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The Case Against Barack Obama

Original post made by Jane, Professorville, on Sep 19, 2008

The Economist has a glowing review of David Freddoso's book The Case Against Barack Obama:

"IF YOU find yourself believing that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, or that “this is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow” or even, tout court, that “yes we can”, the chances are that you are suffering from a severe case of Obamamania.

Tens of millions of Americans and an even larger number of Europeans have fallen victim to the syndrome, which involves a belief that a young black senator from Chicago can cure the world’s ills, in part because of his race, in part because of his obvious intelligence and rhetorical skill; but in no part because of any record of achievement in the past. Fortunately, an inexpensive remedy is at hand.

It comes in the form of a new book by David Freddoso, “The Case Against Barack Obama”. Unlike the authors of some of the cruder attacks on Mr Obama, Mr Freddoso works for a well-respected organisation, the online version of the National Review. Although it is a conservative publication and the author makes no secret of where his political sympathies lie, this is a well-researched, extensively footnoted work. It aims not so much to attack Mr Obama as to puncture the belief that he is in some way an extraordinary, mould-breaking politician."

Read the rest of the review here; Web Link

Comments (50)

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Posted by V. Davis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Sounds like a good read. I think there are many of us out there who are really in a quandary as to who we should vote for. I am not an Obamamaniac, but I'm also not a McCainiac either. I think both are now strictly pandering to class warfare, which is really unfortunate.
Its really too bad that we don't have a Hillary vs. Romney race. Either of them seem much more well suited to the task of fixing the mess we're in.
Well, I now present to you.... at least 100 future fervent anti-McCain and anti-Obama posts. And away we go....

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Posted by Ugg
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2008 at 1:28 pm

I'm voting for Obama because Sarah Palin scares me to death!!! If choosing Sarah Palin for VP is an example of John McCain's decision making abilities, the world is in for a scary ride.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 19, 2008 at 1:36 pm

V seems right - Obama is scary at least in part because expectations are so high, how can he possibly live up to them? We are betting a lot of the come with Obama. He could be the next Lincoln (who of course had even less government experience than Obama when elected, having been a one-term congressman who was not re-elected!); or an utter dud.

McCain on the other hand is not covering himself with glory. Seeing such cynicism and pandering from the man who made his career being better than that is pretty disappointing. Hard to judge him on what he says these days, it all seems like spin.

Truly a challenge.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm

If Barack Obama wins on November 4, he will be the 26th lawyer elected president, but only the second from Harvard Law School (the first being Rutherford B. Hayes).
With the election quickly approaching, voters should consider what Obama's HLS education means.
In many ways it epitomizes his candidacy and reflects a man who is intelligent and thoughtful but also liberal, enigmatic, and completely out-of-touch with most Americans.
Obama's challenge never has been to show people he is smart enough to serve as president; few would deny that he is.
His HLS degree confirms his intelligence, although it certainly does not prepare him to be commander-in-chief.
Whereas voters question Obama's liberalism, elitism, and values, Obama's Cambridge roots should only exacerbate these concerns.Web Link

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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Wow, Sharon, now it is the fact that Obama went to Harvard Law School that is a problem? At least he did get his MBA from Harvard--look what 8 years of a Harvard MBA has done for us!!!

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm

V. completely cracked me up!!

BTW, any relation to Victor Davis Hanson?? I love that guy.

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Posted by tj
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm

"Members of the Dead to Play Fundraiser for Obama"--headline, Associated Press, Sept. 18

In Chicago They Vote, Too

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Economist? That's a Brit mag for elite readers. NPR gives away Economist subscriptions for donating to NPR. And remember England is just a few miles from Old Europe and even built a billion dollar tunnel to it. Yet Jane from P-Ville thinks we ought to vote like the Brit/Old Europe elite tells us to vote? Thanks, but no thanks.

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Posted by European
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2008 at 7:15 pm


If you don't want to vote the way Europeans elites, and Europeans in general for that matter, tell you to vote, then by all means vote for McCain. Europeans are heads over heels in love with Obama, even more so than Obama supporters in the US. Example: 80% of polled French people recently said they would vote Obama if they were able to vote in the US presidential election. Similar percentages prevail in other European countries.

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Posted by European
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2008 at 7:19 pm

The irony of the European "vote" in the US election is that most, if not all, European countries are very far from the day when a non-white person will be a serious contender to be head of state in those countries, and even less actually elected.

