-name Obama? Hard to say, wasn’t it? As McCarthy points out,

Before January 20 of this year, Barack Obama had a negligible public record. He burst onto the national scene what seemed like five minutes before his election to the presidency: a first-term U.S. senator who actually served less than four years in that post – after a short time as a state legislator, some shadowy years as a “community organizer,” and scholastic terms at Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard that remain shrouded in mystery. The primary qualification supporters offered for Obama’s candidacy was his compelling life story, as packaged in 850 pages’ worth of the not one but two autobiographies this seemingly unaccomplished candidate had written by the age of 45.

Yet we now know that this life story is chock full of fiction. Typical and disturbing, to take just one example, is the entirely fabricated account in Dreams from My Father of Obama’s first job after college:

Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe. As far as I could tell I was the only black man in the company, a source of shame for me but a source of considerable pride for the company’s secretarial pool. They treated me like a son, those black ladies; they told me how they expected me to run the company one day. . . . The company promoted me to the position of financial writer. I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors – see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand – and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve. . . .

As the website Sweetness & Light details, this is bunk. Obama did not work at “a consulting house to multinational corporations”; it was, a then-colleague of his has related, “a small company that published newsletters on international business.” He wasn’t the only black man in the company, and he didn’t have an office, have a secretary, wear a suit and tie on the job, or conduct “interviews” with “Japanese financiers or German bond traders” – he was a junior copyeditor.

What’s unnerving about this is that it is so gratuitous. It would have made no difference to anyone curious about Obama’s life that he, like most of us, took a ho-hum entry-level job to establish himself. But Obama lies about the small things, the inconsequential things, just as he does about the important ones – depending on what he is trying to accomplish at any given time.

The fact is that Obama’s account of his background is increasingly revealed as a fabrication, not his life as lived; his utterances reflect the expediencies of the moment, not the truth. What is supposed to save the country from fraudulence of this sort is the media. Here, though, the establishment press is deep in Obama’s tank – so much so that they can’t even accurately report his flub of a ceremonial opening pitch lest he come off as something less than Sandy Koufax. Astonishingly, reporters see their job not as reporting Obama news but as debunking Obama news, or flat-out suppressing it. How many Americans know, for example, that as a sitting U.S. senator in 2006, Obama interfered in a Kenyan election, publicly ripping the incumbent government (a U.S. ally) for corruption while he was its guest and barnstorming with his preferred candidate: a Marxist now known to have made a secret agreement with Islamists to convert Kenya to sharia law, and whose supporters, upon losing the election, committed murder and mayhem, displacing thousands of Kenyans and plunging their country into utter chaos?

So, the issue is not “where was Obama born.” The answer to that is Hawaii. The issue is, Who is Barack Hussein Obama and why has he so consistently misled the public about his personal history?

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