The View of Obama From the Conde Nast Tower


Words fail

I wonder sometimes if they have any idea how this looks to the rest of us. And imagine what's it going to be like when the Democrats don't enjoy sizable majorities in both houses of Congress!

As if the visuals weren't enough, Vanity Fair's teaser for the not-yet-online piece should purge you of Sunday dinner:

And THAT'S the way it was, you goddamned scarcity nostalgiacs!

Using history as his backdrop, Purdum spends a day inside the West Wing and talks to Obama's top aides, who tell him about the challenges of playing the Beltway game, ugly as it has become, even as their boss insists they find a way to transcend it. […]

Larry Summers, who served as Clinton's Treasury secretary for the last 18 months of his term, says, "It used to be there was a kind of rhythm to the day" with the tempo picking up after the markets closed and as newspaper deadlines approached, between four and seven P.M. "That's gone." And, according to Rahm Emanuel, C.I.A. director Leon Panetta thinks "it's a huge problem" that Washington runs at such "a highly caffeinated speed."

Emanuel calls it "Fucknutsville," and Valerie Jarrett says she looks back wistfully to a time when credible people could put a stamp of reliability on information and opinion: "Walter Cronkite would get on and say the truth, and people believed the media," she says.

Via Mike Allen's Twitter feed. Previous episodes of unconscious Obama media fluffery here, here, and here.

NEXT: Can We at Least Have Some Elementary Journalism in Budget-Cut Scare Stories?

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  1. Emanuel calls it “Fucknutsville

    Huh, go figure. So do we!

    1. You and Rahm are >< close. Who knew?

  2. I keep wondering if their advertisers read this shit and realize they’re paying for bad government propaganda?

    1. Man, you’d think someone would have actually read Swift before publishing that.

  3. If there was a time that government was run by decent sensible men, they’d have kept your foulmouthed Chicago machine gangster ass out of it, Rahm boy.

    Of course, the irony of a Maxwell Street Sammy Glick like Emanuel pining for the lost days of WASP rule is too delicious for words.

  4. C.I.A. director Leon Panetta thinks “it’s a huge problem” that Washington runs at such “a highly caffeinated speed.”

    What? Um, being in my 6th year of military service(which thankfully ends in 3 weeks), this statement is kind of fucking stupid to me. Fucknutsville is accurate though.

  5. In Mexico recently, I was talking to a woman who echoed the sentiment of the cartoon: why don’t the Republicans get out of the way and let BHO do his magic?

    I thought about explaining that our system isn’t meant to work that way, but I figured she was too far gone. She also thought it was delightfully clever for the Nobel committee to award Barack the Peace Prize. There is just no helping some people.

    1. You should have just told her one-off that that mentality is why her country is so corrupt and bankrupt.

    2. And that’s precisely the attitude Reason wants to flood the ballot boxes with when all the illegals are granted amnesty.

      1. +1

      2. I’m impressed by your ability to draw conclusions about a population of millions from one anecdotal story.

        1. Unfortunately, that opinion existed in me long before this anecdote, and has been reinforced over and over in my experiences with people from all over the world. The attitude of GIT R DONE transcends language and culture.

        2. Complete this sentence:

          “After all the illegals are granted amnesty, the borders are opened, and we register 18-million-plus new low-income Hispanic voters, the size of government will ______ and the political landscape for libertarian candidates will ______.”

          1. 1. will continue its regularly scheduled growth

            2. stay the same

            1. 1(a). So the growth rate won’t accelerate? Is that what you mean by “continue its regularly scheduled growth”? No change to the growth that has been “scheduled” as of today?

              1(b). Where can I buy some of what you’re smoking?

              1. 1(a).Well, if Blue Teams plan is to grant them all amnesty because they think that they will all vote Blue Team, then it is scheduled. Maybe I was off with the “regularly” portion if your comparing it to today.

                2(b). No I don’t think it will go down or up. No particular reason for thinking this, just a hunch.

          2. Open borders doesn’t necessarily entail massive permanent immigration. You’d be surprised how many people want to come to the US for a few years, make some money, then go home and spend it.

            1. Okay, I’ll bite. How many?

                1. One hundred million.

                  *pinky finger to mouth*
                  *strokes bald cat*

          3. If you are pro-freedom, you have to be pro-freedom for everyone. Even people who are anti-freedom.

            1. We have to be so pro-freedom that we support the anti-freedom types who want to take away our freedom?

              1. You have to support my right to hire those people by letting them into America.

  6. “Valerie Jarrett says she looks back wistfully to a time when credible people could put a stamp of reliability on information and opinion: “Walter Cronkite would get on and say the truth, and people believed the media,” she says.”