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Posted by Economist reader
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2008 at 7:33 pm


If you have never read The Economist, you should try it. Although it is a British Newspaper (although it does look like a magazine I agree) that is published weekly, it does have a strong international flavor and the US edition in particular is excellent at writing without editorial political bias. The correspondents are all writing anonymously which is interesting in itself and for my part it is really worth reading what someone from the outside sees that perhaps an insider does not see.

Anyway, I do recommend it nonetheless. It is not that elite, I often see letters to the editor from Palo Alto residents (or silicon valley more often).

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I have subscribed to The Economist since high school, it is an excellent journal, not just on economics and finance but also political and cultural issues.
It not elite or "intellectual/academic" it highly intelligent and incisive.
The free web version gives you a flavor, subscription open up a whole world of content and archive a great web sit in fact.

Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 19, 2008 at 10:12 pm

The Economist is a solid publication with a conservative, though reasonable, bent. I've found in general, though, that the Brits don't really get American politics. How does it go? A great people divided by a common language--well that's some variant of what I think's a Winston Churchill quote.

Me Too, yeah, the expectations over Obama are overinflated among his core--though I expect that they'll be a bit like Kennedy fans or Reaganites, nothing's going to get in the way of their rosy-eyed vision.

I think the rest of us are varying degrees of worried. McCain went from being the low-risk candidate to the high-risk one--it's bizarre to me how he's shot his credibility out the window in the last couple of weeks. If he was going to pick Palin why not do it far enough ahead of time so that she's at least prepped enough to get through interviewing 101. And, cynically, why do the lying yourself?

As for Obama--I think he's smart. I think he's cool under pressure. My friends in the South worry about him getting shot. (ugh) But he's not a fully known quantity.


When the GOP candidate is the son of an admiral, is married to an heiress, and doesn't know how many houses he has, kvetching about the son of a teen-age mom and a goatherder being elitist rings a little hollow to put it mildly.

There's some serious irony impairment going around this election season.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2008 at 10:22 pm

OhlonePar and Credibility? Houston we have a problem!

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 12:04 am


No, McCain has a problem. Me, on the other hand, well, I thought the stock market meltdown would help Obama--and his poll numbers are now slightly better than they were right before either convention.

And, yeah, the electoral college is also swinging back his way. I still think it will be close--but it's looking better for Obama.

And, boy, did Palin implode--now has a disapproval rating higher than her approval rating. I'm not even sure which thing it was that tipped her over--the Troopergate evasions? Tina Fey's dead-on impersonation? Her cluelessness about foreign policy? The ridiculous lying about the Bridge to Nowhere? My Significant Other thinks its her coming off like the cheerleader who thinks she's better than everyone else.

But, wow, has she crashed and burned--and may be taking McCain with her. I don't think he can afford that kind of a bad pick.

By the way, Sharon, you can try taking the high road any time here.

Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 20, 2008 at 12:02 pm

"Sarah Palin bests Joseph Biden 47% to 44% in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up for the presidency, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey "

Web Link


If wishes were fishes... you could make anything become true. The fact is that Palin is still very popular.

Palin helps particularly in toss-up- states, where Obama's elitism ("resentment is expressed by belief in guns and God", according to Obama) is highlighted by Palin's down-to-earth style. Palin does not need to help in strongly blue states (those are going to Obama, anyway).

The resentment against the liberal elites is what she taps into. The more the elites attack her, the better it gets for her, where it counts the most.

Sarah Palin dolls are about to hit the shelves. If WalMart has a good run on them, then you guys are in real trouble. It would be very interesting if the Palin dolls were put next to Biden or Obama or McCain dolls. A little birdy tells me that whe would be wildy more popular than the other dolls. BTW, such dolls are bought by mothers for their own kids.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 12:40 pm


But it's not Biden v. Palin. I find the charges of elitism against Obama ironic--he's the son of a goatherder, for pete's sake. He seems to be smart and was rewarded for his intelligence and hard work. If anything, he's an example of Jefferson's idea of a "meritocracy"--though with more melanin.

I mean, it strikes me that "elite" has become a way of fussing about someone who might be smarter than you. I mean, McCain and Bush are both from far more elite backgrounds than Barack Obama, but no one complains about their privilege. Bush, in particular, was a serious silver-spoon baby. McCain, at least, had a sense of honor in war that's supposed to go with that traditional sense of noblesse oblige.

