Archive - Feb 19, 2009

Giving The Wrong Impression

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Memo to Julio Osegueda, his enablers, and his future imitators: CUT IT OUT.

One of the constructions I hate most in the Era of Obama, heard frequently from disgruntled conservatives, is the "If Bush did that, you'd hate it, but since it came from OBama, you love it" argument. I hate it because it's largely complete bullshit. A tiny fraction of the things Obama does are things that Bush would ever have done. And when they do appear to run in parallel, we, or at least I, fucking hate it. Like how he's reinforcing and defending Bush's use of the "state secrets" privilege in ways it was never meant to be used. Fuck that. Actual instances of Obama getting a pass for Bushesque behavior are almost nonexistent.Which is why, when I saw footage of Julio Osegueda at a Florida town hall last week, I cringed so hard my balls almost reached escape velocity. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"It's such a blessing to see you Mr. President, thank you for taking time out of your day! Oh, gracious God, thank you so much!"

Get a fucking grip. We spent too many years staring aghast at the yahoos and pigfuckers, pre-screened for admission into one of Dubya's regimented "town hall meetings", and somehow managing to get called upon so that they could ask President Bush how good it felt to bring freedom to Iraq and make Jesus smile. The last thing we need are people fawning on Obama at town hall meetings like they just got picked for the Showcase Showdown.

I tried to be good. I tried not to piss all over the genuine feelings of excitement and joy people felt at Obama's election. But after the inauguration parties are over, you have got to tamp that shit down and maintain a healthy distrust, if not of the man himself, then of the system he's wading neck-deep in. Even if Obama's as awesome as you think he is, just for the sake of appearances he needs to be challenged in public so that he can be seen to surmount those challenges. And if he's not Oh Gracious God awesome, then he -really- needs to be challenged.

I don't feel nearly as strongly about Henriette Hughes, the homeless woman who got a roof over her head after describing her plight at the same town hall. I mean, yeah, I get a little bit sick at a culture that goes overboard to help a suffering person they happen to see on the teevee, then goes home and bitches about their property taxes going up to pay for the damn welfare, but that's not Hughes' fault.

Osegueda, on the other hand, spent a few days turning into a left-wing Joe The Plumber. He went on Countdown, he got job offers, all the standard accessories that come with your fifteen minutes of fame. Now, it's true that Osegueda had worked at McDonald's for four years because he couldn't find a better job. On the other hand, the dude is a college student and aspiring DJ. And one of the few good reasons for McDonald's to exist in this world is so that college students and aspiring DJs don't starve to death on the street.

Obama is the President of the United States. He's not Oprah Winfrey. When he's up on the stage, he's not there so that you can tell him your problems and hope he put something under your seat. He's dealing with problems on a national and global level that even the idealized Obama would find a steaming pile of stone cold bitch. And at the risk of comparing him to Superman, every time he pulls your kitten out of a tree, another Lois Lane becomes sidewalk pizza.

Unquestioning, unthinking devotion to an undeserving leader is what got us so fucked in the first place. Doing the same now ain't gonna get us out, and neither is making insta-stars of the people that do. So cut it the fuck out.