Sunday, May 06, 2012

Dreams of My Confirmation Bias

Stacy McCain is on the case to prove that Barack Obama's memoir, Dreams of my Father, was written by Bill Ayers.The latest smoking gun is the revelation that an Obama girlfriend mentioned in his book is a composite. McCain writes,
The so-called “New York girlfriend” in Obama’s memoir bears specific resemblance to Ayers’s ex-girlfriend Diana Oughton, one of three Weather Underground members killed in 1970 when a bomb the terrorist group was building accidentally exploded.
Like the girlfriend in Obama’s memoir, Oughton had brown hair and green eyes, and came from an affluent background. Furthermore, Oughton’s family estate in Illinois is strikingly similar to one described in a sequence in Dreams when Obama and his “New York girlfriend” visit her family.
I can think of several possible explanations, including the conspiratorial notion promoted by McCain (and others) that Ayers ghostwrote Obama's book. It  There is, however, the distinct possibility that any resemblance is a coincidence and McCain is a victim of confirmation bias. It's also possible that the Obama made the resemblance intentional. I don't really know how close Obama was to Bill Ayers when he was writing the book. But like normal people, I don't care. This story (as well as the Obama eats dogs kerfuffle) isn't aimed at normal people. GOP shills like McCain (and Glenn Reynolds) are stuck with the unloved and unlovable Mitt Romney as their standard bearer, so they are tasked with keeping the base worked into a continuous lather for the next six months.

Considering some of McCains's more witless readers, the lather should be easy to maintain. There is Elaine, who wrote that, "I saw a video clip of Ayers pretty much taking credit for having written Obama's first book, after Andersen's book was released. . . "; referring, I think, to this clip of Ayers doing so with evident sarcasm. Also, too, is Yehiel—claiming without evidence—that "Obama said his father fought in WW II. He was about 5 or 6 years old." I'm fairly certain that Obama said that about his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who was born in 1918 and was in the Army in World War II.

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