Tim Stanley — who appears to have an affinity for Pat Buchanan, Sarah Palin, Richard Nixon, Elvis, Chairman Mao, Jesus, and buxom blondes*** — has penned a truly hilarious piece for The Daily Telegraph that attempts to argue that the recent conservative interest in Obama’s book Dreams of my Father, says something at large about the librul media’s failure to properly vet President Obama in 2008.
Wingnuts, you see, do not like their candidate. Mitt Romney is a dud. And because wingnuts cannot tout any of their candidate’s achievements or beliefs (because he has no achievements or beliefs to speak of), they are relegated to re-litigating issues from 2008.
You know the drill: Obama is an “Other” whose eating habits can only be explained by his Kenyan anti-colonialist views; he grew up in Indonesia, was radicalized at a madrassa; he eats dogs (it would be irresponsible not to speculate as to whether or not he routinely eats dogs to this very day!); and was an uppity 22-year-old who dated white women. All of this is, of course, damning evidence that Obama is History’s Greatest Monster:
What stands out from the composite story isn’t that Obama amalgamated characters, it’s that the press hadn’t noticed until now. As with the dog story, this confirms the suspicion that the mainstream media gave Obama a free pass in 2008 and declined to check too deeply into his background. Even The Atlantic’s Graham admits that he’s never read Dreams From My Father, and neither, it would seem, has anyone else in the press corps. They have the excuse that the book is incredibly narcissistic and boring, but otherwise isn’t this exactly the sort of character assessment/assassination that should have happened four years ago?
Meanwhile, the new biography excerpted in Vanity Fair does reveal some genuinely odd things about Barack Obama. The impression one gets is of an arrogant loner who struggled to fit in with the world around him. This is explained away by his lack of a clear racial or class identity, for which the reader has every sympathy. But it’s hard to empathise with a man with this level of self-absorption. One girlfriend, Genevieve, wrote in her diary that it was impossible to break through his shell of introspection: “The sexual warmth is definitely there — but the rest of it has sharp edges and I’m finding it all unsettling and finding myself wanting to withdraw from it all. I have to admit that I am feeling anger at him for some reason, multi-stranded reasons. His warmth can be deceptive. Tho he speaks sweet words and can be open and trusting, there is also that coolness — and I begin to have an inkling of some things about him that could get to me.” Hanging around his apartment discussing TS Eliot and wearing a sarong (I’m not judging him for the latter; I own a kimono), it felt like Obama was always “so old already,” even when he was just 22. Genevieve: “I have to recognize (despite play of wry and mocking smile on lips) that I find his thereness very threatening … Distance, distance, distance, and wariness.” A woman told Obama that she loved him and he replied, “Thank you.” He was intelligent and charming, but all the joy and spontaneity of youth was lacking. Of their first night together, Genevieve recalled: “I’m pretty sure we had dinner maybe the Wednesday after. I think maybe he cooked me dinner. Then we went and talked in his bedroom. And then I spent the night. It all felt very inevitable.” All very inevitable? In the arms of Barack Obama, even sex has its cool logic.
Why didn’t we know all these details four years ago – even though some of them were published in a best-selling autobiography that was sold to us as if it was a fifth gospel? And yet we knew everything there was to know about Sarah Palin, despite the fact that she was in the race for a much shorter space of time than Obama – and only running for veep.
That’s the significance of the canine and composite revelations – both of them, aside from their delightful “dish” factors, not really revelations at all. That we are only discussing them this late into Obama’s career suggests that the vetting that should have happened four years ago was unforgivably neglected. But, hey, it’s never too late to start.
The fact is, conservative bloggers are just now reading President Obama’s autobiography (probably because it took them 15 years to do so on account of them not braining so good), and they believe that Obama’s dating proclivities and childhood diet make some larger point about his ability to lead this country for another four years. Earth to Wingnutopia! No one else gives a crap.
Go ahead and revet him if you like. It must be extremely frustrating for you — realizing that President Obama has no skeletons in his closet. If the only thing that you can come up with is that Obama grew up in a foreign country, he dutifully ate food given to him by his father, and he fell in and out of love in his early twenties, then good luck to you. You’re going to need it.
Yawn. Oh yeah. I said that already.