Brian Birdnow

In this particular chapter, Eckert once again uses Obama’s own words, uttered in an interview on CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes program (December 11, 2011) that he accomplished more in his first two years in office than any presidents, with the possible exception of Lincoln, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson. Consider the enormity of this assertion: The giants of the Presidency like Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and Theodore Roosevelt could not match Obama’s accomplishments, nor could the other very good ones like Polk, Cleveland, Eisenhower, and Reagan. Who would have the boundless sense of self-reverence to make this sort of claim? Why, Barack Hussein Obama, that’s who!

Eckert’s work continues in a similar vein. He recounts Obama’s errors such as his claim that he visited 57 states during the 2008 campaign, and his oft-repeated nonsensical assertion that he closed down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Eckert mentions Obama’s mean streak and points out his scornful remarks about one-time adversary Hillary Clinton, and the memorable backhanding of heartland Americans as bitter folks “…who cling to their guns and their religion…” when addressing a fund raiser in San Francisco. In the sixth of nine chapters Mr. Eckert examines Obama’s close political associates and illustrates for his readers the radical nature of the racist, America-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, and the PLO spokesperson Rashid Khalidi. Perhaps Eckert should have probed the still unexplained ties between Obama and the imprisoned Chicago political fixer-businessman Tony Rezko, and the political relationship between the President and the now imprisoned former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

As the book winds down, Eckert discusses foreign policy, a subject dear to his heart, as befits a former ambassador. Eckert points out that Obama takes his cue from liberal historians who cannot bear the thought that America actually won the Cold War, and thus refer to the Cold War as somehow “ending”. Obama refers to the Cold War “ending”, and the Berlin Wall “coming down” as a way of denying credit to Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II for these momentous events. The book also carefully chronicles the Obama Administration’s apology tour of 2009-10, and the President’s error-plagued speech at Cairo in June of 2009.

Fred Eckert, a man of talent and achievement, has produced a valuable work. The anti-Obama literature is considerable and growing daily. Seldom, however, does an author highlight Obama’s radical views by using the President’s own words and subject them to the test of reason and logic. “That’s A Crock, Barack” checks in at a slim 183 pages, and a reader can finish it in a few hours. It is the perfect book for a Memorial Day weekend, or a hot summer Sunday afternoon.

Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.