March 14, 2008

Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro. She's important!

And she's certainly not the stereotypical "single mother" she's stood for in Obama campaign rhetoric.

ADDED Jezebel comments:
The Times posits that her legacy is apparent in Obama's "self-assurance and drive, his boundary bridging, even his apparent comfort with strong women." I think her legacy has other ramifications as well. If Barack wins the presidency, the specter of Stanley Ann could put the nail in the coffin on the right-wing love affair with the "nuclear family." It's obvious that in this country, and in much of the world, the shiny, suburban two-parent household is mostly a Dick Van Dyke-ian fantasy. If a boundary breaking, unapologetic single mother could raise a son who becomes President, the notion that being raised in a traditional household is ideal would take a real hit.

On the other hand, Obama seems to have embraced all that his mother eschewed: he married into a tightly knit, Christian family. He's never moved his kids around -- he and Michelle have (smartly) created a very stable world for their daughters, Malia and Natasha.

70 comments:

George said...

The NYT is almost exactly one year late with this profile. The Chicago Trib ran this lengthy bio on March 27, 2007. Clearly, she seems disaffected and alienated from America.

Her Wiki profile, relying on multiple sources, adds that she was either an atheist or agnostic, a fact that neither newspaper deems important enough to include.

The product of a two broken homes, Sen. Obama's sad, Dickensian childhood has his mother divorcing twice, moving her child across the Pacific, and then he lives away from his mother and takes up drugs before pulling his life together. It is any wonder that a church with a angry minister appeals to him?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Spengler has her number:
Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.

"Naivete" is a euphemism for Ann Dunham's motivation. Friends describe her as a "fellow traveler", that is, a communist sympathizer, from her youth, according to a March 27, 2007, Chicago Tribune report. Many Americans harbor leftist views, but not many marry into them, twice. Ann Dunham met and married the Kenyan economics student Barack Obama, Sr, at the University of Hawaii in 1960, and in 1967 married the Indonesian student Lolo Soetero.

...Soetero had been sponsored as a graduate student by one of the most radical of all Third World governments. ...Before deposing him in 1967, Indonesia's military slaughtered 500,000 communists (or unfortunates who were mistaken for communists). When Ann Dunham chose to follow Lolo Soetero to Indonesia in 1967, she brought the six-year-old Barack into the kitchen of anti-colonialist outrage, immediate following one of the worst episodes of civil violence in post-war history.

Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother's milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.

gophermomeh said...

Yes, clearly, it's all a conspiracy. Be afraid, be very afraid...Boo!

AJ Lynch said...

Ann Dunham sounds a bit flakey to me. Would she be considered one of the first hippies?

Middle Class Guy said...

The article or profile is about the effect of a mother on her child. Evidently she had a profound effect on him. As to her politics, who knows and who cares.

Barack Obama has not exhibited any hatred of America or anyone else for that matter. He has never even exhibited a hatred for Bush, a prerequisite for the far left.

Look at his competition. Compared to Hillary, the the guy is as clean as new snow. She is Eliot Spitzer in pants; a demonizing, moralizing, crusading, power hungry, hypocrite with no redeeming socail values.

Balfegor said...

Ann Dunham sounds a bit flakey to me. Would she be considered one of the first hippies?

She sounds more like one of those women who went and did missionary work out in the British Raj. Obsessed with the exotics. Sexualisation of colonial peoples.

Gahrie said...

Barack Obama has not exhibited any hatred of America or anyone else for that matter. He has never even exhibited a hatred for Bush, a prerequisite for the far left.


Perhaps not, but the man who has had the most profound religious and philosophical effects on Obama, Rev. Wright, certainly has; and Obama has persistently failed to distance himself from Wright in any way.

paul a'barge said...

Wow. I kind of like her.

I'm sure I would probably not have agreed with her negative opinions of America.

But, I like her.

rhhardin said...

And Margaret Mead made up stuff.

