So the right-wing nutters and the Beltway village idiots are having a magnificent circle-jerk right now over the revelations that aren't really relevations in David Maraniss's new book about Young Barack Obama that's about to be released.
Politico, taking their cues from Drudge Report (proving again that Drudge does, indeed, rule their world), ran a breathless piece yesterday with the scoop that some of the girlfriends Obama described in his semi-autobiographical book, Dreams From My Father, were actually fictional, composite characters based on various real girlfriends of Obama. Right-wingers and the village idiots jumped all over this, with some comparing this to scandal surrounding James Frey's book A Thousand Little Pieces, which Frey initially claimed was a non-fiction autobiographical piece but later admitted was largely made up.
Of course, as the hack/writer of the piece, Dylan Byers, later admits with a correction, it turns out this wasn't really breaking news or a scandalous revelation of any sort, since in the very first publication and in all subsequent publications of Dreams From My Father, Obama made clear in his introduction that some of the characters in the book were...composites of real people Obama knew. But as the famous saying goes, a lie goes half-way around the world before the truth has a chance to put on its pants, and as of this very writing the circle-jerk over this nontroversy goes on full blast, with Politico still pimping the story with an OOOGA-BOOGA! banner headline reading, The Dangerous New Obama Book.
However, while the right thinks they've found Obama's kryptonite or some such shit, what these dumbasses don't seem to realize is that the letters written by Obama, as cited in the book, are kryptonite for the neanderthal base of the Republican party. Because central to the world view of the wackadoodles who largely make up the Republican party is this notion that Obama is really a dunce, an empty suit who cannot utter a coherent sentence without a teleprompter, an affirmative action case who has gotten ahead not because he's really smart and accomplished but because he's a Manchurian candidate helped along by a series of Marxist professors and mentors who pulled strings for him and unfairly opened doors to opportunities for which he was not truly deserving. That's why so many on their right think that Bill Ayers really wrote Dreams From My Father, why so many keep harping about seeing Obama's college transcripts, and why they keep laughing at their own lame-ass teleprompter jokes. Because there's no way one of those people could be so intelligent, talented, or articulate.
But as this excerpt (from Vanity Fair) from a letter Obama wrote to then-girlfriend Alex McNear shows, well, just read it for yourself:
I haven’t read “The Waste Land” for a year, and I never did bother to check all the footnotes. But I will hazard these statements—Eliot contains the same ecstatic vision which runs from Münzer to Yeats. However, he retains a grounding in the social reality/order of his time. Facing what he perceives as a choice between ecstatic chaos and lifeless mechanistic order, he accedes to maintaining a separation of asexual purity and brutal sexual reality. And he wears a stoical face before this. Read his essay on Tradition and the Individual Talent, as well as Four Quartets, when he’s less concerned with depicting moribund Europe, to catch a sense of what I speak. Remember how I said there’s a certain kind of conservatism which I respect more than bourgeois liberalism—Eliot is of this type. Of course, the dichotomy he maintains is reactionary, but it’s due to a deep fatalism, not ignorance. (Counter him with Yeats or Pound, who, arising from the same milieu, opted to support Hitler and Mussolini.) And this fatalism is born out of the relation between fertility and death, which I touched on in my last letter—life feeds on itself. A fatalism I share with the western tradition at times. You seem surprised at Eliot’s irreconcilable ambivalence; don’t you share this ambivalence yourself, Alex?Now this doesn't prove Obama's brilliance in the economic, legal, or political arenas, but whatever it does it certainly shatters the deeply-held myth on the right that Obama is some kind of stupid but lucky Chauncey Gardner-like figure. I had to read the excerpt above two or three times to understand what the hell it meant. Obama's here discussing T.S. Eliot with a firm grasp and understanding of the material, so I'm fairly sure his reading and writing levels are far above that of the average Obama-hatin' birther teabagger, who would probably have a hard time comprehending works by R.L. Stine (or the menu at Denny's for that matter) let alone T.S. Eliot. Clearly, this Obama fellow is very, very, very smart. That is, unless Bill Ayers was somehow ghostwriting Obama's love letters to his long-distance girlfriends (and frankly I'm certain many Obama-haters on the right will come to that conclusion).
Of course none of this will likely change the minds of many on the right who will persist in believing, reality and evidence to the contrary, that Obama is an amiable dunce who only got where he is becuase of affirmative-action. But at the very least, hopefully, the press will stop feeding into this idiotic and delusional meme spread by the right, which the letters written by Obama confirm that which virtually all reasonable, sane people already know, that this meme has no connection at all to reality. If the press had a shred of integrity, they would mercilessly ridicule or completely ignore even the suggestion that Obama is an idiot who can't order a pizza without the help of a telemprompter.
Then again, this is probably asking too much, for the real scandal isn't that Obama is really a moron, which he obviously isn't. The problem is that the right-wing and their useful idiots in the mainstream press are really and literally the morons here, and sadly they drive much of our political discourse.