Reading books by the opposition is generally an educational yet unpleasant endeavor. Devouring Renegade: The Making of a President was no exception to this rule. Its deliberate (self-?)deception proved both annoying and painful, but revealed much about the mindset of mainstream media members. Of course, its author, Richard Wolffe, no longer hustles from a reporter’s perch at Newsweek because since April he has officially spun tales for the benefit of a public relations firm instead.
Like many others ensconced in the journalistic milieu, Wolffe reflexively attempts to deceive his audience regarding the nature of his own political bias. He is entirely contaminated by leftism and seems blissfully unaware of how discernible his compromised state is.
Wolffe fails resoundingly in his central mission to “neither lift up the candidate nor to tear [Obama] down” and “to probe and challenge, to inquire and investigate, to observe and analyze, to explore and explain.”
The activist reporter initially expressed doubts that the book would ever see the light of day because “publishers want partisan screeds.” Yet he fulfilled expectations by providing Crown with exactly that.
Despite being granted exclusive access to the Obamamessiah, the author manages to reveal nothing new about the president while simultaneously defending him against the charges of his critics.
Wolffe’s unreliability as a source can be inferred from his claim that the idea to write this book came from the highest authority — meaning, Barack Obama. That Wolffe eagerly fulfilled his directive is not surprising, even though his former editor at Newsweek would only go so far as to term our untested and inexperienced leader “a sort of god.”
That President Obama gave his blessing to the venture is readily believable, as Wolffe never questions or critiques anything that emits from his mouth and affirms his deity at every opportunity. The author accepts the hunks of lies fed by his savior in the manner of Shamu with a Sea World trainer.
Wolffe plays Boswell to Obama’s Johnson — provided, historically speaking, that Boswell was a logic-trampling simian and the father of the dictionary was a physically fit narcissist with no respect for truth whatsoever. Turbid is the smoke surrounding Obama and our scribe-observer seems quite content to keep its plumes as thick as possible.
What’s important to remember about Renegade is that its bias is far from brazen. Its influence is subtle, which makes its attempts to sway more invidious. What is left unsaid is as troubling as what is said. For example, even a person devoid of cynicism would be somewhat puzzled by the author’s acceptance of Obama’s stated rationales for desiring the presidency: “because I have good ideas” and due to his “deep and abiding love for this country.”
In light of his omnipresent ambition, the number of czars proliferating, and Obama’s known penchant for interfering with private contracts, to attribute his ascendancy to altruism is absurd. Moreover, Wolffe buys that a politician so obtuse as to hold that he can borrow his way out of debt spends “a lot of time reading about” the world financial system.
A more typical instance of media bias is the discovery that Senator Tom Coburn is a “social ultraconservative” while no Democratic pols are delegated as ultraradicals or ultraleftists. Assumedly, only conservatives warrant placement on the extremist side of the political spectrum.
Along these same lines, commentator Dick Morris is dismissed as a “Hillary hater,” but no matching derogation is given for his leftist television peers. Wolffe’s slander is entirely undeserved as Morris is a critic of the Clintons, not a hater. Furthermore, based on everything I’ve read by Morris, he is a hater of no one.
Wolffe does not use the word “hater” so freely, though, when it comes to Jeremiah Wright. He believes more prudent a newspaper headline describing the reverend as a “Preacher with a Penchant for Controversy” rather than one describing him (accurately) as “Obama’s Minister of Hate.” Few at the DNC would disagree with the author’s conclusion or that criticisms of their candidate were “smears.”
Without a barrette of evidence, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch are labeled as “two of the biggest propagators of destructive politics.” Really? Are they worse than Michael Moore or Oliver Stone? Oh, that’s right. Moore and Stone are leftists, so they are immune from consideration.
Wolffe confirms another Democratic Party talking point: that the war on terror is a “so-called war on terror.” Moreover, he agrees that John McCain “disparaged” my former senator by dubbing him “that one,” but this could only be construed as belittling if one’s sensibilities conform to the false pretenses of political correctness.
Unbeknownst to conservatives, “Obama’s work as an Alinsky-style community organizer” did not evidence a belief in socialism and neither did the nominee’s telling Joe the Plumber that he wanted to spread his wealth around. Further, Wolffe views our current economic shenanigans as being not the biggest federal power grab in history, but instead his hero laboring “to save business from itself.”
We also find that Obama’s ridiculous Greek temple backdrop at the Democratic convention was not over the top. No, it was wholly in keeping with “presidential memorials” and “the White House” — only Obama had yet to accept his party’s nomination or win the presidency. The setup reeked of Bonapartism, as Barack placed an emperor’s crown atop his own head.
There is practically no rampart that Wolffe refuses to man on behalf of his muse, including the foolish assertion that “people in Iowa know what arugula is.”
As with all pseudo-liberal, pseudo-intellectual rodomontade, Wolffe’s observations of the right are filled with lament over our presumed limitations. Conservatives were superficial for confusing with a lack of patriotism Obama’s original refusal to wear a flag pin and to place his hand over his heart during the national anthem.
Had we understood the nuance and sophistication that went into these acts, then we would have comprehended that what they really embodied was devotion to the nation.
Another thing non-glitterati types like me failed to grasp is that Obama is “a Democrat who sought to understand the Republican perspective.” I suppose that is why he told Eric Cantor, “I won. So I think on that one, I trump you.”
Yes, Obama trumped and played everyone who thought he offered the nation something new. So old school is our president that twenty-two handmaidens now serve his non-productive, over-hyped wife in her role as sleeveless dress-wearing purchaser-in-chief. The man is only a renegade if that word is defined as “one who rebels against truth, sincerity, and honor.”
The need for subterfuge alone explains why Wolffe, during a discussion of Obama’s mentor Frank Marshall Davis, fails to identify for readers that the nefarious individual was a communist.
Renegade regularly blurs the line between ignorance and indoctrination. I walked away from it truly wondering if its author knew anything at all about conservatives. For example, Wolffe believes that Republicans find Obama’s ties to William Ayers offensive because they illustrate his “soft touch on terrorists.”
Ah no, that has nothing to do with our objections. We were, and are, completely bewildered that any person could love their country while associating with America-hating figures like Father Pfleger, Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, and Rashid Khalidi. That Obama got elected with such an anti-social registry beside him remains amazing.
Lastly, independent of its pervasive bias, Renegade fails in its central mission to depict the president as a renegade. From the beginning, Wolffe admits that his literary operationalization of the term is … well, different: “Although he was a renegade, he was also a cautious and pragmatic one, who played by the rules when he needed to win.”
One must be forgiven for interpreting this statement as “he’s not really a renegade.” Indeed, so muted is our president’s assault on the establishment that he has been in complete agreement with the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader on everything from health care to the stimulus plan to cap and trade.
The truth is that Wolffe confuses Obama for a renegade because that’s what his subject told him he was: “I’m not running for president to conform to Washington’s conventional thinking. I’m running to challenge it.” A non-toady would question this assumption as big-spending statism has been all the rage since 1989.
Hagiography notwithstanding, Obama appears to be more retrograde than anything else. Yet to leftists the term “renegade” is deemed a compliment. After all, it’s what most of them want to be when they grow up.
A friend warned Obama before his epic 2008 run, “Either you made a deal with God or a pact with the devil,” but this quote more appropriately applies to Renegade and its author because Wolffe burnishes the image of our executive narcissist for all of its pages. The president confessed to him, “You know, I actually believe my own bulls***.” We cannot be certain of whether he does or does not, but of Richard Wolffe there can be no doubt.