"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, June 18, 2012

Obama's Self-Invention, or as We Like to Call it Here in Wisconsin... Lying

Generally, I'm willing to cut Obama (and Clinton before him) some slack on their propensities to reinvent their personal histories to fit a politically-attractive narrative.   But this sort of thing is ridiculous:

1. Hussein Onyango, Barack's grandfather, wasn't really imprisoned and tortured by the British.

2. The father of his Indonesian stepfather, Soewarno Martodihardjo, wasn't killed by Dutch soldiers in the fight for independence.
  3. Regina, a friend at Occidental who Obama writes about as a symbol of the authentic African-American experience turns out to be based on Carolina Boss, who is white. Regina was the name of her Swiss grandmother.
  4. Obama projected a racial incident onto his New York girlfriend that he later told Maraniss had happened in Chicago.
  5. Obama wrote that he broke up with his New York girlfriend in part because she was white. But his next girlfriend, an anthropologist in Chicago, was also white.
  6. Obama cuts out two white college roommates entirely.
  7. Obama wrote about his high school friends as an alienated, ne'er-do-well "club of disaffection." In fact, most members of the "Choom Gang" were "decent students and athletes" who went on to successful careers.
  8. Obama's mother left his father, not the other way around.
  9. In his memoir, Obama mentions he missed out on playing time in high school basketball because he coach preferred players who "play like white boys do." In fact, Obama had to work hard just to make the team, and race had nothing to do with it.

These are myths exposed as lies in David Maraniss' new biography of Obama, which is detonating shortly.  

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