blueollie

2016 Barack Obama’s America: in the mould of fundamentalist “doomsday/second coming” type films

Since Mr. D’Souza spends much of his time interviewing talking heads who either provide little data or misleading data…I’ll go ahead and give my summary opinion on his movie. Then I’ll follow with detailed comments, with references.

Do you remember movies aimed at Evangelical Christians; remember the doomsday/second coming time films such as The Late, Great Planet Earth? The formula: take a smattering of facts out of context, build a “hey, it could be this way, you know” framework that is designed to appeal to an anti-intellectual evangelical Christian audience (“see, just like the Bible says!…It fits! Oh, I NOW UNDERSTAND things so much better!”).

Well, that is the formula for Dinesh D’Souza’s film 2016: Obama’s America. It has very little fact in it; it is mostly a stream of baseless conjectures and mangled factoids which seek to, well, not so much to critique what President Obama has actually done (the way that Fahrenheit 9-11 did with President Bush) nor to report what Obama aides said (the way that Game Change did for Sarah Palin). The idea is to “prove” that Obama is, well, unAmerican…..well, let me correct that: to reinforce the prejudices that the Fox News watchers already have of Obama. Note: right win delusions of Obama’s policies are taken as “facts” throughout; the rest is a collection of people giving their opinions followed by D’Souza proudly waving his prize overhead.

Ultimately, it reminds me a bit of this:

Playing chess with a pigeon

When you try to play chess with a pigeon, it gets on the board, knocks over the pieces, poops all over the board and then struts around with its chest out.

That is pretty much what D’Souza does here.

Details about the movie:

First 10 minutes: Mr. D’Souza spends time talking about himself; he describes why he found life in India (at that time) constraining and the opportunities he found in the United States; he also describes his own ascent into the Republican ranks.

He is setting up a contrast, I am sure.

Next, he talks about President Obama’s “strange” actions: returning a country’s property to them (routinely done; the bust of Churchill was scheduled for return prior to Obama taking office), helping rid the world of Gaddafi, not going to war (?), negotiating the rough waters of the Arab Spring, trying to get better relations with the Muslim world (oh noes, not that!) and not blindly siding with Israel on every issue at every time (something many Jews don’t do). This is the “straw man” part.

Now he says: “hey Obama wrote a book”, called Dreams From my Father. He did, and I read it. It is mostly about his journey to Harvard Law School; he does describe a visit to Kenya and he talks about the pain of growing up without his biological father. So, you see…the logical conclusion for Mr. D’Souza is, well….Obama got his world view from his dad…someone who was almost totally absent in his upbringing (save a visit and some correspondence). He didn’t grow up around him, and yet he is supposed to be his major influence? Seriously.

Oh, he talks to a psychologist and he hears: “oh he could have been a positive presence”. But nothing ties his father’s political ideas and world views with President Obama’s views.

Then D’Souza starts to “trace out” where Obama lived….to prove what I don’t know. He does talk about anti-colonialism that he felt while growing up in India and tried to make the connection with Obama growing up (partially) in Indonesia…as a US Citizen with a white American mother….ok…
He then claims that young Barack was sent from Indonesia to Hawaii by his mother to “escape (his stepfather’s) pro-western influence”. Huh??? Going to live with white Americans in America is “escaping a pro-western influence”? (Barack Obama was actually discussing his step-dad’s CORRUPTION and going along with it…not being “western”) He talks about his dad’s influence in that his dad was held up as an example of…wait for it…someone who was honest???? Oh noes, not that!

Then it mentions that young Barack was introduced to Frank Davis and spent time with him. How dangerous was Mr. Davis? He was put on a watch list by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI (like, say, M. L. King or any number of others?) (eyeroll)

He then quotes a snippet in which Barack talks about his undergraduate days at Occidental college; this wasn’t meant to be “look at how great I was” but rather a description of a growth phase (he also talks about smoking cigarettes and grinding them into the carpet, and a lot of stuff that wasn’t intended to paint him as being praiseworthy at that time).

But now Mr. D’Souza is going to try to “learn more about Obama Sr.”; it turs out that…..wait for it…young Barack had an idealized view of his dad? Wow..very unusual indeed.

(fortunately I am about half way through this dreary film…)

Now we have some Kenyan footage. D’Souza finds someone who lives there (and probably have far less access to daily US News) to say that Barack Obama’s views are similar to his father’s, and of course he talks to the obligatory ….ooooohhh….”leftist radical”. What this has to do with President Obama, I am unsure of.

