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Newt Gingrich: Obama May Follow A “Kenyan Worldview”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich had some fairly provocative comments in a recent interview with National Review’s Robert Costa:

Citing a recent Forbes article by Dinesh D’Souza, former House speaker Newt Gingrich tells National Review Online that President Obama may follow a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview.

Gingrich says that D’Souza has made a “stunning insight” into Obama’s behavior — the “most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama.”

“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

“This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich tells us.

“I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating — none of which was true,” Gingrich continues. “In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve . . . He was authentically dishonest.”

If anything, the Dinesh D’Souza article is even more inflammatory. Using incredibly tortured logic, D’Souza claims that Obama is being governed by the political philosophy of a father who abandoned him when he was two, and a country he didn’t visit until he was an adult:

Rejecting the socialist formula, Obama has shown no intention to nationalize the investment banks or the health sector. Rather, he seeks to decolonize these institutions, and this means bringing them under the government’s leash. That’s why Obama retains the right to refuse bailout paybacks–so that he can maintain his control. For Obama, health insurance companies on their own are oppressive racketeers, but once they submitted to federal oversight he was happy to do business with them. He even promised them expanded business as a result of his law forcing every American to buy health insurance.

If Obama shares his father’s anticolonial crusade, that would explain why he wants people who are already paying close to 50% of their income in overall taxes to pay even more. The anticolonialist believes that since the rich have prospered at the expense of others, their wealth doesn’t really belong to them; therefore whatever can be extracted from them is automatically just. Recall what Obama Sr. said in his 1965 paper: There is no tax rate too high, and even a 100% rate is justified under certain circumstances.

Obama supports the Ground Zero mosque because to him 9/11 is the event that unleashed the American bogey and pushed us into Iraq and Afghanistan. He views some of the Muslims who are fighting against America abroad as resisters of U.S. imperialism. Certainly that is the way the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi portrayed himself at his trial. Obama’s perception of him as an anticolonial resister would explain why he gave tacit approval for this murderer of hundreds of Americans to be released from captivity.

Finally, nasa. No explanation other than anticolonialism makes sense of Obama’s curious mandate to convert a space agency into a Muslim and international outreach. We can see how well our theory works by recalling the moon landing of Apollo 11 in 1969. “One small step for man,” Neil Armstrong said. “One giant leap for mankind.”

But that’s not how the rest of the world saw it. I was 8 years old at the time and living in my native India. I remember my grandfather telling me about the great race between America and Russia to put a man on the moon. Clearly America had won, and this was one giant leap not for mankind but for the U.S. If Obama shares this view, it’s no wonder he wants to blunt nasa’s space program, to divert it from a symbol of American greatness into a more modest public relations program.

Clearly the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. goes a long way to explain the actions and policies of his son in the Oval Office. And we can be doubly sure about his father’s influence because those who know Obama well testify to it. His “granny” Sarah Obama (not his real grandmother but one of his grandfather’s other wives) told Newsweek, “I look at him and I see all the same things–he has taken everything from his father. The son is realizing everything the father wanted. The dreams of the father are still alive in the son.”

(…)

Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.

So where are Gingrich and D’Souza heading here ? Some are suggesting that invoking the “Kenyan” and “anti-colonialism” arguments are a subtle way to appeal to the birtherism that seems to float just below the surface of opposition to the President:

The idea that Obama is fundamentally foreign because of his Kenyan father is a view most closely associated with individuals known as “birthers,” who assert against the evidence that Obama was secretly born or raised in Kenya, rather than Hawaii, and therefore is not eligible to be — and illegitimate as — president. The D’Souza-Gingrich argument represents a new approach to calling the president’s ideas foreign and unAmerican.

Others, however, have suggested a more sinister motive:

“Kenyan,” in this case, is a euphemism for the N-word; “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior” is also the self-styled historian’s way of showing he’s a really brainy Doctor of Thinkology, able to invoke the scary, swarthy Africans from half a century ago (because, hey, anyone can talk about the Black Panthers), thus engendering in his fan base a frisson of Negro-fear and a thrill at his erudition.

