Obama's rebirth

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 5, 2011

That line of attack is just another part of the "Manchurian candidate" narrative. Atrocious books by leading conservative figures Andrew McCarthy and Dinesh D'Souza trace the imaginary secret roots of Obama's supposed radical anti-American, pro-jihadist sympathies, and recent books by Romney and Gingrich are built around the charge that Obama subjugates the US to the world, is deliberately sapping US military and economic power, and — above all — is not serious about fighting terrorism.

Another presidential hopeful, former Senator Rick Santorum, even repeated the slur in his statement praising Obama for getting bin Laden, calling Obama "certainly not someone I would say is known for fighting great causes in defense of American freedom."

Those claims will now strike mainstream Americans as laughable, if not offensive, in light of the bin Laden raid. But, as Santorum and others are demonstrating, the Obamaphobes won't give up that belief any more than birtherism.

It will be interesting to watch Romney, in particular, deal with this. His initial statement on bin Laden was even-handed and gracious toward Obama. That's likely to get him in trouble with the kids' table.

Obama, in just a few days' time, has made it necessary for Romney and other Republicans to choose — kids' table, or grown-ups'. Now that the divide has been made clear, it's likely to extend to other nonsense talk, from Sarah Palin's "Hells no" cry to not raise the debt ceiling, to calls for defunding Planned Parenthood over alleged racial eugenics. We'll see whether the GOP has any grown-ups left.

>> Read this week's Editorial: Obama's secret. Plus, Bill Taylor, RIP. <<

>>Swag! USAWGKTA! View and print a PDF of the special alternate cover of the May 6, 2011 issue of the Phoenix <<

To read the "Talking Politics" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at dbernstein@phx.com and @dbernstein.

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