It was just a joke, but it revealed a core of cynicism at the heart of the current Presidential Administration’s methods at manipulating public opinion.
In a nonsensical dinner speech loaded with self-reference and quips that seemed to emanate from a man very removed from the mood of the Nation, President Barack Obama revealed an aloof and callous sense of humor regarding the people who elected him — never more egregiously than when he spoke of his own efforts at publicity.
“Of course, maintaining credibility in this cynical atmosphere is harder than ever — incredibly challenging,” the President told journalists and insiders at the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington Saturday.
“My administration recently put out a photo of me skeet shooting, and even that wasn’t enough for some people. Next week, we’re releasing a photo of me clinging to religion.”
And then what? A photo of Obama helping an illegal immigrant look for a job at a public library Internet terminal?
Ostensibly a joke aimed at himself, the remark really showed the President further entrenched in his own liberal, effete view of mainstream Americans. The “clinging to religion” line refers to a sweet bit of Marxist condescension Obama offered to a San Francisco gathering in 2008:
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania; Ohio — like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration. And each successive administration has said that, somehow, these communities are going to regenerate — and they have not.
So it’s not surprising, then, that they get bitter, and they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or, you know, anti-trade sentiment [as] a way to explain their frustrations.
Oh, and some other famous communist in some other place said this in 1844:
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature; the heart of a heartless world – just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.
Poor rural people. Maybe Obama’s handlers should placate them and come out with an actual Presidential “praying hands” press photo, or maybe an image of him physically clinging to the foot of a cross in some small Pennsylvania church town’s Easter pageant. Maybe they could Photoshop an image of an immortal Marx, nodding in paternal approval high above.
It’s not a leap of the imagination to presume this President thinks so little of how most Americans think, live and worship that in a quiet, reflective moment his intellect might not find great folly — or philosophical inconsistency — in ideas like those.