What I really think we’re seeing here is anything example of Newt Gingrich pretending to be a deep thinker and, in the process, saying things that are monumentally stupid. The idea that Barack Obama, who was educated for all but five years in American public schools, attended American universities, and only saw his father once after his parents divorced in 1964 is somehow guided in life by the dreams of the Luo tribe from the 1950s-era movement for Kenyan independence from Great Britain is, quite honestly, absurd.

I can honestly think of only one reason for Gingrich and D’Souza to say stuff like this. It’s not racism per se so much as it is a desire to feed into the idea that Barack Obama is not a real American. Why else emphasize his ties to a country he’s only visited twice in his entire life and to an era of history that most Americans have no connection to at this point ?

It’s cheap, and it’s cynical. In other words, classic Newt Gingrich. If this is what we can look forward to if he runs for President, I hope it’s a very short run.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tano says:

    It’s not racism per se so much as it is a desire to feed into the idea that Barack Obama is not a real American.
     

    But what is the hook on which they try to hang that idea? Its his race – thats pretty obvious. It certainly is not his policies – which are either thoroughly mainstream for America in general, or some of them, perhaps, mainstream simply for the Democratic half of America. What policy has he ever advocated that is outside of at least the Democratic mainstream? No, it is his race that they are focusing on. The black guy – even this very smart and articulate black guy, just doesn’t function mentally the way we white people do – that is the underlying argument, and it is pure racism.
     

    [an] example of Newt Gingrich pretending to be a deep thinker
     

    I agree with that. How pathetic – quoting D’Souza of all people – Mr. “Lets make a political alliance between Christian conservatives and fundamentalist Islam – because we all hate liberals”. Is there never a price, on the right, for embracing absurdity? I actually thought that there might be, at one time, because D’Souze was roundly criticized by most of the leading lights on the right when he made the proposition I just mentioned. It seemed that he was being read out of the movement, but now Newt brings him back.
     
    As one blogger put it – the barrel truly has no bottom. What is this madness that has thoroughly overcome the Republican party?
     
    I am beginning to think that it is time for any sane Republican to start rooting for the Dems to hold onto the House this November. If the GOP does take over, then the lunatics in that party will seize (and largely be granted) all the credit, and they will be on a roll, and they will absolutely determine who the next presidential candidate will be, and what the general future of the party will be.
     
    If however, the Dems hold on, then the loonies will be seen as having come up short, or being rejected at least to some extent. And that will give the sane Republicans at least a little working room to try to keep the party from completely going off the cliff.

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  2. sam says:

    Daniel Larison:
     

    Dinesh D’Souza has authored what may possibly be the most ridiculous piece of Obama analysis yet written. He takes a number of decisions Obama has made on a grab-bag of issues, declares that they are “odd,” and then proceeds to explain the “oddness” he has perceived by cooking up a bizarre thesis that Obama is a die-hard anticolonialist dedicated to his father’s anticolonialist legacy. That must be why he aspired to become President of the world’s remaining superpower and military hegemon–because he secretly loathes the exercise of Western power and wants to rein it in! It must be his deeply-held anticolonialist beliefs that have led him to escalate the U.S. role in Afghanistan, launch numerous drone strikes on Pakistan, and authorize the assassination of U.S. citizens in the name of antiterrorism. Yes, zealous anticolonialism is the obvious answer. Even for D’Souza, whose last book was a strange exercise in blaming Western moral decadence for Islamic terrorism, this is simply stupid. Perhaps most painful of all is D’Souza’s condescending claim that ignorant Americans aren’t familiar with anticolonialism, and that because he is an Indian he can educate all of us about it. (http://www.amconmag.com/larison/2010/09/09/obama-anticolonial-hegemonist/)

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  3. floyd says:

    The only real flaws in D’Souza’s logic seem to be the imbuement of a moral basis for the actions of the Obama adminstration’s leadership, and the assumption that Obama is at the helm.
     Doug;
     Your “in for a penny, in for a pound” approach to Gingrich’s quoting of D’Souza is  overblown.
    Gingrich’s muse on D’Souza’s article doesn’t make him responsible for it’s entire content.
    Now I know that your writing here is not racism per se, but merely an attempt to smear anyone you dislike with your offal implications.
    While it is patently unfair to accuse Gingrich of “pretending” to be a deep thinker,  it would be much more so,here, to accuse you of any such pretense.

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  4. steve says:

    Larison is correct. Gingrich and D’Souza are going of the deep end. I suspect Gingrich does ot really believe this but it was just too much to pass up for a partisan attack.
     
    Steve

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  5. Steve Plunk says:

    I’m not sure exactly where the president gets his world view but I am sure that view is very different than most Americans.  From his early years throughout his life he has not experienced America like most of us.  I see that as a growing problem in his decision making.

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  6. Brett says:

    If this is what we can look forward to if he runs for President, I hope it’s a very short run.

    It will be if he says stuff like that during his campaign (and if he does end up running, this will come back to haunt him). He can get away with a lot right now because he’s just a writer and advocate, but actual candidates saying stuff like that tend to get hammered in the press.

    The idea that Barack Obama, who was educated for all but five years in American public schools, attended American universities, and only saw his father once after his parents divorced in 1964 is somehow guided in life by the dreams of the Luo tribe from the 1950s-era movement for Kenyan independence from Great Britain is, quite honestly, absurd.

    You’d be surprised at how often I’ve seen this come up on some conservative forums I drop in on. I’ve seen some conservative Brits claim that the reason why Obama gave Brown a crappy state gift a long time back was because he getting back at the British for stuff they did in Kenya and against his father.

    So where are Gingrich and D’Souza heading here ?

    I suspect it’s what you think it is. I wouldn’t really call it racism, per se. It’s more like tribal anxiety as a visibly identifiable outsider – not that he’s black, but that he’s not One of Us.


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  7. Brett says:

    From his early years throughout his life he has not experienced America like most of us.

    That applies to most presidents and presidential candidates. Look at the Bush Family, for example.

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  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    Doug:
     
    Are you a Republican?

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  9. sam says:

    @Plunk

    From his early years throughout his life he has not experienced America like most of us.
     

    And you know how most of us have experienced America how?

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  10. From his early years throughout his life he has not experienced America like most of us.

    Surely there are a rather large number of ways to experience America.

    And who is “us” in this context?

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  11. anjin-san says:

    > From his early years throughout his life he has not experienced America like most of us.

    Plunk Inadvertently tips his hand. Obama is not “one of us”. (Well, he is black, you know)

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  12. André Kenji says:

    So, that means that Gingrich and D´Sousa are procolonialists?

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  13. ponce says:

    ” If this is what we can look forward to if he runs for President, I hope it’s a very short run.”
     
    Compared to whom?
     
    Palin?
    Beck?
    Barbour?
     
    The disgraced Newt Gingrich is no worse than any other Republican leader these days.

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  14. Anderson says:

    Why didn’t Forbes just run a cover photo of Obama with a bone through his nose?

    Would’ve made the D’Souza/Gingrich point succinctly enough, and wouldn’t have been any more offensive than what they printed by D’Souza.

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  15. PD Shaw says:

    Is it possible that Steve Plunk’s assertion that is being challenged here would find support in the number of endorsements Obama received prior to the election that argued that Obama had an international, cosmopolitan point of view that would be an enhancement over the provincial, insular point of view of his predecessors?  That America had to get right with the world by picking one of theirs?

    Obama’s background is exotic; it was part of the selling point.

    Me?  I think he’s a typical Chicago pol that slipped past his bosses onto wider traffic lanes.  His instinct is survival.  Keep your counsel close, your rivals closer.  Most of your mistakes and errors will be overlooked if you can deliver something big, or be seen trying to deliver something big, by the time of the next election.

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  16. John Burgess says:

    I’d say that Newt has jumped the shark, but that visual image creates serious dissonance in my head.
     
    Ain’t no way Newt’s getting my vote, unless he ends up running against Putin for POTUS.

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  17. narciso says:

    Is it really that hard a stretch, with the influences of Frank Marshall Davis, Wright, Phleger, Ayers, Khalidi, (Bell the legal counterpart to Wright) all a very far left caste, to his thinking with a strictly Third World orientation. The last two years have made that plain

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  18. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Doug, your criticizm from the depth of your knowledge and experience fits in here with the echo boys.  I wonder which of the echo boys could match Newts education, knowledge or experience.  You cannot defeat his arguement so the meme here is to demean him.  I don’t know who taught Anjin, Sam, Ponce and Reynolds to hate America, but I know who taught Obama.  Do the name Frank M. David, William J. Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright ring a bell?  Anjin, for the statement which says Obama had an upbringing different from most to be false.  You would have had to be born to a Kenyan Communist black man and an underage white girl named Stanly.  Most folks do not go to Islamic schools in Indonesia, exclusive prep schools in Hawaii, Columbia University and Harvard Law.  Ofcourse we have no documentation from any of his schools, so there is little to indicate what he really did accomplish.  Funny, you hypocrites made a big deal out of what grades George W. Bush got at Yale yet do not have the slightest interest in what Obama did in school.  That affirmative action for you.  Sam you would not make a pimple on Newt Gingriches ass.  On second though, yes you would.

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  19. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Narcisco, that is a very far stretch for the commenters who frequent this blog.  The problem here is most who post here agree with the sentiments of those scum you named.  You did leave Alinsky out.  Obama wrote or claims to have written a couple of books which reveal who he is if they are read.  The one named “Dreams of my Father” should make Newts claim all the more solid.  Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was a Kenyan Communist who wanted to assist in Communisms hold in Kenya.  Sr. seemed to have developed a taste for alcohol.  Jr. seemed to like nose candy.  I think he learned that from the pedophile coke head Frank Marshall Davis.  But then facts are a waste here because all these folks know better?

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  20. Tano says:

    PD Shaw.
     
    I  think you are confusing a “cosmopolitan” perspective, a knowledge of the world, with a foreign perspective. D’Souza and Gingrich do not accuse Obama of simply understanding the complexity of the world – they accuse him of being “other”. A Luo tribesman can be expected to have an even narrower perspective than tea party member. The point is that it is foreign.
    That seems to be the implication of Plunk’s comment as well.
     
    I really can’t imagine how anyone who knows anything about Chicago and about Obama could confuse him with a typical Chicago pol.

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  21. PD Shaw says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve voted for a number of Chicago politicians, including Obama and Blagojevich.  I think some of you all didn’t know what you were getting and that apparently includes Gingrich.

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  22. G.A.Phillips says:

     ”echo boys” has a nice and consistent ring to it.

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  23. [...] potshots being hurled by both Newt Gingrich and our own CLD toward President Obama are “cheap and cynical“; Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog believes the “Kenyan” references are [...]

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  24. ponce says:

    ” That seems to be the implication of Plunk’s comment as well.”
     
    Seems like the brass ring is waiting for the wingnut politician who tires of just implying racist beliefs and comes out and declares them openly.
     
    My money’s on Gingrich to make the (tiny) leap to full blow racist demagogue.

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  25. ratufa says:

    What has Obama actually *done*, in terms of significant actual policy, that is un-American? I’m asking because pretty much all of the criticisms I hear about Obama’s supposed un-American actions are either about relatively unimportant things (e.g. protocol violations when bowing to foreign leaders) or have very weak support (e.g. D’Souza’s criticism of the Export-Import Bank loan to Brazil, the claims about “apology tours”, that he is somehow on the side of the terrorists, etc). When people say that Obama’s major domestic policy actions are un-American, it seems like they are mostly using “un-American” as a synonym for “Liberal”. What has Obama done domestically that a liberal American President, such as FDR, wouldn’t have done (or seriously considered doing) during a major economic crisis?

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  26. Anderson says:

    Dan Larison <a href=”http://www.amconmag.com/larison/2010/09/09/obama-anticolonial-hegemonist/”>slices & dices</a> D’Souza’s nonsense.

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  27. wr says:

    “What has Obama done domestically that a liberal American President, such as FDR, wouldn’t have done (or seriously considered doing) during a major economic crisis?”

    He’s done it while being black.

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  28. If President Obama’s different thinking is the result of “anti-colonialism”, doesn’t that imply his intellectual opponents are imperialists?

