This, from USA Today, is President Obama’s take on the actor Harold Ramis, who was a supporter of his:
“When we watched his movies … we didn’t just laugh until it hurt,” Obama said. “We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings.”
That’s good now, is it? It’s rather difficult to keep up. In other circumstances, those who “question authority” have been labeled as hostage-takers and anarchists and terrorists and as people who refuse to get with the program. As for “underdogs,” surely you mean wreckers who are illegitimately using their leverage to undermine the common good? Goodness knows what President Obama would really make of Ramis’s small business in Ghostbusters – and of its irritation with the interfering EPA. There’d have been an IRS audit at the very least.
Why does this bother me? Well, other than the unseemliness of Obama’s desire to inject himself into every single event in the nation’s cultural life, President Obama still seems not to have noticed that he is authority. He represents the man, the state, the squares, the power, the force, the violence, the establishment. He is the purveyor and enforcer of mandates. He’s that guy who lectures you about how you should be living. He’s the one who has been charged with enforcing Leviathan (and does so with vigor when it suits him). There is simply no reasonable way in which he can pretend that he is an “outsider.” The most his opponents have had in his five years as president is the House. When he was first elected, he had two years of almost perfect control of Washington, and now he enjoys the Senate and the White House – and the media and the universities and the culture and . . .
That authority that we laugh at, Mr. President? That’s you.