Friday, March 20, 2009

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

!Update! It's on like Donkey Kong! Special Olympian challenges Obama to bowling match.  

American political commentators make me want to stick a fork in my eye.  Seriously.

It's old news by now that Obama made a stupid crack on Jay Leno's show, comparing his unspectacular bowling score of 129 to something like the Special Olympics, the athletic competition for people with intellectual disabilities.

Open mouth, insert foot.

Obama has apologized and his press corps is mopping up the mess, but now we have to spend at least a week analyzing the fact that the man said something really stupid that the average person might have said when kidding around with a few friends.  

Is it offensive?  Yes.  I don't think there's any way around that.  It doesn't matter how much Obama apologizes or says he didn't mean to cause offense.  We all know exactly what he meant. There is no way to change the meaning of what was said. He made a comparison of himself to people who have limited abilities.  The joke only works by making fun of the object of the comparison...people with limited abilities.

Obama seems to have had a hard time preventing the utterance of stupid things from his lips, and it's probably one of the traits I find most irritating in him.  Whether it's calling a reporter "Sweetie" or referencing people clinging to guns and religion, the man lets his biases show in these little slip-ups.

All that to say.....Obama is not off the hook.  For someone who was supposed to be inclusive and socially adept, he is surely proving otherwise.  People care about the ways in which they are spoken of and treated.  Too many of these gaffes and Obama's crown will definitely become tarnished and dented.

On the other hand, watching the commentators skewer him and hearing Republicans criticize him for being on Leno or making basketball picks is ironic, indeed.  If I recall correctly the shoe used to be on the other foot when George W. was playing golf or on vacation.  Early on, his critics seems to imply that he had no work ethic because he would spend time at his ranch.

I guess the Republicans feel turn-about is fair play.

In the end, it's all very silly and inane.  Implying that Obama is preoccupied with basketball to the neglect of his presidential duties, or that making an appearance on Leno means he doesn't care about the country is reaching for any dart to aim in his general direction.

How long does it take to write a basketball team's name on a white board?  5 minutes?

How much time does it take to do the Leno show?  A couple of hours?

Republicans need to get their heads out of....well....I'll use the words "  the clouds"...so as not to offend. They are making the party more irrelevant each day.  If they want to criticize Obama, they need to do it with something of substance.  They need to stop being so petty and find constructive ways to criticize his policies and find solutions.

Where are all the "normal" people in politics?  People who don't jump to conclusions? People who aren't sidetracked by Party witch hunts?  People who care more about actually serving the people than staying in office?

Does such a politician even exist?

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