Book Review: The Case Against Barack Obama

posted at 8:01 am on September 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

I didn’t completely abandon politics on my weekend getaway to Duluth, as it turns out. Vacations at B&Bs usually give people a chance to catch up on their reading, and I decided to read David Freddoso’s The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate. As my daily routine leaves little time for book reading, I had used TCABO as a very handy reference guide, with its extensive footnotes and excellent index — but I had never done a cover-to-cover reading of it. With the election getting more intense, this seemed like the last opportunity I had to do it.

In doing so, I discovered why the Barack Obama campaign fears this book. Last week they staged what can only be described as a mob action intended to silence Freddoso, the same as they did with Stanley Kurtz, who hadn’t even yet written about the Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers he fought to open. It’s not that Freddoso has written an “extremist” or “hate”-filled book, as their hyperbolic message to their mindless thugs accused. Instead, Freddoso has written a reasonable, rational look at Obama’s record and has concluded that he is the first reformer to have never actually reformed anything, or even attempted it.

Freddoso, in fact, gives Obama the benefit of the doubt in many places. He scoffs at the rumor-mongering of some of Obama’s opponents, such as the Obama-is-a-Muslim urban legend. Those not only miss the point, but they actually boost Obama and make real, substantial criticism less credible. He notes Obama’s radical connections, but also notes that Obama hasn’t actually been a radical himself; even so, his worldview obviously comes from that perspective, which explains his doctrinaire liberalism of the Paul Wellstone variety.

In fact, Freddoso warns at the beginning of the book that his work may endear Obama even further to the Wellstonites, and it probably would, except for the cooperation and support that Obama has consistently given the Chicago Machine. Freddoso, heavily relying on the Chicago newspapers that the national media have all but ignored in this presidential election, carefully constructs Obama’s political history in Daley’s Machine. Obama had plenty of opportunity to become a reformer in Chicago, and yet he consistently chose to support Daley, the Strogers, cronyism, corruption, and patronage.

Barack Obama never rocked the boat. He became Daley’s Senator at both the state and federal levels, and Obama returned the favor by endorsing Daley in 2007 — despite the years-long federal investigation into his famously-corrupt administration.

The Economist approvingly reviews Freddoso’s book and comes to the same conclusion:

If Mr Obama really were the miracle-working, aisle-jumping, consensus-seeking new breed of politician his spin-doctors make him out to be, you would expect to see the evidence in these eight years. But there isn’t very much. Instead, as Mr Freddoso rather depressingly finds, Mr Obama spent the whole period without any visible sign of rocking the Democratic boat.

He was a staunch backer of Richard Daley, who as mayor failed to stem the corruption that has made Chicago one of America’s most notorious cities. Nor did he lift a finger against John Stroger and his son Todd, who succeeded his father as president of Cook County’s Board of Commissioners shortly before Stroger senior died last January. Cook County, where Chicago is located, has been extensively criticised for corrupt practices by a federally appointed judge, Julia Nowicki.

Why the hysterical reaction to Freddoso (which failed, as an aside, because his interview with Milt Rosenberg had been pre-taped)?  [see update below] Freddoso is that much more dangerous because he has written the truth, and documented it well.

Update: Jerome Corsi e-mailed me this morning, and says: “Let me state categorically here that I continue to support the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission that the cause of the 9/11 attacks were the hijackers who flew the airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I see no credible evidence that the U.S. government was involved or complicit in causing the 9/11 attacks.”

Here are some links to his rebuttals, and it seems that he has been victimized to some degree by the same Team Obama spin.

I thank Jerome for the opportunity to set the record straight, and am happy to note that he doesn’t support 9/11 Trutherism.


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I can tell you that the “in your face” efforts are all over the net, as is the astroturfing.

The funny thing is just how obvious it is. Subtlety is an art beyond the ken of most.

drjohn on September 22, 2008 at 8:08 AM

Ed! I can’t afford another book right now. Why have you tempted me so?

TheNolan on September 22, 2008 at 8:09 AM

Is it time to look at CHICAGO. Something stinks there!!!!

steviedfromnc on September 22, 2008 at 8:20 AM

The Tom Ayers connection is the amazing one. Tom Ayers (father of terrorist Bill Ayers) is the godfather of Chicago Democratic politics. Wanna know why Obama was hanging with Wright, Bill Ayers, Beradine Dorhn, and Rezko? To get his foot in the door of the Daley Machine. It is all interconnected.

