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From the caves of ignorance and hatred comes a much-forwarded letter, which the anonymous author says "shouldn't surprise anyone." Written as fact, the letter informs us Barack Obama: "never held a 'real' job, never owned a business and as far as we know, never really attended Harvard or Columbia since those transcripts have never been released and no one remembers him from their time at either school."

by Walter Brasch

The latest garbage spewing hate as it circles the Internet in a viral state of panic continues a three year smear against Barack Obama.

The attacks had begun with the extreme right wing spitting out Obama's full name—Barack HUSSEIN Obama, as if somehow he wasn't an American but connected to the Iraqi dictator who, despite the Bush Administration's best efforts, had no connections to 9/11.

When the right-wingers and Tea Party Pack get tired of their "cutesy" attempts to link Obama to militant Muslims, they launch half-truths and lies to claim he wasn't born in the United States. Like Jaws, Jason, or Freddy Krueger, "birther" propaganda keeps returning, even when independent state officials and analysts proved the claims false.

The issue simmered on Fox TV and talk radio until Donald Trump, the man with the planet-sized ego and the bacteria-sized brain, inserted his persona into the issue, while pontificating about becoming the next president. The media, exhausted from having to cover the antics of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, turned their news columns over to the man who would be God—if only it paid better.

The Wing Nut Cotillion, with Trump getting the headlines, then demanded Obama produce a long-form birth certificate—which he did while leading a combined White House-CIA-Pentagon effort to find and destroy Osama bin Laden. The truth still hasn't quieted the conspiracy nuts.

Not willing to accept truth and logic, the extreme right wing, grasping for anything they could find, have attacked the raid that killed bin Laden. Among their screeches are that bin Laden isn't dead . . . that he was killed a week earlier or even years earlier . . . that Obama had hidden the death until there was a more political time to reveal it . . . that it was George W. Bush (who publicly said six months after 9/11 that he didn't care about bin Laden) who deserves all the credit . . . and that while Navy SEALS should get credit, Obama is too weak to have overseen any part of the mission.

And now from the caves of ignorance and hatred comes a much-forwarded letter, which the anonymous author says "shouldn't surprise anyone." Written as fact, the letter informs us Barack Obama: "never held a 'real' job, never owned a business and as far as we know, never really attended Harvard or Columbia since those transcripts have never been released and no one remembers him from their time at either school."

The email of hate further "enlightens" us that "Being a community activist only gives someone insite [sic] on how to assist the less fortunate and dregs of society on how to acquire government housing and government benefits without ever contributing one penny in taxes."

That's right. The Whackadoodles Wearing Tinfoil Caps crowd has escaped again.  

Among those community activists who worked with the "dregs of society," apparently on ways to scam the government, are St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226), founder of the Franciscan order and patron saint of animals and the environment; Jacob Riis (1849–1914), a journalist and photographer who exposed the squalor of slums and tenement buildings; Dorothy Day (1897–1980), a journalist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement that advocated nonviolent action to help the poor and homeless, and who the archdiocese of New York, at the direction of Pope John Paul II, began a process leading to beatification; and Jane Addams (1860–1935), who fought for better conditions for children and mothers, was active in the progressive campaigns of Teddy Roosevelt and who, like Roosevelt, earned a Nobel Peace Prize. Those who rail against community activists for not having "real" jobs would also oppose Saul Alinsky (1909–1972), who tirelessly established the nation's most effective organizational structure to help the poor and disenfranchised to gain a voice against political, economic, and social oppression; Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903–1998), America's foremost pediatrician, for leading antiwar campaigns; Cesar Chavez (1927–1993), who helped get farm workers respectable pay and decent working conditions; Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968) who, with hundreds of thousands of others, forced a nation to finally confront its racism; and innumerable leaders of the feminist and gay rights communities who got America to confront their other prejudices. All were community activists.

Not dregs because they have "real" jobs are the bankers and Wall Street investors who brought about the housing crisis that led to the worst depression in the past seven decades. Also exempt from contempt are the business owners who downsized, right-sized, and shipped their production overseas, throwing millions of Americans out of work.

Barack Obama, castigated for not having a "real job," worked more than a year as research associate and editor at the Business International Corp., three years as director of Developing Community Projects, a church-based group for eight Catholic parishes, and summer jobs at law firms. Other "not real" jobs include being an author, civil rights lawyer, and a professor of Constitutional law at one of the nation's more prestigious colleges. Frankly, it's rather nice to have a president who actually understands the Constitution—as opposed to the rabble who misquote, misstate, and misappropriate it all the time.  