Barack Obama's self-made in a way neither McCain nor Bush is--and we're hearing sneers because of it. Of course, it's a double bind--if he weren't so outrageously successful, he'd be considered beyond the pale and subject to another set of epithets.

You just can't say that Obama comes from the ruling class. And, yes, same with Palin. She doesn't stand up to the same sort of scrutiny though.

As for Palin, she has the highest negative rating of anyone on either ticket and as of about two days ago, her negative rating passed her positive rating. And, frankly, I'm not sure what the actual tipping point with her was--the emptiness of her Gibson interview? The stalling on Troopergate? I think passing her off as the wonder of the north has just become a little too much for people to swallow.

Web Link

But it's been one hell of a plunge.

Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 20, 2008 at 1:21 pm


You are quoting a Daily Kos poll!

ZERO credibility. The more the kos hammers Palin, the better for Palin!

I quoted a Rasmussen poll...what more can I say?

Obama is not some poor son of a goatherd, as you state. He was raised, primarily, by his grandmother, who was a bank VP. His father was some kind of self-identifed revolutionary, who used his rep to become a rake. The grandmother had to take over, and she sent him to elite private schools in Hawaii. He also attended Harvard. He is considered elitist, becasue he belives like an elitist. The Palin "white trash" people (as some on the left have described her and hers) fully understand that he is an elitist that has no identification with their issues.

Palin will give Biden a real run for his money in the upcomming debate. She is more intelligent than him, and she is more in touch with the people in battleground states.

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm


Another view of Obamas psychological/political profile--

The public knows less about Barack Obama than any other presidential hopeful in American history.

His career bears no trace of his character, and he increasingly appears to be an empty vessel filled with the wishful thinking of those around him.

But there is a real Barack Obama - a man shaped by the imprint of an impassioned mother, and the influence of a brilliant wife.

Ultimately, the possible next president is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.

No man - least of all one abandoned in infancy by his father - can conceal the imprint of an impassioned mother, or the influence of a brilliant wife.

Ann Dunham died in 1995, and her character emerges piecemeal from the historical record, to which I will return below.

But Michelle Obama is a living witness.

The video footage of her remarks shows eyes hooded with rage as she declares:

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration “

Her rage caused a minor scandal, and was hastily qualified.

But she meant it, and more!

"Cherchez la femme," advised Alexander Dumas in: "When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman."

Obama's women reveal his secret: he hates America.

Spouses do not necessarily share their likes, but they must have their hatreds in common.

Obama's choice of wife is a failsafe indicator of his own sentiments.

Obama also imbibed this hatred with his mother's milk.

Obamas mother Ann Dunham died in 1995, and her character emerges piecemeal from the historical record,

Michelle Obama speaks with greater warmth of her mother-in-law than of her husband.
"She was kind of a dreamer, his mother," Michelle Obama was quoted in the Boston Globe. "She wanted the world to be open to her and her children. And as a result of her naivete, sometimes they lived on food stamps, because sometimes dreams don't pay the rent. But as a result of her naivete, Barack got to see the world like most of us don't in this country."

How strong the ideological motivation must be of a mother to raise her children on the thin fair in pursuit of a political agenda.

"Naivete" is a euphemism for Ann Dunham's motivation.

Friends describe her as a "fellow traveler", that is, a communist sympathizer, from her youth, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Many Americans harbor leftist views, but not many marry into them, twice.

Ann Dunham met and married the leftist Kenyan economics student Barack Obama, Sr, at the University of Hawaii in 1960, and in 1967 married the Indonesian student Lolo Soetero.

It is unclear why Soetero's student visa was revoked in 1967 - the fact but not the cause are noted in press accounts.
But it is probable that the change in government in Indonesia in 1967, in which the leftist leader Sukarno was deposed, was the motivation.

Soetero had been sponsored as a graduate student by one of the most radical of all Third World governments.

Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother's milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career.
He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion.
He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance.
That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath.

The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.

America has the great misfortune to have encountered Obama at the peak of his powers at its worst moment of vulnerability in a generation.

With malice aforethought, he has sought out their sore point.


Like this comment
Posted by wow
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Wow, Jane.

