“The country was in better shape now than it had been when I’d started,” POTUS 44 explains at the outset of A Promised Land (Crown, 2020, 751 pages, $45.00), which he supposedly wrote in longhand. Early in his career he drafted a speech the same way, but “Axe” and his partner “made it better.” That is a reference to “media consultant” David Axelrod, proclaimed by the New York Times in 2007 as “Obama’s narrator,” the role he continues to this day.
A Promised Land is a rehash of Axelrod’s 2015 Believer, in which Axe describes Obama, who had no record of publication before Dreams from My Father, as a great writer with the skill of an historical novelist. Axelrod is talking about himself and the elephantine Promised Land betrays the same fictional, gaslighting approach.
“Well Mr. President elect,” says Nancy Pelosi, “I think the American people are pretty clear that you inherited a terrible mess. Just terrible.” And so on, but by the end of his second term, the country was in much better shape. Boondoggles such as Solyndra were only a “PR nightmare,” not a confirmation of colossal incompetence and fathomless waste.
A Promised Land hits the bookstores two weeks after the November 3 election, and as the author conveniently recalls, Joe Biden had a “handsome face always cast in a dazzling smile.” On domestic issues Joe was smart and “his experience in foreign policy was broad and deep.” Sen. Biden had “skill and discipline as a debater,” but “most of all Joe had heart.”
For her part, Hillary Clinton had “star power,” and was “the best person for the job” of secretary of state. Too bad this first volume ends before Hillary’s escapade in Benghazi, where a video caused the deaths of four Americans.
A Promised Land readers meet “my pastor Jeremiah Wright,” the hatemongering anti-American, and learn that “the good in Reverend Wright more than outweighed his flaws.” Valerie Jarrett is “a brilliant and well connected attorney” and “like an older sister to me.” Like the president, Jarrett had a soft spot for Iran, an adversary, so the book’s take on Israel, an ally, will be of interest to many readers.
Israeli parents describe “the terror of rocket shells launched from nearby Gaza landing just a few yards from their children’s bedrooms.” On the other hand, in Ramallah, “I heard Palestinians speak of the daily humiliations endured at Israeli security checkpoints.”
Readers meet “extremist groups like al Qaeda,” and the Somalis who took over an American ship. Like many others in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, they were “warped and stunted by desperation, ignorance, dreams of religious glory, the violence of their surroundings.” Still, “I wanted somehow to save them, send them to school, give them a trade, drain them of hate.”
No word of any success on that front, but good to know that CIA boss John Brennan showed “thoughtfulness,” and “possessed enough appreciation of Islamic culture and the complexities of Middle East to know that guns and bombs wouldn’t accomplish the task.” Nothing about Brennan’s vote for the Stalinist Gus Hall in 1976, only four years before he joined the CIA.
Readers of A Promised Land learn that Army major Nidal Hasan murdered 13 Americans and wounded many others at Ford Hood in 2009. The author conveniently forgets that he called Hasan’s mass murder “workplace violence,” not terrorism or even “gun violence.” The former president also fails to recall that in 2014 he refused to meet with wounded Fort Hood victims such as Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford.
As the former commander-in-chief explains, the FBI, Department of Defense, and joint terrorism task force were tracking Hasan’s communications with terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, but “interagency information sharing systems had failed to connect the dots in a way that might have headed off the tragedy.” In reality, as Lessons from Fort Hood explains, the Washington office of the FBI simply looked the other way.
In a discussion of Angela Merkel, readers learn that “the Iron Curtain fell,” with no explanation of life under Communist rule that drove so many to risk their lives and flee East Germany. The author counts more than 500,000 casualties after a coup in Indonesia, but ignores the scores of millions murdered under Communist rule, most of them in Communist China.
“I considered China’s success at lifting hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty to be a towering human achievement,” the Promised Land author writes. Several pages later, PRC premier Wen Jiabao tells the president “One third of our population still lives in severe poverty, more people than in the entire United States.”
In all areas of foreign and domestic policy, the alert reader can compare A Promised Land with what actually happened. Of greater interest is what the author chooses to leave out.
For example, the glossy photo sections fail to include the 2005 shot of Obama with Nation of Islam boss Louis Farrakhan, who gets only a single mention in Promised Land. The most notable absentee is Frank Marshall Davis, the author’s beloved African American Communist. Davis got more than 2,000 words in Dreams from My Father, which earns only a single mention in A Promised Land.
Frank was on the FBI’s security index, so no surprise that he vanished from the audio version of Dreams and failed to appear in The Audacity of Hope, Axelrod’s Believer, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, and The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes. Also missing from A Promised Land is presidential biographer David Garrow, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
In the 2017 Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, Garrow revealed that Dreams from My Father was not an autobiography or memoir as the nation was led to believe. Instead, “without any question,” Dreams was a novel and the author a “composite character.” Garrow also noted that Frank Marshall Davis, with his pornographic exploits and Communist background, was “radioactive.” So if young Barry Soetoro was to rise in politics, he need a new narrative.
A Promised Land raises the “birther” issue without noting its origins in the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign. POTUS 44 predictably deploys it as a dodge from the real issue: the true identity of the father. As the author fails to note, the 1958-1964 writings of the Kenyan Barack Obama make no mention of a white American wife and Hawaiian-born son. By the end of the Dreams novel, Barack Obama is a nameless “Old Man,” who somehow “bequeathed his name” to Barry.
His stepfather Lolo Soetoro, the Indonesian foreign student Barry’s mother Ann Dunham married in 1965, is not mentioned in A Promised Land. Neither is Malik Obama, son of the Kenyan Barack Obama, who became a Trump supporter.
Chapter two of A Promised Land is titled “Yes We Can” after the slogan David Axelrod coined. With the stench of mendacity wafting strong, A Promised Land, would be more accurately titled Yes We Con. And with so many key characters airbrushed away, to call it a Stalinist book would not be a stretch. On the other hand, the account does serve as confessional of sorts.
For the author, America is “the only great power in history made up of people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice.” So America is indeed exceptional but the author is “not ready to abandon the possibility of America.” In the dialectical approach, from a student of “Marx and Marcuse,” thesis and antithesis have yet to produce a synthesis.
As the author recalls, “a big chunk of the American people, including some of the very folks I was trying to help, didn’t trust a word I said.” A Promised Land confirms that the American people were right to be distrustful, and as the composite character president explains: “Having the son of a Black African with a Muslim name and socialist ideas ensconced in the White House with the full force of the U.S. government under his command was precisely the thing they wanted to be defended against.” As it turned out, they weren’t defended.
In a nation of gutless politicians, where Julien Benda’s Treason of the Intellectuals has been the reality for decades, the composite character became president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world. In the composite character’s complete transformation of America, the outgoing president picks his successor and rigs the system in her favor.
In 2016, the American people didn’t believe the nation was better than it was in 2008, and they rejected Hillary Clinton, supposedly the most qualified of all time according to POTUS 44. The composite character then deployed the upper reaches of the DOJ, CIA and FBI against President Trump, the people’s choice. Trouble is, despite support from the establishment media, the Russia, Ukraine, and impeachment hoaxes failed to remove Trump from office.
The Democrats now deploy “the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics,” openly championed by Joe Biden and obvious to all but the willfully blind. If the addled Biden succeeds in taking power by fraud, that will end America as a constitutional republic under the rule of law. Even if Kamala Harris takes over, the composite character will be calling the shots, and his leftist base is already panting for an American gulag.
Meanwhile, Donald J. Trump is still president of the United States and the case against voter fraud is headed for the courts. As the president says, we’ll have to see what happens.