Liberals—Including the President!—Fantasize About Obama Acting Like a Wigga Warren Beatty

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The lack of blackface is frankly disappointing. ||| Videogum.com
Videogum.com

It's been hard to keep up with the crazy lately, so I'm a little late to the news that the first black president of the United States has been dreaming lately about being a little bit more like the first fictitious white rapper Senator in filmic history, Warren Beatty's Bulworth. The New York Times broke the story:

Obama also expresses exasperation. In private, he has talked longingly of "going Bulworth," a reference to a little-remembered 1998 Warren Beatty movie about a senator who risked it all to say what he really thought. While Mr. Beatty's character had neither the power nor the platform of a president, the metaphor highlights Mr. Obama's desire to be liberated from what he sees as the hindrances on him.

"Probably every president says that from time to time," said David Axelrod, another longtime adviser who has heard Mr. Obama's movie-inspired aspiration. "It's probably cathartic just to say it. But the reality is that while you want to be truthful, you want to be straightforward, you also want to be practical about whatever you're saying."

Not surprisingly, the type of liberal political commentator who loved the movie's message (much more than the American public did) about corporate control of politics is now urging the president to go full Bulworth. Katrina vanden Heuvel, for example, attempted some awkward white rapping of her own in the Washington Post:

Katrina vanden Heuvel goes leather vs. leather w/ Nick Gillespie. ||| YouTube
YouTube

Of course, to do a Bulworth requires exposing the money that so pervades and corrupts our politics. Bulworth took delight — and gained massive popular support — in calling out his donors:

You know it ain't that funny, you contribute all my money .?.?.

As long as you can pay, I'm gonna do it all your way

Or as Obama might say to his Wall Street donors:

You are too big to fail

And too big to jail

And we'll keep paying you that tribute

So long as you continue to contribute

That would be "massive popular support" in a movie, Katrina. The WashPost's Ezra Klein also got into the presidential ventriloquism business, using Bulworth Obama's newly found spine to take on the Republican haterz:

Fresher threads than Warren B., I'll give him that. ||| MediaBistro
MediaBistro

Look, the reason the American people can't trust their government is here in Washington. Right now sequestration is cutting unemployment checks by 10 or 11 percent. Do you hear anyone talking about that? Or doing anything about it? No. You hear Republicans aides telling Politico, anonymously, that the speaker is quote "obsessed" with Benghazi. You know, I don't think most of the Republicans screaming about Benghazi could find Libya on a map. I don't think 10 of them knew our ambassador's name. And, let me be clear, Speaker Boehner certainly wasn't obsessed with giving us the money we asked for to keep the embassy's [sic] safe.

But now he's obsessed with Benghazi. And not even Benghazi. The Benghazi talking points. Are you kidding me? He's not obsessed with global warming or unemployment or rebuilding our infrastructure.  And now that there's conflict, all of you are obsessed with Benghazi talking points too, and meanwhile, we're cutting the National Institutes of Health and we're cutting too deep into the military and we're making life harder for the unemployed and we're doing nothing to keep this planet in good shape for our kids.

You can read similar fantasia from Salon's Joan Walsh, Mother Jones's Asawin Suebsaeng, the Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger, The Nation's Jeremy Pikser, The American Prospect's Paul WaldmanNewsOne's Michael Arceneaux, and The Huffington Post's William Bradley. The general gist of which is that it would be better if Barack Hussein Obama acted a bit more like Jay Bullington Bulworth. So what did Bulworth do, exactly?

Proven shortcut to class/race consciousness. |||

He tried to fuck a young Halle Berry, was dazzled by her straight-outta-Howard-Zinn interpretation of America's hollowed-out manufacturing base, decided to start telling uncomfortable "truths" (like to a black audience: "if you don't put down the malt liquor and chicken wings and get behind somebody other than a runningback who stabs his wife, you're NEVER gonna get rid of somebody like me!"), began dressing up like an old white liberal's version of what "gangsta" might look like and chanting out some excruciatingly awful anti-corporation raps, advocated socialism, became a media and political sensation, attempted to engineer his own assassination, changed his mind, but then got shot anyway by the evil insurance companies who just couldn't handle his pro-Medicare truth. After which he was visited by a Magical Negro who told him to keep on fighting.