Obama is running for president because he hates the country so much, a sentiment he imbibed with his mother's milk. He's self-made, but it was handed to him; anyway, he was driven not my the social conscience he was brought up with but by his politically sociopathic mission to take over the United States. Meanwhile, his wife not only liked his mother more than she does him, but it turns out she is smoldering with resentment, hates America too,and shares his desire to take over the US only to destroy it.

How very startling. And, no doubt, how very factually based.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Sep 20, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Once again, Jane goes off the deep end into the sea of unwarranted assumptions, contradictory rhetoric, and "facts" gleaned from the psychopathic likes of Coulter, Hannity, Beck, Corsi, etc.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Sep 20, 2008 at 3:22 pm

The books by Freddoso (Regnery) and Corsi (Threshold - Publisher Mary Maitlin) have been published with the clear intent of defeating Obama, and any resemblance they might bear to factual presentations is similar to the ratio of fact to myth in Genesis.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm


I cited two polls for that reason. And, no, the Research2000 poll doesn't have zero credibility--unlike most polls it actually makes its internals available. I think it does skew to the left and judge it accordingly. Rasmussen skews slightly right--though even there Obama is now ahead by one point.

I didn't say Obama was poor, I said he was the son of a goatherd. He is. That the goatherder had ideas doesn't change this. And bank VP--I worked in a bank once, bank VPs are a dima-a-dozen, frankly. Titles are cheap.

Palin has been a disappointing performer off-book. She's not even handling the softball questions well. So, yeah, I think she's got a certain street smarts--but I think she's ignorant and, no, not particularly bright at this point. A cagier politician would be handling Troopergate better.

But build her up against Biden if you want.

Jane, I'm sorry, but just go back to England. One of the reasons we Americans rebelled against the old country is because we like speaking our minds. Crticizing the government is as American as cornbread. We're not subjects, it's our country and our government works for us. Get used to it.

One of the big errors, ex-pat Brits have made over the years is the assumption that they somehow know better than the "natives" what's going on in a given country. Christopher Hitchens shares your hubris and it's tiresome.

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 20, 2008 at 4:32 pm


You sound very disturbed,
I believe this is not the first time you have acted inappropriately on these blogs-- I saw something your weirdness yesterday-- so I will just ignore you,
Don't you have anything better to do?

Poor thing

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 4:50 pm


Well, I did point out that someone was lying and that upset the liar. They've been unhappy ever since.

I consider that appropriate behavor myself.

Preferable to, oh, rather strange rants about Barack Obama's mother.

By the way, why don't Sarah Palin's secessionist associations bother you? You don't even have to do strange inferences about maternal and paternal influences to make the connections. It's right there. Boy that's some good old-America-hating stuff. Well, they seem to love our federal handouts, but other than that . . .

And, of course, I have better things to do, but this is so much *fun*!

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 20, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Performing a psychological profile of a would be Commander in Chief is very important.

Particularly with a cipher like Obama who has a 20 yr history with rabid anti Americans like his minister Rev Wright, and terrorist anti Americans like Ayers.

Obama is good with a teleprompter, a sort of programed demagogue Web Link.

He reminds my husband of Elmer Gantry

"The novel tells the story of a young, narcissistic, womanizing college athlete who, upon realizing the power, prestige, and easy money that being a fundamentalist evangelist can bring, pursues his "religious" ambitions with relish, contributing to the downfall, even death, of key people around him as the years pass. Gantry continues to womanize, is often exposed as a fraud, and frequently faces a complete downfall, yet he is never fully discredited and always manages to emerge triumphant and reaching ever greater heights of social standing."Web Link

Creative sociopaths have their place in sales and advertising, even as an attorney, and we have a few very wealthy examples in town.

The job of Commander in Chief is not for them,Bill Clinton is one and he was useless in combating terrorism and as Commander in Chief.

Clinton rode the economic windfall of the end of the Cold War and the IT revolution, he did not create either boom.

Why is the Democratic Party so vulnerable to creative sociopaths?

Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 5:06 pm


"Performing a psychological profile" of someone you've never met? Give me a break.

And you feel that you are somehow qualified to make these sweeping pronouncements . . . (OhlonePar gently shakes head)

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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 20, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Obama without a teleprompter is like a fish without water.

Web Link

It would be more interesting to see Palin debate Obama...Palin is much better as an extemperaneous speaker than Obama. Palin does not need a teleprompter. Obama is naked without it, becasue he is almost completely scripted, despite his degree from Harvard.

