Meanwhile, there was a shallow phony outrage side-issue this week. The media bubble is aghast, aghast I tell you, that the saintly Barack Obama is raking in $400,000 per speech. Liberals are upset not because Obama is proving himself to be just one more avaricious plutocrat, but because his shameless cupidity is making the moribund Democratic Party look even worse than it already does. With Buckraking Barry sucking up some of the negative energy from Dastardly Don, it's getting even harder for the party to salvage its tattered reputation as it sends out ever more feeble SOS's of virtue-signalling.
Michelle Obama should perhaps boil down her simpering battle cry from "When they go low, we go high" to "We live high."
Populist superwoman Elizabeth Warren daintily offered that she is "troubled" that Obama now has the audacity to be claiming his deferred compensation for all those hard years of being the only thing standing between the bankers and the pitchforks. But in the spirit of Washington etiquette, Warren studiously avoided criticizing the ex-president. She has finally achieved the true Insider status she once so passionately decried.
In her first memoir, written in the waning days of her outsiderism, Warren described a dinner with Obama economic adviser Larry Summers:
Late in the evening, Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice. By now, I’d lost count of Larry’s Diet Cokes, and our table was strewn with bits of food and spilled sauces. Larry’s tone was in the friendly-advice category. He teed it up this way: I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.Warren apparently heeded the warning. Because when confronted this week over the antics of Barry the Buckraker, she only groused generically about the influence of big money on "this place." Individuals are never held accountable for their actions in This Place. Only geography is held accountable. Or maybe it's The System.
I had been warned.
Likewise for Bernie Sanders, fresh off his "unity tour" of trying to lure disgusted voters from their ruined lives into the stultifying atmosphere of the tattered Democratic tent. He hilariously called Obama's big payday "unfortunate." What he meant, of course, is that the optics are unfortunate, not that Obama's growing multimillion-dollar fortune itself is unfortunate.
As pro-Democratic organ Salon puts it, Obama wearing his greed right on his sleeve is really bad for the party's "brand." It's not that his piggishness will irritate his own loyal personality cult, it's that it makes him look like a hypocrite to the gleeful Vast Right Wing Alt-Right Conspiracy.
"It's not a good look," Sanders clarified.
Sure it is, Bernie! Look on the bright side, and think about it this way: Obama is putting some much-needed liberal gloss on the Gordon Gekko mantra. As an extra value-added bonus, his orgy of buckraking makes even the avaricious kleptocrat Donald Trump seem almost normal. If Obama is good and Obama is greedy, then it naturally follows that Greed is not only Good, it is better than ever.
Trump should have nothing to worry about from here on out, especially if he continues to faithfully follow Obama's lead by sanctimoniously bombing the hell out of any country of his choosing. If he continues to satisfy the corporate media bubble's ravenous appetite for death and destruction, then the transition from indirect oligarchic rule under Obama to direct oligarchic rule under Trump might end up being remembered as a minor bump in the road. Trump's had very a rocky first hundred days of his on-the-job training session. He's found it difficult to master the art of public relations. Unlike his smooth-talking predecessor, he's been so uncouth. He unfashionably lumbers and blusters, and the media have become way too spoiled by the previous president charming and strutting and chin-stroking his way through office.
|The Art of Obama Maintenance: Fashion To Die For|
Bernie and Liz should just relax about the Zen Master of Cool's quest for cash. Pretty soon, nobody who's anybody will probably even care. Because as the magazine for men, Esquire, gushingly foretold just a couple of months ago, "Obama's most stylish days are yet to come."
When you wear a cool leather jacket while stepping off your private jet on your way to yet another schmooze-fest with your Wall Street buddies, nobody who's anybody in the churnalistic bubble will ever dare be so insensitive as to ponder how much money you're charging for gracing the world with your existence. They'll be too busy ooh-ing and ahh-ing over your sartorial splendor:
Returning from their vacation in the Virgin Islands, the former president and first lady were photographed in an excellent display of airport style. Michelle looked chic as always in a black turtleneck and oversized cardigan. And Barack absolutely nailed his casual style with dark blue jeans, a gray button-front shirt, brown leather shoes, and the crowning piece: a slim brown leather jacket.If only Donald Trump could get his own fashion shit together so awesomely, the Esquire reporter sniffed in conclusion. Barry looks so laid-back and cosmopolitan wearing his mantle of dead cow, while Trump with his Archie Bunker accent and his polyester baseball cap and his oversized ties comes across as a "try-too-hard aging rocker." Ugh.
So let the shallow journalistic idiots continue scratching their heads and wondering why Trump's "deplorable" fans still swear their undying fealty to him despite all his broken promises to them and his failure to drain the swamp.
Let Obama keep raking in the bucks and showing the real world more of the true inner core lurking beneath the shiny weeds.
Then let both sides of the Uniparty collapse from the weight of their own corruption that much sooner. Let new political organizations and movements rise from their neoliberal ashes and their pricey leather jackets and their money-laundering charitable foundations and their ever more unabashed use of public office for private gain.
Let the timeless, vintage fashion of social democracy make one of its periodic and long-overdue comebacks.