Here is the latest attempt to use Bill Ayers to smear Barack Obama.
The smear is that Obama did not write his memoir, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.
The real author?
You guessed it: Ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers.
This is claim of Jack Cashill, writing in the October 10, 2008, edition of the right wing online magazine American Thinker.
“Prior to 1990,” Cashill writes, “when Barack Obama contracted to write Dreams From My Father, he had written very close to nothing. Then, five years later, this untested 33 year-old produced what Time Magazine has called — with a straight face – ‘the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.’ The public is asked to believe Obama wrote Dreams From My Father on his own, almost as though he were some sort of literary idiot savant. I do not buy this canard for a minute, not at all. Writing is as much a craft as, say, golf. To put this in perspective, imagine if a friend played a few rounds in the high 90s and then a few years later, without further practice, made the PGA Tour. It doesn’t happen.”
Cashill admits that no one has ever before questioned Obama’s authorship. He ascribes this, however, to “the biases of the literary establishment,” which Cashill now aims to correct.
His evidence, first, is that Obama had not written anything of note before, discounting Obama’s education at Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
Second, Cashill alleges that Obama took a long time to turn in a draft of his memoir to his publisher:
“With advance in hand, Obama repaired to Chicago where he dithered. At one point, in order to finish without interruption, he and wife Michelle decamped to Bali. Obama was supposed to have finished the book within a year. Bali or not, advance or no, he could not. He was surely in way over his head.
“According to a surprisingly harsh 2006 article by liberal publisher Peter Osnos, which detailed the ‘ruthlessness’ of Obama’s literary ascent, Simon & Schuster canceled the contract. Dysteldid not give up. She solicited Times Book, the division of Random House at which Osnos was publisher. He met with Obama, took his word that he could finish the book, and authorized a new advance of $40,000.”
“Then suddenly, somehow, the muse descended on Obama and transformed him from a struggling, unschooled amateur, with no paper trail beyond an unremarkable legal note and a poem about fig-stomping apes, into a literary superstar.”
Next Cashill solves the supposed problem of Obama’s alleged sudden transformation into a literary genius by positing that “that he had major editorial help, up to and including a ghostwriter.”
In order to identify the ghostwriter as Bill Ayers, Cashill observes that “Ayers and Obama have a good deal in common. In the way of background, both grew up in comfortable white households and have struggled to find an identity as righteous black men ever since,” oddly ignoring the fact that Ayers is the son of Thomas G. Ayers, former Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison while Obama is the son of a struggling single mother who was raised by his middle class grandparents. And, even more oddly, ignoring the fact that Ayers is white.
Cashill next concludes that “Ayers had the means, the motive, the time, the place and the literary ability to jumpstart Obama’s career” and then proceeds to compare the text of Obama’s Dreams to the text of Ayer’s own memoir, Fugitive Days.
Here is an example of Cashill’s literary exegesis:
“I identified two similar “nature” passages in Obama’sand Ayers’ respective memoirs, the first from Fugitive Days:
‘I picture the street coming alive, awakening from the fury of winter, stirred from the chilly spring night by cold glimmers of sunlight angling through the city.’
The second from Dreams:
‘Night now fell in midafternoon, especially when the snowstorms rolled in, boundless prairie storms that set the sky close to the ground, the city lights reflected against the clouds.’
Cashill concludes that “These two sentences are alike in more than their poetic sense, their length and their gracefully layered structure.”
I won’t go further into Cashill’s textual analysis. Suffice it to say that the passage I’ve quoted is representative.
Cashill ends his article with a kind of coup, linking Obama not only to Ayers, but also to Saddam Hussein.
“None of this, of course, proves Ayers’ authorship conclusively,” Cashill modestly concedes, “but the evidence makes him a much more likely candidate than Obama to have written the best parts of Dreams. The Obama camp could put all such speculation to rest by producing some intermediary sign of impending greatness — a school paper, an article, a notebook, his Columbia thesis, his LSAT scores — but Obama guards these more zealously than Saddam did his nuclear secrets. And I suspect, at the end of the day, we will pay an equally high price for Obama’s concealment as Saddam’s.”
This insanity is from the same people who believe that Martians built the pyramids because they’d rather believe in the accomplishments of green people than brown people.
Expect Sean Hannity to be asking “Who Wrote Barack Hussein Obama’s book?” sometime this week.