EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – AUGUST 5, 2009
By Rich Trzupek
The world is now officially a better place, due – in no small part – to the recent “beer summit”, which, I am pleased to report, has officially eased racial tensions in the United Socialist States of America. In a word: yay!
One would expect that the President of the USSA would have better things to do than to try to mediate a petty dispute between a cop doing his job and a professor who was annoyed by that, but this particular petty dispute was headline news (for reasons that still elude your humble correspondent) and this administration gets a great deal of direction from the headlines.
Perhaps this is the future of diplomacy, although it’s hard to see the President and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad getting together for a cold one anytime soon. For one thing, there is that pesky prohibition against drinking booze that goes along with Islam. For another, Ahmadinejad doesn’t seem to be taking kindly to the new hopey-changey brand of diplomacy is the USSA.
The Iranian President was re-elected by an overwhelming majority of that nation’s electorate and is extremely popular among them. And, by “overwhelming majority”, I of course mean that he stole the thing, and by “extremely popular”, I mean that the number of times he has been burned in effigy has not yet created an air pollution problem in Tehran. Anyway, this all seems to be our fault, because in Ahmadinejad’s world, every bad thing is our fault. That’s kind of goes with the territory when you are the great satan.
Are there lesser satans, I wonder? But I digress.
The point is that Dr. Gates (aka, aggrieved scholar) and Sergeant Crowley (aka, insensitive racist bully) sat down with the Prez and Vice Prez, calmly talking through their differences, “agreeing to disagree” according to the White House press release and promising to get together again soon. Yeah, right.
So nothing was actually accomplished, outside of getting the President some badly-needed good publicity that might divert the nation’s attention from his overwhelming desire to socialize medical care in the USSA. It was a popularity stimulus package, if you will, reinforcing the media’s strange fascination with painting Obama a “regular guy”.
It’s good to be a regular guy, if you’re a Democrat. It’s a concession to the little people, demonstrating that even though – and this goes without saying – you are much smarter than the little people, you are still willing to step down from Olympus on occasion to commiserate with the masses. Shoot, when the President and the Vice President In Charge Of Hair Plugs stepped out to have a burger a few months back, the media swooned in unison. “He eats burgers! How in touch is that!”
Now if you’re a Republican President doing regular guy things, that is decidedly a BAD thing. Those types of actions merely reinforce what a boob and/or cracker you are. From Reagan riding his horse to Dubya clearing brush at his ranch, these were hardly the sorts of behaviors that a President should engage in – the sure sign of a tiny mind.
Even Fox has gotten into the action, though God only Knows why. The bizarre camera angle that they choose when the Prez fired – er, lobbed – er, kinda dinked up to the plate like a five year old girl – the first pitch at the All Star game managed to mask the fact that he bounced it in. Not that Presidents are required to be fireballers, but why attempt to protect the fact that this one has a noodle for an arm? Fortunately, the MLB.com video did not use crazy Batman angle photography, and the world was able to see the pitch skip into the plate, despite Albert Pujols best efforts to conceal the fact.
Baseballgate (or whatever the correct name for that bit of comedy might be) doesn’t matter a whit, as far at governance of the nation goes, but it is telling. Even Fox will make an attempt to make the President look good. Perhaps they are in line for some stimulus money.
Look, all politicians look for PR opportunities. We all get that. And, the higher up the political ladder one is, the greater the need and the higher the profile for those PR opportunities.
But, even in that context, the beer summit seemed to me to be an appalling waste of everyone’s time, an attempt to settle a “dispute” that had no substance and symbolized even less. Cops deal with aggrieved, boisterous people every day, people who are sure they are being bullied for no reason, people of every color – not that this is a detail that matters. It’s part of the job, and that’s why cops are so anal about following procedure. If you’re consistent in following the book, nobody can single you out for offering special treatment, or worse, abusive treatment.
If the President would like to settle these meaningless disputes over beers, I say he should go for it, and we ought to start lining up tankerloads of booze to head to Washington now. It’s a big enough job that the President will have one hell of a hangover when his term is up. But, in the scheme of things, if that keeps him from fiddling with health care, that might not be such a bad plan after all.