Wm. Empson on ``The Primitive Mind'' :

The most obvious use of false identity arises in totemism ; indeed, on this issue the primitives simply lectured the scientific observers until they had drummed the idea into their heads. When the Bororo of Brazil insisted that they were parrots, with no double meaning about it at all, and thus annoyed the anthropologist (``as if a caterpillar shold claim to be already a butterfly,'' he rudely objected), they knew with the clarity of a theologian that what they wanted to assert was precisely the identity of two ideas already distinct. If these people were ``primitive'' they are evidence that the human mind is inherently metaphysical. It is melancholy to read that the anthropologists got them down in the end, and they now parrot off phrases such as that they are only of the same substance as parrots.

_The Structure of Complex Words_ p.387

The role of native informer is not made explicit, but there is a sympathy there.

I suppose today Empson would be exposed of some treachery or other in keeping them barefoot and pregnant.

But then the idea here isn't equal opportunity and good citizenshhip, but studying the primitive mind.

Studying the primitive mind runs under the surface of liberalism today. Good citizenship enters as helping these simple creatures.

Anthony said...
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Anthony said...
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PatCA said...

"Barack Obama has not exhibited any hatred of America or anyone else for that matter. He has never even exhibited a hatred for Bush, a prerequisite for the far left."

No, he lets his surrogates do it for him--Michelle, his racist pastor--to appeal to the netroots, all the while smiling his way to the nomination.

After listening to Wright damn me to hell for the past two days, I would be willing to bet Obama's sainted mother was of the same mind. I no longer entertain the thought that Obama is one of the "good" leftists who doesn't hate America, regardless of the NYT's attempt to rehabilitate his image.

He ought to step down and go teach somewhere with the rest of his cult.

George said...

As for Jezebel, the non-nuclear family mold in Presidential politics has already been broken. We just had president from a broken home. His stepfather was an alcoholic gambler who attacked and beat his mother in front of his eyes. And the little boy had to physically stop his father.

What a disaster that guy was...he was scarred for life.

Now we have a candidate who's the product of not one but two failed marriages.

Rich B said...

His mother reminds me of Heather LaLache's mother in Ursula LeGuin's "Lathe of Heaven".

Icepick said...

We can predate Clinton by over 150 years when it comes to having a President that didn't have the "traditional" upbringing. Andrew Jackson came from a worse home life situation than either Clinton or Obama.

Icepick said...

Thnking about it, Jezebel's worst offence in her comment isn't the ignorance of history, it's the lack of logic.

If a boundary breaking, unapologetic single mother could raise a son who becomes President, the notion that being raised in a traditional household is ideal would take a real hit.

No, the IDEAL would not take a hit. The ideal is that all other things being equal, a child is better off having her/his mother and father around in a stable committed relationship. But if the father is a child molester and the child suffers because her/his mother has Munchhausen by proxy, then I don't think any third party would argue that the child would be better off with her/his parents.

If the "right-wing" position was that people could ONLY achieve success coming from a nuclear family in the suburbs, THEN and ONLY THEN would their position take a hit from an Obama presidency. That isn't the case, though, so her point fails from a logical standpoint, as well as from the previously mentioned factual errors.

Tim said...

Well now, there's an authentic life to be celebrated by the Left.

former law student said...

How many white crew-cut American boys were going to be interested in a girl named Stanley? Her father set her on the road to nonconformity by naming her after himself.

"Barack Obama has not exhibited any hatred of America or anyone else for that matter. He has never even exhibited a hatred for Bush, a prerequisite for the far left."

No, he lets his surrogates do it for him--Michelle, his racist pastor--to appeal to the netroots


I will think of Barack as the biracial Lamont Cranston of our times, with his power to influence the thoughts and words of his wife and pastor. (I wonder if he would teach me his wife-influencing techniques; mine tells me a simple NO far too often.)

The netrooters whose spoutings I read are opposed to the thoughts of Obama's pastor, to a man. I don't know to whom Wright's spoutings appeal, but it's not internetters.

gophermomeh said...

