Did Obama Really Go to Columbia? Asks Conspiracy Theorist “Mencius Moldbug” In An Exclusive Interview

Many have speculated about Obama’s seldom-discussed years at Columbia, where he was either a bomb-hurling radical or a boring bookworm. Yesterday Unqualified Reservations, a not-at-all-journalistically-sound blog read by tens, got the Ivy League blogosphere’s collective panties in a bundle by arguing that Obama may never have attended Columbia at all, and is making the whole thing up. UR’s rationale? Some guy who went to Columbia once didn’t know him personally:

What is the chance that a budding young politician of undeniable talent and promise spends his junior and senior years at Columbia, and no one remembers him?

My guess is that young Barry dropped out of Occidental in ’81, not to go to Columbia, but to go to New York and be a black revolutionary bohemian. We know he was a red-diaper baby (no shame in that – my father’s parents were CPUSA members), and we know he was involved with an SDS splinter group at Occidental. Zombie has a very interesting timeline of his time in New York, during which it seems very probable that Obama met Bill Ayers. She also links to a completely unsubstantiated and irresponsible speculation that Obama was a roommate of Ayers and Dohrn…

So Barry wasn’t the most popular kid north of 114th Street. That means he’s a fraud? The proposition is so preposterous, even Volokh Conspiracy disputes it. Among Volokh’s evidence: Barry’s undisputed degree from Harvard Law School, where we hear they are pretty good at checking credentials. Also, no self-respecting Harvard grad would allow himself to be associated with Columbia— one of the lesser Ivies— if he didn’t have to. Case closed.

The interesting part of this story isn’t the No-lumbia accusation so much as the conspiracy-theorizing blogger behind it, Unqualified Reservations’Mencius Moldbug.” Not only is Mencius a fellow Ivy League transfer student (Brown ’92) but he is… drumroll… an Obama supporter.

Has the world gone mad? Are Brunonians so crazed? My strangely sane correspondence with Mencius Moldbug, followed by a strangely less-sane conversation with Columbia’s Office of Public Affairs, after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »