I finally got around to listening to some of the President’s shtick at the White House Correspondents dinner. His delivery wasn’t bad, in that he could easily have competed with the second or third string comic at one of the old Borscht Belt hotels. He wouldn’t have made the big time, but he could have kept them laughing in the small time. The assembled guests’ uproarious laughter was therefore disproportionate to the quality of his jokes.
Others have commented on Obama’s joke about eating dogs and his nasty remark about Hillary drunk-calling him from Cartagena. These weren’t so much jokes as they were damage control — an effort to de-fang pointed internet comments about Obama’s (or Bill Ayer’s) PC dog-eating adventures in the Third World and pictures of Hillary partying hard in Cartagena, the same place in which Secret Service men partied even harder.
This is the usual stuff we’ve come to expect at these dinners. They originated when the President and the Press had a somewhat adversarial relationship, and were a place in which the two combatants could let off a bit of steam and josh each other in a non-confrontational environment. Watching the President and his Pravda team joke it up isn’t so funny. It had a peculiarly incestuous feel that made the jokes feel mean and uncomfortable, with each side of the relationship complicit in protecting the each other.
What really bothered me, though, was a two second moment at the very beginning of the President’s riff. The evening started with an off-screen Obama giving a monologue. The premise is that he’s got stage fright, and is talking to a muffle-voiced aide about the things that worry him as he prepares to step before the White House Press Corp. Unbeknownst to the President, he’s on a hot mic, an obvious reference to his past glaring hot mic moments, the first when he brutally insulted Netanyahu, and the second when he asked Puppet Medvedev to tell Puppeteer Putin that, once Obama was done with the pesky democratic process known as open elections, he’d be in a position to give Russia whatever it really wants.
The monologue was vaguely humorous. I didn’t laugh out loud, but it elicited a few smirks. And then, at 1:17, you get the big joke: the President flushes the toilet.
Am I uncool because I think it’s gross and unseemly for the President of the United States — who is, after all, not just the most powerful man in the world, but also the public representative of the American people — to make toilet jokes?
I shouldn’t be surprised. Michelle and Barack are, pardon the expression, White Trash. No, that’s not right, insofar as it insults ordinary Americans who have a less formalized culture. I think the average man on the street has more sense of occasion and place than the Obama’s do.
Let me rephrase it. Michelle and Barack are Larry Flynt trash. Potty humor; sweat-fests in the East Room; millions of taxpayer dollars for vacations; obscene, violent rappers as honored guests — the list of Larry Flynt behaviors goes on and on. The disrespect that Barack and Michelle have for the high office he holds, and for what that office represents, is staggering.
The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that Mitt and Ann, when they move into the White House, will treat the building and the office with the respect they deserve — and, by extension, they will treat the American people with the respect they deserve as well.
UPDATE: Here’s a much better hot mic/peeing joke.