There are two possible answers: One, lighten up. We’re an irreverent nation, proud of our ability to laugh at ourselves and to poke fun, especially during the worst of times. I admit, this is my favorite thing about us. Two, this kind of display is beneath the dignity of the office, and the president should be more circumspect in choosing public appearances, virtual or otherwise. How can we hope to be taken seriously when the world sees our president in such silly circumstances?
Both answers have merit. I was settling on the higher truth of the second choice when I finally got it. My mind expanded of its own volition, no doubt enhanced by the power of two ferns talking, and I could see clearly what apparently was so obvious in Twitterland.
Obama’s appearance on an absurd Web program that celebrates the absurd was a masterful, strategic move aimed squarely at Putin. How better to insult a shirtless, pec-flexing thug than to engage in a theater of the absurd? How better to display maximum disrespect toward a man with a child’s ego and a nuclear arsenal — who has invaded another country where peaceful demonstrators were gunned down — than by acting as though he hasn’t a care in the world?