Does Barack Obama love America?
At this point, who really cares?
Half of America isn’t paying much attention to him, and the other half is thinking about who might succeed him in 2016.
And yet, thanks to a recent comment by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the question shows it still has political legs.
The problem is that it misses the real point.
The issue raised by Mr. Giuliani’s comment is not whether or to what extent Mr. Obama loves his country. It is also not about Mr. Obama’s patriotism or lack thereof.
The real point is as true as it is frightening: Six years into Mr. Obama’s presidency, the man is still a stranger.
That’s what Mr. Giuliani was really getting at when he said, “I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America . He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
With one pointed barb, Mr. Giuliani reminded us that even well into the middle of Mr. Obama’s second term, we still know so little about him.
Starting with his first major speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the mainstream media fell head over heels for him. When he announced a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2007, that same media became John Cusack’s character in “Say Anything,” hoisting a boombox of love toward his window. And once he became president, they all but declared that they wanted to have his baby.
As a result of their stalkerish obsession, the media never vetted Mr. Obama. While they have made sport of rummaging through Republican candidates’ garbage, college records and past romantic relationships, they refused to do even rudimentary investigative work into Mr. Obama’s background, education, family, friends and professional associates. Digging into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s college years is called “vetting.” Digging into Mr. Obama’s college years is called “racism.”
They still refuse to do it. His college and law school records remain sealed, his “career” as a community organizer remains murky, his family background and early childhood in Indonesia remain murkier, and details about his ideological education from Communists such as Frank Marshall Davis and radicals such as Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright remain largely unexplored.
It’s no wonder that questions about Mr. Obama’s very essence are still being kicked around. No one — Mr. Obama first and foremost — has ever answered them.
After all, he set out to become what he called a “symbol of possibility.” Such “symbols” didn’t engage in such pedestrian activities as full disclosure.
The myth-making actually began in 1995 when, at the age of 34, he published “Dreams from My Father,” which served as a pre-emptive autobiographical strike. When he later entered public life, Mr. Obama pointed anyone with questions to the memoir. No need for investigative journalists to dig into his past when it was all there in black and white, presented by the man himself.
Once he became president, he used the full force of the White House to intimidate and punish folks who refused to play along. From the monitoring of opponents of Obamacare to the use of the Internal Revenue Service against tea party critics to the punishing of newspapers and individual journalists who dared to report the truth about its “war” on Fox News, Team Obama called out, dressed down and froze out folks who did not toe the line.
Nobody has been allowed to get close to the origins of Mr. Obama, or to how they inform what he’s doing as president.
A startling conversation between two prominent liberal media figures perfectly illustrates the point. Just days before Mr. Obama was elected president in 2008, NBC News’ Tom Brokaw spoke with PBS’ Charlie Rose. Here’s part of their exchange:
Rose: I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is.
Brokaw: No, I don’t either.
Rose: I don’t know how he really sees where China is.
Brokaw: We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.
Rose: I don’t really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?
Brokaw: You know that’s an interesting question.
Rose: He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational [sic] speeches, two of them.
Brokaw: I don’t know what books he’s read.
Rose: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?
Brokaw: There’s a lot about him we don’t know.
The left-wing press knew Sarah Palin’s dress size, but when it came to the president they had promoted so vigorously, some of the nation’s biggest “journalists” were thunderstruck by how little they knew about him. And because they didn’t care to know, we were left to vote on the sizzle, not the steak.
The result: the election and re-election of a cipher who has sought to “fundamentally transform the nation.”
Don’t blame Mr. Giuliani for pointing out that the man carrying out the transformation remains a mystery. Blame the mystery man himself. And the media that continues to serve as his muscle.
• Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.