No single snowflake ever feels responsible for the avalanche. It’s not just the “birth certificate”; President Obama has given us blizzards of reasons to question his autobiographical accuracy.
At my journalism school there were no lessons on how to ignore 800-pound gorillas. How did this current crowd get so good at it? Example: I attended the University of North Carolina with the great movie- and TV star Andy Griffith. When he became a national favorite, those who knew him slightly pretended they knew him well. Those who knew him well pretended they’d roomed with him. That’s for a Hollywood star, mind you; not a president. Isn’t there one mainstream journalist who finds it odd that, quite literally, nobody recalls going to Columbia University with Barack Obama? – or Barry Soetero?
Jack Cashill’s literary sleuthing has convinced millions that Obama never wrote his own books. Interview yourself: Do you believe the president, after 20 years in his pew, was surprised to learn of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s racial views? Or that the president had no clue as to William Ayers’ background beyond his being “a guy in the neighborhood”? I forgive myself for being reminded of a guy in my neighborhood whose relationship to the truth suffered perpetual estrangement. He never told the truth. Never! Well, once, I must concede, he did tell the truth, but he thought he was lying! Among my unalienable rights is the right to question everything about the president’s past as presented to us.
I remember when American newsmen used to ridicule their French colleagues for their obsequious softball questioning of President Charles de Gaulle at Paris press conferences. Those French reporters were water-boarders compared to the American White House press corps today.
The treatment, by the president’s political bodyguards, of those who believe he’s not eligible to hold the office is an American disgrace. As King Christian of Denmark spat in Hitler’s face by wearing the Star of David (which only Jews were obligated to wear), let me quickly don the label of a “birther,” and then I’ll move on. Or, let the president “show it” and we can all move on!
Remember the Sherlock Holmes tale of “The Dog That Did Not Bark”? That’s a theme that may be worth moving on to.
Among the items in President Obama’s biography, I hear a dog not barking. And, to me, the non-barking is quite loud. Obama’s handlers have, naturally, enhanced his image by highlighting things that humanize and enlarge the man and impress the masses. The White House PR minions managed to enlist professional basketball stars who straight-facedly praised the president’s ability and agility on the court. The famous “beer with the boys” after the Cambridge police incident comes to mind. So do his breakaway visits to the gym, his rapport with ordinary people whose hero-worship of the president could cause radioactive burns, and his tenacity in jack-hammering legislation through, “not because it’s politically advantageous, but because it’s right!” So what about the non-barking dog?
We’re told Obama spent several years in school in Indonesia. The Indonesian language is among the most interesting in the world. When they want to make a noun plural they just say it twice. “Man” in Indonesian is “Orang.” “Men” is “orang-orang,” and when they write it they just write one “orang” and put a “2” after it, so an Indonesian newspaper looks like an unending algebraic equation. Indonesian is poetic. Their word for “sun” is “mata hari” (same as the seductive World War I female spy, who was considered the “sun” of Asia). Literally, “mata hari” means “the eye of the day.” Isn’t that nice? Can you imagine Axelrod and the gang not making sure we knew that this president, instead of uttering non-English grotesqueries like “mis-underestimate,” actually speaks a major Asian language? Wouldn’t you expect at least once to turn on TV and watch the president schmoozing with the Indonesian ambassador in Indonesian? I would; provided, of course, that the president actually speaks Indonesian.
Here’s a whole new player with a spotless jersey.
“Mr. Gibbs, does President Obama speak Indonesian?”
I’ve asked many friends of Obama, including Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. Nobody so far has a clue. Not producing a legitimate birth certificate is one thing. Refusing to utter a few words in Indonesian is another. By my reckoning, Mr. Obama should speak fluent Indonesian, considering the years he spent in school there.
What magnificent coup would be achieved if we learn of Mr. Obama’s ability or inability to speak Indonesian? None. This has none of the potential combustibility of the birth-certificate issue. It’s just that I’m the world’s foremost authority on what interests me. And I’m excruciatingly curious to know if the president speaks the language of the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world. If he does, why have his image-burnishers failed to harvest some points for that? And if not, what gives?
Dogs that don’t bark can, nonetheless, bite.