April 11, 2010

"The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama"

An excerpt from my new VDARE.com column:

Barack Obama is the most powerful man in America. And David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, is one of the most powerful figures in American journalism.

Not surprisingly, reviewers of Remnick’s new Presidential biography/doorstop, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, have generally prostrated themselves before Remnick with the same shamelessness as the editor has prostrated himself before the politician in these 656 pages of humorless hagiography.

A biography of Santa Claus would be more hard-hitting than The Bridge, which confirms in exhaustive detail that, yes, Obama's life is, indeed, "a story of race and inheritance." Remnick, who is certainly a bright fellow, just makes himself seem obtuse as he constantly offers the most insipid rationalizations available of the outsized role that race has played in Obama’s choices. Political correctness makes you stupid.

The Bridge stands as a self-emasculated monument to the insidious costs of Access Journalism. Yes, Remnick scored a lot of interviews. The Bridge, for examples, ends with Remnick reverently interviewing his subject in the Oval Office about the meaning of his being in the Oval Office.

Yet, for what shall it profit a writer, if he shall gain the whole world of access, and lose his own soul?

When you could speak truth to power, what does it say about you that you choose to speak spin for power? ...

Despite Obama’s hopeless struggle with being black enough relative to other black politicians, he was a natural at exploiting white people’s vast reservoir of good will toward blacks—and desire to feel superior over other whites—for his own personal advancement. He was the one they’d been waiting for. As Eric Zorn, the liberal Chicago Tribune columnist, said about Obama’s campaigning among whites in 2004:
“Obama was somehow all about validating you. … He was radiating the sense that ‘You’re the kind of guy who can accept a black guy as a senator.’ He made people feel better about themselves for liking him.”

Read the whole thing.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


TGGP said...

Some political scientists chart the effects (or lack thereof) of the Wright scandal on Intrade prices for Obama's nomination here.

Anonymous said...

There is not evidence of unrestrained commentary about the President that one would reasonably expect considering his general social acceptance in high school, etc. Lots of people have itneracted with him but relatively few have gone on record.

Unknown said...

I suppose Remnick doesn't cite your book? Wonder if he read it.

Steve Sailer said...

It tracks mine pretty closely in parts, just with the opposite examples chosen as illustrations. I always went for the most interesting examples while Remnick picked the most soporific.

Kylie said...

Anonymous said: "There is not evidence of unrestrained commentary about the President that one would reasonably expect considering his general social acceptance in high school, etc. Lots of people have itneracted with him but relatively few have gone on record."

Perhaps his vindictive streak was evident early on.

I think it more likely, though, that he hadn't yet completed his transformation from dark-skinned nerdy white kid to cool black guy and simply didn't make much of an impression.

Ray Sawhill said...

Great review.

neil craig said...

"the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the constitution ... the constitution is a document of negative liberties-- says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal gov’t can’t do to you"

Now that is scary - the President says he would like to destroy the freedom guarantees in the Constitution even beyond what the "living document" reinterpreters have gone.

fdffaffafdsafsa said...

The movie SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION = Obama's psycho-politics.

fdfafeaf said...

I think a part of Remnick is willfully naive in his gushing appraisal of Obama. His white liberal part.

But, his Jewish part is not gullible at all but very cunning and calculating as to why Obama is useful to American Jews. He is the miscegenist ideal. He's a posterboy for all the white women out there to see and think, "I should have sex with a black guy and give birth to my own super Obama baby." Drive a wedge between white males and white females. Divide and conquer.

Also, after so many yrs of hearing all the nasty things about Jews from the black community, Jews found and groomed themselves a Jew-friendly black guy. (But Jews covered this up by having Obama
befriend nuts like Wright and some Chicago Palestinian groups. Dummies look at this and think, 'uh duh, Obama is a closet Muslim out to destroy Israel'. LMAO).

Also, whites and Jews were not attracted to Obama for only his whiteness. Obama was appealing because he could do the white thing but retained some of that Magic Negro-ness. He was seen as the perfect fusion of white patience/intellect and black charisma/magnetism. Whiteness alone is bland and boring. Blackness alone is loud and scary. But mix the two and you get milk chocolate. Of course, most light skinned blacks have been more along the lines of Mike Dyson and Cornel West. In-your-face angry as if to prove that they are blacker than black.
Or at the other extreme, there was Colin Powell, whose style has been whiter than white: dull.

