Commentary 04 Oct 2012 07:27 pm
Ed Law does a mean Obama impersonation.
Law is the voice actor in “Dreams From My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception,” a DVD documentary mailed recently to Ohio voters. It is scheduled to appear in mailboxes across other swing states over the next few weeks.
The documentary was produced, written and directed by Joel Gilbert, who really, really doesn’t like Obama. That’s his right, of course, just as it’s the right of his company, Highway 62 Entertainment, to flood post offices with the discs. But before he and his supporters spent millions of dollars, maybe they should have made sure the documentary was, you know, good.
Before I’m pilloried as just another liberal Obama lover defending his president, let me say that I went into the piece with an open mind. I wanted Gilbert to win me over, just as when I read a novel or see a film, I want it to be good and want to be entertained. Yet Gilbert failed on every level to convince me of anything.
Well, that’s not quite true. After watching the documentary — which claims Obama is secretly the son of Communist-agitator Frank Marshall Davis, who took nude photos of the president’s mother, and that Obama is a secret socialist whose objective is to eradicate both capitalism and the middle class — I was convinced of three things:
1. There was a Russian Revolution in 1917. (Gilbert uses many photos of that.)
2. Frank Marshall Davis read a lot of his (bad) poetry aloud.
3. After wading through so much muck, I desperately needed a shower.
Probably the most controversial decision that Gilbert makes, and the one that costs him almost all credibility, is to have “Obama” tell his own story. Except it’s Law who reads the first-person script, delivering an impersonation that would be the envy of any “Saturday Night Live” alum, if only it were funny.
Instead, the allegations are sordid, sad and without proof. I lost track of how many times the narrator refers to “my real father, Frank Marshall Davis,” as if by mere repetition Gilbert could make it so. Using photos of Obama and Davis, the video sets out to prove the two are related by pointing out supposed similarities in eyes, brows, noses and lips. Later, their deep voices, age spots and shared smoking habit are offered as further evidence.
“The rock upon which I built my career was only a fairy tale,” intones Fake Obama, his image surrounded by an animated fairy godmother and a castle. It is followed by images of a decidedly less charming nature: nude photos that Gilbert claims are Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, posing for Davis, who — so the story goes — had already impregnated her.
Obama’s grandfather, to keep his CIA job after learning his unwed daughter was expecting a child with a — gasp! — socialist, concocted a cover story and found a fall guy in Barack Hussein Obama Sr., who agreed to marry Dunham in exchange for tuition money.
Later, the future president reconnected with Davis and studied at his feet, learning the evil secrets of demagoguery even as he was inculcated with socialist philosophy.
As the documentary proceeds, all the usual suspects make an appearance: Obama is secretly a Muslim, his birth certificate is forged, and his other pseudo-father figure is that malcontent, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
For Gilbert, everything Obama has ever done has a sinister socialist connection, including marriage to his “bitter half,” Michelle Obama. “I married my father,” Fake Obama says simply, one of the creepier moments in a video filled with creepy moments.
And, it bears repeating, no proof. Only half-baked innuendo and a constant superimposing of Davis’s face next to Obama’s, which suggests nobody could find even one picture of the two of them together.
By the time the documentary addresses something substantive — Obama’s accomplishments before and during his presidency — it’s too late for anybody except the most ardent Tea Partiers to take it seriously.
Yet here’s the rub: Even if all of Gilbert’s accusations are true, why would it matter? In America, people can transcend their roots. Children of lawyers can become philosophers, children of Catholics can become Jews, and children of Republicans can even become Democrats. Why couldn’t the son of a socialist father, who received instruction in socialism along with other systems of government, become president?
Because he’s black, of course, an other, an outsider, a message so vile that even Gilbert can suggest it only surreptitiously, through references to Obama’s supposed idolization of Malcolm X and his attempts to empower marginalized minority voters. Gilbert’s message would be right at home coming from somebody wearing a white sheet and pouring gasoline on a wooden cross.
Of course, the mainstream media is in on the cover-up, having been infiltrated by socialists decades ago, which is why — according to Gilbert — his accusations have never received their proper due.
That claim, like so many others in Gilbert’s fauxumentary, is groundless. But I’ll give the man one thing: He found a great Obama voice impersonator. Would that he had been as successful in compiling his conspiracy theory.
Originally published Oct. 3, 2012, in The Alliance Review.