Dreams of My Real Father (Slightly strong language)

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
Alissa_Sal's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427
Dreams of My Real Father (Slightly strong language)

With "Dreams From My Real Father," Have Obama Haters Hit Rock Bottom? - The Daily Beast

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 wh##e.

For a while now, pictures purporting to show Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, modeling in 1950s bondage and fetish porn have been floating around the darker corners of the Internet. Now, though, they've made their way into a pseudo-documentary, Joel Gilbert's Dreams From My Real Father, which is being mailed to voters in swing states, promoted by several Tea Party groups and by at least one high-level Republican. At the same time, Dinesh D'Souza's latest book, Obama's America - the first of all his works to hit the top spot on The New York Times bestseller list - has a chapter essentially calling Dunham a fat sl#t. If Obama is reelected, it's hard to imagine where the right goes from here.

It's tempting to ignore Dreams From My Real Father because it's so preposterous. 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 catalogs."

What matters here is not that a lone crank made a vulgar conspiracy video, one that outdoes even birther propaganda in its lunacy and bad taste. It's that the video is finding an audience on the right. 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 2 [million] or 3 million, just state by state," he told me.

Gilbert won't say who is funding this distribution, and there's no way to verify his numbers. Had he not made other right-wing documentaries in the past, I might suspect that the whole thing is a brilliant conceptual art project about the limits of anti-Obama credulity. But the fact is, people are reporting receiving the disc in the mail. 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."

Meanwhile, D'Souza's book, Obama's America, the companion volume to his hit documentary 2016, is enjoying its fifth week on The New York Times bestseller list, though it has fallen to the No. 4 spot. Obama's America makes the same argument as his 2010 bestseller, The Roots of Obama's Rage: that Obama is motivated by an anti-colonial animus against Western power. "Obama views Muslims who are fighting against America in Iraq and Afghanistan as freedom fighters, somewhat akin to Indians or Kenyans fighting to push out their British colonial occupier," he wrote in the 2010 book. He writes more or less the same thing in the new one. The primary difference is that while before he mainly focused on Obama's father, now he turns his attention to Obama's mom as well.

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. It shows that a writer once considered a legitimate conservative intellectual has been reduced to sputtering "yo mama" at our president.

After the last four years, perhaps we shouldn't expect anything more. That itself, however, is telling. In 2001, the Republican activist Barbara Olson was quoted saying, "Look at Bill Clinton's mother, as opposed to George W.'s mother. Is your mother a barfly who gets used by men? Or is your mother a strong woman who demanded respect for her ideas and always received it?" She was widely condemned and issued an abject apology. D'Souza's nastier words, by contrast, have barely caused a ripple. Conservative groups haven't been scandalized by their association with Gilbert's movie. This is who they are. There's nothing left to be shocked about.

Is it a good strategy to go after Obama's mother? Do you think this will sway voters against Obama, against Conservatives, or have no effect? Even if everything the video alledges is true, do you think his mother's love life is relevent to the President today? Also, do you think that it's fair or misleading for the movie to be narrated in first person, as though the President himself had said these things?

I can confirm that these have been mailed to people in OH. I grew up in OH and many of my friends still live there, and have reported recieving this DVD in the mail (unsolicited.)

GloriaInTX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 13 hours ago
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4227

Dinesh D'Souza's latest book, Obama's America - the first of all his works to hit the top spot on The New York Times bestseller list - has a chapter essentially calling Dunham a fat sl#t.

Did he actually use those words or is that the interpretation of the author of this article?

GloriaInTX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 13 hours ago
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4227

I don't think you can paint Joel Gilbert's Dreams From My Real Father and Dinesh D'Souza's Obama's America with the same brush. I think this author is trying to discredit one book by associating it with another. Much of the material in Dinesh D'Souza's book comes from Obama's own book Dreams of My Father.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Did he actually use those words or is that the interpretation of the author of this article?

I believe that is the author of the article paraphrasing. I haven't read the book, but assuming the quote from the article is correct, what the author of the book actually said was:

"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."

Alissa_Sal's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I don't think you can paint Joel Gilbert's Dreams From My Real Father and Dinesh D'Souza's Obama's America with the same brush. I think this author is trying to discredit one book by associating it with another. Much of the material in Dinesh D'Souza's book comes from Obama's own book Dreams of My Father.

I haven't read Obama's America, but I'm pretty sure Dreams From My Father doesn't spend a lot of time delving into Stanley Ann Dunham's sexual adventures such as they were (will ask DH later since he's read the whole book.) My real question is, do you think that that Gilbert or D'Souza are hurting Obama by going after his mom in this manner, or do you think it will hurt Conservatives if people think that it's inappropriate (and off topic) to attack the President by going after his dead mother?

mom3girls's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I dont see it as hurting either side. I do not believe that Obama's mother is off limits, dead or not. I think as a politician you need to be aware that everyone in your family is going to be looked at under a microscope.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"mom3girls" wrote:

I dont see it as hurting either side. I do not believe that Obama's mother is off limits, dead or not. I think as a politician you need to be aware that everyone in your family is going to be looked at under a microscope.

