President Obama, still in campaign mode after all this time in office, recently appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, apparently desperate to share in some of Stewart’s popularity with the Left.
On Comedy Central, the joke was on President Obama Wednesday night.
The president had come, on the eve of what will almost certainly be the loss of his governing majority, to plead his case before Jon Stewart, gatekeeper of the disillusioned left. But instead of displaying the sizzle that won him an army of youthful supporters two years ago, Obama had a Brownie moment.
The Daily Show host was giving Obama a tough time about hiring the conventional and Clintonian Larry Summers as his top economic advisor.
“In fairness,” the president replied defensively, “Larry Summers did a heckuva job.”
“You don’t want to use that phrase, dude,” Stewart recommended with a laugh.
Dude. The indignity of a comedy show host calling the commander in chief “dude” pretty well captured the moment for Obama. He was making this first-ever appearance by a president on the Daily Show as part of a long-shot effort to rekindle the spirit of ’08. In the Daily Show, Obama had a friendly host and an even friendlier crowd.
But, as in his MTV appearance a couple of weeks ago, Obama didn’t try to connect with his youthful audience. He was serious and defensive, pointing a finger at his host several times as he quarreled with the premise of a question.
“You wouldn’t say you’d run this time as a pragmatist? It wouldn’t be, ‘Yes we can, given certain conditions?'”
“I think what I would say is yes we can, but — ”
Stewart, and the audience, laughed at the “but.”
Obama didn’t laugh. “But it’s not going to happen overnight,” he finished.
Try shouting that slogan at a campaign rally, dude.
Stewart is the kind of pretentious, left-wing elitist that Obama’s base is made of. And that base is laughing at him. Things don’t look too promising for 2012, do they, Barry?
Of course, the fact that Obama felt the need to do obeisance before Stewart says something else about the nature of the Left, as George Neumayr at American Spectator points out:
While Stewart engages in a lot of cutesy mugging and seemingly self-deprecating humor about such accolades, he takes himself very seriously indeed. His own liberal assumptions are exempt from mocking, and he claims to be deeply pained by “phoniness” at the highest levels of society. Yet somehow this concern about phoniness doesn’t extend to something as basic as his own name, which is not Jon Stewart but Jon Leibowitz, or his own role in high society. The self-proclaimed puncturer of all things phony has a phony name, and the jester has no intention of dropping his mask or reforming his juvenile ways.
The most respected liberal in America, according to one recent poll, throws his spit balls, then makes sure to hide in the bushes. On Crossfire several years back, he made it clear that he thinks others — but not he — are “hurting” society.
A cocky celebrity wanting it both ways is hardly news, but it is notable that the Democratic Party is now led in large part by comics. Stephen Colbert testified before Pelosi’s Congress as an honored guest; SNL alumnus Al Franken sits in the Senate; comedienne Joy Behar vets presidential candidates on The View; and Bill Maher is treated like Mark Twain.
These are the heavyweights of the leftist elite. No, they’re not the intellectuals that the Left-wing ostensibly worships, but they are certainly influential to an unwarranted degree. When faced with hard policy questions, they resort to crude humor and innuendo, and dodge solid positions and issues with childish antics and name-calling.
And I’m not even sure if any of them are even funny anymore. Unless, apparently, you’re a hypocritical Leftist that enjoys childish put-downs of conservatives.
Liberalism, perhaps under the influence of its foul-mouthed jesters, has suspended some of its old sensitivities, as its practitioners call Meg Whitman a “whore” (an honorable if insufficiently regulated line of work from liberalism’s point of view), Angle a “bitch,” and everyone from Juan Williams to Christine O’Donnell “crazy.” Is that any way for liberals to talk about the mentally ill? And who knew that New Age NPR executives used “feelings” and “psychiatrist” so easily in punchlines?
And this is one thing that I have noticed among the Left: the bile, crudity, and hypocrisy of their humor. I’ve heard leftist friends of mine make racist and sexist jokes that would get a Republican burned at the stake, and not see anything wrong with it. Because those rules of civility don’t count for them, because they’re special.