As close as we’ll ever get to a “Who’s on First?” routine at the daily briefing, except instead of “third base!”, the punchline here is that Stupak’s a chump and the order achieved nothing. You’ll be pleased to know that The One was so terrified of further antagonizing his pro-choice base that not only weren’t cameras allowed in today’s very quiet signing ceremony, no reporters were allowed in either. A vignette from the most transparent administration ever:

“The president is signing an executive order on abortion that is a pretty big national issue,” a reporter asked. “Why would that be closed press, no pictures?”

“We’ll put out a picture from Pete [Souza],” Gibbs said.

“But what about a picture from the actual national media, not from — ” the reporter started to follow up.

“On, the picture from Pete will be for the actual event,” Gibbs answered.

“Right, but what about allowing us in, for openness and transparency?”

“We’ll have a nice picture from Pete that will demonstrate that type of transparency.”

“Not the same, Robert,” the reporter said. “Never has been.”

And so it came to be that a phony deal was culminated with a phony media presence. Follow the link to see the official White House photo, with Stupak preserved for posterity glancing lovingly over The One’s shoulder as he signed a meaningless order. Somehow, it’s the perfect ending to this fiasco.

Tags: White House