It was, to put it charitably, not the most racially enlightened film. The politics were also, as the New York Post's Kyle Smith helpfully reminds us, socialist. And as Jesse Walker pointed out in a great piece from 2004, it followed the now eight-decade Hollywood trope about a mythical politician who "survives an accident, sees the light, and starts to stand up for the little guy and fight the powers that be." I would expect political journalists to prefer the lure of Aaron Sorkin-style fantasies over the messy realities of governance, but the sitting American president? That's just weird, and unseemly.

But what troubles me most about Obama's cinematic jonesing is just the massive contempt that both Bulworth and Beatty showed for their audiences. Check out the picture's ballyhooed turning point, where Sen. Bulworth throws away his stale talking points and flat-out speaks truth to the powerless:

Are there any sectors of American political life not sandblasted with contemptuous caricature here? Yes—and those get their comeuppance later in the movie. Bulworth hates himself, his supporters, his opponents, his constituents, the media, corporations, Republicans, Democrats, Jews, Hollywood…basically everyone except a chosen few wise-speaking black folk who connect him to a new sense of authenticity. The "truth" that this politician is so liberated in the telling is basically that all of you people suck. Only an enlightened few are aware enough to realize that the whole game has been rigged by evil corporations.

As for blurting out the truth and taking the gloves off, we know one thing for sure about when Barack Obama so liberates himself: That's exactly when he's most likely to lurch to the left, and/or lie.

I liked Bulworth at the time (back when I agreed with its money-is-ruining-politics theorem), and I'll still give Beatty a B- for diving so enthusiastically into awkward waters, but as a presidential template, this is just embarrassing:

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  1. the metaphor highlights Mr. Obama’s desire to be liberated from what he sees as the hindrances on him.

    “The Constitution is just a fucking piece of paper.”

    1. Would that the American people had but one neck!

    2. And it’s over 100 years old.

  2. God, I hope he snaps and goes for it; Obama going Bullworth and the resulting backlash would be lovely.

    Much of the establishment loathes his no-op ass. They will happily jettison him the moment he becomes too much of a liability as far as people obeying the law. Obama would inevitably tell a bunch of law-abiding people that they are scum, and the willingness to consent to the dictats of the civil service would plunge.

    Go Barry! Tell us what you really feel, big guy! Stick it to the man!

    1. I was thinking that too. Bring it on. Show your true stripes. I bet they ain’t worth jack shit.

    2. hasn’t Obama spent his entire time on the national stage going Bulworth? From lecturing about Repubs who want dirty air and water, to doctors who do unnecessary surgery for the money to his inaugural speech as liberal wet dream, all he has done is pretend to be something he is not.

  3. Every time I see Ezra Klein’s face, it seems to get more punchable.

    1. Swing a shopping bag full of juicy-juice pouches. Give him that concussion he so richly deserves without leaving a mark.

    2. My first trip to Reason for the say and the top post has Mr. Punchable himself splayed out in his usual vomit-inducing style.

      Thanks. Thanks a lot.

        1. I wish I had come up with your username.

          1. All credit goes to Jesse Walker and Lucy Steigerwald (PBUH)

        1. You’re a brony? That explains so much.

    3. What’s with the Obama t-shirt? His whole look is juvenile. This is the face and voice of modern liberalism? God help us all. Reminds me of all those hipster-doofuses in university. The drivel I had to endure…it tasted like burning.

      1. What’s with the Obama t-shirt?

        Look in my eyes; what do you see?

        Only you can set me free . . .

    4. “You should wear a fedora. Everyone looks good in a fedora.”

      -Ezra’s inner monologue

  4. “Obama also expresses exasperation. In private, he has talked longingly of ‘going Bulworth,’ a reference to a little-remembered 1998 Warren Beatty movie about a senator who risked it all to say what he really thought.”

