The original fact v. fiction story about Barack Obama’s father came from Sharon Churcher’s the January 27, 2007 UK Telegraph, a paper doing work US media outlets have refused to do.
I haven’t seen anything that would lead me to believe that there is something wrong with Churcher’s story. Beyond that, Greg Ransom has found additional related info and raised additional related questions that, again, still stand.
Because of all of this, I have seen no reason to change the opinions expressed in my original post, and won’t change them until there is some kind of successful challenge to Churcher’s, and now Ransom’s, work.
So I’m reprising that 2007 post, while bolding a couple of extra items. The point made near the end about Mitt Romney remains valid, even though I have since concluded that he is Objectively Unfit to hold public office.
I Really Wouldn’t Care About This, But for Two Things
A drunk and a bigot – what the US Presidential hopeful HASN’T said about his father…
We have discovered that his father was not just a deeply flawed individual but an abusive bigamist and an egomaniac, whose life was ruined not by racism or corruption but his own weaknesses.
And, devastatingly, the testimony has come from Mr Obama’s own relatives and family friends.
Do read the whole thing.
As the title of my post indicates, I ordinarily would not care. For example, Bill Clinton’s dad had his problems; that was, properly, largely irrelevant. His father’s name wasn’t on the ballot.
Unfortunately, there are two reasons why I won’t let go of this.
First, Barack Obama has made the life story of his father an issue, because he wrote a book that is strongly at odds with what Churcher reports:
(Mr. Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father) is a classic story of the American dream made real: an impoverished Kenyan goatherd rising to become a brilliant Harvard-educated economist.
On the way he fights racial prejudice at home and corruption at work, survives the heartbreak of a broken relationship and, despite it all, leads the fight to rid Africa of its colonial legacy.
This extraordinary story is told by US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama as he recalls the life of the man who inspired him to political success – his father.
Mr Obama’s book ….. is flying off the shelves of US book stores, exciting and astonishing readers in equal measure.
The junior senator from Illinois appears to have created a set of convenient fictions about the life of his father. Even that’s okay; we all have to make peace with the past, and thinking about our loved ones idealistically is one way of doing that. But by publishing a book that pushes those convenient fictions on the rest of us, and using that book to burnish HIS political (and now presidential) credentials, Barack Obama is asking us to demanding that we accept and buy into his alternative reality. If Churcher is correct, and there’s little reason to believe she isn’t, that’s an imposition on the American public that Obama has no right to make — and voters should seriously question the judgment of someone who would attempt to make such an imposition.
Second, for those in the “how dare you?” camp — If it’s fair game for the press to smear a presidential candidate by going after his great-grandfather (!) — someone whom the candidate has not even referred to, and would not be expected to refer to — for polygamy, how can it NOT be fair game to criticize another candidate who appears to have fudged his father’s life story beyond all recognition and incorporated it into his persona, thereby incorporating it into his campaign?
There is no reason why Mitt Romney should have to answer for his great-grandfather’s actions back in the 19th century — but he’s getting grilled by a press determined to take him out.
But Barack Obama owes voters answers as to why he chose to write what appears to be a highly fictional account of his father’s life, and to use it, at least implicitly, as part of the foundation for his political career and presidential candidacy.
As of yet no one besides Sharon Churcher has raised the issue. Will anyone else?