Those propagating the email of hate believe Obama couldn't earn degrees from Ivy League colleges; the subtext is as clear as their refusal to believe in an integrated nation. So, I contacted the registrars at Columbia and Harvard. In less than 10 minutes, the registrar at Columbia confirmed that Barack Obama received a B.A. in political science, and the registrar at Harvard Law School confirmed Obama received a J.D. These are public records. Anyone can ask the same questions, and get the same answer. Logic alone should have shot down these accusations. Obama was editor of the Harvard Law Review, something as easy to verify as his graduation, and he passed the Illinois bar exam—which requires graduation from college and law school, and a personal character test—also a matter of public record.

Even if Obama provided official transcripts, which are confidential, the wing nuts of society will claim that, like the birth certificate and the death of bin Laden, the transcripts were faked.

The truth is that the politics of hate, combined with media complicity and Internet access, has led not to a discussion of issues but to character assassination, with racism and bigotry as its pillars.

[Walter Brasch's latest book is Before the First Snow, literary historical fiction that explores the counterculture between 1964 and 1991. The book, to be published June 20, is available at Also check out this video book trailer.]

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Comment Preferences

    •  I have heard and seen that bullshit.... (9+ / 0-)

      on the wing nut Robot sites as well. People are too lazy to check. These days emails are facts to some of them.  They want to hate Obama, so they will.  Apparently some of that hate has rolled over to this site as well. To me, human can be so stupid and easily lead.

      "You took a dump on the little guy..? Why? "Cause, I can." Karl Rovian bible.

      by tdslf1 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 05:38:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not laziness; desire (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ellid, MikeTheLiberal, Spoc42

        "I want chocolate in my peanut butter  ".
        So when somebody tells you that it's chocolate that you dropped your peanut butter in while out at the dog park, you will happily slurp that sh*t right up.
        If, that is, you are a hate-filled asshole with the all too common ability to deny any inconvenient reality that challenges your self-centric worldview.
        How common?
        How many people have forwarded this POS? There's your answer.

        one thing for us to remember; they can't bring him down with anything reality-based, so they are forced to deny his legitimacy (especially cuz of that whole melanin issue).
        Zero scandals 2 1/2 years into his administration. that might be a record.

        Hey Republicans! OBAMA got Osama, and this ain't T-ball, so stop whining!

        by kamarvt on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:50:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And these morans somehow believe that McCain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal, Spoc42

      (and Palin!!) wouldn't have brought up this story during their whole campaign?  They think that the RNC wouldn't have been trumpeting it in 2008?  They think that Faux Noise would have somehow left this stone unturned all this time?

      You gotta admit, that's some pretty impressive ability to ignore the obvious.

      They only call it Class War when we fight back.

      by lineatus on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:56:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My observation and journey has shown me (7+ / 0-)

    that people whose brains or thought processes have been altered by drugs, belief systems, memes over a period of time get stuck and they live their lives in a constant state of ruminating which only keeps reinforcing their altered brain's thinking. Mostly it seems to happen with people who live in fear of something and or life in general.

    The unfortunate thing is nothing anyone does or says to try to help them out of that kind of rut-thinking helps them. A person can only fix themself and that usually only happens  in a moment of great crisis, sudden epiphany or a brain SNAP.

    Detachment from people like this is often the only sane action. Ignore them.

    Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is insanity.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    by roseeriter on Fri May 20, 2011 at 05:36:38 AM PDT

    •  They represent 30% of the registered voters. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roseeriter, MikeTheLiberal

      40%? 20%?

      We are all in the same boat.  There is a storm. We are rowing in different directions.  How can we ignore them?

      Agreed, it is best to do so if you can.  But we can't. And we can't either throw them overboard  but they would like to throw US overboard.

      Don't know what the solution is.

      My only hope is that by some miracle.  The passengers in this boat, the 50% of eligible voters that do not participate in politics, wakes up one day and comes to our side so we can at least minimize the damage these fools cause.; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:39:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes just knowing and being aware of who, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, MikeTheLiberal, k00kla

        especially in politics, 'think' that way so YOU don't vote for them and exposing those people is all one can do. We only each have one vote.

        It's no different than staying out of the way of say an out-of-control alcoholic, religious fanatic, cult etc.

        Awareness is the best one can do and we can only truly control ourselves and think for ourselves.

        The smaller minds who follow, walk lock-step, group-think, do just that and I find it sad. I remember reading that brains of rut-thinkers, drug and alcohol users etc., are actually smaller than people who are constantly educating themselves, re-analyzing their beliefs, are skeptical and have open minds and willing to explore new ideas about stuff.

        I think our minds are suppose to keep growing and not stop in a cop-out comfort zone.

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        by roseeriter on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:54:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That letter is so over the top stupid (7+ / 0-)

    Every single word of it but most especially as regards Harvard in particular that it can be used as a litmus test.

    If anyone you know sends or forwards that letter or posts it seriously, they are pretty much irredeemably divorced from reality.

