Everyone's Angry At Barack Obama

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Actually, Ana Marie Cox and I aren't angry at all, but other people are, so we talk Rick Warren, Rod Blagojevich, R. Kelly, Crocs, things to do in the cold, Jon Favreau and TV sitcoms.


MEGAN: Okay, so, the coffee is brewing as is the progressive resentment over Rick Warren's scheduled prayer at the inauguration, so I guess we're all set to go.

ANA MARIE: I'm going to be annoying and say what I did last night upon hearing the Warren news: Anyone who is surprised by this was not watching the same primary I was. This is not to say they shouldn't be upset. I am very much pro-outrage. Sort of in general.

MEGAN: Or they missed the Election Night speech when he said he was also the President of the people that didn't vote for him. Sort of like the opposite thing Bush has done for 8 years? You don't see Bush inviting the Reverend Joe Lowery onstage, do you?

ANA MARIE: Good point. And depending on how things go forward this could be brilliant. Rather than a sign of mainstreaming bigotry, maybe this is the first step toward Obama co-opting Warren?

MEGAN: Like this?

[Reverend] Chellew-Hodge noted that Warren recently said same-sex couples deserve equal rights, though not the right to marriage, a position at least superficially similar to Obama's). Mainly, however, the argument is that the Warren choice falls under the president-elect's stated objective of building a big tent government.


Yes, how terrible. A government of all the people, by all the people and for all the people. Someone said it wouldn't vanish from this earth.

ANA MARIE: People are doing all kinds of things to suck up to Obama, changing your mind about gay rights is totally acceptable in that regard.


MEGAN: I'm cool with any evangelical who wants to try to regain a modicum of power in an Obama administration by backing anti-poverty spending, gay rights and all the stuff they're happily helped Bush push in the last 8 years. Their hypocrisy is marginally more palatable to me if it's promoting a political agenda I support, since it's not like they can stop being hypocrites.

ANA MARIE: Few of us have that luxury.

MEGAN: For today's unicorn chaser, may I recommend children's letters to Obama?

"I hope that you will stop war because we need peace and quiet," wrote McKenna Tucker, one of several letters from Jefferson students that call on the president-elect to end military conflict.


ANA MARIE: So funny it's Wauwatosa. In part because it's so fun to say, in part because that's where Nancy Dickerson was from — first lady national political television reporter. Okay, but THIS is weird: "The letter-writing project is part of a national campaign organized by Handwriting Without Tears as a way to encourage penmanship in a digital society."

Handwriting Without Tears????? Is that a big problem these days? The tears, I mean? I sort of wish there was a slightly less esoteric organization behind this fantastic project. It's like The National Doily Society getting kids to knit.


MEGAN: I don't know, one of the lowest grades I ever got in grade school — even lower than in gym class — was in penmanship. To this day, I am occasionally mocked for my handwriting. Nick Gillespie did it once at a Reason Christmas party. So, I'm not going to say there were never bitter tears when I was little.

ANA MARIE: Hm, maybe the problem with your handwriting is that you weren't crying ENOUGH. CRYING OVER MAKING YOUR HANDWRITING PERFECT. That was kind of my approach.


MEGAN: Yes, that's true. I didn't care enough about my cursive until it was too late. But, any of my tears were probably not as bitter as the tears cried by the sick kids and their parents who won't get their $8 million because of Blago.

ANA MARIE: Now there's a thought that will require a whole new unicorn chaser. Ugh. Just when you thought he couldn't get more vulgar.


MEGAN: Yeah, you can swear like a motherfucker, but when you stop legislation designed to allow poor kids better access to specialists for seizures and diabetes, you can offend me faster than calling me a cunt. He's not getting impeached any time soon, in case you were feeling optimistic.

ANA MARIE: Did you see his lawyer's press conference yesterday? IT WAS AWESOME. He was all, "I took this case because it would be FUN." FUN! I don't know if I want my lawyer to take a case ON A LARK.


MEGAN: I was watching part of the hearing and I was like, yeah, this is how this lawyer won the R. Kelly case, by simply rhetorically confusing the shit out of everyone. It's a good tactic, if you can pull it off.

ANA MARIE: Look at how many "[chuckles]" are in that transcript! I think we know someone's prison nickname!


MEGAN: Almost as many as whatever short-sighted tourist wears this to an Inaugural Ball.

ANA MARIE: Hey, it's the People's Inauguration. The people have never been particularly stylish. That will look great with a jokey "WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM" t-shirt and Crocs.


MEGAN: At least you won't see the T-shirt, as it will be covered by a huge coat in deference to the balls-out cold it will be on Inauguration Day.

ANA MARIE: Remember how it was 70 degrees day before yesterday?

MEGAN: Yes, that was lovely.

ANA MARIE: Because you'll want remember what feeling ones toes is like. On the bright side: Frozen human waste easier to deal with/avoid on the street.


MEGAN: I am hoping, like any sane person, to be watching it from the safety of a place with free booze and a heater. Also, there's a horrible rumor circulating that since they're opening up the mall, trains will terminate at Rosslyn and, having been a Georgetown student, I know better than to walk across the Key Bridge when it is cold and windy.

ANA MARIE: ::SHUDDER:: Makes you want to just cuddle up with Jon Favreau, no?

MEGAN: Um, yes. But we already knew that.

ANA MARIE: There is pretty much nothing about that WP story that I wouldn't put into a television pilot about a group of idealistic, funny and hot young people moving to DC to work for the president. 1. He lived in a group house where they played X Box, in addition to writing speeches. 2. He pretend felt-up pretend Hillary. 3. He had a crisis of confidence and had to call a childhood friend 4. His shit is still in boxes while he hangs at S'bucks writing the inauguration speech. I think that you've got you're first 5 episode arc right there.


MEGAN: Also the air mattress. That's a funny bit when he's trying to pick up a girl he likes but can't bring her home because he's embarrassed but she likes him anyway or something. This might be why I don't like sitcoms.

ANA MARIE: My vision is more of a dramedy. And he would bring her home to the air mattress and maybe she doesn't even NOTICE until the morning. Because of the hottness, most likely.


MEGAN: You really can't fuck on an air mattress. If you haven't slept on one in a while, good for you, but, technological improvements aside, the worry about popping it combined with the noise... she'd have to notice. But they'd definitely wake up sleeping on the hard floor on a thick plastic tarp.

ANA MARIE: That would be the scenario for the tv show, I think. We should whip up a treatment and sell this baby!


MEGAN: God knows we need the money!

ANA MARIE: Probably the only way to make money writing about the Obama administration.


MEGAN: It'll take a good two years to get publishers ready for a smear, and the campaign was already a hagiography so no one wants to read that in book format. And here people thought Obama was so egotistical to write his own memoirs before he was anything too important, but he was just presciently undercutting the competition.

ANA MARIE: And while those two hit books on him SORT OF count as fiction, I think there's a lot of room for growth in that area.



The comment board I moderate at work has exploded with postings from right-wingers celebrating this choice as evidence that gays should "go back in the closet where they belong" because Real Americans are showing the "radical homosexuals" what the country thinks of them. So if this is an attempt to co-opt Warren and his followers to the progressive side, I have to say that so far it is failing miserably.