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  29. narciso says:

    I could have added Cloward and Piven, and their strategies of collapsing systems through social crisis. At Columbia in the early 80s, he didn’t think the nuclear freeze went far enough, when he traveled to Pakistan shortly afterward, he was allied with left wing opponents of Zia. It’s like every lesson we’ve learned about economics and public policy in the last 30 years,, he has forgotten or never learned. When he was at U of C, in at least one class, he didn’t teach case law, but Alinsky principles

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  30. Franklin says:

    From his early years throughout his life he has not experienced America like most of us.
     
    Obama went rags to riches.  Is that not the story of America?
     

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  31. anjin-san says:

    > Obama went rags to riches.  Is that not the story of America?
    It’s hard to think of a more quintessentially American story than his. Hard work, ambition, belief in education and the American dream of bettering one’s self. Devotion to family (actual devotion, something Newt, Guilliani and their ilk would not understand). If Obama was white, he would be a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover.
    And there we have it. The right is ready to idolize Michael Jordan. But a black man getting himself elected President? That’s…… uppity.

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  32. An Interested Party says:

    Who is Newt Gingrich, of all people, to call anyone else “authentically dishonest”?  It’s just like when he was trying to bring down Bill Clinton while Gingrich himself was also having an extramartial affair…this shameless, repulsive projector has about as much chance of becoming president as Al Sharpton…

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  33. narciso says:

    Lets see steering millions of dollars away from education to your allies own personal piggyback, the CAC, disqualifying every candidates signature so you don’t actually have to win your first race, doing not a whole lot in your stint in the State Legislature, clearing the way for your Senate race, by having allies unseal the divorce records of your opponents,so you only have token opposition, having a well connected slumlord help you buy your first house, pretending to be the Candidate of reform when BP and Goldman are your leading contributors

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  34. An Interested Party says:

    Oh, and before anyone is tempted to paint Saul Alinsky as some kind of lefty bogeyman, think again…

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/07/01/the-alinskygoldwater-axis

    “Although Alinsky is described as some kind of liberal left-winger in actuality big government worried him. He had no use for President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society with its War on Poverty. He used to say that if Washington was going to spend that kind of dough the government might as well station people on the ghetto street corners and hand out hundred-dollar bills to the passing pedestrians. For him governmental action was the last resort, not the ideal one.

    He felt that when the government, via one or another of its poverty programs, put the smartest and most energetic on its payroll it made an independent civic life next to impossible. He would point out that it opened up avenues of social and political control that could be used by the government to stifle independent action. In the worst case thousands of government-paid organizers could be turned into police spies. Writers like George Orwell and José Ortega y Gasset, men of the Left, now seem chiefly read by conservatives but for Alinsky their thinking was central.

    He feared the gigantism of government, corporation and even labor union. The hope of his life was democratic organizations which could pose countervailing power against modern bureaucracies. It was only in that way, he thought, that personal freedom and privacy could be maintained. He did not trust the courts and legal protections to preserve individual liberty. It had to be backed up by countervailing power. For him, as he would often say, it was the struggle of the little man against big structures.

    For these reasons he was less than enthusiastic about much civil rights legislation, though he kept his misgivings to himself. Around the time of Barry Goldwater’s run for the presidency he was contacted by the senator and the two men had at least one meeting. Goldwater or perhaps one of his people had heard of Saul and wanted to see if there was some common ground. The conversation, he told me, was about Goldwater’s opposition to pending civil rights legislation. Saul shared the conservative misgivings about the mischief such laws could cause if abused, but he told Goldwater that he should not morally and could not politically oppose the legislation unless he had a better idea himself. The country was blowing up over civil rights. To stand mute with nothing to offer except opposition to the one legislative proposal on the table was untenable.”

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  35. floyd says:

    Does anyone here really believe that opposition to Obama is racist in any significant way, or is that his only defensible asset in the eyes of his supporters? 

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  36. ponce says:

    “Does anyone here really believe that opposition to Obama is racist in any significant way…”
     
    Does it really matter how small a cancer is now?
     
