Jack Cashill, who fancies himself the Indiana Jones of the wingnut set, has for years argued, absurdly, that Obama didn’t write his own autobiography. In fact, it was really written by William Ayers. Or George Soros. Or Saul Alinsky, even after he was dead. Or something. Who the hell can keep track of this kind of crazy? But he’s back now with a whole new conspiracy theory: Obama didn’t write his own love letters.
What Hirsch refuses to question is whether that “unguarded early voice” is Obama’s own. On this question, Maraniss does nothing to enlighten him. As an Obama biographer – his book “Barack Obama: The Story” is due out next month – Maraniss obviously knows that controversy surrounds Obama’s writing skills.
Given that controversy, he owes his reader some proof of the letter’s legitimacy. He should tell us whether he saw a hard copy of the letter, whether it was typed or hand-written, and why it reads so much better than Obama’s published work of the same period. He does none of the above…
And yet writing longhand, presumably from memory, Obama has the wherewithal to put an umlaut over the “u” in Münzer. In college, I was an Honors English student and a Classics minor, not a political science major like Obama. I had not even heard of Münzer before reading this letter.
That Obama could embark upon a sophisticated, spontaneous discussion of T.S. Eliot – he claimed not to have read “The Waste Land” for a year and never bothered “to check all the footnotes” – should have alerted Maraniss.
Wow. Seriously? Weigel has a bit of fun by asking David Maraniss, in whose book those letters appear, about it:
“It is preposterous on its face,” wrote Maraniss in an e-mail, “utterly made of whole cloth. It is not worth taking seriously, in my opinion, and fruitless in any case with people who want to believe what they want to believe, despite all facts and common sense to the contrary, but: Who could have concocted letters that would reveal such prosaic and intimate things as his work at the Fire Department, who he was staying with when he got back from Hawaii to New York, the precise addresses of his apartments, his observations in Singapore[?]”
There simply is no conspiracy theory too idiotic for Cashill and his fellow wingnuts. I fully expect his next column to declare that Obama sent a stunt double to the prom, funded by George Soros of course, and that Saul Alinsky showed up in blackface to take the SAT for him.