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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