In '08, we hardly knew Barack Obama; In 2012 we don't know President Obama

Love him or hate him, by now we should know him. Photo: U.S. GPO

COLORADO SPRINGS, August 26, 2012 ― In an old episode of CSI: Miami, Horatio Caine is in an interview room with a convict and his lawyer. Caine says, “Stand up. You’re going to a [parole] hearing.” The lawyer responds, “We didn’t know about this,” and the convict adds, “You got nothing.”

Caine replies, “On the contrary. We do. We have signed statements from everyone, including your son.”

The convict stares in disbelief.

Caine continues, “You see, when you use people, eventually they get tired of it.”

That exchange brings to mind Ed Klein’s new biography of Barack Obama, The Amateur. Klein reports that several of Obama’s former backers from Chicago claim that Obama used them when it was convenient, but that loyalty was not his strong suit.

In 2008, we didn’t know who Barack Hussein Obama II was. Most of us had never even heard the name before the primary season in the spring. We were not—and for the most part still are not—allowed to see any of his personal records, beginning with his birth certificate. The only writings available about him then were his two autobiographies and Jerome Corsi’s book, The ObamaNation. As a Cold Warrior and a former intelligence analyst, The Obamanation was enough for me to form a working hypothesis of who this man was. I’d seen the patterns before. The Democrats and the media worked hard to downplay the book and the associations with the Reverend Wright and Bill Ayres. They said you can’t judge someone by their friends. But of course you can.

Yet the country as a whole willingly suspended their disbelief. Why? In the coming decades, many a book will be written about that very topic. For whatever reason, America wanted to believe in Hope ‘n’ Change, and they wanted to believe that change would be for the better. They put their trust in someone they did not and could not have known.

One of the first things Obama did once in office was to seal all of his government-kept personal records. He has spent large sums of money—reportedly in the millions—to keep other records of his background and upbringing a secret. Never did so many vote for someone they knew so little about.

Now, four years later, we know more.

In addition to The Amateur, we have Dinesh D’Souza’s The Roots of Obama’s Rage and Obama’s America. The latter book is currently number 16 in Amazon’s Top 100, the first political book on the list. There is also Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss. These books take a harsh look at Obama, but there are also supportive books such as David Remnick’s The Bridge. There is even a movie: 2016: Obama’s America, by Dinesh D’Souza.

In the movie, D’Souza travels to the locations where Obama was raised and talks to people who knew him. Having traveled to a number of those places myself, I find D’Souza’s perspective very interesting and revealing. I have long said that I don’t care where Obama was born; how he was raised and who his influences were is far more instructive.

There are now also books about the people closest to Obama, including two recent ones about Michelle Obama. Although we still don’t know what Barack wrote about, we do know Michelle’s graduate thesis. There is more background on David Axelrod, the son of Jewish Communist parents, and on the Reverend Wright. Obama’s mentor Frank Marshall Davis is revealed in The Communist by Paul Kengor.

Four years of policy implementation have brought out analyses such as The Brief Against Barack Obama by Hugh Hewett, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities by Stanley Kurtz, and Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin. Released two years ago, this book still rates and sells well.

There are really too many books to list: this just scratches the surface. A search on the term “books about Obama” gives a much more complete list. The point is this: America may have had an excuse in 2008 for electing someone they did not know, but not now. Although the Obama campaign isn’t running on its record, the record is there for all to see. We know what we can expect if we reelect this man. As the trailer for the movie 2016 says: Love him or hate him, now you know him.

The theme song for CSI: Miami is, appropriately, “We won’t get fooled again.”


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Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.

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