I woke up this morning with a song on my lips. Well, not exactly a song — more like a tune, a song without words. I’m sure you know it. It goes something like this: ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-HUH . . . ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh . . . ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-HUH . . . ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh . . . I’m referring, of course, to the music of His Serene Highness, the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, who after a brief two-week absence from the national scene that more or less coincided with the beginning of Ramadan brought his road-show version of Chicago to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night. They say you can go to the well once too often, but as far as BO2 is concerned, you can never go too often to the well of the Senate or the House.
I can never get enough of the Punahou Kid. That saturnine visage, occasionally punctuated by the fauxBobby Bonilla smile; the Islamic finger-wagging, as if he had studied oratory at a mosque in Indonesia or something, the muezzin singsong of the cadences, not quite white and not quite authentically black, either. I love the way he imperiously summons the feckless Senate eunuchs and the cannon-fodder congressmen to his mock-SOTU performances. I love seeing Michelle, scowling and glowering from her perch like Madame Defarge at the guillotine, clicking her knitting needles as she waits for the next head to fall into the basket. I love seeing Annunciata d’Alesandro Pelosi — that’s Maerose Prizzi to you — as the Lady in Red, her face frozen, the only sign of life the blinking of her adoring eyes. I love seeing John McCain and his fetching companion, Lindsey Graham, smiling like a couple of rubes at a three-card-monte game, so pleased are they to be patted on the head like the good little losers they are. And I love the way that, afterward, the press corps, conducted by Jake Lingle, immediately dances around like puppets on a string, mouthing the words to “The Press Conference Rag” as Rahm Emanuel delicately pirouettes in the background with a red Spanish rose between his teeth and a dagger behind his back.
And most of all, I love that, after nine months in office, the emperor has to pretend no longer about what his real goals are for this downright mean, rotten country of ours. And that, better yet, his patience is wearing thin with the enforced charade of “centrism” and “patriotism.” What I saw Wednesday night is what I’ve seen in our boy Barry from the beginning: fundamental change, even if we have to ram it down your throat. Which is what, in case you haven’t noticed, we’re doing.
I mean, I didn’t even know we had a health-care crisis in this country until Barry started banging on and on and on about it. I would have thought that a diverse country of 300 million races, creeds, colors, levels of avoirdupois, and sexual orientations from all over the world — a country nothing like, say, Sweden — with an average lifespan pushing 80 was doing pretty well. But obviously I was wrong. Throw this crisis on top of the financial crisis, the auto-industry crisis, the global-warming crisis, and the Sarah Palin crisis and you have . . . the Obama administration.
My friends, our long march through the institutions is finally over. There is no aspect of what we hopefully will soon be referring to as the former United States of America — the “Supreme Soviets of America” has a much better ring to it, no? — that Hussein does not want to fundamentally change: the rapacious, malevolent private sector, the wrong-headed notions of individual “freedom” (the Education Department will soon fix that), any reference to this ever having been a Christian country, and that wicked charter of negative liberties, the Constitution, especially the so-called Bill of Rights. Imagine allowing anyone to say anything about political figures at any time, or owning a firearm, or, Gaia forbid, reserving to the states all powers not specifically enumerated to the federal government. In the interests of a happier, poorer, less polluting, freer America, this stuff has got to go.
Which was the point all along. In every one of the Emperor Hussein’s speeches, not only does the song remain the same, so do the words. I want you to do this. I am going to force you to do that. I will not allow you to do whatever. Not since Thomas Friedman got his column at the New York Times has anyone so abused the first-person singular. Indeed, Barry’s patented speeches are an orgy of solipsistic onanism, his animus apparent, his feelings deeply sensitive. Even though he’d like to discuss these crucial reforms civilly, the time for talking is over. Cross him and he will call you out. And whatever you do, don’t get him all wee-wee’d up.
So let’s all pledge our allegiance to the Emperor Hussein and to the new country for which he sings. You know the tune: ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-HUH . . . ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh. We’ve got more than three years to remake this dump, and, though you have to admit we’re off to a great start, there’s still a lot to do, and we’re in a big hurry. Because this time, it really is personal.
– David Kahane takes almost everything personally these days. You can calm him down at firstname.lastname@example.org or become his friend on Facebook, but don’t annoy him, because he is trying to channel the late Saul Alinsky for his new book, Rules for Radical Conservatives, coming next summer from Ballantine Books.