Theater of the Absurd

October 19, 2009

Welcome to Obama Theater, starring that master illusionist Barack Obama. No, not the sawing the woman in half illusion; the make $787 billion disappear before your very eyes illusion. (Wait, that was real.) It was the "thousands of shovel-ready jobs" or the "unemployment will not go above eight percent" that was the illusion. Obama and his cohorts are very good at crafting an image, but we're starting to see that the image is the illusion.

Countless people are being exploited to help create the image of Obama. We remember the adoring crowds mechanically chanting "Yes we can" during the presidential campaign rallies. In the campaign and even now schoolchildren have been enlisted to sing praise songs about Obama. Most recently it has come to light that the White House pressured the National Endowment of the Arts to create propaganda in support of Obama and his agenda.

Even the First Lady attempts to create an image that may be an illusion. In the Obama's failed attempt to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago, Michelle Obama made a speech to the IOC carefully crafted for effect. Mrs. Obama said she remembers sitting on her daddy's lap watching Olga (Korbut), Nadia (Comaneci) and Carl Lewis compete in the Olympics. The problem with the First Lady's statement is that she was born in 1964. OK, I'll buy that maybe she sat on her daddy's lap watching Olga Korbut compete in the 1972 Olympics when Mrs. Obama would have been eight years old. But saying she was sitting on his lap watching Nadia Comaneci compete in 1976 strains credibility and if she sat on his lap watching Carl Lewis in the 1984 Olympic Games, there was some kind of weird family dynamic I don't even want to think about.

Obama's constant dependence on a teleprompter is well documented. When he reads prepared speeches off of the teleprompter, Obama comes across as very smooth and polished. However, when he is off-the-cuff he stutters and stammers and appears to be in search of a coherent thought. When a person truly believes what they are saying and are passionate about it, it does not matter whether they are reading a prepared speech or speaking extemporaneously. Now I am no authority on the subject, but there are some that claim that Obama adds electronic reverb to his live speeches in order to make his voice sound more booming and authoritarian.

On October 5, Obama had one hundred fifty physicians from all fifty states at the White House for a meeting with the President on his health care plan. All the doctors had on white lab coats. It reminded me of career day in elementary school; the policeman in his neat blue uniform, the fireman wears his turnouts and the carpenter with his hard hat and tool belt. The image was more important than what these men said. That's exactly the effect the administration wanted with this stunt. It's as though we are all children and would never believe these people were doctors unless they wore white lab coats. Never mind the fact that physicians don't routinely wear lab coats anymore.

According to the New York Times, the fact that they happened to bring their lab coats was no accident. They were instructed by the administration to do so. In fact many dressed in business suits or dresses and did not bring their lab coats. Those were provided white coats by the White House staff. The speech Obama made to these doctors was nothing new, same old rhetoric we've heard before. But what Obama said wasn't important. It was the image of those white clad physicians sitting before the great Obama that was important.

Recently, Saturday Night Live did a spoof of President Obama's campaign promises compared to his lack of accomplishments. SNL is no stranger to poking fun at presidents. One needs only to look at their treatment of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton during the 1990's. SNL practically made a living trashing George W. Bush. It has been a staple of the show. But this time SNL made the mistake of turning their wit on The One. So desirous is the media to protect the Obama image that CNN actually did a "fact check" of the comedy skit.

All presidents desire to craft an image. So, it is not surprising that President Obama would seek to do the same. What is surprising is the lengths that he and his supporters will go to in order to build and protect that image. The image may be phony but the agenda is all too real.

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Copyright ©2009 Humphrey Stevenson

Humphrey Stevenson has BS degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and an MBA and makes his home in Tulsa, OK. He is a chemist by trade, has been published in trade journals, and is a recent "tea party" participant and political writer. His inspiration, as with many conservatives, is Ronald Reagan.