    The racist element in the Republican party is real and growing.
     
     

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  37. Janis Gore says:

    I stand by the Onion headline:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/black-man-given-nations-worst-job,6439/

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  38. [...] for Racial Division Ctd. Doug Mataconis adds his two cents on the Newt Gingrich/Dinesh D’Souza madness: What I really think we’re seeing [...]

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  39. Franklin says:

    Does anyone here really believe that opposition to Obama is racist in any significant way?

    I’d like to say no.  I don’t think my dad is racist at all, and yet he believes all those stupid chain e-mails that the right wing extremists are circulating.
     
    Let’s compare the way the opposition attacks Obama with the way they attacked other Democrats (specifically, Bill Clinton).  You’ll find something different.  Obama “is not one of us” or “hasn’t experienced America like the rest of us“.
     
    Personally, I don’t think it’s racist, per se (just as Doug said).  But if not racist, then what do these statements mean?  That he didn’t have a typical church upbringing?  That he had a single mom?  That he lived in Hawaii?
     
    Again, compare against Bill Clinton.  Obama’s policies are no more liberal.  Clinton tried to pass a healthcare bill.  If there had been a recession, Clinton would’ve supported a stimulus bill.  If the Big 3 automakers were failing, Clinton would’ve done something about it.  So why is Clinton just a regular sleazeball politician, whereas people are ‘uncomfortable’ with Obama, and asking ‘what’s his real agenda?’ as if he’s a secret agent from Kenya?
     
    Is it just because Obama appears able to keep his pants zipped?  So that line of attack is out the window?  Does the right just need to create their own narrative?
     
    Basically, if it’s not racist, then please do explain what it is.  Explain what is ‘uncomfortable’.  Explain how he’s not ‘one of us’.  Explain these statements that you guys are putting forth, including Gingrich’s “Kenyan Worldview” statement.

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  40. Steve Plunk says:

    anjin,  The baseless charges of racism you have leveled at me are laughable.  It’s not the color of his skin but the content of his mind that have issues with.  You’ve overplayed the race card and should apologize for such a loathsome accusation.  For that matter just grow up.
     
    Many are asking who is ‘us’.  If you don’t understand the shared American experience (I believe you all do but like to play the game of ignorance) how can explain it to you?  Public schools, part time jobs, cars, girls, movies, the list goes on and on.  Even if we all didn’t live it per se we all understood it and our values came form it.  Our families and friends talked politics while we were children listening.  We watched the nightly news and a handful of TV programs like the rest of the country.  People like Moyers even talk about the shared American experience.
     
    Obama missed that.  His years overseas and even his years in Hawaii provided a different experience.  His college years of being surrounded by America haters and anti capitalists warped his views further.  Politics in Chicago taught him to be plastic, malleable in order to attain political goals.  Guided by needs rather than principles he made his way to the presidency where his lack of substance is now becoming clear.  The other thing the American people are seeing is someone who’s just a bit off in his world views.
     
    All of the Obama apologists out there can continue to pretend they don’t see what is obvious to those of us not enamored with him.  You can keep worrying about Palin, Beck, and whoever else you think is just to dumb to listen to.  While you all keep trying to misdirect the conversation the rest of America is tiring of the ‘Hope and Change’ coming from the White House.

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  41. sam says:

    Obama missed that. His years overseas and even his years in Hawaii provided a different experience. His college years of being surrounded by America haters and anti capitalists warped his views further
     

    So, nobody raised in Hawaii can share in “the American experience”? Nobody raised in a professional military family, and thus having to move quite a bit and live in, horrors, foreign countries, can share in “the American experience”? As for his college experience, folks on your side will argue that anybody who goes to a top-tier school will have their views warped and thus cannot share in “the American experience”.
     
    Why don’t read that crap out loud to yourself while standing in front of a mirror and see if you can keep from giggling. Your small-town resentment is leaking all over the place.

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  42. Public schools, part time jobs, cars, girls, movies, the list goes on and on.

    [...]

    Obama missed that.  His years overseas and even his years in Hawaii provided a different experience.