    You mean the Anointed One is being disingenuous now and he longingly wishes he could tell the truth? Pathetic

  5. Obama needs to go full-on Clint Webb; now that’s an honest politician. http://youtu.be/ZukZ0kK-GS0

    1. Obama needs to go full-on Clint Webb

      I was thinking more along the lines of someone like R. Budd Dwyer…

      1. +1 nice shot!

  6. Bravo on the Klein photo. Sometimes a picture really does say a thousand words. In this case it’s “douche” repeated one thousand times.

    1. I think his purse is the best part, but it’s hard to decide.

      1. It has to be the ridiculously cheesy t-shirt underneath a blazer.

        Ah, fuck it. Picking out my favorite part is like picking a favorite kid: NONE OF THEM.

      2. It’s the blazer over a tshirt–a tshirt with some kind of screen printing on it, no less. The bag could be a messenger bag at least, though he’s certainly holding it like a purse.

        1. Little Bill Daggett: Like the Duck himself, I guess.
          W.W. Beauchamp: The Duke.
          Little Bill Daggett: Duck, I says.

          1. The Duck of Death!

        2. The combination of Klein’s masturbatory Sorkinesque fantasy and that picture has catapulted him into Public Enemy #1. I think I hate him more than Alex Parenee. I hate him more than all of Salon.

          I know fully understand what it means to let the hate flow through you, and holy shit.

          1. But do you hate him more than Marcotte?

            Anyway, this is all because you’ve given in and opened your heart to the kochtopus. Welcome.

            1. Yes, more than Marcotte. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE YOU ASK

              1. I do.

            2. I can only feel pity for her.

              1. Yeah, Marcotte ultimately only ever really tortures herself. You know it’s only a matter of time until she’s found in apartment with twenty years worth of backdated New York Times and three dozen cats.

                1. What’s a backdated New York Times?

                  1. Okay, my bad, old copies.

          2. I know fully understand what it means to let the hate flow through you, and holy shit.

            Feels good doesn’t it?

            “At last you know what it means to hate. Now you’re ready to be a libertarian.”

        3. blazer over a tshirt

          That was kind of my look in high school and college. But the sport coat was instead of a man purse. You can carry a lot of stuff with a good sport coat without having to carry something around that can easily be lost or stolen.

          1. You can carry a lot of stuff with a good sport coat without having to carry something around that can easily be lost or stolen.

            Also has the advantage of not looking as faggish as a man-purse. NTTAWWT.

      3. If that hat isn’t a cry for help, I don’t know what is.

        1. The “please stage an intervention” hat?

        2. it’s a coverup! Of balding hair?

        3. Caddyshack has the answer to all of life’s questions.

      4. The obligatory phite iPod headphones are a nice touch too. The whole ensemble just screams “I am the biggest douchebag on the planet.”

        1. Then he got a job where he gets to scream “I am the biggest douchebag on the planet” in print.

          He’s living the douchebag dream!

    2. He reminds me of Jonah the presidential aide from the HBO show ‘Veep’, a complete and utter tool that everyone openly despises.

      1. He’s Frankenstein’s monster, if the monster was made entirely of dead dicks.

        1. The dialogue on that show is brilliant.

    3. Everything about that Klein picture screams “I AM A HIPSTER DOUCHE. PLEASE HATE ME.”

      Done and done.

  7. I’m pretty sure when Obama says he want to ‘go Bulworth’ he’s just saying he wants to bang Halle Berry.

    1. +1 Catwoman fantasy

    2. Who doesn’t?

      But I thought he’s just saying he want to be Black. You know, really Black, not sort of blackish.

      1. Lana Kane: ISH — ?!?

        Sterling Archer: Well, what’s the word for it, Lana? Because You freaked out when I said “quadroon.”

  8. Jesus. Fucking Anti-Christ. That is 50lbs of stupid quoted there. I thought “10lbs in a 5lb bag” was the standard, Matthew Lee. This is piling on.

    And a new Peak Retard is reached! Thanks, Mr. President, Ezra, et al!