I disagree. I mean, if anything they were saying about his mother was relevent to his Presidential policy, maaaaybe. But even assuming his mother was promiscuous, what the heck does that have to do with him as the President? It just seems so....tasteless, and completely off topic.

I do think that family members should be off limits unless they are an active part of the campaign or policy making. So, I wouldn't be as bothered if they were "vetting" Michelle Obama or Ann Romney, since they are active parts of the campaign. But if like, if someone went after Mitt Romney's kids saying mean things about them in the media as if that had any bearing on his potential presidency, that would be tasteless IMO.

It may not hurt the Conservatives, because people who hate Obama are probably happy to hate him and hear nasty things about his mom, and people who like him probably think it's irrelevent. So maybe it doesn't hurt anyone's campaign. I still think it's nasty and tasteless.

Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2256

I'm with Alissa. I think this is ridiculous and his mother should be off limits on her personal choices. I agree that Ann Romney and Michelle Obama would be different stories. I think underage children are off limits and if the spouse keeps out of the limelight for the most part (Laura Bush for example).

I'm also grossed out by how surprising this author finds heavier women having a sex life. What an arse.

mom3girls's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

Why would parents be off limits? Isnt how a person is raised a key element in who they are as adult? I am not saying that this book would automatically make Obama a horrible person, it could just as easily be seen as proof that he has the ability to overcome adversity.

I havent read either book, but they sound like 2 very different narratives on the president. Not sure why the author of this article tried to tie them together

Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2256

When family are not putting themselves out there their personal lives are not up for grabs in my opinion. I don't think his mother's sexual history in any way reflects how he was raised.

Hypothetically,if she was alive and if she had been politically active or putting her opinions out there then yes it would be more fair game to bring up her past.

Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 692

If a party feels like they need to attack an opponent in such a way or his supporters feel so, I think they can only perceive imminent defeat because this is sinking very, very low. It is not a good strategy; in fact it is really pathetic and ridulous. To me it show complete lack of respect and grace. If the candidate is respomsible for it, i would not vote for that person just based on this alone.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"mom3girls" wrote:

Why would parents be off limits? Isnt how a person is raised a key element in who they are as adult?

Do you really think that his mom's sex life was a key element of "how he was raised?"

Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

The most (and only) important factor when deciding who will lead your country are their policies and performance.

Who cares what his mom did? You aren't voting for her as president.

Rivergallery's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

#1- nothing is off limits anymore.
#2 - both parties and media dig stuff up on each other, and or make things up.
#3 - Just because something negative comes up doesn't mean it came from the opposing party.
#4 - Doesn't matter to me what his mother did, just like it didn't matter that Jenna and Barbara got into drinking. Or that Sarah Palin's daughter wasn't married when pregnant.
#5 Realize most of these negative things are for sensationalism and ratings.

Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2256

"Rivergallery" wrote:

#1- nothing is off limits anymore.
#2 - both parties and media dig stuff up on each other, and or make things up.
#3 - Just because something negative comes up doesn't mean it came from the opposing party.
#4 - Doesn't matter to me what his mother did, just like it didn't matter that Jenna and Barbara got into drinking. Or that Sarah Palin's daughter wasn't married when pregnant.
#5 Realize most of these negative things are for sensationalism and ratings.

For the most part I agree with what you said. I don't agree with Sarah Palin's daughter for 1 reason and that S.P. is anti sex ed and promotes abstinence and I felt that this was a clear example of why that doesn't actually work. Personally, I don't care if Bristol Palin had 30 kids and I don't think it negatively reflects on SP as a mom just against her stance.

Rivergallery's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"Jessica80" wrote:

For the most part I agree with what you said. I don't agree with Sarah Palin's daughter for 1 reason and that S.P. is anti sex ed and promotes abstinence and I felt that this was a clear example of why that doesn't actually work. Personally, I don't care if Bristol Palin had 30 kids and I don't think it negatively reflects on SP as a mom just against her stance.

I totally disagree that her stance conflicted with her daughter.. and NO she wasn't anti-sex ed. She was conservative in her belief of sex ed. And time and again we are shown that MODERN sex education doesn't work.. What it did show me was that Bristol valued life. It showed me she wasn't afraid of Sarah. Her mother knew what she did and though disagreed with Bristol's choices LOVED and SUPPORTED her anyway. I would much rather has seen that then a mom disowning a child, or having an abortion because they are scared what their family will do or think.. It actually showed me how GREAT of a mother Sarah Palin was.

Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2256

Well, I'm not going to debate sex ed on here but of course I disagree. I've researched it a lot actually and for first world countries we have an obscene rate of teenage pregnancies and we also start sex ed later than the other countries if we start it at all.

I also don't give her too much credit for not disowning her daughter. Any loving mother would not do that in my opinion. I guess maybe different areas of the country think differently though. Maybe? I'm not sure. I also would think a loving mother would not shame or scare her daughter into an abortion. That's horrible.