    So she’s nostalgic for the time when government had control of the three networks?
    What a shame….

    1. Government has more control over the three networks now than they did back in the Big 3 days, when they were secure enough to tell the govt to piss off when it offended their liberal sensibilities.

      Now that they’re hanging by a thread in competition with cable and the net, not so much.

      1. Really? With cable not under nearly as much FCC control TV today is seeing more control than when all broadcasts were over government owned airwaves?

  7. As though Cronkite (or Brinkley and Huntley etc etc) was any sort of fount of truth!

    What government operatives miss is being able to put out stories without competing narratives having much chance to form.

    1. You ain’t just whistlin’ “Dixie”. I really did laugh out loud when I read that quote from Jarrett.

      The folks in the Ministry of Truth are still smugly believing we’ll accept that fairy tale. That’s a big mistake and they’ll pay dearly for it.

  8. By the way did Matt just get back from his vacation?

    If so: Welcome back hope you had some fun.

    If not: get the fuck out and get back to eating cheese, drinking wine and your free French health care colonoscopy.

    1. Was back on Friday. YOU MEAN YOU DIDN’T NOTICE??? And thanks.

      1. My enduring image of France is this:
        Enjoying a leisurely lunch with my wife at a neighborhood sidewalk cafe in the 16th arrondissement….
        While watching a guy with a broom and a bucket taking an hour and a half to clean 25 feet of gutter…
        And thinking ‘only the French would pay that amount for street cleaning’. And it was a sloppy job.

        1. My enduring image of France:

          Getting kicked out of clubs for wearing the wrong shoes and being chased down the street by Arabs screaming “fucking Americans!”

          1. My enduring fate in France.

            My fucking A/C doesn’t work AGAIN in my 150 euro/night hotel. Thank Dieu, it has been mostly a cool summer and the window opens.

            1. My enduring image of France:

              I was 21 and she was 19…..I do not remember much outside of the various bedrooms we stayed in.

              1. Ahhh Matt Welch’s transvestite days…

    2. My enduring image of France-

      Waiting 45 minutes for the only English speaker at the train ticket counter to slam his windown shut and scream “lunch”.

  9. “I wonder sometimes if they have any idea how this looks to the rest of us.”

    I’m not sure how you see it… Stupid sure, but anything more specific on the visuals?

    Just that he’s a giant, a great-great man (maybe the greatest), being held down by the little people?

    Or a black man being tied up by a bunch of whites?

    1. Irresponsible Hater|8.8.10 @ 9:34PM|#
      “Just that he’s a giant, a great-great man (maybe the greatest), being held down by the little people?
      Or a black man being tied up by a bunch of whites?”

      Or, he’s an ignorant bozo and if we get lucky won’t suffer more for his (and that white hag Pelosi’s) fantasies.
      How about that?

      1. It’s okay that you’re racist because you’re sexist too!

    2. Just that he’s a giant, a great-great man (maybe the greatest), being held down by the little people?

      That’s the one: that it is presumptuous of us “little people” to interfere with the grand plans of the president. The racial angle is what Gibbs would be babbling about if the cartoon were perceived as being a slight to Dear Leader.

      1. +1

        Race is saved for defense.


      1. Humor. I recognize that.


    4. There’s no higher resolution currently available, so it’s hard to judge the intent completely. I can make out Palin, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, and Beck on his legs…hard to tell who is in his left hand, though my guess would be Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and Michael Steele. If that’s the case, the artist may be saying that Obama has bested the GOP’s nominal leadership (as represented by the three men in his hand) but is beset by right-wing media and activists outside the GOP.

      The problem with that interpretation is that the black man in his hand has noticeably blue eyes, which Steele doesn’t. I’m having a hard time figuring out who else that could be, since I don’t know of any significant black political figures in either party who have blue eyes.

      1. Steele is bald. That looks more like Colin Powell or that other black guy who ran for RNC Chairman.

      2. I think this is the cartoonist’s way of depicting that Steele is an oreo. He’s a blue-eyed devil on the inside and Obama is squeezing the white out of him.

      3. That’s not a black man. It is a well-tanned and blue-eyed, John Boehner.

    5. While I commend your effort at parody of Obama supporters, it is really difficult to give off that one subtle clue that you are writing ironically, because it seems like there is no position so whackadoodle that some leftie hasn’t taken it. Your cognomen of “irresponsible haters” almost fills the bill as being over the top, but there is that word “irresponsible”, which, I can believe, that a leftie supporter of Obama would use completely without any idea of the irony involved in the completely irresponsible bashing of Bush that took place ubiquitously. A good example of that would be Obama’s naive declaration that Gitmo would be closed in a year, that he would give 95% of Americans a tax cut, all kinds of things that no honest person with any concept of govt responsibility would say.