I like her, too. She really opened him up to a lot of the world - to seeing things differently. It's certainly unconventional and that seems to make a lot of people pretty uncomfortable. I think she did a damn good job of raising him, you know he turned out ok - and that's all any mom wants.

Yachira said...

Jezebel says: "... he and Michelle have (smartly) created a very stable world for their daughters, Malia and Natasha."

If you call repeatedly exposing them to the psychotic rantings of "Pastor" Wright "smartly...stable"

And I won't even begin to take apart the on-its-face silly notion that if one single mother has a kid who becomes President, than single-parent families pose no problems for kids.

Geez, the unbearable lightness of Jezebel's comments...

TMink said...

"he and Michelle have (smartly) created a very stable world for their daughters, Malia and Natasha."

Any world that includes taking the children to weekly hate rallies disguised as a church service is definitionally unstable.

Trey

Trooper York said...

My Dick Van Dyke fantasy revolves around Mary Tyler Moore in a tight pair of capris opening the door to the TV repairman while having a martini because Dick is stuck in the city. But that's just me.

Balfegor said...

I don't know to whom Wright's spoutings appeal, but it's not internetters.

Uh, seeing as he's a pastor, presumeably they appeal to his flock, no? And to the people who were moved by his sermonising to make a conscious decision to join his church. Like, well, Barack Obama. No?

It's not like he's pitching to appeal to leftist bloggers or Kos-ite diarists. They're almost exclusively Whites, after all, and Wright heads a self-consciously Black church, not just a church whose members happen to be mostly African American.

Gahrie said...

I think she did a damn good job of raising him,

She didn't raise him. Her parents (Obama's White grandparents) did.

Paul said...

"The netrooters whose spoutings I read are opposed to the thoughts of Obama's pastor, to a man. I don't know to whom Wright's spoutings appeal, but it's not internetters."

His spoutings appeal to frontrunner in the Democratic Party's race for the President of The United States Of America. Obviously.

AJ Lynch said...

Gahrie:

I wondered about that too. Of his first 18 years, how many years did Obama spend with his mother? Raising her kids is a mother's main job- did she abdicate her responsibility to go and live in another country? If so, she was a flake and Obama has to be scarred by that- now he probably can't stand former hippies. Heh. Ex-hippies comprise about 40-50% of Dem voters including Althouse.

Icepick said...

Trooper York, it's not just you.

Signed,
1960s era TV repairmen

Paul said...

MCG

"Barack Obama has not exhibited any hatred of America or anyone else for that matter. He has never even exhibited a hatred for Bush, a prerequisite for the far left."

Go back and read Jeff's comment. Re-read it again if you still haven't figured it out.

Meade said...

So Hillary is right again: It does take an entire village worth of Dick Van Dyke shows to raise an indulged bratty child like Ritchie Petrie. And that village includes the Trooper York, Icepick, and Associates Mobile TV Repair & Undercupping Analysis Service.

Middle Class Guy said...

His stepfather was an alcoholic gambler who attacked and beat his mother in front of his eyes. And the little boy had to physically stop his father.


Only if you believe that story.

Balfegor said...

Raising her kids is a mother's main job- did she abdicate her responsibility to go and live in another country? If so, she was a flake and Obama has to be scarred by that- now he probably can't stand former hippies.

Well, maybe. I'm pretty comfortable with the idea of having grandparents (or even just servants) take care of the children in your stead. Lots of families do this today, particularly when there's a tension between where parents need to work to earn the family's income, and where children need to attend school to get the best schooling possible. And they generally turn out quite well. Now, that may not be precisely Obama's family's situation, but the geographic arrangment is about the same, so it's comparable.

Anyhow, from the article, I get the impression from the he was with his mother until high school, at which point he stayed on in Hawaii, attending his posh prep school, while she returned to Indonesia or some other country in the Rim. That doesn't sound bad at all.

Middle Class Guy said...

Trooper,
I had my own Dick van Dyke moment. While working afternoons, my then wife decided to rearrange the furniture.

I come home from work about two am after stopping for a couple of beers and wind up ass over tea kettle on the floor, waking the sleeping wife.

You know it was my fault. Had to be. Of course she is now the ex-wife.

dick said...

I'd really like to see the time line on his life with his mother. How much of the time was he with her and how much was he dumped on his grandparents while she went off on her merry way. He certainly seems to have been very indcidental to her life from what I have been able to read on the net and she certainly made it clear that she did not like the US at all.

It would be interesting to compare the NYT story and the other stories on Obama's mother and her time with him to see just how it all fits together.

WhyObama? said...

Obama uses white mother, Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro, to make himself more palatable to white Pennsylvania voters
http://dear-barack.blogspot.com/2008/03/obamas-mom-propaganda.html

Icepick said...

It does take an entire village worth of Dick Van Dyke shows to raise an indulged bratty child like Ritchie Petrie. And that village includes the Trooper York, Icepick, and Associates Mobile TV Repair & Undercupping Analysis Service.

Hopefuly the village is fully stocked with Laura Petrie's & gin....

Trooper York said...

There is no comparison between the outfits that Laura Petrie
sported as opposed to the crap she wore when moved to Minnesota and changed her name to Mary Richards. Tight capris, sweaters off one shoulder, little mini dresses. Ohhh baby. I gotta go, I'll be back later.

Meade said...

Lesbian whore!

dbp said...

Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro is the one person who had the most influence on Senator Obama. She always chose to go where she would not automatically fit-in. Her son would do the opposite: He embraced the African American community, given his outward appearance, the place most likely to accept him and make him one of their own.

Trooper York said...

That's not nice Meade. They were just drinking wine and Rhoda had some weed and they were experimenting. It was the seventies man. Don't be so judgmental.

Now that Sue Ann Nivens. She was a stone freak.

PatCA said...

Well, as to the internetters, Huffpo and Kos each have one post on the subject of Wright, mostly worried about his impact on the campaign and not about the merits, with about half of the comments defending Obama and half alleging the usual conspiracy theories against HRC, McCain, Christians, etc.

Not surprising.

Balfegor said...

He embraced the African American community, given his outward appearance, the place most likely to accept him and make him one of their own.

I don't think this is quite how communities work. It's not just skin colour and bone structure. I suspect Obama had to overcome a number of hurdles, as a young man, to transform himself into someone who could be "African-American," since that is not at all what he had been, culturally, when he was growing up.

Methadras said...

A cotton candy article for a cotton candy candidate. The love affair for Obama is nothing more than a rejection of Clinton et al. Given the circumstances that another candidate besides Hillary is on the scene, who isn't as shrill or as divisive, the Left once again shows is colors (pun intended) and seeks an empty suit who projects perfumed soliloquies to the unwashed masses.

Richard Fagin said...

For all the whining about the Dick van Dyke suburbs, Barack and Michelle Obama seem to think they are an ok place to bring up their kids in an intact two-parent household.

As long as we on the subject of famous African Americans, do you think Michelle ever sings Ernie K-doe's "Mother in Law" to Stanley Ann?

I was going to be insulted about being left out of the Dick van Dyke village, but I'm more the "Ozzie and Harriet" and "Father Knows Best" type anyway.

Trooper York said...

I don't know Richie, I love giving someone a pearl necklace as much as the next guy, but how can you bet against the way she filled out those capri's. Ohhhhhhh Babbbbbyyy!

Balfegor said...

I'm usually so negative about Obama, that I do have to mention one thing that I was pleasantly surprised by in the article:

worked for the Ford Foundation, championed women’s work and helped bring microcredit to the world’s poor.

I think that's a pretty impressive thing for his mother to have helped with, given how much better that seems to have worked than most of the third-world poverty alleviation schemes people have cooked up. Not an unalloyed good, to be sure, but a strongly positive development, and one that (unlike, say, food aid) seems to have avoided being hijacked by third-world elites as a tool to grind the boot in on the lower classes. It's also something that runs pretty counter to the usual Left narrative, where microcredit is a form of usurious exploitation.

