Well clearly they've got it wrong, because no one as lived a life as extraordinary as Barack Obama. Or at least that is if you believe right-wing conspiracy theorists.
So far we've seen Obama the Communist, Obama the Black Radical, Obama the Secret Muslim, Obama the Atheist, Obama the Kenyan, Obama the Indonesian, Obama the Black Radical, Obama the Guy Who Is Just Like Adolph Hitler, and even Obama the Antichrist.
Now in a flash of inspiration, someone has come up with a concept that neatly combines the right-wing's two favourite destroyers of the fabric of society (gay marriage and Islam) into one nice package: Obama was secretly married in college - to a man! And to a Pakistani man at that!
What makes Obama the most interesting man in the world is not just that he is able to simultaneously be all of these things - a gay Muslim who is really an atheist yet claims to be a Christian - but that no one who he ever met in all that time seems to be willing to verify any of these details. Which, if you really want to get into conspiratorial mode, is probably because he had everyone who knew his secrets killed execution-style by the Illuminati Hit Squad.
The genius behind this story is the Tea Party's professional conspiracy theorist in chief, Jerome Corsi. You may remember Corsi for his role in smearing 2004 Presidential hopeful John Kerry's decorated record as a soldier in Vietnam, and his role in the Birther movement. His logic states that Obama must have been married because he was photographed wearing a ring on his left hand where one normally wears a wedding ring. And Corsi decides it was probably a gay marriage because... well, in this photo he is seated almost touching another guy, his Pakistani college room-mate Sohale Siddiqui. And sitting close to another guy is, as we all know, a clear sign that one is hungry for cock.
|These two are like, totally gay for each other.|
|These two are just good friends.|
To be honest, if BO experimented in college, I personally don't give a shit. A lot of people do that sort of thing; that's what college is for. If he is indeed on the "down-low" as they say, he'll have something in common to chat about with half the congressmen in the Republican party. But anyway, BO looks like he might be the "top" in that relationship, and we all know it's not gay if you're the pitcher.
Speaking of pitching, Corsi is pitching a couple of other conspiracy theories at the moment over at WorldNetDaily.
Firstly, Corsi is touting "absolute proof" that Obama was both an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim, based on a document at the Indonesian school where he was enrolled as a young child. Whether or not the document is real is probably immaterial; anyone who knows Indonesia knows that it's standards of record-keeping are hardly rigorous in their accuracy. As conservatives are constantly telling us, bureaucracies are inefficient, and Indonesia's more than most. What seems likely is that it was assumed Obama was an Indonesian because that's what his stepfather Lolo Soetoro was. Religion-wise, it should be noted that it is effectively illegal to NOT have a religion in Indonesia. Belief in God is one of the tenets of Pancasila, the national ideology, and while no one cares if someone doesn't actually practice the religion, not claiming a religion would draw suspicions of Communism. Thus it makes sense that Soetoro would list his stepson's religion as Islam, since that made as much sense as any other alternative at the time.
An even more interesting theory being promoted by Corsi at WND is that Obama's real father was not Barack Obama Snr, but was instead their family friend Frank Marshall Davis, who was a mentor to the young Obama. This is delicious for the WND audience since Davis was a member of the Communist Party and thus must have been a bad person. Joel Gilbert, director of the "documentary" entertaining this theory, Dreams of My Real Father, wasted 2 years of his life studying photos to support this theory.
“I decided to investigate Frank Marshall Davis. His close physical resemblance to Obama was shocking, while Obama little resembled the Kenyan Obama,” Gilbert told WND. “How could this be?”Here is a comparison of the President with his Kenyan father and the man Gilbert alleges is his real father. You can initially see where Gilbert might have got this idea from; there are some ways in which Obama looks more like Davis than Obama Snr.
But there's another obvious explanation. Can you guess the detail Gilbert has missed?
Genetically, Obama Jnr and Davis almost certainly do share something: European DNA. Virtually all African-Americans who are descended from slaves have some white European ancestry. On average, 20% of African-American DNA comes from white ancestors. You can be a black American, whose parents are both black, yet be more than 50% European genetically.
Frank Marshall Davis has some level of white DNA, probably in the average range for his ethnicity. Barack Obama II is 50% white. Barack Obama Snr is an ethnic Luo with no apparent white ancestry. Which is why, shockingly, he looks so much darker and more African than his son.
Obama doesn't look much like his mother either, come to think of it. He's sort of... blacker-looking. Maybe she's not his real mother either?
The article also shows pictures of Davis' children, Lynn and Mark, for comparison. He also married a white woman, so his children have that mixed appearance. They do vaguely resemble Obama, particularly if you think black people tend to look alike. But they also look considerably "whiter" than Obama, particularly when it comes to their hair, which appears far less sub-Saharan African in form than Obama's. This is as you would expect, since Davis is presumably "whiter" than Obama Snr.
As a person of mixed race myself, I also don't look all that similar to either of my parents, and it's not uncommon either.
Of course, if you pay attention you may notice that all these conspiracy theories contradict each other. I mean, Obama can't be both a foreign Kenyan AND have a father who is an American communist. And he's probably not both an atheist AND a secret Islamic jihadist. But as any good mudslinger knows, if you fling enough mud, eventually some of it will stick. And given that around a quarter of all Americans think Obama IS a Muslim and a foreigner, Corsi and friends have a sizable audience to pitch their wingnut wet dreams to.
If Obama is a Muslim, maybe I am too...
Obama's birth certificate, and the racist impulses behind Birtherism
The Muslim-ness of Obama's family, and what it has to do with his presidency