Rather astonishingly, as Mr. West points out, at least six of the characters in Dreams have the same names as characters in Ayers' books: Malik, Freddy, Tim, Coretta, Marcus, and "the old man." ...Taking inspiration from another man and actually allowing him to ghostwrite for you are two very distinct things. Refuting the possiblity that only the former occured and definitively showing that the latter took place are going to be Jack and company's biggest challenges. Two of the three Ayers' books they use as primary sources of comparison were written after Dreams was published, including Fugitive Days, the work that shows the most striking similarities with Obama's putative autobiographical account. Pointing out that Audacity of Hope is sophomoric and cliched in comparison to Dreams is not enough to prove Ayers wrote Obama's first book.
In one instance, Obama reflects on his own first days as a ten year-old at his Hawaiian prep school, a transition complicated by the presence of "Coretta," the only other black student in the class.
When the other students accuse Obama of having a girlfriend, Obama shoves Coretta and insists that she leave him alone. Although "his act of betrayal" buys him a reprieve from the other students, Obama understands that he "had been tested and found wanting."
Ayers relates a parallel story in Parent. He tells of a useful reading assignment from the 1992 book, The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas, by black author Reginald McKnight. The passage in question deals with the travails of Clint, the first black student in a newly integrated school, who repudiates Marvin, the only other black boy in the school. Upon reflection, Clint thinks, "I was ashamed. Ashamed for not defending Marvin and ashamed that Marvin even existed." ...
Both authors link Indonesia with Vietnam. In each case, clueless officials - plural -- with the "State Department" try to explain how the march of communism through "Indochina" will specifically imperil "Indonesia." The Ayers account, however, at least sounds vaguely real. The Obama account sounds like an Ayers' memory imposed on Obama's mother. She allegedly discussed these geo-political strategy sessions in Indonesia with her pre-teen son. ...
Ayers is fixated with faces, especially eyes. He writes of "sparkling" eyes, "shining" eyes, "laughing" eyes, "twinkling" eyes, eyes "like ice," and people who are "wide-eyed" and "dark-eyed."
As it happens, Obama is also fixated with faces, especially eyes. He also writes of "sparkling" eyes, "shining" eyes, "laughing" eyes, "twinkling" eyes, and uses the phrases "wide-eyed" and "dark-eyed." Obama adds "smoldering eyes," "smoldering" being a word that he and Ayers inject repeatedly. Obama also uses the highly distinctive phrase "like ice," in his case to describe the glinting of the stars.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Jack Cashill marshalls more evidence of an Ayers-Obama collaboration on "Dreams"
Jack Cashill has not abandoned his dogged diligence in digging up suggestive evidence that Bill Ayers played a significant role in President Obama's 1995 book, Dreams from my Father. His suspicions have been corroborated by a couple of other investigative journalists. A sampling of the newest discoveries: