Politics

Barack Obama vs. Wayne Allyn Root, Live at Caesar's Palace

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Looks like I have to explain the joke, so here goes: The president is talking trash on Vegas, again, in a way that plays to the stereotype of a high-rolling, blingtastic town. By posting an image of him dressed as the embodiment of bling (the site that creates this image is called "Blingee"), I am making an ironic commentary, roughly akin to posting a pic of Tipper Gore wearing an Ozzy Osbourne shirt. The use of Blingee on political figures was popularized by the humor site Wonkette (http://wonkette.com/412797/a-decade-of-blingees-2007-2009), which is not generally racist against black people. Neither am I.

You may have heard the exciting news that President Barack Obama has once again SLANDERED the great American city of Las Vegas. Well, sorta:

During the president's town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, he discussed the need to curb spending during tough economic times.  "When times are tough, you tighten your belts," the president said. "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

The real two-fisted outrage here, obviously, is that A) the president keeps talking fiscal rectitude in one breath while expanding government spending to commanding new heights in the next; and B) if you're gonna analogize federal spending to the mythical "family budget," at least acknowledge that 40 percent of your money this year is coming from history's largest credit card, and those rates are bound to go up. Oh, and some of us did go to Vegas while saving for college, a practice that in California is known as "being in college."

The Vegas flap has already provoked the usual recriminations, including one from the reliably entertaining mob consigliere-turned Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman–"he's not welcome in my city, as far as I'm concerned." And the president has issued his ritually insincere apology. But more importantly, what's the reaction from bookie-turned 2008 Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate and Vegas patriot Wayne Allyn Root?

Son of a butcher!

America loves Vegas. Just mention the word and watch their eyes light up. It's the way they used to feel about you—Vegas makes them feel young, fresh, fearless, sexy and ready for action. When you think of Vegas you want to take on the world. You and your Obamanation make them feel old, stale, frightened and weak. When you think of Obama's economy you want to get in bed and hide under the covers. The more you attack Vegas Mr. Obama, the more you remind Americans of what they love (Vegas)…and what they don't (you).

Pretty much every hard-working, taxpaying, money-making male in this country has recently visited Vegas…is planning a visit to Vegas…or desperately wishes they could visit Vegas. Every time you denigrate, insult or castigate Vegas, it makes them remember the way things were…before you came along. It makes them remember "the good old days" when they had the money for a trip to Sin City. It makes them long for the "good old days" when they actually had the freedom to do what they wanted with their own money. When progressive politicians or government know-it-alls didn't try to micro-manage every decision, every move of their life. Last I checked Mr. Obama, this is America and we can all go where we want; do what we want; spend our money however we please. Smell that desert air Mr. President? That's the smell of freedom. Your lectures and scolding about Vegas are enough to bring out the rebel in all of us…to unite us to collectively scream "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT MR. PRESIDENT, SCREW YOU."

Whole thing here. I interviewed America's first Libertarian Party president during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and for ReasonTV last summer: