Originally published March 29, 2009
In these days of Hope n' Change, "inspiration" isn't what it used to be.
Following Barack Obama's cocky and condescending presentation of his birth certificate this week, we couldn't resist going to the Hope n' Change vault to pull up this cartoon to remind people of another name on that birth certificate: Barack Obama senior.
What a class act: he knocked up Obama's mother when she was 17 (and he was already married), ended up with multiple wives and a busload of children - several of whom still live in huts without economic assistance from their step-president brother.
He attended Harvard, but was forced out before completing his Ph.D. in economics, because the university was concerned about his low moral character.
After returning to Africa, he worked for an oil company (which must cause enormous conflict for his anti-oil son) and became a raging alcoholic, wife beater, and serial drunk driver who lost both legs, and killed another driver, before finally killing himself in yet another DUI accident.
We don't dredge all of this up to mock the president, but rather to raise the question (as others have) about how the experience of having such a nightmarish father shaped young Barack Obama's personality and worldview into something distinctly distorted and unhealthy.
At the very least, his father's rejection would explain why Barack Obama is obsessed not with governing (which he isn't good at)...but with campaigning, hearing the cheers, and soliciting votes as a perverse affirmation of his worth. And why having a father who pretended he didn't exist would cause Barack Junior to write (or commission) two autobiographies before actually accomplishing anything.
So while we now concede that Barack Obama has a birth certificate...we can't help but notice that the circumstances of his birth have left him somewhat certifiable.