Monday, October 24, 2011

Booking Obama

Behold the local library's collection of books about Barack Obama. (Click to enlarge and savor the titles.) When school kids are asked to do reports on the Obama presidency (presuming they have teachers who encourage them to look beyond the internet for source material), this is the sludge that will fill their brains.

My own anti-Obama credentials are, I think, impeccable. Still, the conservative insta-books here -- by Dick Morris, Michelle Malkin, Pam Geller, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham and so forth -- are reprehensible offerings which give a completely skewed view of the problems facing us.

The title that amuses me most is The Roots of Obama's Rage by Dinesh D'Souza. Obama has a lot of problems, but rage isn't one of them. One might scry racism into the fact that D'Souza found some marketplace traction by ascribing rage to someone who has proven to be about as aggressive as a daffodil. There is also enormous hypocrisy on display here, since D'Souza's Limbaugh-loving audience thrives on rage; they are chronic political masturbators who spend their days floating from rage-gasm to rage-gasm.

The title Gangster Government may also be intended as a subconscious appeal to bigotry. Maybe not so very sub-.

There are a couple of campaign-era puff books in this collection; we may safely ignore those. I've not yet read The Promise, but I've heard that it is a decent piece of reportage. The only volume here that critiques Obama from a left-of-center perspective is Hodge's The Mendacity of Hope. Think of it: Just one book in this 26-volume collection represents the disappointments felt by those who do not get their news from Rupert Murdoch. That's well over half the people who live in this country -- and keep in mind that the blue-staters usually have higher incomes. If marketplace considerations alone determined which books get published and widely distributed, Hodge's lonely volume would have ten or twenty siblings. So...something else is going on in the world of publishing.

Readers should understand that the insta-book phenomenon is a fairly new tool in the propagandist's arsenal. I well recall that, as we slid into the last half of 1991, there was only one book which offered a critical assessment of George H.W. Bush -- a biography written by a couple of LaRouchies. That work proved surprisingly useful, although it had lots of crankish bits sprinkled into its pages. In 1992, we got Joel Bainerman's The Crimes of a President, which, at the time, seemed very conspiratorial and paranoid; by modern standards, it's a pretty reasonable work. That year also gave us Pete Brewton's masterful The Mafia, C.I.A. and George Bush. Very few libraries stocked any of those three titles, and they weren't all that easy to discover in bookstores.

Some of my readers are so suffused with Obama-hate that they probably welcome any writer who slams our failed president. That attitude is an error. Most of these books are written by people who had no complaints about the great Wall Street heist as it happened -- and now they are trying to convince you that the great problem besetting this country is socialism.
Those books sure look new. Have any of them ever been checked out?

(I wouldn't bother opening them at all.)
In the Age of Illiteracy, few books getting checked out of the library these days. Brewton's book is a better than solid piece of work, influencing Baker's very good "Family of Secrets." Must admit to having read (and from time to time, re-reading bits) of Tarpley's Bush bio -- always wondered who funds Webster and the rollicking Larouchoids...
Where did the picture come from? Did someone actually have to buy all of that crap so they could take the picture?

Just asking.
I took it. At the library.
How many of those books were from Regnery Publishing?

Because that could explain why there are so many.
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