Thought I'd paste my two New York Times comments in this space tonight, since the subject matter is interrelated. I was so busy writing my rich people post this morning that I missed Obama's presser, and didn't catch a replay of the sadness until later in the day. This guy is not only a lame duck, he's damn near a dead duck. All flapping wings, whiney quacks and absolutely no soaring flight to the oratorical heights. It apparently marked his 100th day of his second term in office. So, does that make him the ill-fated Barry of the Hundred Days, starring Daniel Day-Lewis? Is there actually any difference between Hollywood and Washington? I'd also caught a little hint of the new Obamian Defensive Dejection Syndrome in clips of the Co-respondents' Ball, a true parody of a parody of a parody if ever there was one. Or, if you took it seriously, mutual masturbation porn.
My first Times comment was in response to a pretty scathing editorial on Gitmo:
What was appallingly missing from President Obama's statement was any sense of
empathy for the prisoners who are essentially being tortured.
want the prisoners to die. The hunger strike hurts US, champions of freedom that
we are. It diminishes OUR standing in the world, "lessens cooperation with OUR
allies on counterterrorism efforts" -- in other words, the almighty USA no
longer has the moral standing to issue any sanctimonious "we deplore this" and
"we condemn that" protests when other nations perpetrate their own human rights
It's not just the medical torture at Gitmo. It's the criminal
failure to prosecute the torture of the Bush administration. It's the ongoing
program of drone assassinations that is another prime recruitment tool for
"extremists" or militants, defined by our leaders as any person in the prime of
life, who dares to exist in the wrong place at the wrong time. The wrong place
can be a wedding, a funeral, the site of a medical rescue attempt of drone
strike casualties in the first round of attacks, farmers tending their crops,
families sitting around the dining room table.
The president talks a
good, self-serving game. Whether he walks the walk and now uses all the
executive tools at his disposal in the face of some long overdue public pressure
remains to be seen.
And as far as Lindsey Graham and his fellow GOP
scare-mongers are concerned, I suggest they be sent to Gitmo immediately and
force-fed a battery of psychiatric tests.
Now, on to Maureen Dowd. I felt compelled to pre-empt the usual veal pen criticism of her Obama snark, nip the usual bullshit in the bud, as it were:
I know Maureen Dowd will take plenty of heat for this latest column on Obama's
lack of parenting skills. She has obviously gotten under his skin, even earning
a rueful mention at that dystopic celebrity bash over the weekend. She will be
accused of such atrocities as sharpening her literary nails on thin presidential
skin, jamming her stiletto heels into a good man when he's down.
she criticizes Obama, she becomes the word that rhymes with what Babs Bush once
called Geraldine Ferraro. Amazingly, every time she disses Bush, she deserves
another Pulitzer. Like Obama, she just can't win. But she gets props for not
bowing to the liberal blogosphere the same way Obama perpetually bows to
What irked me about Obama on this particular day was his
passive- agressive posture, joking about quitting and showing absolutely no
empathy for the prisoners of Gitmo. It was all about our standing in the world,
his personal need not to have them die on his watch.
distance himself from his own policies, he insists that Gitmo is "Not Who We
Are". Uh.... actually, it is. It's like his calling the cruel cuts to Meals on
Wheels for seniors "stupid" and suggesting we replace them with "smart" Social
Security cuts. Does he really not hear his own cognitive dissonance?
Obama is feeling that beleaguered, he should take Mitch out for a drink, slip
him a mickey, then render him down to Gitmo for a time-out in the naughty chair.