Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Deconstructing Obama" Is a Seriously Important Book

By Herbert E. Meyer
March 10, 2011

Would you believe me if I told you that while in Milan last weekend, I'd been to La Scala for the world premiere of a new opera by George W. Bush?  And would you ever again take me seriously if I published a review of Bush's new opera in which I wrote that "...through this work, so infused with the passion of Carmen, the musicality of La Boheme and the drama of Tosca, our forty-third president takes his place as the most gifted composer in the history of American politics"?

Of course not.  No one, not even that former-Bush-White-House-press-secretary blonde who keeps showing up on Fox News, would believe this because it's utterly preposterous.  A man who has displayed not the slightest musical talent simply cannot sit down one day and produce an operatic masterpiece.

And as Jack Cashill proves in Deconstructing Obama, it is just as preposterous to believe that President Obama actually wrote his lyrical, extravagantly praised autobiography, Dreams from My Father.  On page after page, chapter after chapter, Cashill shows why it simply isn't possible for Obama to have produced such a high-quality autobiography.  For instance, Obama wrote nearly nothing before Dreams from My Father, despite being president of the Harvard Law Review, and what little he wrote in the years after Harvard is clunky and sophomoric. And yet Dreams from My Father contains some of the most elegant, evocative sentences ever penned by a politician:

I heard all our voices begin to run together, the sound of three generations tumbling over each other like the currents of a slow-moving stream, my questions like rocks roiling the water, the breaks in memory separating the currents....

Huh?  Obama has been our president for more than two years, and hardly a day goes by without him blathering on about some issue.  Jokes about his dependence on the teleprompter are a staple of the late-night television comics.  The president's inaugural address -- which he surely didn't dash off casually, because he must have understood that this is the speech that one day will be carved into the marble wall of his monument -- contains not one memorable phrase or sentence.  So how did he write the kinds of poetic, elegiac passages that make Dreams from My Father a literary near-masterpiece?

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