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Columnist’s lament: The irrelevancy of easy targets

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March 27, 2009

 A friend writes, referring to Obama, "Capitol Hill Blue is slamming your man lately ????" I wrote back "I think in part this is because it is easier for writers to attack than praise. The later is generally boring and with the Internet you can see how many people read your articles. On the hit counter, nasty beats nice.

Who do the Republicans have for us to bash? 

 
Bush is wisely laying low.
 
The Republican usual targets are irrelevant.
 
Sarah Palin’s latest media moment was at an Alaska GOP dinner where she complained that before her debate with Joe Biden she couldn’t find anyone to pray with.
 
Chris Mathews, on Hardball, played the YouTube video of Palin and he and his quests piled on her, not content to let the ridiculous video stand on it’s own. I’m not fan of Palin and the Hardball crew was amusing. But it was meaningless chatter. (Here’s a transcript.)
 
From the ridiculous Palin to the wretched Dick Cheney, in an ongoing saga of life imitating art, continues to make us wish he’d not only channel Darth Vader but wear his black headpiece so we don’t have to look at his devil eyes and twisted smile.
 
The hapless RNC chair Michael Steele’s missteps seem to bring out the dull side of knife from political columnists. He’s just too likable.
 
GOP wunderkind, former Hindu Piyush "Bobby" Jindal has a lot going for him as a potential presidential candidate but comparing their speaking in front of a camera to Obama’s is like comparing Penn and Teller.
 
It’s not surprising that many columns are being written about Obama and his economic team. Even with the rare political columnist who can claim actual expertise in economics, Paul Krugman comes to mind, all any writers can do is predict disaster. But for the merciless hit counter, columns about economics are as dull as dirt for most readers.
 
Alas, what are columnist left to write about? The teleprompter!
 
Here’s Michael Gerson in The Washington Post:
 
It is amazing how swiftly a presidential tendency turns from observation to joke to meme. Barack Obama — called "the most eloquent political speaker of our time" — has become known as the teleprompter president.

 Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters, whose is published on Capitol Hill Blue, writes in "Obama’s media Blitz: Stye over substance?" 
 

I fully expect the next "Law and Order" or "CSI" or "24" episode to feature an embattled president racing against time trying to boost national economic confidence. It will star, as himself, Barack Obama.

Then, we’ll see Obama singing on "American Idol," twirling on "Dancing With the Stars" and dissecting the American psyche while sitting on Oprah’s sofa.

Also on Capitol Hill Blue, Dan Thomasson complains about "Obama’s manipulaterd non-press conference". He considers it "non-press" apparently because the president gave long answers to questions from  Stars and Stripes, Ebony Magazine, Agence France and Univision and skipped over reporters from The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
 
Fox News is calling Obama "Prompter in Chief" and misreporting an incident:
 
Conservative media figures uncritically highlighted a SkyNews.com report that a "teleprompt blunder has led to Barack Obama thanking himself in a speech at the White House in a St Patrick’s Day celebration." In fact, a pool report of the event released at the time indicates Obama was, in the words of the Telegraph’s Toby Harnden, making "a good-natured and well-received joke" at the expense of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who earlier in the event had mistakenly read from the teleprompter displaying Obama’s speech.
 
From Media Matters  
 
Jon Stewart as Darth CheneyBush and Cheney, and then Sarah Palin, were the gifts that made every morning Christmas or every evening Hanukkah. From Tina Fey to Jon Stewart (left as Darth Cheney*) lefty political writers were like kids run amuck in a candy factory.
 
I answer only to a personal sense of guilt when I can’t come up with an idea for a new column. If I wore the same black plastic suit as Cheney I’d be hoping for Barack Obama to really screw up so I could get back to writing the weekly columns I did prior to the election.
 
Next column? How about accusing the president of child neglect if he keeps putting off getting the puppy for Sasha and Malia?
 
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* Image from screen shot of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on Wikimedia Commons.
 

