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Commentary: Another attack on Obama

HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 8/30/2012, 2:51 p.m.

Hurricane Isaac delayed the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Fla., and Obama supporters wish it could do the same to the recent documentary "2016: Obama's America," produced and starring right-wing pundit Dinesh D'Souza. According to the tabulations from a thousand or more screens around the nation, the film is keeping pace with other box office favorites like "The Expendables 2" and "Premium Rush."

Who are the patrons? It's easy to figure that Republicans would throw down for a film that is basically a reactionary screed on Obama, and a few Democrats may want to see it just to marshal their defense and dismiss it, though it's not that prominently promoted in New York City yet.

Thus far, the reviews have been as partisan and predictable as the film, so there are no surprises on this count, coming as it does in this presidential season. If Obama isn't getting enough heat from the right, D'Souza is determined to push the thermostat of reaction up another notch.

D'Souza has lined up the usual gang of denouncers, including Shelby Steele, widely known for his conservative views on race and other matters. D'Souza has even corralled Obama's half-brother, George Obama, but if some reviewers got it right, he falls short of what the producer might have expected from him.

The Kenyan half-brother provides D'Souza with his pivot to assail Obama as someone "trapped in his father's time machine," to quote from the piece D'Souza wrote in Forbes magazine two years ago. "The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost." A ghost, D'Souza contends, with "anti-colonial ambitions."

And you thought Todd Akin and the birthers were off base.

No, I haven't seen the film yet, and it may be unfair to dismiss it before actually seeing it. But reference, for me, determines value, and if D'Souza is the producer, narrator, interviewer and the "star," then the outcome is sure to be consistent with his views, and those views have been nothing but a howl of disfavor for Obama.

Even so, I'm willing to take a gander at the potentially mean-spirited attack to see what Steele, George Obama and a gaggle of others have to say to probably leading questions from D'Souza.