A dog that chases its tail will be busy.
--George Clinton, Atomic Dog
President Obama’s usage of the decidedly un-presidential phrase “talk about me like a dog,” in a speech the other day seemed to baffle a goodly number of my non-Southern white friends, some of whom concluded that the president was cribbing Jimi Hendrix. Aside from my guess that the president probably doesn’t know who Jimi Hendrix was, Hendrix himself was cribbing an old phrase of unknown origin common among southerners well before either man was born. (For the record, to “talk about someone like a dog,” means to bad-mouth a person severely. The phrase has also morphed into “to dog someone out.” The latter has an additional—and interesting—meaning: to betray someone.)
Victor Davis Hanson and Dinesh D’Souza, however, are intent on reviewing the attitude crystallized in the phrasing, along with the thinking fueling that attitude.
We know Obama got into Columbia; we have no idea what he accomplished there — or whether his undergraduate transcript merited admission to Harvard Law School. Obama may have charmed his way into Harvard Law Review, but in brilliant fashion he seems to have guessed rightly that once there he would be singularly exempt from the usual requirements of quantifiable achievement.
A part-time visiting law professorship at the University of Chicago Law school rarely leads to a permanent tenure-track position, much less a tenured billet– and never without a body of published articles and books. In Obama’s case those protocols simply did not apply. He was not only offered whatever he wanted, but as Justice Kagan reminded us, Obama was courted by Harvard Law School as well.
Obama seems aware that a particular cadre of influential white liberals has traditionally accorded him deference not warranted by actual achievement, but rather by his projection of a progressive persona, as crudely outlined by a Biden or Reid [when both articulated how different President Obama is from the everyday “Negro,” whom these Democrat politicians implied are usually dirty and inarticulate] — and that this by now is a normal course of events rather than an aberrant experience. Hence his anger that all that has at last begun to end.
D’Souza’s main theme is one that is well-known to anyone who has been paying attention since Barack Obama arrived on the national scene: that he has adopted the life’s work of his father:
What then is Obama's dream? We don't have to speculate because the President tells us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to Obama, his dream is his father's dream. Notice that his title is not Dreams of My Father but rather Dreams from My Father. Obama isn't writing about his father's dreams; he is writing about the dreams[of anticolonialism) he received from his father.
Anticolonialists hold that even when countries secure political independence they remain economically dependent on their former captors. This dependence is called neocolonialism, a term defined by the African statesman Kwame Nkrumah (1909--72) in his book Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, writes that poor countries may be nominally free, but they continue to be manipulated from abroad by powerful corporate and plutocratic elites. These forces of neocolonialism oppress not only Third World people but also citizens in their own countries. Obviously the solution is to resist and overthrow the oppressors.
Obama Sr. was an economist, and in 1965 he published an important article in the East Africa Journal called "Problems Facing Our Socialism." Obama Sr. wasn't a doctrinaire socialist; rather, he saw state appropriation of wealth as a necessary means to achieve the anticolonial objective of taking resources away from the foreign looters and restoring them to the people of Africa.
As [Obama Sr.] put it, "We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now." The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that "theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed."
There is a good reason that many Africans of that generation--educated in Europe and America--are socialists, aside from the desire to repudiate the capitalism to which most of the hated European colonial masters subscribed. They were actively indoctrinated.
Most readers know that my origin and life circumstances are a mirror image of the president’s—some things are frighteningly similar; others radically dissimilar in obvious areas. However, for continuity's sake, here it is again: courtesy of the Mboya Airlift, our Kenyan Luo fathers arrived in America in 1959 to receive an American education, married and produced children with American women, divorced them, and, upon graduation, returned to their homeland.
When Philip Ochieng and Barack Obama, Sr. arrived in America, their mentors were people like radical Progressives Cora and Peter Weiss, who—via the innocuously coined African American Student Foundation-- funded much of the tuition, travel, care and feeding of the Kenyan students selected for the Airlift. (My mother says that when she and my father were in college, their non-African--read: white--social circle included nothing but communists and socialists.)
And herein lies a crucial difference as to the reason that my life turned out differently than Obama’s: both of our biological fathers are socialists and atheists. However, in Obama’s case, his mother’s immediate family consisted of socialists and atheists as well. Mine does not.
Here’s another difference: neither my
great-aunt, great-uncle, mother nor American father ever implicated that I was
so innately different—so alien-- from them, that it was necessary to turn me
over to a monster like Frank Marshall Davis for “parenting.” By that very act, the Dunhams indicated to
their grandson that they believed him to be inferior because of his black African
heritage. It is unbearable even to imagine the things instilled into young Obama's spirit under such tutelage.
Coupling this with his mother’s abandonment, one may see how his attitude toward white people developed.
So, surrounded by callousness, lack of empathy and no grace, who was left to latch onto? The one who wasn’t there, of course. (That his father abandoned him also is beside the point. It was easier for Obama to see Obama Sr. as the victim of a white-dominated world, justify the abandonment and, even take up the elder Obama’s cause where he left off.)
So it may be that Barack Obama believes that all of the gifts which white liberals have conferred upon him are his just due with criticism being, conversely, manifestly unjust. All he's trying to do is administer "justice!" And in dispensing that justice, in “taking back” that which was "stolen," Obama can finally obtain love from his Third World “family,” something he never received from his biological family.
Of course, a humongous monkey wrench will be thrown into all of this armchair shrinking should our president’s real birth certificate ever surface. Relax. I think he was born in Hawaii; I just don’t think that the birth certificate has Barack Obama, Sr. listed as the father.
A fine mess the Left has gotten us into, wouldn’t you say?