  9. Goldman Sachs might cut him off.

    1. Downgrade him to “sell”.

  10. I would expect political journalists to prefer the lure of Aaron Sorkin-style fantasies over the messy realities of governance, but the sitting American president? That’s just weird, and unseemly.

    On-the-job training only works if you actually pay attention.

    It would be a giant surprise if he actually exhibited some discernible level of interest in the real functions (and constraints) of his current position. But that would require abandoning the campaign trail.

  11. I think we can all agree that Katrina van den Heuvel is even worse than I am.

    1. Don’t sell yourself short.

    2. I mean you didn’t even get pics of that DeLorean…

      1. Dammit, you’re right.

  12. Obama also expresses exasperation. In private, he has talked longingly of “going Bulworth,

    Go ahead. Who the fuck is stopping you?

    1. The idea that this world class disciple of Marx, Alinsky, Cloward, and Piven would ever think of just completely ripping that mask off and openly telling us what he really thinks and feels about America and the American people… that’s one of the funniest damn things I’ve ever heard in my life. That’ll happen as soon as hell freezes over.

      1. I think you give him too much credit with the “world class”. He’s not nearly as clever as any of those people, and I can’t believe that he has any coherent belief in anything.

  13. So you guys decide – which is worse, Mos Eisley or this list?:

    You can read similar fantasia from Salon’s Joan Walsh, Mother Jones’s Asawin Suebsaeng, the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger, The Nation’s Jeremy Pikser, The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman, NewsOne’s Michael Arceneaux, and The Huffington Post’s William Bradley

    1. I thought I would never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

      I appear to be mistaken.

      1. Real Barack is on a collision course with fake Barack.

        Words colliding!

        Only he’s not as funny as Costanza.

        1. ‘World’s’

    2. I am going to have to go with the list over Mos Eisley.

    3. I have no idea who any of those people are.

    4. Salon’s Joan Walsh, Mother Jones’s Asawin Suebsaeng, the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger, The Nation’s Jeremy Pikser, The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman, NewsOne’s Michael Arceneaux, and The Huffington Post’s William Bradley

      It’s like a clown funny car… of evil.

  14. “True progressives” despise Obama for his insurance friendly ACA, his tax cuts/credits for small business, his pro-energy E&P policy, the repeat new market highs, and his refusal to perp-walk the “banksters” on trumped up fraud charges – among other things.

    1. PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE MONKEY.

      1. Yeah, I get in the way of the Peanut Gallery’s narrative that Obama is a radical Marxist while in reality the business world overwhelmingly supports him and he is proposing real Social Security cuts.

        Sorry.

        1. The stock market != the economy. Not sure why the heck you would think writing ACA hand-in-hand with Big Insurance is a good thing either.

          1. Writing the ACA with Big Insurance is probably not a good thing but the fact it happened spoils that stupid right-wing lie that Obamacare is a “takeover of the healthcare system”.

            1. You lost me at “right-wing”. Remember what I said this morning?

            2. Writing the ACA with Big Insurance is probably not a good thing but the fact it happened spoils that stupid right-wing lie that Obamacare is a “takeover of the healthcare system”.

              No, it doesn’t.

            3. Stalin’s Buttplug is dying to go Bulworth even more than Obama.

              1. Should change name to “Sasha’s Buttplug.”

            4. Writing the ACA with Big Insurance is probably not a good thing but the fact it happened spoils that stupid right-wing lie that Obamacare is a “takeover of the healthcare
              system”.

              Yeah, the Feds and Big Insurance taking over the healthcare system is not really like just the Feds taking over the healthcare system. They have partners, so it can’t be a takeover.

            5. in reality the business world overwhelmingly supports him

              Writing the ACA with Big Insurance is probably not a good thing

              Can’t be a bad thing because Big Insurance is from “business world” and the “business world” totally supports Obama.

              1. If the business world supports him so much, why all the criticism about companies not supporting him by hoarding cash instead of spending it and stimulating the economy?

            6. Of course it’s a takeover of the health care system. Just not a purely government takeover. It’s a government/corporatist takeover, which is probably even worse. Basically taking all the worst parts of the old system, making them even worse and adding a bit more direct government involvement for good measure.

