The Potemkin President Disintegrates

by Bruce S. Thornton

FrontPage Magazine

After nearly four years in office, the tinsel and cardboard persona of Barack Obama is starting to fall apart. The political unifier who claimed, “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America,” has been exposed as one of the most divisive and partisan presidents of modern times. The post-racial candidate who supposedly transcended our racial divisions has intensified them, whether by crudely racializing incidents like the Trayvon Martin shooting, or by allowing the Justice Department to facilitate race-industry attacks on state voter-identification laws, or by calling his own grandmother “a typical white person” for fearing black criminals. The decrier of how money has corrupted our politics has spent more time at the campaign contribution trough than he has governing. The “centrist” who set aside partisan politics for the greater national good has been exposed as a doctrinaire progressive adept at bare-knuckled class warfare. And the “smartest guy ever to become President,” as one historically challenged historian put it, has turned out to be remarkably ignorant about a multitude of issues from the economy to foreign policy.

Yet we didn’t need the past three years to learn the truth about Obama. The evidence was all there from the start. What allowed the fantasy Obama to gain the White House was the collusion of a corrupt mainstream media that failed to ask the hard questions or follow through on stories that had managed to get the nation’s attention. The recent revelation from the Breitbart outfit that a publisher’s promotional booklet in 1991 bragged that Obama had been “born in Kenya” is just the latest evidence of how stubbornly and willfully indifferent the media have been to asking the penetrating questions of the sort that have dogged every president, especially those since Lyndon Johnson. The media’s dereliction of duty has allowed Obama to construct ad hoc identities that suit his political agenda and obscure his unsavory past and ideology.

For example, the continuing questions about Obama’s birth-country renewed by the Breitbart discovery are significant for exposing his long history of fabricating an identity to suit his careerist needs. The Hawaii prep-schooled, white-raised Barry Dunham discovered on getting to college that the exotic name Barack Hussein Obama, like the Indonesian childhood, was more useful for sending a diversity thrill down the leg of liberal white professors and admissions committees. So too with publishers, eager to display their multi-cultibona fides by promoting a Third-World author “born in Kenya,” who would chronicle his struggles against neo-colonial racism. Like many other hustlers “of color,” Obama was no doubt happy to oblige and collude in the deception — until national political ambitions required that he tone down the “other” vibe, at least until after the election.

So too with the unasked questions about Obama’s radical past. The media saw nothing to report about Obama starting his political career in the living room of ex-terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. You remember Ayers, the ex-Weatherman who bragged in his memoirs about getting away with his terrorist violence and being “free as a bird.” Obama assured us that Ayers was “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” despite serving on two foundation boards and appearing at conferences with him. As is the media’s wont, perfunctory “investigations” revealed that there was nothing to the stories, taking on faith Obama’s incredible assertion that there was no significance to the fact that one of America’s most notorious terrorists was a part of his life and political development. The same media that ran with a hit-piece on George Bush supported only by an obviously fabricated letter, and that currently is intensely picking over the past history of Bain Capital, Romney’s treatment of the family dog, and his alleged high-school bullying — that same media four years ago didn’t think there was anything newsworthy in the Democratic candidate for president having ties with an unrepentant left-wing terrorist. Instead, they helped construct Obama’s new identity as a pragmatic centrist beyond partisan politics.

Then there’s the Reverend Jeremiah “God-damn America” Wright, whom Obama credits with leading him to Christianity, who officiated at his wedding, who gave him the title of his second book, and whose church he attended for 20 years. When the videos of Wright’s sermons surfaced, Obama claimed that he was “shocked, shocked” by the rancid anti-Americanism and racism weekly preached by Wright, and the media accepted that preposterous rationalization. Even John McCain dutifully refused to demand an explanation, declaring Wright “off limits.” Indeed, any mention of Wright even today calls forth shrill charges of “race-baiting” and “racial politics” from the Democrats and MSNBC. The same media that in 2006 hyperventilated over Republican Senate candidate George Allen saying something that sort of sounded like what maybe was an obscure ethnic slur apparently didn’t see a story in the fact that Obama’s spiritual mentor hates white people and had glorified the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as “chickens coming home to roost.” Obama needed to be a mainstream post-racialist Christian for the election, so the media were happy to help him throw his one-time spiritual mentor under the bus.

Once again, none of those intrepid “watchdog” reporters from the legacy media were interested in digging for the true Obama, and in stripping away the carefully constructed façade to find out what, if anything, Obama sincerely believed in. All they needed to know was that he was going to “fundamentally transform America” into the progressive paradise. Like Lincoln Steffens on the train heading for the Soviet Union, the facts could be damned: the media had already seen the future, and it worked.

And this is just the beginning of the Obama mysteries left unexamined by the media. Why has the guy whose “I.Q. is off the charts,” as that same historian claimed, refused to release his college transcripts? Is there something in his course-work and grades that could explain the numerous historical gaffes, such as his assertion in the 2009 Cairo speech that Muslims were practicing tolerance in Cordoba centuries after they had been driven out by the Spaniards, or his repetition of internet apocryphal history, as when he claimed President Rutherford B. Hayes had dismissed the telephone’s future, when in fact he installed the first telephone in the White House? Is there some transcript evidence that illuminates the source of howlers such as “57” states or the “Austrian” language? Why have a media that reveled in documenting daily George Bush’s alleged stupidity maintained a studied indifference to this genius’s academic record?

Or why, in this age of meticulous intrusion into every last detail of a politician’s life and health, has Obama’s complete medical records been kept secret? What doesn’t he want us to see? Why can’t we read the Columbia thesis of this universally acknowledged “brilliant” writer? Why did he receive “foreign student aid”? Why, as Roger Kimball asks, are his Illinois state senate schedule and records, Selective Service registration, and law practice client list all sealed? Perhaps there are innocuous reasons for all this secrecy, but no other candidate for the most powerful political job in the world would ever be allowed to keep this information from the public.

©2012 Bruce S. Thornton

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