For the first time ever, I find myself supporting Barack Obama.
Temporarily, you understand. I still think he is a soft-focus Lenin who will turn the country into a debtor's prison if he isn't stopped. But I can be fair. For five minutes, I'll defend him against enemies domestic and foreign, because of his alleged "gaffe" on that late night TV show. Namely, this:
President Obama, in his taping with Jay Leno Thursday afternoon, attempted to yuk it up with the funnyman, and ended up insulting the disabled. Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he's gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.Okay, not the soul of wit, but a mild little jest that deserved an appreciative chuckle. At the least, Obama earned an I'm-a-Real-Person lapel pin for showing that he is actually capable of devising an un-teleprompted one-liner that didn't come from his Little Red Book of Meaningless Sayings of Chairman Barack.
He bowled a 129, the president said.
"That's very good, Mr. President," Leno said sarcastically.
It's "like the Special Olympics or something," the president said.
When I watched the tape excerpt of that moment, Obama reminded me of a human being instead of the Disneyland audio-animatronic simulacrum of Abraham Lincoln, programmed to repeat the same lines as each new mob marches in and takes their seats for a brief encounter with synthetic inspiration.
Of course, the Offended of the Earth gave him a piece of their mindlessness straight off. Oh my God, he's making fun of the handicapped! You can't say that! Send him to sensitivity training camp!
Even Republicans and other pseudo-conservatives who should have known better rushed (Rushed?) to bash him, just so they could pile on. If we still had free speech, they would have been better advised to note that any offendee group that can invent a prissy name like "Special Olympics" deserves to be made fun of every hour on the hour.
Poetic justice of a sort, I call it. The Great Divider whose main interest in life is to pander to every ethnic and racial grievance outfit gets whiplash from Indignation Nation.
So, Barack, I'm in your corner. For five minutes. Then I go back to being offended every time you open your mouth.
3/23 The last sentence must sound inconsistent with my stand against those who claim to be offended, believing that to be the trump card that overcomes all arguments (see my reply to Stephen Lawrence in the comments). I was trying to be ironic in my use of the word, but it's perhaps not very clear.
So if I could strike that sentence, I would. Well, actually, I can. With one keystroke I can make it disappear! What power!
Not even the judge in a trial really has that ability. A witness testifies, "I was told the defendant is an arsonist who collects Nazi souvenirs, cuts in line, and steals money from the church poor box," the lawyer says, "Objection! Hearsay,"and the judge says, "Sustained. The answer will be stricken from the record and the jury will disregard." Oh yeah?
Yet I can make ill-chosen words go away and in a matter of days, if not minutes, no one will ever know or remember! But it is bad form to change anything substantive in a posting once people have commented on it, so I won't. And now, besides one regrettable sentence, you have in addition a whole tiresome long-winded explanation.