Why the past eight years happened, and what it all means.
“I first came to Chicago when I was in my early 20s, still trying to figure out who I was,” President Obama told the nation on Tuesday. After eight years of his presidency, many others are still trying to figure out who, exactly, this guy is.
His farewell address offered few clues but his own books and those of his narrator confirm that the president is not exactly who he claims to be, the son of the Kenyan Barack H. Obama. As the senatorial candidate told the Democratic Party convention in 2004:
“My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.”
That’s a great story, as Michael Corleone said in The Godfather, and the old-line establishment media liked the story so much they accepted it uncritically. As Barry Rubin noted in Silent Revolution, the president’s early life remained largely unexplored. Any serious effort would have turned up more than a few problems.
In his writings from 1958 to 1964, including more than 20 letters, the Kenyan Barack H. Obama makes no mention of an American wife and Hawaiian-born American son. In 2013 and 2016, on his last Father’s Day in office, the president was invited to review this material but never did so. The reason is not difficult to understand. The president knows that his father is somebody else.
“My father was a college educated African-American poet and journalist. He chose to join the Communist Party and spent much of his life defending all-white Stalinist dictatorships. My father also took photos of naked women and authored a pornographic novel. But my father believed in a better world, and so do I.”
Even at a Democratic Party convention in San Francisco, this would not be an acceptable introduction for anyone running for Congress, let alone President of the United States. In 1992 that was the position of the Hawaiian-born student once known as Barry Soetoro, stepson of Lolo Soetoro, the Indonesian foreign student his American mother Ann Dunham married in 1965.
Barry Soetoro attended the prestigious Punahou school in Hawaii, Occidental College and Columbia University. Fresh out of Harvard Law School he returns to Chicago, where his father made a name for himself, and contacts David Axelrod. In the 2015 Believer, Axelrod described the perfectly timed call.
“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.”
The perfect timing is likely a reference to Stanley Dunham, the president’s maternal grandfather. The World War II veteran passed away on February 8, 1992, and was no longer around to offer insights on family history, which he knew better than anyone, and correct any accounts that might appear.
This was in 1992, shortly after the demise of the Soviet Union, the greatest failure in history given its claim to represent the future. All over Europe, the masses were breaking free from decades of Soviet occupation and oppressive totalitarian rule. In these conditions, nobody touting the Soviet Communist model was going anywhere in national American politics. The man who had been president of the Harvard Law Review needed a better back story.
That prompted the call to Axelrod, a red diaper baby who left journalism because he “felt more comfortable, and proficient at, telling stories.” In Believer, Axelrod wrote that “authenticity is an indispensible requirement for any successful candidate, but particularly for a president,” and “biography is foundational.”
The Hawaiian-born Harvard Law grad had no record of publication but Axelrod, proclaimed the president’s “narrator” by the New York Times, claims he was an “exceptional writer,” with the “narrative skill of a gifted novelist.” In 1995, some three years after the perfectly timed phone call, Dreams from My Father emerged, an elephantine roman à clef with no index, no photo section, and key characters given first names only.
These include “Frank,” the happy-drunk poet the president himself identified as Frank Marshall Davis during a 1995 television appearance. Frank gets a lot of ink, and the author is very fond of him, but in this tale, the father is a Kenyan foreign student, Barack H. Obama, who died in 1982 in Nairobi. That was about the time the outgoing president was “still trying to figure out who I was.”
Stanley Dunham, identified only as Gramps, “might” say that the Kenyan looks like Nat King Cole. He doesn’t look at all like Cole, but as Joel Gilbert’s Dreams from My Real Father confirms, the president is the spitting image of Frank Marshall Davis. As the Kenyan’s son Malik Obama has noted that goes right down to the spots on their faces.
According to the president’s 1995 account, the father lived his life according to “principles that promised a higher form of power.” That squares with Frank’s devotion to Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism, but not with the Kenyan, who disliked strong-man autocratic rule. Though a man of the left, Barack H. Obama was not a Communist. If the Kenyan had been a Communist, he would have attended Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, not the University of Hawaii. As Barry Rubin showed in Silent Revolution, the Kenyan warned his countrymen about Soviet meddling in Africa.
In Dreams from My Father, the father has “character” issues and the author reveals “a stubborn desire to protect myself from scrutiny.” He presents the Kenyan father as part of a “useful fiction” and “a prop in someone else’s narrative,” someone he could “alter on a whim or ignore when convenient.” The narrator inserts the Kenyan’s name in incremental fashion and toward the end of the story the author says, “for the first time in my life, I felt the comfort, the firmness of identity that a name might provide.”
The 2004 proclamation about a Kenyan father might have been the biggest piece of fake news since 1932, when Walter Duranty of the New York Times wrote that there was no forced famine in Ukraine. For the old-line establishment media, it didn’t matter. In a massive trahison des clercs, journalists accepted the Kenyan goat-herd story uncritically and for the most part served as a promotional agency for the candidate.
In 2008, Barack Obama is elected President of the United States. His closest advisors David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett are both out of Frank’s old network in Chicago. The president ignores Africa in general and Kenya in particular, making only one trip there in eight years as president.
On the other hand, the president’s policies bear “remarkable similarities,” to the writings of Frank Marshall Davis, as Paul Kengor confirmed in The Communist. Truth is, the Dreams from My Father were always Frank’s dreams.
That explains eight years of lies, statist superstition, the betrayal of friends and allies, and a steady retreat in the face of Islamic terrorist savagery and tyranny around the world. With no apology to John Goodman in The Big Lebowski, this is what happens when you elect a president who isn’t exactly who he says he is.
As Trump voter Malik Obama put it in 2015: “I don’t know how I’d deal with it, if it really came out that he really is a fraud or a con.” He really is, and that is how he should be remembered. The identity fraud, perhaps the most successful in history, makes a strong case that nothing from the president’s two terms should be retained.