As Allahpundit accurately noted, we might soon come to regret enabling the world’s most powerful narcissist by handing him a selfie stick. Those who are concerned that Obama’s antics – mugging into a smudgy mirror, failing to successfully dunk a cookie into a glass of milk, and pantomiming free throw shots for no particular reason, all in the hopes of increasing the number of young Obamacare enrollees (with BuzzFeed’s complicity) – might diminish the office of the presidency have little to fear.
Allahpundit also observed that Obama sat down with comedian Zach Galifianakis at roughly the same time last year, also to increase the number of young and healthy Obamacare enrollees whose premiums will subsidize care for the unwell. He has an established track record of engaging in puerile escapades so as to appeal to young people, whom he presumably believes to be fools. If the presidency’s stature was reduced by Obama’s larking about as part of his “new media strategy,” then that diminution occurred long ago.
“The idea that you could diminish the dignity of a president who gave a one-on-one with someone whose claim to fame is bathing in a tub of Froot Loops is a rather paradoxical one,” the columnist Charles Krauthammer eloquently discerned.
But there is more to mourn here than simply the devaluation of the stature of the presidential office, a feature of the executive branch that many see as unduly inflated and the loss of which they will not grieve. According to reports, this video was shot mere hours after the United States government confirmed that another of its citizens, Kayla Mueller, died in ISIS custody. The day that this video was shot, February 10, was also the day in which American embassy staff and security personnel abandoned Yemen amid chaos and violence.
“It shows you how frivolous he is in executing his office,” Krauthammer averred. “And that, I think, is not a question of the dignity of the office [but] of the seriousness of the man.”
This behavior is of a piece with last August’s callous display. Then, Obama took to a podium in Martha’s Vineyard to address the brutal beheading of American journalist James Wright Foley by ISIS militants only to dash off to a previously scheduled golf outing within minutes of his mock somber speech.
At the time, the president blamed the media for rushing to the inescapable conclusion that this spectacle suggested that Obama was indifferent toward the phenomenon of terrorists claiming American lives. “The possibility of a jarring contrast, given the world’s news, is always — there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere,” Obama said in an attempt to excuse his behavior. As though the beheading of an American by a militant Islamic group as part of an ultimatum directed toward the president was a contrivance or an everyday occurrence.
But just 11 days after the president’s address, it was revealed yesterday, Obama found himself at a wedding celebration alongside his friends and convicted terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. If Obama were running for political office again, he might have displayed more compassion for the American soldiers these two unrepentant fanatics attempted to kill. But the president no longer has to feign respect for parochial concerns like the public’s general distaste for the criminal proclivities of violent, revolutionary leftists.
Terrorism as a generator of public anxiety is, after all, largely a construct of the news media. That’s what the president told his ideological compatriots at Vox.com, at least.
“You show crime stories and you show fires, because that’s what folks watch, and it’s all about ratings,” Obama replied after agreeing that terroristic violence is “absolutely” given too much attention by the national press. “And, you know, the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos, along with plane crashes and a few other things, that’s the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs.”
It should be painfully clear by now that the president views terrorism as a minor bother. If he had his preference, he would devote his focus exclusively to political agitation and the reformation of the nation’s domestic institutions. No matter how much lip service the president gives to the solemn honor of the duty bestowed upon him, Obama views role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and guarantor of American national security as an inconvenience. While he occasionally has to mimic the pained expressions and tone of someone genuinely grieving the losses inflicted by terroristic violence overseas, we now know that it is only theater.