The Corner

Politics & Policy

Then and Now

My Impromptus today is headed “The way we were, &c.” Why dredge up this song? Well, I was thinking of what we used to say about Obama. We used to say that he spent too much time on the golf course, for example. We toted up the costs of his personal travel — Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, and the like. We counted the times he said “I” and “me” in a speech!

That was so fun.

Anyway, we’re not apt to do that kind of thing anymore.

Here is something I do not include, because I read about it after I’d finished my column. President Trump was talking to the Associated Press. And he referred to the speech he gave in Congress earlier this year: “A lot of people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.”

What if Obama had said this? What would we have said? Remember how we were always knocking him for his arrogance and narcissism?

Good times.

I’d like to tell a story — about LBJ. But first, the current president. Talking about Afghanistan, he said, “What I do is, I authorize my military.” “My military,” huh? Can you imagine how we’d react if a Democratic president said the same?

Speaking of Democratic presidents: Johnson was at an airfield of some kind, and an officer pointed and said, “That is your plane, sir.” The president responded, “They’re all my planes, son.”

One more note: Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, and Kid Rock had a play day at the White House. They posed and made funny faces in front of the portrait of Hillary Clinton. Okay. The people’s house and all.

I flashed back to the Clinton ’90s — when a photo circulated showing two women jumping up and down on the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom. They were from showbiz: Markie Post (the actress) and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (the producer).

You have no idea what a big deal we made of this. All the conservative bigs weighed in (the same ones who are weighing in today, though differently). They said that it epitomized the vulgarization of the presidency. They said it was a grotesque sign of decline.

I can just hear myself. Anyway, the way we were.

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