      So I am going to guess that your post is sincere.

  10. Was I the only one bothered by the symbolism of a couple of Progressives pining for the ability to make one decision for all?

    These guys creep me out.

  11. I wonder sometimes if they have any idea how this looks to the rest of us.

    They must not, because most people don’t like being mocked as idiotic sycophantic sheep.

    1. Sheep have tolerated rape for centuries.

      1. They were asking for it with that twitchy little tail and fluffy buns.

        1. Plus, they’ll push back on you if you do them at the edge of a cliff. Dirty fuckers…

          1. Put their back legs in hip boots if you wanna get “walked-off.”

  12. “I wonder sometimes if they have any idea how this looks to the rest of us. And imagine what’s it going to be like when the Democrats don’t enjoy sizable majorities in both houses of Congress!”

    C’mon, Matt, you know better than this. I would love to see their majorities reduced, if not lost, but it ain’t a sure thing UNTIL IT HAS HAPPENED.

    If it doesn’t, think about how invincible the Dems will feel. Don’t gloat until it has happened.

    Enjoyed the post, tho.

    1. After the Sun engulfs the Earth, the Democrats won’t have majorities in Congress. So Matt is correct.

      1. So, when he says “Imagine what it’s going to look like when…” he means how will it look to those of us who survive it somehow?

        And, I’m not convinced the Dems won’t outlast that.

        1. Some of us may be abducted by aliens and survive. And as our ani are probed for the umpteenth time, we’ll be able to look back at our cinder of a world in the knowledge that it will never be haunted by Democrats again.

        2. And when the Republitards are back in control it will only be slightly better but somehow more infuriating due to the hypocrisy and/or down right stupidity.

          1. so let’s continue to vote dem. That’s what people like Bill do to stick to the ‘tards.

  13. …talks to Obama’s top aides, who tell him about the challenges of playing the Beltway game, ugly as it has become, even as their boss insists they find a way to transcend it.

    And by transcend it, they mean getting away with playing their even uglier Chicago game.

  14. Valerie Jarrett says she looks back wistfully to a time when credible people could put a stamp of reliability on information and opinion: “Walter Cronkite would get on and say the truth, and people believed the media,” she says.

    Translation: I hate when the truth and not our truth gets out. What a fucking pain in the ass.

  15. It seems to me that the TEAM BLUE fuckstains are hard at work laying the groundwork for a dolchstoss story. “Well, Obama would have made us shit rainbow puppies all day long if not for Glenn Beck!”

    1. Damn you engineers and your big vocabulary! I had to look that up (and I took German in college)

    2. Dude, you’re behind the times. That’s their story right now.

    3. Shitting out rainbow puppies all day long seems like it would be painful. Like the day after drinking too much on the eastside and hitting Whities on the way home.

    4. As a representative of Team Blue, here’s why we are (probably) going to lose a lot of seats this November:

      1. It almost always happens in the midterm election after a party-switch in the White House (without something like 9/11 occurring to change things).
      2. The economy still sucks.

      Teapartiers, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Birthers, etc. are all a side show. Heck, the size of the loss will probably be smaller, not larger, since they exist (because moderates tend to think they are all crazy).

  16. Whenever a story is described as “nuanced” you know it’s a partisan piece of shit.

  17. “Well, Obama would have made us shit rainbow puppies all day long if not for Glenn Beck!”

    Cuthulu bless Glenn Beck, craziness and all.

  18. I wonder sometimes if they have any idea how this looks to the rest of us.

    I suppose that they’re saying that Obama is not nearly as bright as he thinks he is, and that he’s obsessed with scatological issues.

    Nah, they haven’t actually read Gulliver’s Travels.

    1. Nah, they haven’t actually read Gulliver’s Travels.

      They may have seen the cartoon…in which Gulliver is some sort of hero rather then Swift’s original which made him out to be a fool.

    2. I had the same thought.

  19. I wonder sometimes if they have any idea how this looks to the rest of ghd

  20. Harry Reid’s articulate negro and his team see us all as little people. Isn’t that the gist of it?

    1. “Articulate and clean” was Joe Biden’s gaffe, actually. Harry Reid’s was the “Negro dialect” thing.