    I never heard anything before just recently questioning Obama's academic bona fides before Donald Trump. I thought the dissension came from him being TOO academic and cerebral and professorial.

    I wonder if the Repubs do focus groups where they ask things like;

    "Do you believe that Barack Obama really attended Columbia and Harvard?" Just asking the question raises the issue of doubt. I wouldn't put it past them, I really wouldn't.

    These are the same clowns who turned John Kerry's service  into a smear while the media aided and abetted them.

    The people that this stuff appeals to are the same village idiots who were willing and happy to put purple band aids on their ecstatically ignorant faces. They celebrate their own gullibility.

    As each conspiracy gets debunked, they reach lower and lower. It's impossible to predict how low they are able and willing to go. Meanwhile, of course, the country rockets towards mediocrity fueled by this confederacy of dunces.

    •  they overtly tested racism during the campaign (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I remember reading (here, where else?) that during the general campaign in '08 Repubs were using focus groups to try out all kinds of terminology and various degrees of dog-whistling to see just they could push the envelope of brazen racial hatred.

      Do not ever put anything past them.
      I still fear for the president's life every day.

      Hey Republicans! OBAMA got Osama, and this ain't T-ball, so stop whining!

      by kamarvt on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:54:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A few other things such screeds never mention... (3+ / 0-)

    While Palin came in every Thursday to sign checks for a small town in Alaska, Obama spend eight years as an Illinois state legislator representing a district with more people than in the entire state of Alaska.

    While she watched Putin from her porch, Obama, as a United States Seator,  served on the  Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works,  Veterans' Affairs, Health, Education, Labor and later the Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:04:17 AM PDT

    •  But being a politician (0+ / 0-)

      is not a "real" job, according to the morans, at least if you're a Democrat. They conveniently ignore people like, say, John McCain who has never received a paycheck that wasn't drawn on the U.S. Treasury.

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Fri May 20, 2011 at 07:11:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Jesus himself had videotaped BHOs birth, they (5+ / 0-)

    still would claim it was faked. The point is there will never be any evidence that will convince the birthers that BHO is "legitimate."

    If you break down the main birther arguments, they have evolved slightly since 2008. In each instance, their argument has become debunked. As a result, a new rationale for questioning the legitimacy of BHO is developed until it ultimately also becomes debunked.

    Additionally, there are a number of side arguments like ACORN stole the election. Never mind that Obama had 361 EVs and almost took Missouri and Montana as well.

    The reality is there will always be nut jobs that think the Moon landing was staged, that 9/11 was an inside job, etc. The difference w/ the birthers is that the level of questioning because Obama is our first AA president, If you thought the ReThugs were tough on Clinton, this is like 1000 times worse.  And it is done by mainstream elements of the Republican Party.

    Of course, by pointing out that much of birtherism stems from racist tendencies is racism itself, according to the primitive circular reasoning of knuckle-dragging birthers.

    •  If that were the case ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, Radiogabs
      If Jesus himself had videotaped BHOs birth, they still would claim it was faked.

      Hey, if you had that videotape, I might believe it was faked.

      Not because I don't believe in Jesus.  I just remember video tape not being readily available until the early 1980's.

      Now, if it were an 8mm, I'd be convince.  :)

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:35:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've said for a while (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That the President could produce a time and date-stamped film of his mother giving birth to him on the beach at Waikiki, Diamond Head clearly visible in the background, while Don Ho and a troop of hula dancers do their best to distract her from labor pains, and it STILL wouldn't be enough.  

  •  People will believe what they want to believe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, Matt Z, a2nite

    ... sometimes despite the best evidence to the contrary.

    I remember Carl Everett, when he played for the Red Sox, once said he didn't believe in dinosaurs because he'd never seen one.

    Of course, some beliefs are rather harmless, such as my belief that there are aliens out there somewhere.  I just can't see them bothering with visiting Earth, since it's full description is, "Mostly harmless."

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:31:35 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:57:25 AM PDT

  •  My prayer is that their rants and rages (0+ / 0-)

    escalate into the stratosphere, making their agenda of hatred, fear and racism so clear to the average American, that no candidate they support will hold any sway in the next election.

    Give 'em enough rope to hang themselves, say I!  Just like The Donald made a total fool of himself.

    OBAMA 2012!!!!  Their worst nightmare!!!!  LOL!!!

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Fri May 20, 2011 at 07:38:32 AM PDT

    •  I read a comment about Egypt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little Lulu

      and its velvet revolution.  It suggested that the propaganda in that country that sought to maintain the status quo  (and which by the way sounds the the GOP media campaign to me) eventually caused such cognitive dissonance with the observed reality that the propaganda eventually backfired on those that perpetuated it.

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