          2. Forget it Joe. It’s Monkey town.

            1. I thought it was CHRISTFAG Town?

        2. There are no true progressives. Just smug pain in the asses who think they know what’s best for others.

          I love how these people expropriate a word. Progressive. More meaningless and confused and vague it don’t get.

          Because all the progressives I know are irritating to no end. They just feel they know how to move forward better than the rest of us.

    2. Obama was plenty happy to tell the proggies that banksters were criminals who deserved perp-walking. He also counted on the progtards to ignore that he took in more campaign cash from Wall St than any candidate in history.

      He is hardly pro-energy and something simple as Keystone is evidence of that. And ACA is his back-door to the left’s wet dream of single payer. It’s affects are already evident.

  15. Monkey jizz is a stubborn stain.

  16. So, Ezra, the lack of wildly successful policies on the part of your kind is the lack of honesty in stating what you believe, but when we point out that what you believe is just thrice warmed over productivity and wealth destroying socialism you deny being socialist. Makes sooo much sense to be a proglodyte.

  17. Everybody just got to keep fucking everybody till we’re all the same color.

    1. I can get behind that.

  18. Bulworth? Please. Everyone knows that Dave is the preferred template for government reform.

    1. And today Obama will try to Wag the Dog by giving a speech on national security.

      1. Dude, I thought the exact same thing when I read about that. He should use the old Bush trick of changing the Terrorism Threat Color Thingy from yellow to orange.

        1. Do they still have that?

          1. I thought they got rid of it because nobody gave a shit.

    2. Hey, Bill Simmons! Didn’t know you posted on reason!

  19. Don’t hate on little Ezra Klein, he’s just writing what Obama wants him too.

    http://www.bizpacreview.com/20…..ouse-71233

  20. The progressives are totally unhinged at this point.

    This is what we’re talking about? Bulworth?

    Some shitty Warren Beatty movie is going to make us suddenly forget that we were talking about gunwalking and using the IRS against your political enemies and spying on journalists and drone-murdering US citizens and coverups and pillorying Apple and, you know, shit?

    Feel free to cut loose and let us know what you really think, though, shitweasel. Tear your mask off. I already know what’s underneath: THE VOID.

    1. And when you gaze long into a Bulworth, the Bulworth also gazes into you.

    2. Yes, this. Please by all means, give a stupid, “epic” rant that shows your true colors! At least we won’t have to convince people how evil you really are, because you’ll put it on full display for everybody.

      1. But the problem is that progtards genuinely believe such behavior is a moral good.

        So he’d be a hero and two thirds of the media would fawn over him again.

  21. Give him that concussion he so richly deserves without leaving a mark.

    Fuck that.

    Use a sock filled with nickels.

    1. I like the way you think sir.

      Maybe you should be the one with a Nobel Peace Prize considering your potential to do good.

  22. It’s an old political fantasy. If they can just find the right words to convince us, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the shaft is good for us and won’t hurt, we’ll all smile and bend over.

    1. This. “Oh, if only we MESSAGED better then the rubes would get it!”

      What, having the entire media on your side wasn’t enough?

    2. It’s not even that. It’s more, “If only these stupid rubes weren’t so stupid, then they’d agree to do what I want!”

      1. Fucking proles. Be more subservient!

        1. If only I had unlimited power, then I could finally get to work!

          1. Da Tovarish!

            Uncles Joe, Mao, or Pol Pot, just to name a few, sure as hell got to work once they solved their power problems.

  23. The entire Bulworth thing is simply the hard left’s latest version of self-consolation. The problem is never their policies, but the fact that they’ve never “explained it right to the sheeple”. The problem isn’t that even left-leaning politicians don’t want to kill the market economy goose that lays the golden eggs (jobs, tax revenues, etc.). It’s that that damned goose has the politicians enthralled.

    1. Pretty much. We’ve been told since he was elected that if someone could just explain things better everyone would agree with Obama.