Palin did not have a bank VP grandma, and elite schools to project her to Harvard. She is quite a bit smarter than Obama, but she lacked the opportunities...she actually had to figure out a way to work her way through, including beauty paegent scholarships. Obama was an affirmative action choice.

After the regular debates are over, let's just have one more: Palin vs. Obama. The ratings will go stratospheric!

Obama is not an empty suit, but he could not fill Palin's skirt. Not even close.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter M
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 20, 2008 at 5:30 pm

"Evil will oft evil mars", J R R Tolkien wrote.

It is conceivable that Barack Obama, if elected, will destroy himself before he destroys the country.
Hatred is a toxic diet even for someone with as strong a stomach as Obama.
As he recalled in his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father, Obama idealized the Kenyan economist who had married and dumped his mother, and was saddened to learn that Barack Hussein Obama, Sr, was a sullen, drunken polygamist.
The elder Obama became a senior official of the government of Kenya after earning a PhD at Harvard.

He was an abusive drunk and philanderer whose temper soured his career.

The senior Obama died in a 1982 car crash.
Kenyan government officials in those days normally spent their nights drinking themselves stupid at the Pan-Afrique Hotel.
Two or three of them would be found with their Mercedes wrapped around a palm tree every morning.
During the 1970s I came to know a number of them, mostly British-educated hollow men dying inside of their own hypocrisy and corruption.

Both Obama and the American public should be very careful of what they wish for.
As the horrible example of Obama's father shows, there is nothing worse for an embittered outsider manipulating the system from within than to achieve his goals - and nothing can be more terrible for the system.
Even those who despise America for its blunders of the past few years should ask themselves whether the world will be a safer place if America retreats into a self-pitying shell.

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Posted by Where's the Censor???
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 20, 2008 at 5:52 pm

It's very strange that other threads have been locked down, but this one - filled with some of the most vile crap posted thus far - is still up.
Did you take the weekend off there, Mr. Censor?

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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 20, 2008 at 6:05 pm

"filled with some of the most vile crap posted thus far - is still up."


Are you referring to:

- "because Sarah Palin scares me to death!!!"


- " 80% of polled French people recently said they would vote Obama if they were able to vote in the US presidential election. "


- "I think she's ignorant"


Please explain yourself.

I, for one, think Palin is smarter than Obama, and that he is naked without a teleprompter.

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Posted by mary
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 20, 2008 at 6:42 pm

I feel these posts by jane and peter are among the most insightful and articulate I have read in quite some time, I may not agree with their respective conclusions but the are sticking to the facts of Obamas background and history that others have ignored in favor of hagiography.

There are so many wholes in Obamas background, his time at Columbia, his time in Pakistan and his relationship with the weatherman terrorist Ayers who has never expressed regret for his attempt to murder as many police and troops as possible.

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Posted by Smarter than Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 20, 2008 at 7:41 pm

The Palin effect is fading fast.
Read the story in Chronicle yesterday:

Web Link

" Political insiders say the "Palin Effect" might be waning, in part because her tightly scripted political rallies have become too familiar. She has delivered - more than 14 times to date - virtually the same speech she made to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. That speech always includes the claim, widely disputed by newspapers, editorial boards and independent fact-checking groups, that she said "thanks but no thanks" to the famed Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska.

Meanwhile, Palin has not allowed reporters to ask questions or appeared at a news conference to address a growing roster of questions about her views and her tenure as the chief executive of Alaska. Those have included matters regarding the Troopergate scandal, her use of a private Yahoo e-mail account to do government business and her positions on key issues like stem cell research. "

She is an empty suit, with lipstick on albeit. She does not no what the truth is, she is a liar, she has violated state government policy on use of e-mail, she billed the taxpayers per diem while staying at home. The list goes on and on.
She will soon fade into oblivion.

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Posted by bike
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Smarter than Gary--

What a silly handle, pathetic

Any way this blog is about "The Case Against Barack Obama" based upon his character and biography using the level of IQ of those who can and do read The Economist.

There many are blogs for you to explore your Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS)
You should move your thoughts about "Tassergate" etc to the appropriate blogs. OK buddy?

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Posted by Smarter than Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Bike--it's alright for Gary to comment on Palin because his comments are favorable, but I am not allowed to make unfavorable comments about her on this thread? Free speech is a bitch isn't it. I would complain to the moderators if you feel strongly about the issue
Please save the snide comments regarding me and my "handle" for threads for your McCain/Palin rallies--I am sure they would be more appreciated there. Ok, buddy?