Obama learned how to juggle the two to appeal to both blacks and whites(and especially Jews who want white women to put out to black studs, like they do in all those porn movies.)
Obama is a creation of Jewish political operatives as Will Smith is a creation of Jewish Hollywood writers and producers.

OhioStater said...

the more i read about obama's rise to power, the more cunning and in control he seems.

the more i learn, the less I think he's a one term president.

here's to 7 more years!

Whiskey said...

Those with the strongest Jewish identies, ala Hasidic and Orthodox Jews, don't like Blacks much at all and tend to be unwilling to get along with them.

More likely, Jews in America have as their primary identity, SWPL cultural liberalism, including the strange worship of Black people. See Larry David in Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, though even there you will see mocking of Black culture and figures. Jackie Childs.

I think the residue of White shame/guilt is pretty much over. I doubt Whites are going to be taking up with the Klan, but likely asserting their own self-interests in racial bloc voting and spoils politics.

A relentlessly downward economy, dropping expectations after rising ones, no real future, constant rhetoric about Whites being replaced, and particularly White men as "history" will have its own impact, indeed is having its own impact.

Look at Jessie James. Ten years ago he'd be an official non-person. Now he shrugs stuff off.

Obama is not "safe" like say, Denver's Wellington Webb or Tom Bradley. He's polarizing, because of how he splits the spoils when spoils matter.

Yes, he excites the liberal White women who write for the New York Times about their fantasies about having sex with him (really!) but his appeal beyond that is dropping with his failure to deliver economic growth.

People and the White majority have expectations. Don't meet it and calling of racism has no real effect. If you can't make your mortgage payment.

Anonymous said...

The movie SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION = Obama's psycho-politics.

Actually, David Hampton (the real-life inspiration for the Guare play and the film) and Barack Obama moved to Manhattan at exactly the same time (1981), and left at roughly the same time (the one to Chicago, the other to prison). Obama's Columbia years (the early 80s) are perhaps the most shrouded period of his life--no one at the school seems to remember him, and by his own admission he wasn't doing as much scholarship as he was drugs.

The parallel with Hampton is eerie. Obama's sister feared he would end up homeless in this period; Hampton actually did. Hampton honed his skills (without exactly perfecting them) in conning gullible rich whites that he was the black man they'd been waiting for; Obama did perfect them.

ricpic said...

I don't think there were ever vast reservoirs of good will toward blacks among the vast majority of lower middle and middle class whites, which is to say the vast majority of whites, period. What there was was Bush fatigue, a deeply unlikable and uninspiring Republican candidate in McCain, and Obama sold as a non-threatening moderate. It was a fluke. There will be a tsunami of a reversal come November.

Anonymous said...

President Obama was in high school
known as Barry Obama. He circulated easily in more than one social set--ie., he had a lot of social exposure. He appears to have been very hedonistic and a vigorous toker, if not a "little help to your friends" dealer. Given the number of people who interacted with him socially, there are very few known to have commented at all about their experiences of him. This is rather odd

Anonymous said...

I think a fair but tough-minded scrutiny of what can be tied down about his formative years suggests that race had little
g e n u i n e significance for him and was of little evident importance in the eyes of those interacting with him.

Anonymous said...

Obama's "Columbia years" are referred to and noted as "shrouded"
Has any credible source on the Net
catalogued (as a topic in itself )
these "shrouded" issues? BHO has every liberty to release mere portions of his records--transcripts, etc., GPA's, etc. attesting to the durations of his enrollments, etc. The Birth Certificate issue appears to amount in essence as to WHY he will not release the full, immediate document and will not simply attest to what his immediate family surely knew and conveyed to him over the years--the where, when, and who of it all--especially the physician/s, nurses innvolved in delivering him. That all this has been sullied by perhaps nutty conjectures about a Kenyan birth (no immediate c r e d i b l e evidence of t h a t ) need not distract us. One reasonable hypothesis is that his father and mother were not ever formally married. But if so-- So what? It is simply not possible left to natural social functions and normal information access, verifications, to account easily for the "village hearsay" nature of so much of what is presumed to be "known" about this man. A lort of what is "known" has little basis of assurance other than just a "paste and scissors" repetition from one printed source into another over time. It is all more than a little bit disquieting to the perceptive eye.