6 Responses to Columnist’s lament: The irrelevancy of easy targets

  1. Hal Brown

    March 28, 2009 at 11:02 am

     I know it was humor Carl.

    Speaking of humor, how about Sarah Palin complaining she had nobody to pray with her before the Joe Biden debate, Michelle Bachman wanting to file a House bill to make sure the U.S. keeps its own currency, and Michael Steele’s attempt to seem to be a wily political strategist?

    The thing is, none of these three thinks they were joking.

     

  2. Carl Nemo

    March 27, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Hal Brown,

    “How about accusing the president of child neglect if he keeps putting off getting the puppy for Sasha and Malia?” …extract from commentary

    It’s interesting you should bring the “promised puppy” story up. I’ve been thinking about their endless hollow promises to the kids about getting them a puppy. Sixty days have passed and still no puppy. The apologia for not coming through is linked to their allergy condition. Haven’t they heard of Zyrtec?

    Hmmm, maybe it’s the secondary smoke inhalation from dad’s societally passe’ habit that’s the root cause for their allergies. /:|

    For some reason I can’t see the Secret Service challenging the President and saying…”Mr. President…Sir!…ah Sir!?…there’s no smoking on Whitehouse premises. It’s the law…!” :))

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Hal Brown

    March 27, 2009 at 9:44 pm

     Malia, the older, is the one with allergies. They are supposed to get a Portuguese water dog in April.

  4. Carl Nemo

    March 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    It was an attempt at some humor on my part Hal. Here’s a link for this particular breed. They’re cute, but it surely looks like one hairy breed to me. I’m already sneezing and wheezing… :))

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Water_Dog

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Lillibet

    April 3, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Hairy, not furry…

    that’s the trick. No fur, no sneezing spells. At least that’s the theory. However, with many animals, it’s the enzymes in the beloved furball’s liquid of choice (saliva), for grooming that causes the sneezing.

    So, short of surgically blocking the cat’s use of spit to groom, there is a simple, no harm to the cat, solution.

    I’ve found an acepromazine tablet (kitty downers, useful for calming the soon to travel cat), dissolved in two ounces of water, with about ten drops of the resulting solution placed in the water dish at each fill, cuts the allergy problems for those that would otherwise sneeze when encountering my own Boy Genius, the inestimable Einstein. The dose of acepromazine he gets on a daily basis is so low, it has no effect on his temperament, nor does it affect his alertness.

    I have no idea if the same principle works on dogs. Some vets don’t know of this miracle cure for cat allergies, but that is their loss, and the loss to their patients who might develop allergies after years of loving a well-groomed feline.

    There also is that staple for allergy prevention — known as the vacuum. There must be lots of staff at the White House to cover that issue. Hairy, not furry dogs, vacuuming, and a HEPA filter also does lots to help the allergies for everyone. As for hypo-allergenic cats, without chemical intervention, the hairless is the only one that doesn’t cause allergies in humans.

    We should all be adopting pets, if we are at all able to do so, just to keep the death toll down, per the recent round of articles on PETA and various Humane societies euthanizing so many otherwize adoptable and fit companion animals for lack of available good homes.

    Lillibet

  6. AustinRanter

    March 28, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Somebody had to set up all night to come up with a Portuguese water dog for the family dog.

    If nothing else…it’ll be a conversation piece.

    I wished that Walter Conkite and Edward R. Murrow were to only two on TV REPORTING the events, not editorializing them. We the People might learn to acquire some critical thinking skills if we would use our heads for something other than a hatrack.

    I wished all of the political pundit shows would vanish from earth.

    Seems as though Obama is getting nailed for they way he breathes. So, any microscopic detail of the president is open game.

    It doesn’t seem to matter what the subject matter is between parties, they’ll use it to mindf**k the public.

    The public keeps buying into the destractive conflicts been the parties…while they continue to carry out their will and become more and more powerful. The eternal conflicts is the forest in front of the trees.