      1. You’re right, I got the two dipshit Senators confused. I don’t know how. They are so different.

        1. the two dipshit Senators? Aren’t all 100 of them dipshits?

          1. No…Scott Brown is a sexy piece of man meat. The other 99 are dipshits.

            1. You misspelled Chris Christie.

  21. That picture has so many racist stereotypes embedded in it it’s not even funny. We need to get Joe P. over to Vanity Fair to straighten those ratfuckers out.

  22. Well-financed demagoguery that leads a political party around on a leash doesn’t exactly reflect the first amendment’s spirit. It’s always a bad thing. And we have the worst kind of demagoguery, the race-based kind. The lack of a common factual framework and the presence of right-wing propaganda on a large scale are aspects of the environment that Obama has a responsibility to confront. And from cheap libertarian seats you guys will be bitching that the media isn’t doing enough partisan hackery for you against Obama, who we’re supposed to blame for everything.

    1. Actually, we’re criticizing the partisan hackery plainly evident in the Vanity Fair article. You don’t see any partisan hackery in the summary of the Vanity Fair article, Tony? None at all?

      1. Obama has to deal with opposition, god forbid, so its only fair.

        1. Right…we need balance. That’s it!

          1. I can’t think of anything better to ensure that balance than the FCC.

      2. But…but…Fox News!

        1. Not a very convincing spoof.

      3. Not really. I don’t become apoplectic every time someone isn’t punching the president in the face.

        1. Punching, probably not. Slobbering like a 100 hooker on nickle night, a little more so.

    2. Only losertarians and rightwing nuts refuse to deepthroat Obama! Bias!

      1. Wasn’t it a member of the credentialed MSM who sang this little ditty at a presidential press conference?

        “One enchanted evening
        You may meet Obama
        Remember it’s an honor
        When he teabags your dripping chin…”

        I have heard of a lickspittle press before, but this press, for this president, seems to have taken the term literally.

        I am sure it was a much nicer time for liberals when conservatives, who constitute a majority, were effectively banned from television news, entertainment television, the movies, major newspapers, basically any mass media outside of science fiction.

  23. Good god almighty. We’re so fucked. These people are just fucked in the head creeps. They feel they’re being treated unfairly because not everyone is sitting up at the table and eating they’re propaganda bullshit with a knife and fork in the proper manner???

    Wah, wah, wah, bite me you manipulative, communist, racist, lying bastards! You can choke on me and die for all I care. Bunch of stuck in the 60s campus political activist brats! Graduate already and get a real fucking job. Or just die in a fire! Good googly-moogly, these people are like cockroaches.

  24. 5 clich? demerits for saying “just die in a fire!”

    1. But +1 for not working in “douche” somewhere.

        1. well, it’s succinct…

  25. I wonder sometimes if they have any idea how this looks to the rest of us.

    Good lord, what a bunch of urban hicks inhabit NYC and DC. These are the intelligentsia ? They’re are so parochial and sheltered that they have no idea how out of touch they are.

  26. My Lefty friends have been riffing the “America has become ungovernable” excuse for O’s incompetence for almost a year now. Vanity Fair’s flamboyant variant of it is a bit slow outa the blocks.

  27. Those people are a bunch of idiots.

    1. Go back to being dead, Walter. You do that with such flair.

  28. Yeah, and we all know what Walter did to the Vietnam War, right?

    Don’t we?

    Heh. Maybe the “good old days” are gone for good, Valerie.

  29. The Obamatrons in the White House and regurgitating Vanity Fair Folks are living in an alternative universe where sugar plum fairies sprinkle “wealth” dust on any and all projects blessed by Obama.

    The Big ZerO can do no wrong. If only the rest of us would just sit down and shut up.

  30. Here’s the original, BTW:

    I think this image is a purer form of how Obama is supposed to compare to others; the take-home message: he’s a giant upon the earth:

    The imagery of the head of state as a giant has many precedents:

    These are more of a stretch, but the choice of perspective (looking up at the leader, from below) and its implications for size, power, and superiority are clear:

    On another note, there’s a definite meta-conscious moment happening now, as portrayed by the image/meme of the Obamas in the 18th century garb of opulent aristocrats.×600.jpg

    Methinky these are not good omens.

    (gotta copy+paste the links, cuz the reason server doesn’t trust us with more than two links at a time…)

  31. No, it is not the incompetence of a president with no prior executive experience, in truth, no prior political experience as an independent player and not an agent of handlers, no it is the incompetence of the American people in all of their ungovernable incivility that is our National Predicament.

  32. Well , we call Rahm a “fucknut” , so he must be in the right place , then.

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