Roger’s Rules

NY Times tries to torpedo anti-Obama book; succeeds in spreading its message

Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear. Jerome Corsi, author of the bestselling Unfit for Command in 2004, a book that turned the phrase “swift boat” into a verb and helped defeat John “Reporting for Duty” Kerry, has written a new book about Barack Hussein Obama (yes, I know I am not supposed to mention his middle name, but I am going to anyway) called The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality. It’s officially published only today (you can order it from Amazon here), but already it is # 1 on The New York Times bestseller list with 475,000 copies in print so far. The Times, naturally, is in a swivet lest Corsi’s book undermine The Messiah’s planned advent in November and they have wheeled into print with a longish dismissal masquerading as a review today. “Significant parts of the book,” the authors write (the Times requires two reviewers when a serious demolition job is commissioned), “have already been challenged as misleading or false in the days since its debut on Aug. 1.”

“Challenged”? Who would doubt it? Anything can be challenged: “Who goes there?” But have those “significant parts” been shown to be false? And more to the point, notwithstanding any local errors–when exactly did Obama stop taking cocaine? When exactly did he repudiate the loathsome views of Rev. Jeremiah Wright?–the real question is whether the book’s overall thesis is correct. And that thesis is? The Times puts it well: that Obama is “a stealth radical liberal” who would be a disaster as president. Whether Mr. Corsi is also right that Obama maintains but has “tried to cover up ‘extensive connections to Islam’ ” is an interesting question very much worth looking into–Mr. Corsi has begun but certainly has not finished with that task–but Barack Hussein Obama’s possible connections with Islam is only one of the mysteries that the public deserves to learn more about. Hillary Clinton, asked whether Obama was a Muslim, said “not that I know of.” That’s the right answer: the fact is, there is a tremendous amount we do not know about Obama. He “lost” his college thesis, and so, mirabile dictu, has Columbia. Obama has apparently also lost his birth certificate: what embarrassing fact does that document chronicle, I wonder? Stanley Kurtz, as I mentioned a few days ago, has been doing yeoman’s service piecing together a picture of what Obama said, wrote, and in did in his early years as a political activist in Chicago. Thanks to Andrew McCarthy, we know that Obama is pals with Bill Ayres (“an unapologetic terrorist with a savage past”) and Bernadine Dohrn, with Rashid Khalidi, the Palestinian sympathizer and professor of Arab studies at Columbia University. As McCarthy notes, the question naturally arises: “Why is Barack Obama so comfortable around people who so despise America and its allies?”

That’s one of many questions the public should be asking about Barack Hussein Obama. Today’s piece in the Times veritably weeps with anxiety. Corsi’s book has dwarfed a similar effort to discredit John McCain (35,000 in print): is there no justice in the world? The Times was in a tough spot with this book. The paper’s usual procedure with books it dislikes is to ignore them. Someone must have made the calculation that it was better to try to head off Corsi’s book at the pass, to strangle it in the crib as it were. I think they will rue the decision. Most people who read the Times would probably have been only dimly aware of The Obama Nation had the Times not brought it to their attention. Now they have had it rubbed in their faces. The paper did its best to dismiss the book, but questions and doubts will linger–not so much about Jerome Corsi but about Barack Hussein Obama. Who is he? Who are his friends? What does he believe? Is he the sort of person the American public wants leading the country? Is he a “stealth radical liberal”?