Painted For the Spot Light

English: White House Oval Office during the ad...

English: White House Oval Office during the administration of Bill Clinton Français : Le bureau ovale à la Maison Blanche sous la présidence de Bill Clinton. Le bureau est le Resolute desk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I’m not the strapping, young, Muslim Socialist I used to be.” That was the President’s big joke at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. It got plenty of laughs, and the people who were the obvious butt of the joke deserve to be pointed and laughed at. These are people who, after more than four years, still insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that he was not born in America. These are people who believe he is Muslim (which shouldn’t be a problem anyway), despite his attendance at Christian services. These are folks paranoid that he is going to take their guns and who disregard the fact that he is proposing nothing new under the sun in regards to gun control. Frankly, these are people stuck in a world before the Civil Rights Movement, who cannot handle that one of “them” is in the White House. They deserve to have a few humorous barbs, at the least, tossed their way. Unfortunately, the joke is on all of us.

You see, while he was hammering away at the easy targets, the ones his fan-base, with no small reason, loves to hate, there was a large group utterly neglected in his routine. Why were there no jokes about his detractors on the left? Why no take downs of Glenn Greenwald or Cornell West? Was there no material to be had in worries about extra-judicial killing, the erosion of our civil liberties, or the hijacking of our economy by the financial elite? Could no one on his team pen a cute anecdote about how impatient all those hippy peaceniks are over Gitmo, Iraq, or Afghanistan? Maybe they could have made fun of us for being “paranoid” over the saber-rattling the administration has done regarding Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

No, I don’t think they wanted to make those jokes. To even try would have drawn attention to legitimate criticism of the President and his staff. It would have called to question why we put corporate criminals in charge of policing their friends and former co-workers. It would have put in the spot light the hunger strike at Guantanamo, and the human rights violations that every American owns a part of, but those on Pennsylvania Avenue own a little more of. Attention paid to the President’s leftist detractors might expose an administration willing to target any young man of adult age in other countries as “potential combatants” while sweeping the collateral damage under the rug.

So to those whose butt-hurt is mighty right now, you folks with your “you betchas” and “death panels” and obsession over birth certificates, I would like to offer a (very sarcastic) thank you. You see, your caterwauling over non-issues have provided the President, and all the powerful in Washington, with the perfect smoke-screen. You have been duped, by the Kochs and Trumps of the world. Sure, I am sure with their white privilege they feel no better about a melanin endowed individual in the Oval Office than you do, but they also know his agenda is their agenda. They will continue to have their cronies create policy that serves only the top tenth of one percent of our nation. They will be able to do so unquestioned, because their puppets (of which the President is just the latest in a long line) can get a few laughs at your expense, putting on a pretty show to distract the increasingly willingly inattentive press. So thank you for delivering our democracy into the hands of those who have no respect for it, and thank you for doing your part to make sure real change is that much more difficult.

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5 thoughts on “Painted For the Spot Light

  1. Christine,
    You know I am a big fan of President Obama, and I am sad that you are absolutely right about why we don’t think more critically about how he could do things better! I love your example: “why we put corporate criminals in charge of policing their friends and former co-workers.” I would also call attention to how he works with folks like Paul Ryan and how dare he even think about altering Social Security. Well Done, Christine.

    • I am glad to see you can think critically about the issue you Michael. That is the difference between a “supporter”, like you, and a “fan.”
      I know he is better than the alternative in our winner take all system, but for one, we need to change that system, and for another, as the actual sovereign in a democracy, we are obliged to rationally question those we elect to steward that democracy.

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