Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Laughingstock

Charles P. Pierce looks at the trolling that Barack Obama did to Trump.

I say this with all possible respect: Barack Obama has some formidable natural blogging skills—or skillz, as the kids say. If you’ve caught him during his recent tour of the 2020 battlegrounds, you know what I’m talking about. We all know Inspirational Obama, and Devotional Obama, and Better Angels Obama, but Snarkmaster Obama is having a ball out there setting up light housekeeping in the president*’s cerebellum. If you’re going to shoot the dozens with this guy, bring your A-game. On Tuesday, he was in Orlando, and he took El Caudillo Del Mar-a-Lago downtown.

What’s his closing argument? That people are too focused on COVID. He said this at one of his rallies, “COVID, COVID, COVID.” He’s jealous of COVID’s media coverage. …

I lived in the White House for a while. You know, it’s a controlled environment. You can take some preventive measures in the White House to avoid getting sick. Except this guy can’t seem to do it. He’s turned the White House into a hot zone. …

Last week, when Trump was asked if he’d do anything differently, you know what he said? He said: Not much, not much. Really?! Not much? You can’t think of anything that you might be doing differently, like maybe you shouldn’t have gone on TV and suggested we might inject bleach to cure COVID? That’s not something you said, you know, maybe I shouldn’t have said that? …

He whines that 60 Minutes is too tough. You think he’s going to stand up to dictators? He thinks Lesley Stahl’s a bully. Just yesterday, just yesterday, he said that Putin of Russia, XI of China and Kim Jong Un of North Korea want him to win. We know, we know because you’ve been giving them whatever they want for the last four years. Of course, they want you to win. That’s not a good thing. You shouldn’t brag about the fact that some of our greatest adversaries think they’d be better off with you in office. Of course they do. What does that say about you? I think about that. Why are you bragging about that? Come on.

The obvious joy Obama is taking in trolling the president* makes these appearances appointment television, especially in a country subjected to two or three of the White House wankfests a day. It is excellent TV, and nobody knows that better than our favorite reality-TV president*. At one of his rallies, on Monday evening in Pennsylvania, the president* departed the rails.

And they say, “Oh, he’s so rhetorical…” (sic) I never thought he was a good speaker. Really. I never did. And then they say, “Oh, he’s so handsome.” But they don’t want to show his crowd, and they don’t want to show this crowd, but for different reasons.

I don’t even want to guess how deeply that psychopathology goes. There are areas of the human psyche that are SuperFund sites, and that’s one of them.

Meanwhile, his predecessor shows every intention of cracking wise at his expense throughout the last week of the campaign. This, of course, violates the first rule of The Ex-Presidents Club: Thou shalt not harsh thy successor’s mellow. And one more traditional norm goes into the woodchipper. But hey, the current president* spent four years trying to erase the Obama presidency from the statute books and from the country’s historical memory. Obama is getting his own back magnificently and, hell, we all deserve a laugh.

I have long been a believer in the idea that the best way to deal with a bully is to laugh at him. And wow, do we need it now.

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