The enigma of Barack Obama: how family shapes character

Posted by: Phineas on April 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

One of the great frustrations of the 2008 presidential campaign was the total failure of the establishment media to do anything resembling real journalism regarding the background and history of Barack Obama, the man who would become the Democratic nominee and eventually President. His college records were sealed, his activities while a student in New York and in Chicago as a community organizer were only glanced at, and the people he closely associated with there –Socialist academics, organizers, and former communist terrorists– were dismissed as “people he just knew, nothing special.”

And as for his family background? Well, that became wrapped up and almost impossible to look at dispassionately because of the Birther nonsense that the Obama campaign brilliantly exploited to silence legitimate critics. Whether afraid of being labeled a crank or fearful of having the race card played against them, most critics then and now stay away from looking into those personal, formative experiences that would shape the character and beliefs of a president, preferring to attack him only on policy.

Yet, how can one effectively criticize policy without knowing the man’s character and beliefs, which would tell us not only what he wants to accomplish now, but in the future? To do so is to pick at details while refusing see the grand context that gives them shape and direction.

So, since the major media won’t investigate the President’s background, the fearless Bill Whittle will. This video is part one of a multi-part series looking into the influences on the character and beliefs of President Barack Obama, starting with his parents and grandparents:

And that’s how investigative reporting should be done, neither avoiding sensitive topics nor wallowing in crank conspiracy theories.

I’m looking forward to part two.

RELATED: Some journalists did do extensive work on Obama’s history. Before the election David Freddoso wrote “The Case Against Barack Obama,” which analyzed his rise through the political machines of Cook County, Chicago, and Springfield, seemingly untouched by the mud of Illinois politics. Unfortunately, it came out too late to influence the election. Just last year, journalist Stanley Kurtz published “Radical in Chief,” which is both a political biography of Obama and a history of American Socialism since the 1970s. I reviewed the book a while back and I think it’s crucial to understanding Barack Obama as we go into another election campaign. (And, fair disclosure, I do get a few pennies when the book links are clicked.)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “The enigma of Barack Obama: how family shapes character”

Comments

  1. Drew says:

    “As the twig is bent so grows the tree.” Obhammud is our second communist president; FDR was the first.

  2. Kate says:

    Another good book, Roots of Obama’s Rage. This gives a lot of the background regarding Obama’s father, his father’s beliefs and the basis for much of the information Obama was given when he was growing up and why and how this has affected him as a person and determined much of his personality and political beliefs.

    The carte blance attitude of the media towards Obama is unforgiveable….this was out and out propaganda by the press to have “one of their own” elected. They should be taken to task for his. We are seeing some of this by low ratings and the closing down of newspapers across the country. As citizens we should questions respectfully, but we should also get honest and complete answers to our questions.

  3. Zippy says:

    I’ve yet to read that one Kate and still want to.

    When the book ‘Dreams of My Father’ came out, I bought it and intended to read it as a human interest story, only to quickly put it down in disgust by or before chapter 2, when his racist beliefs became apparent. I was offended and very disturbed by his whole persona. His character, or lack thereof, was obvious to me and countless others.

  4. captaingrumpy says:

    If I was American,he would not have made it that far.