    You do realize that he only spent 4 years abroad, and at a fairly young age (6-10), yes?   The rest he spent in the US of A (of which Hawaii is a part).

    Further, I would note that they have American movies the world over and I don’t think that girls are part of a uniquely American experience.



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  43. [...] that President Obama seems to possess a “Kenyan, anti-colonialist worldview,” which I wrote about yesterday, is drawing fire from both sides of the political aisle. This morning on MSNBC, for example, former [...]

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  44. floyd says:

     So… I see from the responses here that ”his only defensible asset in the eyes of his supporters”  is false accusations of racism… thanks for the confirmations. 

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  45. floyd says:

    It’s time for the Democrat Party to abandon Gollyism.
    It has worked so far but honest people everywhere are weary of it. 

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  46. Steve Plunk says:

    Dr. Taylor,  I have a suspicion you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say ‘the American experience’.  Dissect all you want but we know Obama’s experiences are far different than most of America and certainly a change from what we are used to.  I’m not saying someone with such a background is unfit to lead us but I can see how his worldview was shaped in a different way.  It fits what I see, it makes logical sense, and I haven’t seen a real argument that counters it.
     
    I read that ‘crap’ as you call it though I lacked a mirror.  It still makes sense and explains a lot of what I see coming from the White House.  It certainly explains why the President doesn’t believe America is exceptional the way most Americans believe.  It’s almost like a self loathing.  Fortunately a great many people are starting to see it as well.

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  47. Franklin says:

    So… I see from the responses here that ”his only defensible asset in the eyes of his supporters” is false accusations of racism… thanks for the confirmations.

    There was only one (serious) response, from ponce, that answered yes.  Where are you getting the plural word responses from?
    For the record, I answered your question with a question, in a meandering way.  That question was: what do objectors mean when they say things like ‘not like us’?  Steve Plunk tried to answer that question, and I thank him for that.  I don’t agree, but at least it’s an explanation.  Do you have any?

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  48. @Steve Plunk:

    First, for the record, the “crap” comment, that wasn’t for me.

    Second, in re: the following

    Dr. Taylor,  I have a suspicion you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say ‘the American experience’.

    My basic response is that you made the claim and so it seems like you ought to be able to articulate what you mean by it specifically, especially since you have assigned a great deal of weight to the concept.  In all honesty you ultimately seem to be saying that he doesn’t agree with your and therefore he has a different worldview than you do, which is fair enough.  However, I honesty don’t think that you have any more special claim to an “American experience” than has he.

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  49. @Steve Plunk:  I meant “from” me.

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  50. Steve Plunk says:

    Dr. Taylor,
     
    I apologize for the ‘crap’ response not being clearly labeled for Sam.
     
    I’ll do my best to better explain what I mean by the American experience and how I see our president lacking it.  I notice that while you asked me to better articulate it you didn’t deny you know what I’m talking about.  I guess being a professor you are used to asking your student to do the same.  I’ll humor you.
     
    The American experience varies and therefore I certainly can’t claim to be any more special than the millions of others who have been a part of it.  Like I said earlier people like Bill Moyers, Kevin Burns, and others speak of the American experience on a regular basis.  Whether it’s second generation immigrant getting to go to college or a small farmer in North Dakota living his dream the tales are wide and varied.  In almost all those cases there is a common thread of love for this country and it’s ideas.  Whether it’s the story of a young George Washington chopping down a cherry tree or wondering about those men raising the flag on Iwo Jima we feel a pride for what we are and what we have been.  We believe in American exceptionalism (is that even a word?).  We believe taken as whole America is a just, moral country.
     
    Our President was announced to us as the first truly multicultural candidate when he ran for the office.  We were told his experiences in the world made him a better leader and a man more sensitive to the rest of the world.  He bowed to other world leaders and apologized to the world for American mistakes as proof of his sensitivity.  Many citizens were angry that he would do such things.  Today his multicultural strengths are downplayed.
     
    Early years of life are very formative.  Living abroad gave the President experiences I didn’t have yet it also robbed him of others.  Being raised by grand parents is not unusual but it is not the norm.  It seems his mother was somewhat of an absentee parent.  From those beginnings his quest for identity began.  He ran through a series of names which is highly unusual.  His grandparents on one side were very liberal and anti business while on the other there were tales of British beatings for political reasons.  Traditional American political values were not a part of his upbringing.
     
