Dinesh D’Souza has drawn a torrent of criticism with a Forbes cover story that accuses President Obama of adopting “the cause of anti-colonialism” from his Kenyan father.
But while most detractors focus on the author–and Newt Gingrich, who embraced the critique–the White House is aiming its ammunition at the business magazine.
“It’s a stunning thing, to see a publication you would see in a dentist’s office, so lacking in truth and fact,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says in an interview. “I think it represents a new low.”
Gibbs is meeting with Thursday afternoon with Forbes’s Washington bureau chief, Brian Wingfield, to discuss his objections. “Did they not fact-check this at all, or did they fact-check it and just wilfully ignore it?” he asks.
If Gibbs thinks he’s found a new low, he’s probably just looked in the mirror.
Personally I think that D’Souza is wrong. Obama never knew his father, Bill Ayers’ book notwithstanding. His mother was another story. A far better explanation for Barack Obama’s attitude toward the country he now leads came from David “Spengler” Goldman in 2008:
“Naivete” is a euphemism for Ann Dunham’s motivation. Friends describe her as a “fellow traveller”, that is, a communist sympathizer, from her youth, according to a March 27, 2007, Chicago Tribune report. Many Americans harbour leftist views, but not many marry into them, twice. Ann Dunham met and married the Kenyan economics student Barack Obama, Sr, at the University of Hawaii in 1960, and in 1967 married the Indonesian student Lolo Soetero. It is unclear why Soetero’s student visa was revoked in 1967 – the fact but not the cause are noted in press accounts. But it is probable that the change in government in Indonesia in 1967, in which the leftist leader Sukarno was deposed, was the motivation…
Barack Obama received at least some instruction in the Islamic faith of his father and went with him to the mosque, but the importance of this experience is vastly overstated by conservative commentators who seek to portray Obama as a Muslim of sorts. Radical anti-Americanism, rather than Islam, was the reigning faith in the Dunham household. In the Muslim world of the 1960s, nationalism rather than radical Islam was the ideology of choice among the enraged. Radical Islam did not emerge as a major political force until the nationalism of a Gamal Abdel Nasser or a Sukarno failed.
Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother’s milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practising not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.
This prescient piece was the basis for my own There’s a Reason Obama Didn’t Pledge the Flag.
Barack Obama obtained the negative attitudes he has towards this country from his white mother. The idea that a white person could turn on this place like she did is incomprehensible to many on the right, and that her son could play his cards so close to the chest for so long on it even more so. What’s worse, such attitudes permeate the upper reaches of our society more thoroughly than most people want to admit, although one only needs to read what they put on the Internet to be disabused of any illusions one might have.
If that fact ever sinks in, the Tea Party will be truly but a tempest in a teapot.