Slime Season is here, all festive with mildew and rot and weevils.
After four years of invective, four years during which the right has called President Obama a traitor, a communist, a fraud, an affirmative-action case, a terrorist-sympathizer and a tyrant, its shrillest voices have been reduced to the most primal insult of all. They are calling Obama’s mother a whore.
There’s this pseudo-documentary, Michelle Goldberg explains, that’s being mailed to voters.
The movie claims that Obama’s actual father was the poet and left-wing activist Frank Marshall Davis, who Dunham met through her father, who was a CIA agent merely posing as a furniture salesman. “My election was not a sudden political phenomenon,” says the narrator, speaking as if he were Obama reading his autobiography. “It was the culmination of an American socialist movement that my real father, Frank Marshall Davis, nurtured in Chicago and Hawaii, and has been quietly infiltrating the U.S. economy, universities, and media for decades.”
Davis enjoyed taking nude photos of women, and the images said to be of Dunham, to which the director pays lascivious attention, are presented as evidence of their intimate relationship. “These photos were taken a few weeks before 1960, when mom was about five weeks pregnant with me,” the narrator says. “Frank then sold the photos to men’s mail-order catalogues.”
Gilbert claims that more than a million copies of Dreams From My Real Father have been mailed to voters in Ohio, as well between 80,000 and 100,000 to voters in Nevada and 100,000 to voters in New Hampshire. “We’re putting plans in place, as of next week, to send out another two or three million, just state by state,” he told me.
…Tea Party groups and conservative churches are screening it. It was shown at a right-wing film festival in Tampa during the Republican National Convention, and by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Council in Missouri. Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead recently recommended it during a speech, saying, “I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”
One wonders what Bill Armistead thinks “verified” means.
And then there’s Dinesh Souza’s book, Obama’s America.
D’Souza argues that part of the reason Ann Dunham sent Obama to live with her parents in Hawaii was so she could pursue affairs with Indonesian men. “Ann’s sexual adventuring may seem a little surprising in view of the fact that she was a large woman who kept getting larger,” he writes. On the next page, he continues, “Learning about Ann’s sexual adventures in Indonesia, I realized how wrong I had been to consider Barack Obama Sr. the playboy … Ann … was the real playgirl, and despite all her reservations about power, she was using her American background and economic and social power to purchase the romantic attention of third-world men.”
There is no evidence for any of this—D’Souza mentions the name of exactly one man who Dunham had a relationship with after her divorce. Even if it was true, however, it’s hard to see how it’s relevant to Obama’s supposed taste for subversion, since as D’Souza himself points out, Obama wasn’t living in Indonesia at the time. The chapter is simply an expression of glandular-level contempt.