Unlike the rest of us, celebrities do not actually pass away. Instead their publicists announce their deaths, and generally they cooperate. We can only imagine how badly a person’s career must be careening out of control if the publicist has only one last move to shake things up: “We regret to inform that John Smith, star of stage and screen, has passed on to the great dressing-room in the sky. Live bookings will no longer be available, but his autobiography is at Amazon and his music can be heard on Pandora.”
Hey, Elvis and Marilyn are making more money dead than alive, so maybe their publicists were on to something.
All this comes to mind this week with the pronouncement by NBC’s Chuck Todd that based on polling patterns the Obama presidency is dead. If indeed the news media are the publicists for Democratic politicians, as Rush Limbaugh and others have long claimed, then we should attach great credence to Todd’s statement. The press has always asked us to trust it about Obama’s birth certificate, so we should do no less for his death certificate.
Still, I can’t help thinking of the old Jewish joke about the mild-mannered accountant who wound up drinking too much at the office party and passed out cold on the floor. His coworkers got the idea for a great prank. They loaded him up in a car and drove him out to the cemetery, dumping him on a gravestone. When he wakes up and looks around, he asks this immortal question: “If I am still alive, what am I doing here? But if I am dead, why do I really feel like I need the bathroom?”
If the Obama Presidency is dead, why is he still causing so many difficulties? Let us count the ways the executive branch has been whipping us these last few months. First we have the Crimea Doesn’t Pay policy in which Obama and Kerry punished Vladimir Putin for annexing part of Ukraine by revoking his membership to the 21st Century National Health Club, not to mention freezing his Disneyland passes as part of sweeping regimen of sanctions. The result was that Putin got to keep his conquest — might makes right! And Obama got to weakly make a symbolic protest — mite makes rite!
Then we had the Veterans Administration, where the bureaucrats got performance bonuses for successfully getting timely appointments for patients direly in need of medical care. They did this by first seeing when the doctor was in and then noting in the file this was the very day the veteran wanted his appointment. If we use this method at the CIA, we can have perfect intelligence files on our enemies. If the Taliban attack us at Mile 150 and they arrive in jeeps driving northward at 40 miles an hour and if the hood feels hot like after a two-hour drive, we can backdate their original location 80 miles south of the point of engagement! The possibilities are endless.
One thing politicians are said to be good at is horse trading — and all the president’s men figured out a classic. We give them the top five guys on the terrorism Most Wanted List and in return we get a confused deserter with hippie parents who may have forgotten how to speak English. Did they git mo’ or did we… who’s to say? After all, Sergeant Bergdahl (who was promoted — the buck private stops here! — while in the captivity he engendered by absconding from his unit) has served this country with distinction. At the very least, he certainly is distinctive….
This is followed by the Flood-the-Zone drive to end illegal immigration by handing the job to kids below the age of responsibility. If the kid is too young to be a criminal, than his crossing the border cannot be viewed as a crime. Once a member of the family has joined our ranks through a non-prosecutable act, it becomes a simple act of compassion to allow his entire extended family to join his adventure. The Obama administration encouraged this madness by promising to take good care of these kids. There is no Statue of Liberty on the landlocked Mexican-US border, but the wretched refuse can sure teem down there too.
Now we have Iraq imploding, with Baghdad reeling, as decapitating rebels march on the capital. President Obama holds a press conference to hint darkly that the government of Iraq may not be handling things particularly well. Oy, oy, oy! You have to give the man credit. As a country we may be at death’s door, but he is still trying to pull us through….