Absolute Proof Herman Melville Wrote Dreams From My Father

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Its almost impossible to keep up with every conspiracy theory thrown at President Obama. The rabid Right is doing the same thing to Obama what they did to Bill Clinton ( Vince Foster’s supposed murder, the Clinton’s Arkansas mob, etc). Throw as much garbage as they can imagine in their fetid imaginations and hope some of it sticks. The birthers are still at it despite more then enough proof of citizenship. One that  never got much traction was the by one winger that Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father was ghost written, by who else, Bill Ayers. Hilzoy writing at Washington Monthly recalls the first wave of absurdity from Jack Cashill,

“Although there are only the briefest of literal sea experiences in Dreams, the following words appear in both Dreams and in Ayers’ work: fog, mist, ships, seas, boats, oceans, calms, captains, charts, first mates, storms, streams, wind, waves, anchors, barges, horizons, ports, panoramas, moorings, tides, currents, and things howling, fluttering, knotted, ragged, tangled, and murky.”

Cashill is back with further drivel. Drivel that counts for proof in Bizzaroworld,

“In his Indonesian backyard Obama discovered two “birds of paradise” running wild as well as chickens, ducks, and a “yellow dog with a baleful howl.”

In Fugitive Days, there is even more “howling” than there is in Dreams. Ayers places his “birds of paradise” in Guatemala. He places his ducks and dogs together in a Vietnamese village being swept by merciless Americans. In Parent, he talks specifically about a “yellow dog.” And he uses the word “baleful” to describe an “eye” in Fugitive Days. For the record, “baleful” means “threatening harm.” I had to look it up.”

Hilzoy’s take down is fuuny and well worth a read. The level of analysis that Cashill uses is along the lines of Hitler liked dogs, Bush had a dog, Bush must be a Nazi. Dick Cheney’s wife Lynne wrote a softcore novel that included lesbians and rape. Lynne Cheney must be a pro rape lesbian. The logic or rather lack of logic of the propositions about Bush and Lynne Cheney just don’t add up to the conclusions. The Bush and Lynne Cheney examples are pretty bizarre, though no less then Cashill’s. That has not stopped several conservative blogs from linking to Cashill approvingly, with echoes of approval in the comments. So once again, like the birthers, what passes for proof on the Right rests on the same solid fact finding Bush apparently used to swear there were WMD in Iraq. Let’s pretend for a moment the Right has discovered some ground breaking technique to discover previously missed cases of ghost writing. After making a list of the words that Cashill and a mystery contributor have noticed appear in the writings of Ayers and in Dreams. It turns out that Ayers, using the Right’s rock solid investigative literary technique, did not write Dreams, but Herman Melville did. In Moby Dick, Melville uses fog  7 times, misty 7, ships 42, seas 40, boats 44, oceans 14, calm(s) 27, captain(s) 66, charts 2, first mates 2, storms 8, howling 11, murky 2. Cashill and fellow analyst seemed especially fascinated by Obama’s use of the word baleful. Melville only uses it once in Moby Dick, but by these standards that pretty much locks down all the proof anyone should need. Herman Melville, born 1819, died 1891 is definitely the author of Dreams From My Father, published 1995. Insert your own ghost writing joke here.