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:20 pm


What brilliant nonscripted thing has Palin said? As for debates--Barack's a lawyer who's been trained to argue and had quite a bit of practice in the primaries. Palin's experience is pretty much nada.

Geez, cut the woman some slack. I don't like her, but I also think she was shoved into the limelight without sufficient prep. I'm willing to think she's not quite the idiot she's appeared. She is, however, poorly informed.

Where's the Censor,

Yep, you guessed it--there's less editing here on the weekends.

Peter M.,

I find it amusing that rightwinger attempt to hold Obama somehow responsible for the misdeeds of his father while refusing to hold Sarah Palin accountable for the misdeeds of her children.

But since you guys want to play psychologist, let's look at the DSM-IV criteria. Jane is claiming that Obama's a sociopath--what used to be termed a psychopath. Sociopath's have antisocial personality disorder. Pretty much people who failed to develop a conscience.

So, let's look at the criteria;

Hmmm, first thing is sign of conduct disorder--in other words, delinquency before the age of 15. Hmmmm, nope.

Okay, DSM time via Wikipedia

Three or more of the following are required:[1]

*Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;

Hmmmm--don't think become a constitutional law professor fits that.

*Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;

Hmmmm--nope, I think Barry is an okay nickname for Barack, myself. So no there, too.

*Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;

Even his enemies admire the guy's on-ground game plan. It's an impressive one, actually.

*Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;

No again. In fact, people have been trying to figure out how the guy's stayed so cool.

*Reckless disregard for safety of self or others;

Compared to Crash McCain? Don't think so . . .

*Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;

And another strike-out.

*Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.


There are genuine criticisms to be made of Obama, this kind of stuff though is ugly and unwarranted.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Smarter than Gary,

bike/Sharon/Sue etc. seem to be the same person--same views, same posting times, same time of appearance, etc. Mary seems to be a buddy though not a sockpuppet.

Can't win the arguments, so they go for smear jobs and personal attacks. Not the most stable poster I've ever seen and the main reason so many of the political threads are getting zapped.

Gary, on the other hand, is Gary. Jane seems to be Jane. Perspective's Perspective. Walter is Walter. So, our longstanding conservatives are their usual selves.

Sharon etc. seems to be someone who moved here a few months ago and has been creating some friends for herself online. Unfortunately, they all seem to lose their cool pretty quickly.

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm

I called Obama "the political equivalent of a sociopath", without any derogatory intent.
As a psychiatrist I have dealt with such diagnostics for years, unfortunately there is no effective treatment for the sociopath.
A sociopath seeks the empathy of all around him while empathizing with no one.
Obama has an almost magical ability to gain the confidence of those around him.
Perhaps it was the adaptation of a bright and sensitive young boy who was abandoned by three parents
- his Kenyan father Barack Obama Sr, who left his pregnant young bride;
his Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetero;
and by his mother, Ann Dunham, who sent 10-year-old Obama to live with her parents while she pursued her career as an anthropologist.

Combine a child's response to serial abandonment with the perspective of an outsider, and Obama became an alien species against which American politics had no natural defenses.
He is a Third World anthropologist profiling Americans, in but not of the American system.
No country's politics depends more openly on friendships than America's, yet Obama has not a single real friend, for he rose so fast that all his acquaintances become rungs on the ladder of his ascent.
One human relationship crowds the others out of his life, his marriage to Michelle, a strong, assertive and very angry woman.

Michelle vehemently vetoed Hilary Clinton as a running mate.

Michelle's anger will have lost the election for Obama, as Achilles' anger nearly killed the Greek cause in the Trojan War.

But the responsibility rests not with Michelle, but with Obama. Obama's failure of nerve at the cusp of his success is consistent with my profile of the candidate, in which I predicted that he would self-destruct.
It's happening faster than I expected.

By all rights, the Democrats should win this election.
They will lose, I predict, because of the flawed character of their candidate

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Jane wrote:

"I called Obama "the political equivalent of a sociopath", without any derogatory intent."

Unh-hunh. And you're a psychiatrist? One who just tosses out diagnoses recklessly? One who seems unaware of her own deep biases?

If you are actually a psychiatrist, you're a poor one for the very simple reason you want to fit people into boxes instead of really observing them and examining your own preconceptions.