    College swings most any student to the left (guilty myself) but some of those college days of the President were spent being influenced by a more radical fringe.  After college in Chicago it became Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, and others who molded a young man’s mind to dislike what America was and is.  Today we see his choices for administrative positions as very left and very radical thinkers.
     
    Any portion of this upbringing could be dismissed if there were other factors to balance them but there seem to be none.  Taken as a whole I don’t see his set of experiences as anything near what most of us had.  The experiences that led us to love our country and countrymen.  He lacks what binds the rest of us together.
     
    Now there are many people I disagree with that I would never say they lacked the American experience so waving away my claims just because I disagree with his policies makes no sense.  Like I have already said I make no special claims myself.  Presidents should be special people but not all special people should be president.  I think this is a case of someone special getting the job without the electorate really understanding what made him special and how that is a fault.  We all have differences but his don’t seem to be compatible with being our leader.

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  51. @Steve Plunk:

    I am not being as coy about this as you think I am.  My point is fundamentally that the “American Experience” is a varied one (as you yourself note in your most recent post) and I don’t know how it can be defined as anything other than living in the United States for an extended amount of time.  Since Obama has lived all but 4 years in the US, I cannot see how one can claim that he has not lived the “American Experience.”

    Indeed, I would argue his is, in many ways the fulfillment of a basic American myth:   through education and hard work he proved that any American child can grow up to the be the President of the United States.

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  52. BTW, in the interest of comity, I will note that I agree that living abroad certainly has an effect on one’s point of view.  Indeed, I think it is an enhancement (but I am biased, having lived a year abroad).  Still, I do not think that such dwelling outside the US would detract from the “American experience.”

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  53. anjin-san says:

    > If you don’t understand the shared American experience (I believe you all do but like to play the game of ignorance) how can explain it to you?  Public schools, part time jobs, cars, girls, movies, the list goes on and on.

    I have to admit Steve, your reasoning is fascinating. So public schools are a requirement for the real and true American experience? Half of my friends are sending their kids to private schools, I am sure they will be disappointed to discover that their children are not true Americans. George W. Bush and John McCain both attended private schools… are they not “one of us”?
    Cars, girls, movies… Did Obama miss out on these things? I kinda doubt it.  Can you expound on that statement a little?
    The scope of your thinking may be small, but the reality of the complexity of American life is not. I grew up surrounded my far more wealth, education, culture and opportunity than many Americans will ever know. Am I not “one of us”? Mr. Bush had an upbringing that afforded him more of these things than I by several orders of magnitude. I don’t care for the man, but I regard him as a real American, just as I do Bill Clinton, an entirely self-made man who came up next to nowhere with next to nothing. (Clinton also lost his father at a young age and spent a lot of time with his grandparents – I never realized grandparents are some sort of handicap).
    > Traditional American political values were not a part of his upbringing.
    Liberal thinking is not part of “traditional American political values”? Say what? If conservatives had been in charge of the Continental Congress we would still be flying the Union Jack. This country was founded on liberal, even radical ideas.

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  54. gphx says:

    We learn a lot from our fathers. Their opinions as we grow up can be highly influential upon us. Newt just pointed out the background of Obama’s father and highlighted a perspective he may have been exposed to. Wikipedia states his father was Kenyan when it was a colony and was a member of the Luo ethnic group. From what I can see Newt didn’t say anything that wasn’t said by Wikipedia. People will twist things into whatever they want them to be bearing no relation to the speaker’s intent.

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  55. @gphx:  You do realize that Obama was not raised by his father, yes?  And that they only met, I think, once?

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  56. [...] Newt Gingrich: Obama May Follow A "Kenyan Worldview" (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  57. anjin-san says:

    > And that they only met, I think, once?
    Yes, but during that meeting, Obama was infused with an Kenyan outlook. Infused, I say…

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  58. bob says:

    The foreign press has been say that Obama does not have an American president for some time. One British paper calling him more like a third world leader. 

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