Mr. Joe on September 22, 2008 at 8:21 AM

I have read this book, and I can tell you, based on the way things “work” in Chicago politics, that everything said in this book is 100% accurate.

Read this book and you will not only understand why Illinois politics is in the quagmire that it is in right now, but why the greatest mistake anyone could make would be to see B.O. elected as President. It would be a disaster that would make the financial snafu of last week look like a sunny walk in the park!

pilamaye on September 22, 2008 at 8:22 AM

If Mr Obama really were the miracle-working, aisle-jumping, consensus-seeking new breed of politician his spin-doctors make him out to be, you would expect to see the evidence in these eight years.

Doesn’t voting “present” over 100 times count for anything?

Rovin on September 22, 2008 at 8:23 AM

Nor did he lift a finger against John Stroger and his son Todd

Barack lifted a finger long enough to endorse the younger Stroger (over his pal Forrest Claypool, no less) and now, to pay for the rampant nepotism, greed, graft and ineptitude of the county government (a bi-product of the elder Stroger’s “handiwork”), we’re having to pay the highest sales tax in the country.

Let’s not forget that Barack also endorsed Blago.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again – the only thing Barack Obama has changed in Chicago has been his address (and even doing that was dirty).

yo on September 22, 2008 at 8:25 AM

The other Chicago School: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldfCymsiY6E

Mr. Joe on September 22, 2008 at 8:27 AM

TheNolan on September 22, 2008 at 8:09 AM

Libraries are wonderful things. Mine will even reserve the book for you, online of course, ship it to the branch nearest to me and notify me via e-mail when it’s there.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2008 at 8:28 AM

I understand the “hesitancy” (ha) of the MSM to dirty Obama’a image, but surely there must be investigative journalists that value the “scoop” over the politics!

or not? No place to air the story? no desire to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulder, more likely!

anniekc on September 22, 2008 at 8:31 AM

I’m not so sure that it’s about the MSM’s hesitancy to dirty Obama’s image. I think it’s about money. And greed. After Obama is elected, how long do you think it will take the MSM to gleefully turn on him? Which candidate is more bankable to a reporter–a boring old white guy, or an inexperienced young black dude with ties to terrorism and corruption? Just a thought.

mushroom on September 22, 2008 at 8:51 AM

Let me guess…here’s yet ANOTHER book the big newspapers won’t find time to review.

smagar on September 22, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Let’s see. Page one:

Obama is “the least experienced politician in at least one hundred years to obtain a major party nomination for President….”(ix).

Bzzzzt. Wrong. (GW served less time in public office when elected, as did Reagan, Carter, Ike, Hoover yada yada yada).

If the author is so inept (or partisan) as to tell such a whopper on page one of the book, why bother reading the rest of it? But I realize you love it Ed because it tells you what you want to hear.

Grow Fins on September 22, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Grow Fins,

How many times did GW, Reagan, Carter, Ike, Hoover, yada, yada, yada, vote present?

BobK on September 22, 2008 at 9:07 AM

Grow Fins on September 22, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Are you seriously comparing Obama’s part-time, 2-days-a-week job as a state legislator to the 24/7 responsibilities of a state governor?

AZCoyote on September 22, 2008 at 9:10 AM

Grow Fins on September 22, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Ignore him. Don’t feed the troll. He probably doesn’t even care about the point he’s making. He won’t back it up, or discuss it honestly. He just asserts something and waits for someone to bite on it. Every forum has them. Watch. You’ll get nothing intelligent out of him. No genuine interaction or meeting of the minds. He’s a troll. Don’t take the bait.

Paul-Cincy on September 22, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Grow Fins on September 22, 2008 at 9:01 AM

I haven’t read the book but I don’t think he necessarily meant political experience. Bush had run an oil company and a professional baseball team before becoming Governor of one of our largest states.

Kafir on September 22, 2008 at 9:26 AM

I’m still reading it — trying to sneak it in in-between feedings and diaper changes. Of what I’ve read so far, not all that surprising.

ScoopPC11 on September 22, 2008 at 9:27 AM

I bought the Freddoso book after the Obamalinsky minions tried to shut down the radio program in Chicago. I never realized how shamelessly Obama embraced, knucked under, and toadied up to corrupt Chicago political machine. Freddoso shows Obama spurning opportunity after opportunity to reform , but stayed silent, voted present. Freddoso’s expose is rightly to be feared. It is heavily referenced and well written.

marybel on September 22, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Barack Obama…A legend in his own mind.

whitetop on September 22, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Once I heard about the “mob action” last week, I decided that I had to have the book to see what all the fuss was about. So I ordered two copies, one for me here in Iraq, and one for the wife in upstate NY.