Balfegor said...

Sorry -- I meant to highlight "microcredit" above. Ford Foundation and womens issues are fine, but they're also kind of conventional liberal stuff.

somefeller said...

She sounds like an impressive lady. Some conservatives have tried to attack her posthumously (and Obama by extension) by essentially saying she was a big commie harlot.

As a Democrat, I'd say, you go with that line of attack there, Republicans. Be sure to tell us how it turns out for you.

Cedarford said...

Jezebel - If a boundary breaking, unapologetic single mother could raise a son who becomes President, the notion that being raised in a traditional household is ideal would take a real hit.

She didn't raise him. She was almost as irresonsible as his feckless BioDaddy. She took him along as a cuddly kid to Indonesia, then dumped him off on her parents so she could stay in Indonesia after divorcing her Indonesian husband. Where she remained spearated from Obama the rest of his life except for rare visits or letters. Then after 30 years in Indonesia, she had no one to turn to when she got ill, and presented herself to her Mom to take care of her while she died of cancer.

Hardly inspiring. Irresponsible. "Obama in Dreams of My Father" wrote that he was mildly discomforted to being seriously put off, by her shunning white males as sexually attractive, her openly telling him which black celebrities she sexually lusted for, and her rejecting white American literature in favor of "the real stuff blacks write."

I will say that from all evidence that Obama is a far better, a more responsible and moral parent - than either Barack, Sr., or Ann Soetoro.

If I was looking for info on how Obama really thinks, where he got his good and bad qualities from - I would be interested in knowing about the white grandparents that mostly raised him.

paul a'barge said...

Jezebel: the notion that being raised in a traditional household is ideal would take a real hit

Jezebel managed to get through her entire education without attending a class in logic, or even on in the English language.

Here you go Jez, baby: exceptions don't dispute the rule

What are compelling are the statistics around the success and failure of children of single parent families.

My guess is that Jez herself is the child of a broken home. Two kinds of people are in denial about the pain and difficulty of children of single parents: Single parents and idiots.

former law student said...

If I was looking for info on how Obama really thinks, where he got his good and bad qualities from - I would be interested in knowing about the white grandparents that mostly raised him.

Well, gramps was a loud-mouthed furniture salesman who named his daughter Stanley, after himself, because he wanted a boy. I think that says a lot.

XWL said...

Jezebel is a group blog (manifesto here), the post in question was written by Jessica.

I don't like what they have to say over there generally, but I hate misattribution more (even though it's understandable, especially with regards to group blogs).

(also, I think Miss Attribution would be a killer name for a drag queen)

With regards to Sen. Obama's proto-Hippie mother, he's probably fortunate, in a political sense, that she's been dead for a long time, though I'm sure he'd give up all his political success to have her be still alive and kicking.

Michael said...

"If a boundary breaking, unapologetic single mother could raise a son who becomes President"

If people knew more about presidents, they'd find this less remarkable. Let's just go through the last few-- Clinton, single mother, occasionally abusive stepfather; Reagan, drunken, sometimes absentee father; Ford, named changed in adolescence by new stepfather (same is true of Nancy Reagan, by the way). Being the repository of a single parent's hopes seems to be one of the best ways to grow up with the drive to be president.

JimMtnViewCa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

MCG,

"Spitzer-in-pants"? But I thought it was already settled she was "Nixon without the charm". I'm SO confused...

rcocean said...

What a white wash! She was a terrible mother, & and thats bad.

Lets see, Obama goes back to Hawaii when he's ten years old (1971) and moves in with Grandma, meanwhile "mom" doesn't return to Hawaii until 1974. In 1977 (3 years later) - Obama still in HS and she goes back to Indonesia and stays there more or less permanently. Meanwhile "Barry" graduates from Prep School in 1979, then goes on to LA, NY, Harvard, and Chicago.

When she comes back to Hawaii to die in 1995, Obama isn't there for her final days & who can blame him?

mike said...

Un-freekin'-belevable!
Jeff w/one F posts the most intelligent comment here, and nobody, & I mean nobody, has the intellectual wherewithall to directly dispute it! Nor, it would appear, to even say they agree with it.
Losers!

rcocean said...

Actually, if B. Hussain Obama is elected he will be UNLIKE most Presidents.

Most Presidents had strong, very influential moms. FDR, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II, Truman, and LBJ come to mind.

McCain seems the same, see his feisty 90 something mother.

somefeller said...

Un-freekin'-belevable! Jeff w/one F posts the most intelligent comment here, and nobody, & I mean nobody, has the intellectual wherewithall to directly dispute it! Nor, it would appear, to even say they agree with it. Losers!

Actually, Mike and Jef with one F, my comment deals with it directly. If conservatives want to attack Obama's dead mother as being some kind of com-symp harlot, go ahead. You'll lose that game, but be my guest if you want to play it.

rcocean said...

Actually, Mike I agree with Jeff's post to this extent. I think Stan Dunham was probably an extreme leftist. I think she also had 'issues'.

I wish we knew more about the Grandparents, they seem to be key players not only in Stan's pathology but Obama's upbringing.

caplight777 said...

Middle Class Guy
Look at his competition. Compared to Hillary, the the guy is as clean as new snow. She is Eliot Spitzer in pants; a demonizing, moralizing, crusading, power hungry, hypocrite with no redeeming socail values.

You made it to Instapundit with that! Way to Go.

Middle Class Guy said...

rcocean said...
Actually, if B. Hussain Obama is elected he will be UNLIKE most Presidents.

Most Presidents had strong, very influential moms. FDR, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II, Truman, and LBJ come to mind.

Ah, Clinton's mom was a drunk and a gambler. Oh, now I can see the strencth she passed on to her son.

Middle Class Guy said...

caplight777,
It is because Althouse is popular with Instapundit.

somefeller said...

Ah, Clinton's mom was a drunk and a gambler. Oh, now I can see the strencth she passed on to her son.

Nothing more impressive than a guy who goes after a man by attacking his mother. Pussy. Let me guess, you were the type to hold back the punches until the prisoner was handcuffed, right?

blake said...

I admit confusion here.

If the shiny, suburban two-parent household ideal is mostly a Dick Van Dyke-ian fantasy (devoid of any actual merit), how are Obama and Michelle smart for raising their children in a shiny, suburban two-parent household?

paul a'barge said...

Middle Class Guy: As to her politics, who knows and who cares

Now that the Jeremiah Wright cat is out of the bag, I certainly care.

I still kind of like her, but Obama was baptized, married by and had his children baptized by a man who sits in the top echelon of the hate monger pile, right up there with Bull Connor and Farrakhan.

Now, I care about the politics of everyone behind Obama's curtain.

Googootz said...

Most of the Rev. Wright commentary seems to be following the formula of "if Rev. Wright is such a racist, and Obama has so many close personal connections to Rev. Wright, then Obama must be a closet racist."

I'm going to channel Geraldine Ferraro and ask, if Obama was white, would this be as big an issue as it is now? I don't think so. In fact, the very people who are concerned if Obama is secretly a cracker-hating black racist, would belittle the objections of black voters if the situation was reversed.

This latest hoopla is just an extension of the Somali ceremonial garb photo. It also can serve as the opportunity to finally have an open and frank discussion of race issues.

I say this as a registered Republican and a white man.

And Middle Class Guy has defined HRC to a tee: An Eliot Spitzer in pants.

Trooper York said...

Elliott Spitzer is Hillary Clinton without pants.

former law student said...

Elliott Spitzer is Hillary Clinton without pants.

Eliot Spitzer is an arrogant SOB who thinks that the rules he enforced apply to everyone but him.

blake said...

Soooo...you're agreeing with Trooper, FLS?

JMHO said...

It doesn't bother me that published reports say that Stanley Ann Dunham was an athiest. It does bother me that Barack Obama always says that his mother was a Christian...