Saturday, June 06, 2009

One of these guys is not like the others

There's an old saying that goes, "In the United States, anyone can become president."

This is often twisted into a joke with the punchline, "NOW I BELIEVE IT!"

I first heard this joke about Bill Clinton, but it's probably been around at least since Millard Fillmore. And, I have to concede, it was pretty funny back in 1992 if you thought the governor of Arkansas surging to the presidency was a bizarre prospect. (My grandfather had a beer-cozy with the joke that someone gave him at about that time, though as time went by I eventually found it crumpled and warped under his car seat.) I know I tossed the joke around once or twice as a way of coping with the 2000 election. Almost nine years after the fact, I still can't believe George W. Bush was ever president. Only in America.

The driving force behind this joke, of course, is that these presidents lacked a certain heft in class and/or the intellectual department, as seen through largely partisan filters. This usually shined through in the form of alleged sex/drug scandals (in Clinton's case) or in the reliable mangling of the English language (Bush). These redneck yahoos as president? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

But yesterday, I saw in a newspaper that someone had directed this joke toward Barack Obama. And I didn't get that at all.

It's not because I'm a mindless Obamabot, as I'm accused of being on almost an hourly basis; it's just that it doesn't really work. He was a U.S. Senator, a professor of constitutional law, a community organizer, a best-selling author and is a well-spoken and intellectually serious guy. He's cool in demeanor, has a strong but good-natured sense of humor and shoots a mean hoop. By all accounts, he is a happily married family man with no libidinal scandals. If anything, the joke about Obama was that he was hard to joke about.

As for the things that could disqualify Obama from being a qualified president, none are particularly funny and many are as untrue as they are vicious: he's too inexperienced. He reads from Teleprompters and says "uh" a lot. He went to a naughty church. He's a baby-killing socialist. His real birth certificate combusted from the Satanic fumes from which it came. What lame ways to demonize our first black president.

Oh. Got it now.

2 comments:

TJenkins said...

Let me translate this for everyone: ALL OTHER PRESIDENTS ARE CALLED STUPID, AND RIGHTFULLY SO, BUT OMG OBAMA IS A SUPER GENIUS AND IS SOOOOO MUCH SMARTER YOU PEOPLE ARE SO MEAN FOR ATTACKING HIM!!!!!! BTW I'M NOT AN OBAMABOT, NO WAY.

Ian McGibboney said...

You should market that translator under the name BabbleShit.