Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Politics Of: Dreams From My Real Father

Why is Joel Gilbert's Name In COMMUNIST Red!?
Dreams From My Real Father is a documentary video created by Joel Gilbert that alleges that Barack Obama's real father and political mentor was communist Frank Marshal Davis--that Obama and his grandfather (and mother) hid this well--and that he was then mentored and launched by the usual suspects (Ayers, etc.) into corrupt Chicago politics to become a 5th columnist president!

The Movie Dreams From My Real Father
Available on Netlficks and mailed, famously, mailed to several million people in swing states (alas, I did not get one) it is a documentary which uses Ed Law (no other credits on IMDB) doing the voice-over of "Obama" reading his "real autobiography" as he details how he was raised in a communist fashion and, eventually, had to have a nose job because he was looking like his real dad.

The video spends almost no time handling people who might not believe it. The not-very-convincing side-by-side images of 'father' and son combined with some not-very-convincing nude photos of "mom" that Davis took are all the firepower this needs to bring us to 'current history' where we see Ayers, Bernadine Dorn, and the rest of the gang (Rezko) in stock footage as we're told about "The Chicago" way (the C in Chicago stands for Corruption, Faux-Bama tells us ... hey, it's cleverer than you think, pronounce it!).

Law sounds nothing at all like Obama and reads his lines in a jaunty, folksy fashion as the camera shows us pictures of a book (Dreams of My REAL Father) which does not actually exist but, maybe, we're supposed to think is something Obama actually wrote? I'm not sure.

Is It True?
About the only interesting thing in DFMRF is that it's (apparently) true Obama met and for a short time hung with Frank Marshal Davis when Frank was an old man. It isn't spelled out in the actual Dreams From My Father auto-biography that Obama actually wrote but I think from what Obama says ... it's him:
There was one exception, a poet named Frank who lived in a dilapidated house in a run-down section of Waikiki. He had enjoyed some modest notoriety once, was a contemporary of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes during his years in Chicago-Gramps once showed me some of his work anthologized in a book of black poetry. But by the time I met Frank he must have been pushing eighty, with a big, dewlapped face and an ill-kempt gray Afro that made him look like an old, shaggy-maned lion. He would read us his poetry whenever we stopped by his house, sharing whiskey with Gramps out of an emptied jelly jar.
This certainly could be him and does the fact that Obama doesn't make much of it (doesn't name drop) mean he was hiding something? Let's see.

  1. Neither the movie, nor anything else, presents any kind of evidence that Obama was born to Davis. As close as it comes is the idea that Obama's father was that some version of the birth certificate listed the father's name as Unknown (which, uh, I can't find. Every BC I can find on the net lists Obama). Airtight,
  2. Obama sure is a lot like Davis after all: (a) they are both tall (b) they both have age-spots (c) they both, uh smoke (d) put next to each other they both look like black-men (e) they have "the same smile." Airtight.
After that, it's pretty much the traditional narrative (Obama was mentored to be a hidden communist, his career launched in terrorist Ayer's living room, and so on). By the time we're half way through there's nothing new. If you are looking for nude pictures of Obama's mom, they even blacked out the good parts.

My conclusion is that not only is this not true it's not even convincingly presented. The whole thing is wrapped in a cloak of misdirection and Gilbert (probably correctly) knows that what he is selling is a voice for anger at Obama and a form for distrust of Obama and therefore the targets of the video are already sold. Consider this: 49% of Republicans polled by PPP think the (now defunct / disbanded) ACORN stole the election this year too.
49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn't exist anymore.
We know PPP enjoys asking bizarre questions to get some eye-popping results but I think the smart money says that the robo-polled targets of this question are frustrated by the election and will push the button for anything that cast it in a bad light. There's a lot of anger out there and a savvy documentary maker might try to exploit it? Possible?

Consider film-maker Joel Gilbert's other work: mockumentaries claiming Elvis was found alive (in the movie it turns out that the King of Rock and Roll battled the Weathermen) and that Paul McCartney is really dead. Gilbert knows how to tune people up and poke fun at conspiracy theories.

Finally, DFMRF hasn't been received well by almost anyone: It's simply not even close to convincing. While it gets almost equal 5-star and 1-star reviews on Amazon, audience testing by Republican message-strategist Frank Luntz was apparently disastrous:
Focus groups were revolted by “Dreams From My Real Father,” with its conspiracy theory paranoia and dubious evidence. It compares photos of the president and Mr. Davis, noting that they have similar noses and freckles. It also purports to have uncovered nude photos of Mr. Obama’s mother in a bondage magazine.
Mr. Luntz’s clients were not surprised. Their thinking was, “I want to know if it’s as bad as I think it is,” Mr. Luntz said.
The movie also upset birthers because Marshall was an American citizen. There's little better than dueling conspiracy theories!

The Politics
The movie is unconvincing, fairly banal, and only adequately made. What about the politics? The key political foundation of the anti-Obama myth is this:

There is a secret exploit in American politics that is guaranteed to win: Take a black man (or other minority), give him an American-Dream rags-to-riches story. Clean up his past (if there are any issues)--being African in descent is better than Black American (so fix that). Having a fairly loutish guy as a dad is better than a communist poet ... so fix that early. Get him a law degree (as it may be necessary to cheat on this, go ahead). Get him some accomplishments however you have to. Get him an autobiography: Ghost write it if you have to. Launch him into local politics. Move to state and then national politics. Use a general (if encoded: Change is code for Communist) message of hope and unity. Make sure he's a blank-slate (always vote Present).

You. Will. Win.

The media will fall into line. White-guilt will reign supreme. He's unstoppable.

This narrative ignores all kinds of things:

  1. If this is the secret sauce why someone who has that real resume doing it? Do real people like this not exist? Do they not run for president? Would, like, Allen West work? Was he unstoppable? Uh: No.
  2. How secure of your cover-up would you have to be to get someone who cannot write his own stuff into scoring position to the white house? Obama is, apparently, really bad raw material. He can't talk without a teleprompter. His whole story is based on a lie: if uncovered, he's sunk. He needed all kinds of intervention at school and everything. He only won in Chicago due to corruption--and so on.
  3. Obama's victory was as much a fault of Bush as Obama's good speechifying. Either he, Hillary, or Edwards (had he not self-destructed) would have had a very good chance to beat McCain in 2008. Obama ran a better campaign than either of them but could you have planned that? Against the Clintons?
  4. Doesn't white-guilt ever apply to GOP black candidates? Cain? West? Etc.? If not, why not?
In any event, DFMRF is a failure on almost all counts (save that, maybe, it made money--I bet some donor paid for those million disks to go out). It seems to have had no impact. It's a fairly transparent smear job. It'll go down adding fuel to the fire of people who think the GOP is kinda racist. Top job, Gilbert!

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