Last year, “Obama’s narrator,” as the New York Times called David Axelrod, released his massive Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. The author recalls a “perfectly timed” and unexpected call that would change his life.
“David, it’s Barack,” said the voice on the phone. “I’m thinking about what I want to do next, and was wondering if we could talk.” This call took place in 1992, which explains the perfect timing.
On February 8, 1992, the president’s maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham passed away at 73. So “Gramps,” as the narrator called him, was no longer around to offer insights on family history, correct any accounts that might appear, or write one of his own.
In the 1995 Dreams from My Father, Gramps “might” say that a Kenyan foreign student looks a lot like Nat King Cole. Actually, Gramps might not. The Kenyan student Barack H. Obama bears little resemblance to Cole, who passed away in 1965 but enjoyed a revival in the 1990s through daughter Natalie’s “Unforgettable” album.
The narrator of Dreams from My Father invokes “a stubborn desire to protect myself from scrutiny” and he “doesn’t fault people their suspicions” if they fail to take him at “face value.” His elusive father is a “prop in someone else’s narrative” and “an image I could alter on a whim or ignore when convenient.” The narrative itself is a “myth,” a “tale,” and a “useful fiction.”
Dreams from My Father has no photo section, no index, and key characters get only a first name. These include “Frank,” who gets 2,500 words. Back in 1995, the president himself identified this person as Frank Marshall Davis, the Stalinist Paul Kengor regards as the president’s mentor, as he explained in The Communist: The Untold Story of Frank Marshall Davis.
The Kenyan Barack Obama, though a man of the left, was not a pro-Soviet Communist. Had he been pro-Soviet, he would have attended Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. Indeed, Obama warned his fellow Kenyans about Soviet meddling in Africa.
The Kenyan Barack H. Obama had issues with strongman types such as Jomo Kenyatta, who ruled Kenya from 1963 until his death in 1978. In keeping with his country, and most of Africa, the Kenyan Barack Obama is not on record as a supporter of homosexual causes. Frank Marshall Davis, on the other hand, was certainly on board. As Davis wrote in his 1992 memoir Livin’ the Blues:
“During the dramatic civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s, I often thought we ought to form a united front with joint sit-ins at cafes. In my mind I envisioned the result. An indignant white restaurant manager frantically phoning the police, ‘Get here in a hurry! We got niggers at our counters and our washrooms are loaded with fairies and lesbians!’ Or perhaps there might have been a joint March on Washington waving banners: Blacks and Homos, Arise!”
That, and Davis’ pornographic novel, Sex Rebel: Black, might explain the president’s stubborn desire to protect himself from scrutiny. It could also have something do with what the narrator calls the “less flattering aspects of my father’s character.”
In Dreams from My Father, the Kenyan is raised a Muslim but in The Audacity of Hope he is “a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition, like the mumbo-jumbo of witch doctors that he had witnessed in the Kenyan villages of his youth.”
In Audacity, the narrator explains that he went to a “predominantly Muslim school” in Indonesia. He does not indicate whether atheists, Lutherans, Jews, or Buddhists also attended the school. Registration records were supposedly destroyed by flooding.
The predominantly Muslim school also emerges in Believer, but Axelrod does not indicate if students of other faiths attended. Frank, Ann Dunham, Stanley Dunham, and even the Kenyan Barack Obama are missing from this account, but it proves enlightening in other ways.
In a 2008, Brian Williams of MSNBC asked presidential candidates what steps they would take in the event of a simultaneous terror attack on major American cities. As Axelrod explains, “Obama neglected to include that he would pursue the perpetrators.”
Hillary Clinton did likewise in 2012, passing off what she privately regarded as a terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi as a spontaneous protest over a video. Like the president, Clinton has always shown a stubborn desire to protect herself from scrutiny. With BleachBit, hammers and lies, Hillary and her handlers did their best to make more than 30,000 emails disappear.
The contents remain something of a mystery, just as mysteries linger about the president and his background. On the other hand, by now some things are perfectly clear.
The POTUS and former FLOTUS both decline to identify Islamic terrorism. Both are shrink-wrapped in statist superstition. And both lie with the greatest of ease. On these counts, like the critters in Orwell’s Animal Farm, one can find it “impossible to say which was which.”
Back in July, the party faithful were chanting “Four more years!” during the president’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.