JOHNNY CAN’T WRITE…BUT THAT’S OKAY BECAUSE NEITHER CAN BARACK OBAMA: Early Obama Letter Reveals Future President Didn’t Care Much For Subject-Predicate Agreement

Jack Cashill got his hands on a letter Obama wrote in 1990 — four years before he published Dreams From My Father, the novel extraordinaire that sealed Obama’s ascendancy within the spheres of the liberal progressive elite. So Cashill analyzes some of the letter, and we realize Obama was an incompetent writer as of 1990. Truth is, people don’t make dramatic leaps in their writing ability from horrible to Hemingway within 4 years. It doesn’t work that way. It takes time, practice, editing, critiquing. Translation: Obama didn’t write his book. Bill Ayers did.

JACK CASHILL: “The response is classic Obama: patronizing, dishonest, syntactically muddled, and grammatically challenged.  In the very first sentence Obama leads with his signature failing, one on full display in his earlier published work: his inability to make subject and predicate agree.

“Since the merits of the Law Review’s selection policy has been the subject of commentary for the last three issues,” wrote Obama, “I’d like to take the time to clarify exactly how our selection process works.”

If Obama were as smart as a fifth-grader, he would know, of course, that “merits … have.”  Were there such a thing as a literary Darwin Award, Obama could have won it on this on one sentence alone.  He had vindicated Chen in his first ten words.

Although the letter is fewer than a thousand words long, Obama repeats the subject-predicate error at least two more times.  In one sentence, he seemingly cannot make up his mind as to which verb option is correct so he tries both: “Approximately half of this first batch is chosen … the other half are selected …

I try to avoid ripping on Michelle Obama as much as possible — and trust me, it requires incredible restraint. But I’ll include Cashill’s commentary on FLOTUS because of the Christopher Hitchens dig at the end:

In the case of Michelle Obama, affirmative action did all three.  The partners at Sidley Austin learned this the hard way.  In 1988, they hired her out of Harvard Law under the impression that the degree meant something.  It did not.  By 1991, Michelle was working in the public sector as an assistant to the mayor.  By 1993, she had given up her law license.

Had the partners investigated Michelle’s background, they would have foreseen the disaster to come.  Sympathetic biographer Liza Mundy writes, “Michelle frequently deplores the modern reliance on test scores, describing herself as a person who did not test well.”

She did not write well, either.  Mundy charitably describes her senior thesis at Princeton as “dense and turgid.”  The less charitable Christopher Hitchens observes, “To describe [the thesis] as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be ‘read’ at all, in the strict sense of the verb.  This is because it wasn’t written in any known language.

[Read Jack Cashill’s “Early Obama Letter Confirms Inability to Write” at American Thinker]

Here’s a link to Dinesh D’Souza’s analysis of Michelle Obama’s Princeton thesis from back in 2008. An excerpt:

Michelle notes that she graduated with honors in her major. Again, the problem is that her undergraduate thesis is on the web. You might expect that she wrote about Shakespeare’s sonnets or the political evolution of W.E.B. Du Bois. Well, no. Essentially Michelle Obama wrote about the problems of being a black woman at an Ivy League university.”

Serious scholarly work, right? Writing a Dear Diary and presenting that to your advisor. D’Souza continues:

“Here is a typical passage: “By actually working with the Black lower class or within their communities as a result of their ideologies, a separationist may better understand the desparation of their situation and feel more hopeless about a resolution as opposed to an integrationist who is ignorant to their plight.”

Alas, the grammar is all wrong here. More than once, the tenses are garbled. People are ignorant “of” the plight of the lower class, not ignorant “to” their plight. And”desparation” should be spelled “desperation.” To wreak so much havoc on the English language in one sentence, without conveying anything of substance, is perhaps deserving of a prize. Is this what her professors were thinking when they granted her honors? Whatever the Obamorons say, let’s remember that that these are not mere typos; they reflect an estranged relationship to the English language. Moreover they appear not in an off-the-cuff transcript but in a thesis that is supposed to reflect the culmination of one’s college career.

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