Misunderstanding Obama's Momma

In his assessment of the life of Stanley Ann Dunham, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen unwittingly tells us more about himself and the genteel progressive world he inhabits than he does Barack Obama's mother. His jumping off place is A Singular Woman, the new biography of Dunham by fellow Times writer, Janny Scott.  In my reading of the book, Dunham abandons her son at age 10 to go mucking about the third world at Ford Foundation expense on a variety of stunningly trivial projects.  As if to make my case, Cohen praises Dunham as "an unrivaled authority on Javanese blacksmithing."  She was unrivaled because no one else thought it worth doing, not even the scholars in Java, and they would not have had to forsake their children to pursue their studies. In the encyclopedia of unintended consequences, Dunham's picture could grace the definition of what David Mamet calls "the social tinkerer," the classic do-gooder who paves the road to someone else's hell with her good...(Read Full Post)