President Obama’s designated successor Hillary Clinton was a loser in 2016 and as winner Donald Trump’s midterm approaches, POTUS 44 claims “the character of our country is on the ballot” and the Republicans are “making stuff up.” Here POTUS 44 is speaking from his own experience.
“Dreams from My Father was not a memoir or an autobiography; it was instead, in multitudinous ways, without any question a work of historical fiction. It featured many true-to-life figures and a bevy of accurately described events that indeed had occurred, but it employed the techniques and literary license of a novel, and its most important composite character was the narrator himself.” Is this perhaps some “birther” claiming the author made up the story?
No, it’s Pulitzer Prize winner David Garrow, author of the 1460-page Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. So just to be clear, it’s the official biographer stating that Dreams from My Father is not a memoir or an autobiography, as the default view contends. It is a work of fiction and the author a composite character in the story.
To say the least, that is quite a revelation about the most powerful man in the world for eight years. The reality seems to have got by the Democrat party, the Republican party, the establishment media and the squad of “presidential historians” who gather on PBS. On the other hand, the same crew missed the boat back in 1995, when Dreams first emerged.
The author Barack Obama had no record of publication and he hints that another hand is at work. “I cannot honestly say,” he writes, “that the voice in this book is not mine.” Why say that if there was no question about the voice in the book?
“People have a hard time taking me at face value,” the author explains, and sometimes “I sound like I’m trying to hide from myself.” He also expresses “a stubborn desire to protect myself from scrutiny,” which might leave David Garrow puzzled.
The narrative centers on the African father the author never knew, and he was “trying to rewrite the stories, plugging up the holes in the narrative, accommodating unwelcome details.” This was to extract “some granite slab of truth upon which my unborn children can stand.” Sounds good, but he also writes of a “useful fiction” and explains, “my father became a prop in someone else’s narrative. An attractive prop – an alien with the heart of gold, the mysterious stranger who saves the town and wins the girl – but a prop nonetheless.”
So, the father was an “attractive prop” in a “useful fiction,” which was part of “someone else’s narrative.” With open confessions like that, the author can’t blame biographer Garrow, author of books on Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, for proclaiming Dreams from My Father a novel. As it turns out, Garrow found more evidence about the need for protection from scrutiny.
The author’s beloved “Frank,” who gets more than 2,000 words, is the African American Communist Frank Marshall Davis, who spent much of his life defending all-white Stalinist dictatorships. As Garrow noted, “Davis’ Communist background plus his kinky exploits made him politically radioactive.” That is why the author needed the narrative about the elusive foreign student, but Garrow couldn’t compare the African’s own account. In his written communications from 1958 to 1964, including more than 20 letters, the Kenyan Barack Obama mentions nothing about an American wife and Hawaiian-born American son.
Garrow also interviewed Genevieve Cook, one of the author’s girlfriends, not present in the Dreams account. “You masquerade, you pompous jive, you act,” she tells the author in a poem. In her view, he was protecting himself from scrutiny and putting on an act. Nobody called him on it, even after Garrow’s massive book about the “making of Barack Obama.” A larger back story is at work here, beyond what Julien Benda called La Trahison des Clercs, and the establishment media as a Democrat publicity agency.
In a time when the eschaton has been thoroughly immanentized, matters of fact become matters of unquestioned belief. Elizabeth Warren says she’s Cherokee, Richard Blumenthal says he fought in Vietnam, Christine Blasey Ford claims Brett Kavanaugh sexually abused her, and the world is supposed to believe, without evidence or corroboration.
Likewise, everyone is supposed to believe that Dreams from My Father is an authentic autobiography even after official biographer David Garrow calls it fiction. That was after the composite character became President of the United States and served two terms.
Under Obamacare you can keep your doctor, he said. No scandals in his administration and not even a smidgen of corruption. Mass murder at Ford Hood is “workplace violence,” and a terrorist attack in Benghazi only a protest over a video. And so on.
In 2018, the former president is taking credit for the nation’s economic surge under President Trump. The composite character is still “making up stuff” and anyone could be forgiven for disregarding everything he says.