Dead Kids and Presidential Jokes
President Obama is a highly unpopular political leader. Well, he should be. He continued the worst policies of the Bush Administration and then failed to keep the decent promises he did make. Not all his promises were decent, by any means. But, the ones that were, were the ones he ignored.
Those wars he promised to end didn't end. He actually tossed in a new one. In other words Obama has led the the nation into killing more people than any other Nobel Peace Prize winner in history. The prize was a joke, but then so is this administration.
Being unpopular means that Obama has to work extra hard to gain four more years of power, and power drives him. After all he just got the power to "reform" the entire health system giving more power to the the medical establishment and the government, at the expense of patients and ordinary people. Of course, he droned on and on about how he was doing this for the little people, the very ones who are losing control of their own care to bureaucrats. So, it's time to start campaigning and that means fleecing the suckers for all they are worth.
Obama is doing this with a series of dinners, the kind that those "little people" he cares oh, so much about, can't afford. The dinners are available for the reasonable cost of $37,800. But don't be aghast, that's for two people and tips are not necessary. Of course, all the common folk are flocking to the events.
Here we have a perfect example of what is wrong with DC. To get your voice heard by people like Obama you have to pony up the cash. All these regulations and laws reflect the interests of the people the president listens to, and those people are the ones who can afford to buy a moment of his time. If you are an average person, you will be ignored unless, of course, there is some publicity factor involved. Then Obama and the others, including Republicans, will feign attentiveness to your concerns. The only thing that rivals cash exchanges in politics is the currency of publicity.
Recently the singer Lady Gaga was telling fans she would meet the president. Her concern was yet another suicide of a young gay kid, bullied until he took his own life. Lady Gaga, like so many well-intentioned but clueless individuals, thinks that the solution to bullying is a federal law. I wish life were so simple. The problem is at the local school level and federal laws won't change that. The solution is to be found elsewhere, not in federal laws.
But Gaga paid her $38,500 and got her two minutes to speak about the death of Jamey Rodemeyer.
Well, just recently Obama spoke to the Human Rights Council, which sometimes works for the rights of gay people, but always works to the benefit of the Democratic Party, even when the Party is ignoring gay issues. The HRC has faithfully put the Party before the people they pretend to represent. I can think of no major gay organization that has so faithfully kissed Obama's ass than the HRC. They were one of the "leaders" of the gay community that fought against making marriage equality an issue. It didn't fit their agenda, meaning it didn't fit the agenda of the Democrats. It had downside potential and it would give Republicans an issue with their bigoted voters. So, the HRC didn't want the marriage issue pushed. The larger gay community ignored their self-proclaimed leaders and pushed it because it is important to them.
Obama's speech to the HRC crowd was meant to be funny and emotional. For instance, he mentioned bullying saying: "I want all those kids to know that the president and first lady is (sic) standing right by them every inch of the way. I want them to know that we love them and care about them and they're not by themselves." Really!
Sure Obama will listen to a bullied kid, at least for two minutes, if the kid can afford $38,500 for tickets to a fundraiser, or can garner him some good publicity. But what is this "we love them" bullshit. I don't mean to say the President dislikes these kids. I just mean he doesn't love them. One can be concerned about people but to love someone requires knowing someone. And it is impossible to "love" someone you don't even know exists. This is another one of those problems with collectivists (and Republicans are the same sort of creature). What they love is the collective not the individual. So, when Obama tells bullied teens he loves them, he doesn't mean them, not as individuals. He "loves" the collective body, not the individual. He can't love the individual, he has no fucking idea who they are. But saying, "I love you," sounds better than, "I love the body of people."
After Jamey's suicide Lady Gaga made several public statements about wanting to speak to Obama about it. The president didn't seek her out. He wanted for her to pay the admission price of $38,500 to purchase a few seconds of his time. That's how concerned he was.
Now, Gaga simply didn't have the publicity factor that the president wanted. If anything, her odd appearance and unpredictable personality means she is a PR nightmare waiting to happen. So, he wasn't going to meet with her officially. The PR value was potentially negative and she wasn't good for a few million into Party coffers. So, he waited for her to buy a ticket to speak to him, briefly. All things considered he probably hoped she wouldn't show up, since the negative factor was too large. But, at least at a private dinner in someone's mansion, the media wouldn't be all over the place splashing pictures of the president being towered over by this odd woman. And, the potential downside of not selling her a ticket was too great. So she couldn't be rejected but she could be controlled and the dinner allowed that. She got her minute and the president avoided photos of him being lectured to by Lady Gaga.
But, as misguided as she is, Lady Gaga is talking about a real issue, real at least to the kids who are the victims of bullying. And Jamey Rodemeyer was the kid whose death pushed her to be so vocal about the problem—an issue this blog has harped on for a couple of years now.
At the HRC dinner Obama decided the incident was worthy of joking about. So he told the audience: "I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga." I also guess that Stepin Fetchit was the leader of the black community during the 20s and 30s.
What irks me about the joke, however, is not the stereotypical view of Lady Gaga as the "leader" of the gay community, but that the president seems insensitive to why it was that she spoke to him. Sure, he mentioned how he just loves bullied kids, both him and his wife. But, the reason Gaga was there was because a boy had killed himself. It seems inappropriate to turn that occasion into a joke. Given that Jamey had only been buried a few days before the HRC dinner, the timing of the reference was poorly chosen. It was certainly a joke that I would have advised avoiding.