He talks about President Obama’s tax policy and tells how his dad made a statement “theoretically….” (the government could tax 100 percent of income) and then goes on to say “is this what President Obama means when he talks about “fair share”?

Oh dear. Clinton tax rates for those making 250K and up is 100 percent? This is the classic “lying while not making a false statement” tactic.

PRESTO:
1. We are two thirds of the way through this dreadfully bad film and
2. We now “know”, from….uh…I am not sure what…listening to what other people said?…that President Obama is an anti-American communist!!!!

Now we get to the “how did then candidate Obama win election” and we get well, first the data-free, fact-free opinion of a talking head who purports to know what Obama voters thought…based on…..well, nothing.

There is the scene in which Hillary Clinton (as a candidate) knock’s Obama’s naiveness ….but it was a naiveness based on…..Obama believing that Republicans would work with him! :-)

Then there is the focus on “white people voting for Obama” when in fact, he lost the white vote both times and was voted in largely on the strength of racial minorities. (43 percent of the white vote in 2008, and MUCH less in the deep south (surprise!)).

Now we get the “Obama’s terrorist pals”; you’ve heard these before. And yes, Reverend Wright. His “God damn America” was really part of a sermon in which he reminded people that, in the Bible, God’s blessings were conditional and based on whether Israel lived up to God’s standards. When it didn’t, God allowed for Israel to be defeated and occupied (that is much of what Jeremiah is about).

I think that President Obama addressed this rather well; he mentioned that Rev. Wright didn’t see America’s ability to change from what it once was. He said so in public. Oh well. He describes Wright saying that he was “offered 150K to shut up” (D’Souza did NOT say that Obama or the Obama campaign made the offer).

Now to policy: not go ahead with the pipeline? Well, maybe it is a bad idea? Not opening our coastline to new drilling? It would be years before any potential gas price benefit would be realized…and frankly I’d rather not have another BP fiasco here.

Health care bill? You mean the one that the Heritage Foundation came up with? (that is what Obamacare was modeled after; it was presented to President Clinton by Senator Dole as a compromise in 1993.).

And then he talks about Obama sympathizing with Muslim terrorists (Bin Laden? Drone strikes? Killing TOO MANY terrorists, according to some Republicans?)

And oh yes, Obama is taking down our capitalist society:

S&P500 Since December_0

(note: click on the link; it talks about how, while we are no longer shedding jobs the way we were under President Bush, are are barely above break even in terms of new jobs keeping up with new job seekers:

december_jobs_wh

Jobs Since 2007 vs Population vs Labor Force_0

So my link does NOT see things through rose colored glasses; far from it. Back to the movie:

He shows some criticism of his “work”; he says “I’m a college president”. :-) Technically, true AT THAT TIME….of some outfit called “The King’s College”.

Okkkkkkaaaayyyy….

And his prediction about spending money “as if the deficit didn’t matter”….well, someone who knows something about economics says that is a bunch of BS. But hey, Paul Krugman only has a Nobel Prize in economics, so what does he know? :-)

Then he slams Obama for dreaming of a nuclear free world! Guess who else had such a dream and wanted it badly?

Nuclear weapons-free world: a vision of Kennedy, Reagan, Obama

Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and now, Obama all envisioned a world free of nuclear weapons. The US-Russian START accord, announced Friday, is a next step in that direction, experts say.

Oh yes, the “reach out to the Islamic world”. He quotes Obama’s Cairo speech and shows the part where “all too often, Mulsim nations were treated by proxies…”. True enough, but they were mostly treated by the Russians that way; Obama was NOT specifically talking about the United States at that moment.

A weakened America now permits the rise of “The United States of Islam” (complete with map!) composed of countries who, well…often hate each other (Sunni and Shitte countries in the same “United States of Islam? Must be news to them…)

Then comes the oh-so-scary US debt graph…in absolute dollars instead of “percentage of GDP” (yes, our GDP is growing and therefore our capacity to handle debt…and yes, maintaining an unnecessarily large military and nuclear arsenal is expensive, no?)

Cure to a talking head complaining about the national debt (not putting it in percentage of GDP terms), children’s choir rehearsing for an Obama event and Obama’s Denver speech….and the usual “the future is in your hands”.

And thankfully, the film is over.

Update: here is a review that is spot on.

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January 27, 2013 - Posted by | 2008 Election, 2012 election, Barack Obama, movies, political/social, politics, politics/social | , ,

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