As President Obama continues to disappoint and dismay, this book helps explain why. And of course it was published before he was elected in order to help Americans choose. I guess most of them failed to read it!
The gaps between him and what were once held to be solid American values are described. His multiple dissing of old allies such as the UK, and his kow-towing to illiberal dictatorships such as that of Saudi Arabia (where the photograph of him bowing almost at right-angles to his legs had to be seen to be believed - just Google 'Obama bows') all makes more sense when you learn more of his background as described in this book.
It has 12 useful chapters, and a rather facile 13th one in which the author imagines a 2nd term re-nomination speech. Chapter 1 is on the gulf between Obama and the core values of the American middle-class, which are described by the author as 'traditional Christian'. Chapter 2 is about the Second Amendment whereby Americans have an entitlement to arm themselves with guns, and which Obama has likened to a 'tradition' rather than an inalienable right in their constitution. Chapter 3 is about extending voting rights to criminals, and making voting difficult for armed services personnel to vote while overseas. Chapter 4 is about tax, Chapter 5 on government spending threatening to bankrupt America (prescient so far!). Chapter 6 is entitled 'Starving America', and covers energy policy mainly, and how Obama has been influenced by the facile policies of some 'environmentalists'. Chapters 7 to 10 are on, respectively, trade, justice, healthcare, and defence. In each case, the author highlights the changes promised by, or consistent with, Obama's election campaign or past associations. Chapter 11 gives a set of political questions, a kind of magazine quiz to help the reader decide how to vote. Chapter 12 begins with a tale of Ronald Reagan's 'warmth and humor', and the author asserts 'comparing Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, Obama seems humorless'. But the main focus of the chapter is on how trustworthy Obama is - a list of examples is given of the apparent ease with which he has changed positions, or held apparently conflicting positions for different audiences, and a lot of attention is paid to people and projects he has associated with in the past, not least Bill Ayers, described as an 'unrepentant former member ..[of a] terrorist organization'.
Obama does not emerge well from this book, which provides a pretty relentless diatribe about his past, his politics, and his personality. Yet so many people voted for him and his party? Surely there must be something good about him, somewhere? I found no hint of it here.
The writing style is racy, journalistic, with lots of 'soundbites' e.g. 'In Barack Obama's America, Christians will be told to sit down, shut up, and pay the bills'. I must say I found this wearisome at times. On the other hand, quite a few things have been born out by subsequent events, for example 'Obama's key qualifier for Supreme Court judges appears not to be whether individuals are capable of interpreting the Constitution and applying it to cases. Rather, Obama wants his justices to act on their emotions, feelings, and "empathy".' Vide the appointment of Sotomayer, the self-styled 'wise latina'.
This review is of course about 2 years too late! I think the book is a bit of potboiler, pulling together in a very accessible way lots of stuff with which to attack Obama. But the relentless polemic wore me down a bit. But then, I don't have to live with the immediate consequences of Obama's administration, nor was I eligible to vote for him anyway. Now I think the book is of interest for the politically-involved to use as a kind of checklist to compare the 'actuals' with the 'expecteds' as events unfold through the remainder of this administration.