John Podhortetz takes David Goldman to task for this quote:
I’ve been screaming about this for more than two years: Obama is the loyal son of a left-wing anthropologist mother who sought to expiate her white guilt by going to bed with Muslim Third World men. He is a Third World anthropologist studying us, learning our culture and our customs the better to neutralize what he considers to be a malignant American influence in world affairs.
This is, not to put too fine a point on it, disgusting. In the first place, Obama is not responsible for his mother or her political views, any more than Ronald Reagan should have been be held accountable for the fact that his father was a drunk. In the second place, Goldman’s speculation about her sexual history is appalling in about a hundred different ways. I’m sure I’d hold no brief for Stanley Ann Dunham, but the idea that the lower-middle-class daughter of a furniture salesman from Mercer Island, Washington, would be awash in “white guilt” — far more a species of upper-middle-class Northeastern opinion — speaks more of Goldman’s inability to achieve imaginative sympathy with someone from circumstances different from his than it does anything about the president or his family.
The opposition to Barack Obama needs to keep its wits. His domestic-policy proposals and foreign-policy ideas constitute a profound challenge to the good working order of the United States and the world. Spewing repellent nonsense about Obama’s mother and spinning bizarre notions about his innate foreignness — when he is in fact the possessor of one of the great and enduring American stories, and is in his own person a demonstration of precisely the kind of American exceptionalism that Obama so pointedly pooh-poohs — can be used to discredit his opposition. That is why I find it necessary to take such public exception to Goldman’s unacceptable musings.
Bravo for Podhoretz.
I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff like this lately, and it’s both disgusting and irrelevant. Attacking a man by attacking his dead mother and grandfather strikes me as being something just a little bit beyond the pale. It isn’t all that far removed from the insane arguments of the birthers or the “Obama is a secret Muslim” crowd, and it is just as irrelevant to the policy debate.
It shouldn’t be surprising that Goldman finds a conspiracy theory like this appealing, though, considering his past association with Lyndon LaRouche.
For the rest of us, though, it’s time to start focusing on what matters and stop focusing on two people who’ve been dead for decades.