The President Said What, Now?

Thoughts from Lileks on the KeisterKicker-in-Chief:

“He didn’t mean donkey,” she said, this being the only possible explanation. I shook my head. It will now be difficult to tell her not to use that word; it will now be a matter of time before my wife says, “Well, your daughter was sounding presidential today,” and it won’t be a reference to mankind’s universal aspirations. Unless you include the desire to kick BP’s tuckus, which seems fairly widespread.

I don’t know if I’ve written this, but I’ve certainly thought it. When I heard the president, my first response was, “Who is he kidding?” My second one was, “Gee, and here I thought that the purpose of getting people together to assay the facts was to determine what effective action to take. How Chicago of him to think that the only effective action is to take one’s boot off the throat of the country long enough to bury it in the appropriate fundament.”

And I, for one, haven’t been complaining about the president not emoting enough. I’ve never been interested in a president that “felt my pain.” All I’ve ever wanted is one that isn’t the cause of it.

No, my complaint is that he’s incompetent. So the all the talk about the asskickery isn’t very impressive to me. Usually, I’m glad that he’s incompetent, because most of the things he wants to do are awful, and I want them to fail at them, but this is a case where I wish that he could actually get it right.

[Update a while later]

Rich Lowry agrees with me: Mr. President, please don’t feel our pain.”

Was it Bill Clinton who started this infantilization of the American people?

[Update a few minutes later]

Jonah Goldberg isn’t impressed, either:

It’s like a Tonight Show joke.

Leno: “The president is so dorky . . . ”

Audience: “How dorky is he?”

“He’s so dorky, when he gets angry he convenes a panel of experts to tell him whose ass to kick.”

And speaking of The Tonight Show, let me reassure both editors and readers of family newspapers everywhere about my use of the word “ass.” Historian Steven Hayward reminds me that in 1979, Jimmy Carter responded to Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge by declaring he would “whip his ass.” It was one of those moments of presidential lameness that conjures the same bile of pity, schadenfreude, and heebie-jeebies one feels upon seeing a middle-aged balding dude with a long gray ponytail dancing at a rave.

As John Stewart said, the president is going to have to kick himself. In fact, if he had sufficient self awareness, he’d know that there are many reasons to do so.

[Update a couple minutes later]

The Democrats can’t put the blame genie back in the bottle. This is the kind of situation for which the Bard came up with the expression, “hoist onwith his own petard.”

[Update a while later]

Three reasons that the president should be kicking himself.

6 thoughts on “The President Said What, Now?”

  1. he’s incompetent, … things he wants to do are awful

    There seems to be such a very high correlation between those that want to do awful things and incompetence. For whatever reason, it’s a good thing. If the terrorists were competent, 9/11 would happen every day. They aren’t, so it doesn’t.

    The real problem is removing the incompetent seems to be the job of other incompetents.

  2. Actually you don’t get hoisted on your own petard, it’s either “with it” or “by it” Hamlet scheming to fix Rosengrantz and Guilderstein’s respective little red wagons says:
    “For ’tis the sport to have the enginer
    Hoist with his own petard, an’t shall go hard
    But I will delve one yard below their mines
    And blow them at the moon.”

  3. This situation ain’t even close. During the blue dress episode a little over a decade ago my seven year old daughter heard some commentary on the evening news and asked me what semen was. I would MUCH rather have had to deal with the situation Lileks described.

  4. So you’re just lucky, J, that the President restricted himself to the verb “kick.”

    What I always find amusing about this colloquialism is the etymology of “petard.” It comes from the Middle French verb peter (“pet-ay”) which means to beak wind. A petard is, literally, a fart.

  5. … in your general direction.

    Which, come to think of it, that whole scene is probably a fair comparison of how our enemies view Obama.

  6. If you use Babelfish, petard translates to “detonator.” I’m not sure the modern French term is literally fart, but I could be wrong. Consider the literal meaning of pendejo, as opposed to the colloquial meaning. 😉

    Wiki states that -in modern French- petard translates as “firecracker,” and is slang for a handgun, or a joint.

    What strikes me is that several recent would-be Democratic Party leaders seem to have worried more about image & perception than performance.

    Al Gore, for example, changed to earth-toned suits for the 2000 campaign, and soundly bussed his wife on the lips during the convention in order to project a more congenial, manly image.

    John Kerry -a genuine Boston blue-blood- (not that there’s anything wrong with that) tried to re-image himself as chili-dog munching, football-tossing duck hunter, instead of the wind-surfing haute cuisine-lover he is.

    Now Obama is trying to at least partially erase his ivory-tower rep for something more earthy. Samuel L. Jackson he is not.

    Wouldn’t it be truly cool to have Mr. Jackson as President? Just picture him one-on-one with Imadinnerjacket: “smack! I’m sorry, did I break your concentration!?” Or: “I have just about had it with Enough is enough! I have had it with these m0***rf#@k1ng terrorists on this m0***rf#@k1ng planet!”

    What would be almost as cool: “President Imadinnerjacket, President Lieberman will see you now…” 🙂

    Sorry. Going off-thread. I’ll stop now.

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