The Prodigal Bubba Returns

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(The Oval Office — Thursday, December 9):

“Hey Bill, it’s Barack. Barack… Obama. Yeah, I think Michelle looks great in the stretchy pants, too. Seriously — you’ve probably noticed I make George W. Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar, and Mr. Soros mentioned YOU were a Rhodes Scholar. If you’re not too busy, do you think you could drop by the White House and, um… do my job?”

Last Friday President Obama, facing shrieking indignation from his fellow liberals over his decision to accept the GOP’s tax-rate extension, decided to remind everyone that he is farther out of his depth than a quadriplegic in Loch Ness. Obama called a press conference — on such short notice that he had to ask his spokesmodel Robert Gibbs to find someone to unlock the White House briefing room. The most inept president in American history was going to acknowledge that he and his party had driven the economy into a ditch, and the GOP was going to drive for a while.

Actually, Obama was simply going to act as if the tax policies he’d repeatedly opposed had suddenly been his plan all along. To pull off this latest charade, Obama called in some heavy artillery: Former President Bill Clinton, who is infamous for his ability to dig in against conservative ideals, then take credit for them with a methodical mendacity he calls “triangulation.” And Obama lacks Willie’s slickness, so he invited Clinton to share some tips on how to win votes and influence reporters.

Although he looked about as happy as a vegan in an abattoir, Obama claimed he was pleased with the tax-rate deal:

“The opportunity for families to send their kids to college hinges on this… The ability of parents to put food on the table while looking for a job depends on this…”

That’s a rather abrupt about-face from earlier in the week, when Obama called the Republicans “hostage-takers” over the same compromise.

And then, while Clinton loomed over Obama’s shoulder, looking very much like a disappointed parent, the scene took a turn for the weird as Obama… quit. The President (the actual one) took a powder. Claiming he had to go pound white wine spritzers with the Lady Macbeth of Chicago, Barry hit the bricks, leaving Monica’s ex-boyfriend to… run the country?

Did I miss a memo? While I’m well aware that the Democrat Party has been dealing with some fairly serious intramural dissent of late (and let’s watch the language, people — you’re on television), I was unaware that America’s worst President gave America’s creepiest President the keys to the Lincoln Bedroom.

Clinton, of course, was masterful. The man who spent eight years playing the White House press corps the way Van Cliburn played a Steinway looked as if he’d never left. If you closed your eyes, you would have thought Clinton — musing on everything from the environment to Haiti — was, well, President. Few in the room, including a number of Obama staffers who were evidently abandoned to their fates by their suddenly absent savior, batted an eye at Clinton’s endorsement of the tax-rate compromise against which both he and Obama have vociferously railed. Even fewer noted that Clinton was convincingly pontificating in support of tax rates he has openly, albeit intermittently, opposed throughout his entire career, mostly because we “wouldn’t spend them right.”

In a tableau which only Slick Willy could provide, he was now for the tax rates, after he was against them, after he was for them, after he was against them.

If he had stuck around, Obama would have called the Friday presser a “teachable moment.” Faced with a resurgent Republican House, an economy capable of fiscal super-speed reduced by Democrat policies to idling in the driveway and erstwhile allies who were now describing him in terms normally used by Tourette’s-afflicted schizophrenics, Obama abdicated.

Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign was noteworthy for a comprehensive dearth of substance. Criticism was squashed with laughable claims of racism. The former community organizer from Chicago displayed neither the expertise nor the résumé for the position. Serious, and seriously reasonable, questions about his ability were swept under the rug of liberal lust for power. Suffice it to say, the subsequent years of epic, ham-fisted incompetence have been a little… strange.

But nothing could have prepared us for last Friday afternoon, when the President of the United States, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, Community Organizer to the Stars and architect of the Audacity of Hope, faced with yet another tight spot of his own making, ran and hid behind his big buddy Bubba.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.