Addison Gardner: Always Right
July 21, 2009
Billy Mays wasn’t the world’s greatest pitchman.
That title belongs to Barack Obama, the president whose sales spiel bounces Billy like a coconut on a Waikiki wave.
Like Mays, Obama operates from a script – neither of these hucksters ever mined his own material – but Billy taped his infomercials in a studio: If the “Mighty Putty” didn’t hold up the garden hose, the stage crew added a rivet.
Obama does “hard sell,” live, and maintains his head-swiveling metronome, unless the teleprompter stops scrolling, or – as it did last week – explodes into a million fragments at the foot of his jet-powered podium.
No president has spent more time in production of set piece messaging. No president has spent more time on the road, in network studios (or importing network studios into the White House), or less time behind his desk during his first six months in office. No president has been so “in-your-face,” from dawn ’till dusk – on the radio, on the boob-tube, on the newsstand, or on your laptop.
Clickety clack, now back to Barack.
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If you avoided the Home Shopping Network, you could dodge Billy’s OxiClean smile, and navigate life’s shoals without his “Grabit,” “Quick Chop,” “Jupiter Jack,” or “Zorbeez.”
At least, with Mays, you saw the product demonstrated, and could decide, for yourself, whether to pay Billy or pay the light bill. You didn’t have 525 vote-seeking members of Congress “stimulating” you (and your kids’ and their kids’ kids) by spending your money on Frisbee golf courses and airports without airplanes.
You didn’t read the 1,200 page Stimulus Bill, and nor did your representatives; they were stampeded into voting for it, so Obama – after emphasizing the urgency of the bill’s passage – could leave on vacation before signing it. That was five months and a couple million lost jobs (and unemployment percentage points) ago.
Obama can also claim credit for stampeding House passage of the Climate Bill (another 1,200 pages of unstudied legislation), plus tens of thousands of miles traveled, dozens of foreign languages mangled, foreign capitals gobbled like Tic Tacs, audiences with Popes, bows to Saudi princes, meetings with Medvedev, and Beverly Hills fundraisers.
Just not much time for the Oval Office, or for overseeing Nancy and Harry’s three-ring-circus.
When he promised to restore prosperity and bring “change” to America, who would’ve thought the president was talking about broadcasting “town hall meetings” from Turkey, or posing for photo-ops with imams at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul?
It’s important to remember – as we focus on the economy – that the United States is not at war with Islam.
We’re not particularly peeved with Kim Jung Il, either, for setting off nukes. Nor are we mad at Ahmadinejad for mowing down demonstrators in Tehran; in fact, we’re not overly disgruntled with anybody outside of America’s coastlines. We’re at war, instead, with the CIA, small businesses, and the dwindling American taxpayer.
When it comes to waterboarding terrorists, we don’t care what Speaker Pelosi approved (or when she approved it), but we’re ready to indict Dick Cheney (before he delivers another Obama-critical speech) for failing to brief Congress about an anti-al Qaeda program that never materialized.
Economists tell us that “Cap ‘n’ Trade” is going to cost trillions, and ObamaCare is going to cost trillions, and the Congressional Budget Office is screaming “Unsustainable!” while the press rolls, with catnip delirium, on Michael Jackson’s corpse.
ObamaCare must be passed, now, because – while EPA staffers can be silenced, allowing the “Cap ‘n’ Trade” fiasco to pass – it’s impossible to quash the Congressional Budget Office, and terrifying details are emerging.
Polling is trending against ObamaCare: Taxing rich Americans won’t cover the cost of expanded, single-payer coverage, and the weight of that multitrillion-dollar price tag is pulling “Mighty Puttied” Democrats off Nancy’s legislative wall.
We knew Billy Mays, and we knew what to expect when we entered his tent.
Obama is different; and I realized just how different when I watched his speech to the NAACP last week. While his words were often laudable – including a long overdue call for personal responsibility – the president’s revival-call-cadences and phony southern accent were demeaning and insulting.
My mother was born in New Orleans; I attended Tulane University; and I raised my children in Atlanta. I have no respect for politicians who break into what they imagine is a “Southern accent,” while addressing black people in churches, at political rallies (mostly, also in churches), or when canvassing the inner city for votes.
I know what a Southerner sounds like, and I’ve learned what a president raised in Hawaii by his white grandparents sounds like – a president who attended private schools from the age of 10; a president who studied politics at Columbia University; a president who got “a free ride” to Harvard University; a president mentored by “white folks” with New England accents, not Southern accents.
“Barry” decided to become “Barack” about the time he moved to mainland America and chose to become a politician. That’s fine, but Obama played no role in the Selma story, or the civil rights movement of men like John Lewis, Hosea Williams or Martin Luther King Jr.
Obama – like Michael Jackson – is a celebrity beneficiary of those sacrifices, not somebody who can invoke that legacy, with legitimacy, as though he wears those stripes on his naked back.
It’s time for the president to return to the White House, rein in the Congress, and stop talking down to the folks whose sacrifices put him in office.