Actually, the jokes about Mr. Obama’s accomplishments began even before anyone guessed he’d be the awkward recipient of a prize far above his pay grade. The New York Times describes the video below:
A conspicuous (if not “defining”) episode occurred Oct. 3 on Saturday Night Live in a skit set in the Oval Office. The president (played by Fred Armisen) was defending his record against critics who had accused him of turning the United States “into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.” Not so, protested the faux-Bama.
Notice the guy playing the President is white. In the old days, he’d have put on some tanning lotion at least, but in these torturous politically correct times, such things cannot be done. Heck, these days you can’t even eat watermelon at Yale Divinity School without being rebuked.
Obviously SNL doesn’t have a black comedian on the staff. Or do they? I have no idea (no TV at chez Bodissey, folks) but even if they did, could they use him to portray Obama or would that be racist?
For our European friends, “jack” and “squat” are colloquial words that mean “nothing at all”. Other words you’ll hear in the coming months are “zip” and “nada”. I’m sure our American readers can supply other American idioms used to describe a lack. In this case, a lack of action.
The Times continues:
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It’s likely he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care. He is, after all, in the midst of his oft-invoked “full plate” of supposedly “defining moments” in his presidency – a “defining” decision on Afghanistan, “defining” legislative battle on health care, among other “defining” things.
But there is perhaps another more subtle set of “defining” episodes playing out for Mr. Obama in the televised comedy salons that had previously, by and large, been relatively gentle spaces for him. The bits about him are getting harsher. They are no longer just gentle gibes about Bo the dog, big ears, bad bowling and beer summits.
Part of the issue is that most of the comedians are leftists themselves. So they have to tread gingerly in lampooning someone they voted for and whose platform is to their liking. It’s also hard to spoof someone who is so cool and ironic himself:
Mr. Obama has of course been a puzzle to comedians for some time. They agonized during the campaign about how his low-key and confident manner did not lend itself to edgy caricature. The challenge was made greater by the sensitivities inherent to lampooning a black candidate.
But recent indicators could be proving ominous. There has been a proliferation of jokes that feed on – or are fed by – a resuscitated old narrative against the president that goes back to last year’s campaign when both John McCain and Hillary Clinton tried to portray Mr. Obama as an All Talk/No Walk showboat
Saturday Night Live (SNL), is not the only one to take on the President. There is Jon Stewart’s growing impatience:
Last Tuesday, Jon Stewart advanced the Saturday Night Live “do nothing” theme on “The Daily Show.” It began as a standard Stewart video-clip juxtaposition of Mr. Obama (and surrogates) promising to end the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. It continued with clips from the ensuing months of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Adviser Jim Jones saying they had not yet gotten around to reversing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” citing Mr. Obama’s “full plate” of business. (“The president needs a metaphor czar,” Mr. Stewart said.)
What followed was Mr. Stewart, exasperated with a man he had supported, throwing his hands up and essentially imploring the president to, you know, do something.
“All that stuff you’ve been putting on your plate?” Mr. Stewart said. “It’s [expletive] chow time, brother. That’s how you get things off your plate.”
After a roar of laughter and applause from the audience, Mr. Stewart reminded Mr. Obama that “You are president of the United States.” It sounded like something between a liberal call to action or cry for help. As Mr. Stewart grew more animated and the crowd grew louder, the routine took on the feel of a televised catharsis.
This is an interesting trend because it started well before the astounding “Nobel-for-Nothing” (and the chicks are free?) news. Now that Mr. Obama has humbly accepted his prize, the games are really beginning.
This does not bode well for the President. For all his posturing as detached and self-deprecating, I perceive him to be thin-skinned and unlikely to absorb the slings and arrows that are part and parcel of his job description. It was always open season on George Bush, as it usually is on Republicans. Whether or not the ferocious assaults done in the name of wit ever hit their mark, Bush appeared to remain imperturbable. This may not be the case for Obama, if only because he knows deep down that he has been given a free ride for most of his life. If, at any level he suspects he indeed may be an affirmative action President, then it follows that anyone pointing this out will be seen as the enemy.
Think of Charles Johnson and his one moment of glory: the Dan Rather takedown in the Bush election. Since then, Mr. Johnson has been living on the fumes of fame; his actions betray his existential terror. As other large blogs began to publicly call him on his behavior he lost his cool and began savage defenses of his realm which only increased the rejection and mockery.
Those who cannot take criticism are fragile narcissists. Our president, laden with unearned glory, may prove to be in this group. It’s much larger than you’d think. As in political sphere, so in the blogosphere: even inferred criticism of other bloggers,or some perceived slight can get you delinked and shunned. Narcissistic divas are over-represented in both spheres. Sometimes we can be defined by our hatreds.
Meanwhile, like it or not, open season on Obama has begun. Will he hang onto the rails and enjoy the ride or will he retreat – like Nixon and Charles Johnson – into bitter disbelief? He could cut the Gordian knot by appearing on the talk shows and taking on this meme as his own. However, this is unlikely for two reasons: first, he’d be implicitly ridiculing the Nobel Committee; second, how can he publicly admit that his actual performance in office consists mostly of showing up?
Michelle Malkin has a short post up on this theme. The bumper sticker is pretty funny.
Michelle’s Mirror has a wonderful icon of Obama. I hope it goes viral. This theme of Obama the Messiah is going to be played thoroughly, thanks to the Norwegians. America owes the
Olympic Committee Nobel Committee a great debt. It breached the wall and now all those pent-up jokes will be pouring in.
Feel free to leave any jokes you find in the comments. As usual, the rules about civility apply, even in the humor department. Don’t forget, rudeness is a sign that you might be a Leftist.