The Great Lie; Obama Cares Most about Obama

Article excerpt


First-time author David Freddoso has taken on the difficult job of sorting the wheat from the chaff. In the intro to The Case Against Barack Obama, he writes that too many of those criticizing Mr. Obama have been content merely to slander him - to claim falsely that he refuses to salute the U.S. flag or was sworn into office on a Koran, or that he was really born in a foreign country.

Such conspiracy mongering, he writes, has given rise to an intellectual laziness among the very people who should be carefully scrutinizing Obama [i.e., thoughtful conservatives and, of course, journalists]. This book isn't merely the case against Mr. Obama. It's the case against the dumb case against the Democratic nominee as well.

Mr. Freddoso, whose current job as a reporter for National Review Online and previous gig at the Evans-Novak Report brought him into contact with Mr. Obama, has been surprised by the press' reception of the Chicago pol. The book opens with a reminder that should be unnecessary, and yet seems called for: Barack Obama is a mere man.

Slate magazine's Timothy Noah famously unveiled the Obama Messiah Watch to convince fellow liberals to get a grip on themselves, but it didn't work. In chapter four, Obamessiah, Mr. Freddoso quotes from some of the many over-the-top things that liberals have written about Mr. Obama, including the progressive journalist Ezra Klein's bizarre, trippy evaluation of Mr. Obama's oratorical efforts.

Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire, Mr. Klein wrote in a post on the Web site of the progressive monthly the American Prospect. Instead, They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.

Mr. Freddoso does not believe the presumptive Democratic nominee is an America-hating Marxist or a foreign agent or the Second Coming. Rather, he argues at length that Mr. Obama is a big phony. The Illinois pol may have crafted himself an image as one of those rare reformers who succeeds, but the idea of Barack Obama as a reformer is a great lie that many now devoutly, and wrongly, believe in.

Mr. …