Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Obama and Galifianakis ramp up the funny on "Between the Ferns"

By Michael J.W. Stickings

President Obama faces an obstructionist, disloyal, and perhaps even treasonous Republican Party; an often cowardly Democratic Party with many in the ranks who don't have his back; a media establishment cowed into submission by the right-wing propaganda machine; a divided and apathetic electorate that allows itself to be manipulated by that machine; and a world in which the U.S., through no fault of his, just doesn't have the overriding influence it once had.

So, honestly, can you blame him for turning to comedy on Funny or Die's "Between the Ferns"? Besides, he was really funny, as was his hirsute, spider-bitten interviewer (a certain Zach Galifianakis, from The Hangover Part III), and it was all for a good cause that Republicans hate. 

And all the "worried harrumphing" is just nonsense. As Chait writes: 

One can certainly understand why the White House would be concerned about upholding the dignity of the office. Presidential dignity is one of the most powerful tools the president has. He commands a vast state apparatus designed to create a sense of grandeur around him, and this aura bestows upon him a power unavailable to his rivals.

Is this apparatus really too weak? Why is it the role of the press to worry that the president is coming across too much like an equal citizen and not enough like a monarch? Washington’s dignity fetish is one of those manifestations of the cult of the presidency that expresses some really weird ideas about how democracy is supposed to work.

Besides, if members of the media are so worried about "dignity," maybe they should look at their own chosen profession, and at themselves, before turning their noses up at the president. And as for the Obama-can-do-no-right conservatives, which is pretty much all of them, well, whatever. They have no dignity anyway, and their shameless hypocrisy is nothing new.

Anyway, back to the show. Here you go... Enjoy!

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