I told you before you suffer from that particularly British hubris of thinking you understand a country better than the natives. Barack Obama is, in fact, a particular type of American--the ambitious kid of an immigrant looking for an American identity. Not only is it not sociopathic, it's a classic American archetype found over and over again.

His mother, far from hating America, had that peculiarly American desire to seek out the other or the exotic.

Americans are exogamous and inclusive--and the definition of what is an American isn't nearly as rigid as you would have it. Your attitude is an essentially un-American one.

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm


There are in clinical practice 3 kinds of sociopath

1 The violent sociopath/ who is either in sharp edge combat with structure or some of these are the rough men we need to let us sleep at night read any accounts of combat in WW2, Vietnam etc these are the daredevils we need.
The ones who do not have the structure of the military at critical points in their development end up in jail

2 Inadequate sociopath/ vagrants on the street, addicts, etc

3 Creative sociopath/ people like Picasso, Clinton some would say the founders of Apple and Oracle( I have not studied them ).

Anyway this category can be very successful,
the thing all sociopaths share is a lack of empathy for others and a drive to run rough shod over others feelings and a profound selfishness and tendency to self pity.
If they are frustrated in their drives creative sociopaths can become quite self destructive, like Clinton with Monica.
They also throw people under the bus, like Obama does.
Creative sociopaths can be very creative in some fields, but not as Commander in Chief in a time of war.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm


As a psychiatrist you must know that any diagnosis of a person you have not personally examined or tested is considered invalid. So your comments are not worth the electrons that transmitted them.

Your statement: “I called Obama ‘the political equivalent of a sociopath,’ without any derogatory intent,” is false, given your well-documented antipathy toward him and willingness to parrot falsehoods about him.

Why don’t you give it a rest. Your disinformational goals are transparent; you convince no one of the correctness of your position except your fellow travelers.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 20, 2008 at 9:04 pm


Okay, now you're qualifying. Fair enough. But I don't see this long history of throwing people under the bus. We saw the case of Wright--and Obama held off on doing it.

He has a long, stable marriage and you don't hear Clinton-style rumors about it. And I really don't think Michelle Obama comes off as someone who'd stand for Picasso-style abuse.

As far as friends go, he has, in fact, been criticized for some of the longterm friends he has had.

I don't doubt for a minute that he's driven and a workaholic. His social life reflects that.

You don't want to vote for the guy? Fine. But you're grasping at straws here and it's pretty obvious. Again, you might ask yourself why. I don't think you have anything specific here--so it's worth a self-examination to figure out why you're reacting so strongly here.

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Posted by SUMD
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 20, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Hi all

A colleague alerted me to this blog so I gave it a look, fascinating,
I did not know all that stuff about Obamas family history, someone has done their homework.

I do not know " Jane" I am sure she is using an alias, but her insights are very deep in my view.
I know for a fact that the State Department, CIA, NSA etc hire psychiatrists all the time to profile people from politicians, diplomats to terrorists.
They do it using available information, video, biography etc without actually interviewing the target.
It may seem a subtle distinction, but a profile is different from a clinical interview and diagnosis.
You basically make a probabilistic description and predictions for future behavior in various contexts.
It is both a science and and art. "Jane" seems pretty familiar with the methodology and I like her literary style. Anyway I hope this thread keeps on track and I will be back and pass it on to my colleagues. Thanks

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2008 at 1:28 am


Jane's analysis strikes you as "very deep"? Sheesh, she talks about the guy being a cipher when the guy wrote an early autobiography. I mean, he actually wrote it and explicated his beliefs and ideas.

He's actually much less of a personality cipher than Bush or Reagan. I think Jane, for whatever reason, is looking for a personality disorder for which she doesn't have evidence.

It's the height of psychological naivete (and arrogance) to claim that someone must be X because they had a parent who did Y. People cope and compensate in very many ways. Jane's analysis is reductive to put it mildly.

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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 21, 2008 at 8:12 am

"What brilliant nonscripted thing has Palin said? As for debates--Barack's a lawyer who's been trained to argue and had quite a bit of practice in the primaries. Palin's experience is pretty much nada."


Ask Frank Murkowski or Tony Knowles about Palin's debating skills. Some of her debates are avaialble on the Internet. You need to do your homework, OP.