The wife read it over the weekend, and supposedly my oldest son (middle school) was going to take it to school today to use as part of his “reading class”. (He loves to upset his liberal Obama supporting teachers.) The wife said it was a very informative book, and well documented.

I’m still waiting for my copy…

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on September 22, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Grow fins, maybe you should do a little reading. George Washington served in the House of Burgesses. That was the name of Virginia’s legislature before independence. NEXT!

thekingtut on September 22, 2008 at 9:46 AM

It’s available for your ipod at audible

RushBaby on September 22, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Grow Brains:

Are you honestly comparing a few years as a junior member of the legislature to years as a governor?

MarkTheGreat on September 22, 2008 at 9:56 AM

Why the hysterical reaction to Freddoso (which failed, as an aside, because his interview with Milt Rosenberg had been pre-taped)? Why doesn’t Team Obama reserve their thuggery for Jerome Corsi instead? Precisely because Corsi’s book has little credibility — his embrace of 9/11 Trutherism undoubtedly helped ensure that. Freddoso, on the other hand, is much more dangerous, because he has written the truth, and documented it well.

Having read both books, I concur.

RickZ on September 22, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Given the premise that the Obama team spun Corsi by associating him with Trutherism, one has to wonder what the good people of the Truther movement think of team Obama which uses Trutherism as a name of derision.

burt on September 22, 2008 at 12:58 PM

To be fair, Corsi emphatically denies he is a Truther and says this is a smear put out by the Obama Campaign to discredit him. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=72787 He has however made undeniably racist comments about black people in the past, making him an easy target for Obama defenders. Ed, what do you think of the “Audacity of Obama” book?

cornwall on September 22, 2008 at 1:01 PM

According to the accusations of election fraud in WI by these free press liberal hacks, Obama stole his 1996 Illinois state senate race as researched in Freddoso’s book.

geckomon on September 22, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Is it time to look at CHICAGO. Something stinks there!!!!

steviedfromnc on September 22, 2008 at 8:20 AM

You gave me a big laugh, really. I lived in the Chicago area when I was born there in 1933, I do not have much of a recollection of 1933. I do recall hearing about Chicago from my father and grandfather five or six years later. They argued about which of the two communities they lived in was more associated with Chicago corruption. It ended in a draw, both communitees got annexed. It was more corrupt then than now and had been since before my birth. It has maintained a high level of corruption ever since.

burt on September 22, 2008 at 1:12 PM

I still need to get Liberal Fascism and America Alone, but I’ll add this book to the list.

Cr4sh Dummy on September 22, 2008 at 2:17 PM

I still need to get Liberal Fascism and America Alone, but I’ll add this book to the list.

Cr4sh Dummy on September 22, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Liberal Fascism is a must for those who need a more realistic perspective to fascism and how it’s rooted in the history of liberal politics in America.

geckomon on September 22, 2008 at 2:46 PM

He(Barack Obama) was a staunch backer of Richard Daley, who as mayor failed to stem the corruption that has made Chicago one of America’s most notorious cities. Nor did he lift a finger against John Stroger and his son Todd, who succeeded his father as president of Cook County’s Board of Commissioners shortly before Stroger senior died last January. Cook County, where Chicago is located, has been extensively criticised for corrupt practices by a federally appointed judge, Julia Nowicki.

Also Obama was taking campaign cash from Rezko(Obama frind of 17 years) after Rezko failed to pay the bills and heat the building in Obama’s District in 1997, Obama never exposed ANY Corruption, he just Kept taking MORE AND MORE money from him, he actually did a land and house deal AFTER Rezko was totally outed in the press and was brought up on criminal charges!

Why didn’t Obama Blow the Whistle on him?

Why didn’t Obama ask to speak at the trial to make sure that Rezko got convicted?

Why didn’t Obama hold a Major Press 3-4 hour conference and take open question from all in the media?

Why is Obama doing the same thing with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?(Instead he’s sitting there saying “let me eat my waffle”)

McCain stood up, he was the only person to testify in the Keating 5(1 Republican, 4 Democrats), McCain helped to get Keating Busted! McCain was responsible and accountable, McCain held a 3-4 hour press conference afterward until the press got tired of asking questions. Now that’s being open and honest.
——————-

Obama is hiding and perpetuating a cover up.

Chakra Hammer on September 22, 2008 at 2:56 PM