Barry Knocks It Out Of the Park
This weekly "column," as they called it when newspapers were still printed, is a place to say funny, crazy, foul and often highly sexual things about our handsome preznit (and,occasionally, his staff.) Generally, your authoress is dependent upon the mad videography skillz of one Arun Chaudhary, Official White House Videographer and In-House Paparazzo. But two things are different about this week. First, lazyass Arun took an all-expenses-paid vacation to Sudan and made "West Wing Week" all about that inspirational African story rather than the NUMBER ONE MOST INSPIRATIONAL AFRICAN STORY OF ALL TIME, Barry "Kenya Hear Me" Hussein Obama. (Oh, and Arun knows what he did.) And second, your authoress got the eerie feeling that this week, Barry did indeed hear her, and maybe you and everyone else, too. Let us proceed with these two unusual conditions in mind as we enter the world of the only living black man to charm more white people than Meshach Taylor.
Monday probably fucking sucked at the White House. First of all, there was the fallout -- social, political, and emotional -- from Saturday's shooting in Arizona. Second, they lost White House staffer Daniel Turton's wife, Ashley Turton, in a horrible car fire. Most likely, Barack Obama spent the day alternately crying and listening to some of that Jay-Z music Reggie Love put on his iPod. "I'm not a biter I'm a writer," Obama whispered to himself quietly, chain-smoking and shivering behind a topiary display in the Rose Garden. Bo looked up at him in the way that your dog does when he knows you're sad, and Barack felt a little better even though THE CREATURE HAS NO FACE. And then Bo said, "I used to move snowflakes by the O.Z." That's when Barack realized he was having Little Match Girl hallucinations and needed to get the fuck inside, because D.C. is COLD in the winter. He hustled inside just as Bo began spitting the opening lines of "Money, Cash, Hoes." Bo stayed outside a little longer because dogs love snow, because they are dumb.
Tuesday had no public events on the schedule, because everyone was still completely depressed and there were phone calls to make and flowers to order and all the horribly banal shit that happens after a death and before a funeral, combined with all the terribly mundane shit that happens when someone is in the hospital. Vice President Joe Biden was over in Afghanistan saying "'sup" to some troops and also getting teary-eyed over soldiering, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was over in Yemen telling jerks to come correct OR ELSE.
Wednesday arrived and it was Biden's turn to yell at a weak foreign government with a limp grip on a country chock-full of Muslim wannabombers -- in this case, Pakistan. He told them to fight extremism or be "consumed" by it. Then he asked, "Now where the fuck can an old man get a beer around here, Mustafah?" There was no one named Mustafah in the room at the time. As is his custom, Biden broke the awkward silence by rapping: "Ladies is pimps, too! Go on, brush ya shoulders off!" This also did not go over well. Your vice preznit peaced out and hopped the next plane to Baghdad.
Thursday dawned and Barry had allegedly been up all freaking night working on his speech. Lack of sleep eventually leads to hallucinations not unlike those that accompany frostbite, which is why at 5 a.m. Barry thought he heard Bo reading aloud from Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" in his doggie bed. "Who said you could read proto-feminist literature?" Obama demanded, shutting his laptop for the first time in twelve hours.
"FUCKING TWEENS!" President Obama yelled, shoving an entire pack of cigarettes in his mouth. He leaned into the Oval Office fireplace and lit them all at once. He stayed there, smoking pack after pack in that exact fashion, until it was time to fly to Tucson.
And then, The Speech.
A friend (and, like, every talking head on teevee) reminded me to revisit the speech Noonan wrote for Reagan after the Challenger explosion, and goddamn if that thing wasn't a beautiful work of fatherly leadership and even love. This will mark the first and last time Noonan gets props from this site. Savor it, Peggz, like you savor the fine wine in your breakfast cereal.
Obama is the father who you never see get teary except for like two times in your whole life: when somebody he loves dies, and when his team finally wins the World Series (hi, Dad.) So when the president heaved that ragged sigh -- a singular moment during in his public life since his election -- or when he went silent for a few moments while talking about 9-year-old Christina Taylor-Green, you felt it in your bones. Chances are, even that "puddles in heaven" line knocked down your well-fortified wall of cynicism and kicked you right in the gut.
Nationalism is idiotic and patriotism is hollow. But there are those rare, special moments when a leader hits it so far out of the park that even those who don't usually care about the game are amazed and awed. And that, among many other reasons, is why a lot of us love this stupid, mouth-breathing, donut-chomping, oil-spilling, war-mongering, brave, loving, generous, reflective, beautifully fucked-up fever dream of a country.