It's really amazing to watch the lefties criticze Palin as unintelligent or unkowledgeable or incapable in debate, etc. They just can't seem to get over their highly prejudicial view of Palin as white trash or carribou barby, etc. Lefty women, in particular, have a hard time with Palin, because she actually has a husband (unlike Maureene Dowd), and she relishes the experience and still loves her guy.

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Posted by oops!
a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2008 at 8:26 am

Let’s start with the numbers. Why is a first term Senator pulling down almost $300,000 a year from Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Countrywide Financial, and Washington Mutual? He has not even completed his fourth year in the Senate and received a total of $1,093,329.00 from these eight companies and their employees. (all data from John McCain’s numbers, according to for the period 1990-2008 (i.e., 18 years worth of data) only collected $549,584.00. In other words, Barack is receiving $273,582.25 (and 2008 is not over) per year while McCain raised a paltry $30,532.44.

Want another shocker? Barack Obama has received more from one source–Goldman Sachs $542,252.00–than McCain has from all of the companies combined. Who the hell is more beholden to lobbyists? And why does a junior Senator from Illinois rate this kind of dough?

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Posted by mary
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 21, 2008 at 8:34 am

It is very, very odd that Obama wrote 2 autobiographies before he was 45 yrs old.
These 2 autobiographies also leave out a great deal, for example his years in NYC, his time in Pakistan, his work with the terrorist Ayers and his 20yr commitment to a racist, black liberation theology, American hating minister.
This reminds me of his reliance on teleprompters to deliver prepared and flowery speeches.
His autobiographies are like a scrip built for PR and to hide and re frame who he really is.
I did not realize that by the age of 10yrs Obama had been abandoned three times:
By his drunk,lecherous, corrupt, self destructive father.
By his muslim, 3rd world activist, step father.
By his new left, communist activist mother.
His political training was in the notoriously corrupt snake pit of Chicago mobster politics.
Elmer Gantrey may a more accurate account of Obamas to values and future.
Devotees followed Jim Jones and many other gurus denying reality, clinging to their dreams and fantasies through to the bitter end.
Obama has tapped into that same dynamic and his devotees angrily attack anyone who casts light on Obamas true character, history and values.
They are in denial.

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2008 at 8:57 am

Encouraging thread.

Encouraging to see that, at last, the truth about Mr. Obama is coming out. Americans are not stupid ( mos of us).

I used to bemoan our ridiculously long election season, especially this one which was FAR too long. But, on the other hand, it is giving time for true journalism to rise to the top and inform the American people.

Keep up the good work, all.

BTW OP, thinking that all the posters must be one person just because they all disagree with you with the same, incontrovertible facts, is not like you.

The problem with pesky facts is that they don't change.

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Posted by SUMD
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 21, 2008 at 9:24 am

Thank you "Jane"

"Cherchez la femme is a French phrase which literally means "look for the woman."

The expression comes from the 1854 book The Mohicans of Paris by Alexandre Dumas (père). The original passage reads:

Il y a une femme dans toute les affaires; aussitôt qu'on me fait un rapport, je dis: 'Cherchez la femme'.

Translated into English this reads:

There is a woman in every case; as soon as they bring me a report, I say, 'Look for the woman'.

" Jane " has done a diligent job in her analysis.

I think her emphasis on the dynamic of women in Obamas life is very incisive.
Remember the contempt in Obamas voice when he said to Hillary Clinton in a debate " you are likable enough Hillary"

For a young boy to be rejected 3 times and finally by his mother is a profound psychological wound that sets the foundation of character.

To survive the boy learns to lie and pretend, to fake sincerity in the most sophisticated manner, a great actor.

Inside there is a void, nobody is home, but there is a compelling drive for power.

Think of the film Citizen Kane, The film traces the life and career of Charles Foster Kane, a man whose career in the publishing world is born of idealistic social service, but gradually evolves into a ruthless pursuit of power.

This is Obamas script.

Think of "Rosebud" it was a nickname that Orrin Peck, a friend of William Randolph Hearst, gave to his mother, Phoebe Hearst.
It was said that Phoebe was as close, or even closer, to Orrin than she was to her own son, lending a bitter-sweet element to the word's use in a film about a boy being separated from his mother's love.

"Cherchez la femme" and you will know the real Obama and his fate.

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Posted by Ouch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2008 at 10:00 am

Which way will the next president spend our money?

Web Link

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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