      1. And, yet, Obama is supposed to be the greatest orator since…well…forever.

        1. I bet they meant he is the greatest oral giver…

  24. Obama should go Nixon and resign.

    1. Nixon is currently dead, so… there’s a better alternative to resignation.

    2. We’ll never be so lucky, given that he’s twice the narcissistic sociopath that Nixon was (a terrifying thought, I know).

  25. I haven’t seen Bulworth in a hell of a long time, but I liked it. Though even as a kid, I thought the character was meant to be seen as a crazy mess, not some guy that stands up and speaks truth to power. It’s funny to see him completely break down and be a total asshole and perv, perhaps get his shit together at the end and go off to attempt some kind of good, and then get shot. That’s hilarious.

    Also, the obvious Bulworth moment for Obama would be: “There are some who say our government is too big, too intrusive, too costly, and they ask why they should tolerate it. Well let me be clear: Fuck you, that’s why.”

    1. I never saw Bulworth and I can say that’s something that I’ll take to the grave as a regret, but I get the feeling that all the anti-corporatism was spot on, but for every wrong fucking reason in the known universe.

      “Those people shouldn’t have that kind of power and influence over the American government and public, we should!”

      1. I *won’t* take to the grave, damnit.

  26. Obama should go Nixon and resign.

    “Oh, NOOOOO! Not the briar patch!”

  27. David Axelrod [said] “while you want to be truthful, you want to be straightforward, you also want to be practical about whatever you’re saying.”

    I think I have never heard Axelrod give a straight answer about anything. What about *you*, David? Do *you* want to be truthful?

    1. What he means is that “while you want to be truthful, you want to be straightforward, you also want to be oblique, you want to be ambiguous, and sometimes you want to lie outright. It depends on who you’re trying to trick into doing what.”

      1. Even if he did “go Bulworth,” I wouldn’t believe a single word that came out of his lying mouth.

  28. I thought the gold standard of liberal wish-fulfillment was Jed Bartlett from The West Wing. Wasn’t that whole show just a fantasy take on the Clinton administration where the president and the people that run his administration weren’t narcissistic, power-hungry assholes?

    1. Nah, they still totally were, but the people got it, dammit!

      1. Best example: When Bartlett dresses down the Laura Ingraham stand in in Season 2 in front of a room full of radio personalities for not standing when he enters the room, because he is the president DAMNIT!

        Well, that, and like, everything that came out of Toby’s mouth.

    2. Yes, but oddly enough, if you examine most of Bartlett’s policies they actually aren’t that far off from BOOSH. It’s just wrapped in TEAM BLUE language.

  29. The movie clips remind me that Beatty’s “rapping” is not so much Beastie Boys as Dr. Seuss. They could have at least had him lip-synch to a competent rapper.

    1. Would spoil the realism. Can you imagine any white senator being a competent rapper?

  30. Right now sequestration is cutting unemployment checks by 10 or 11 percent.

    Sequestration is cutting the dole? Waiting to hear how this is a bad thing.

    You know, I don’t think most of the Republicans screaming about Benghazi could find Libya on a map. I don’t think 10 of them knew our ambassador’s name.

    And that would be the height of comedy if it came from Barry seeing as how he’s spent the last week and half pleading ignorance as a defense to the perfect storm of scandals that hit over the last two weeks. Obama is a literal Know-Nothing.

  31. Here’s hoping Obama really does tell us what he truly thinks.

    The country could use the silence.

  32. How can he wear that shirt and pretend to be anything other than a Team Blue shill?

  33. No crack yet about ‘wigga’??

    1. “Wafrican American”, please.

  34. He tried to fuck a young Halle Berry

    Can you really blame him?

    It was, to put it charitably, not the most racially enlightened film. The politics were also, as the New York Post’s Kyle Smith helpfully reminds us, socialist.

    No wonder left-tards like it. There’s nothing prog-derps love more than some good old fashioned racial stereotypes, as long as it’s being done by one of their own, and being used to push socialism.

  35. I think it really needs to be highlighted how instead of picking, say, Mr Smith Goes To Washington or that 70s blaxploitation movie about the black president, Obama chose Bullworth. I don’t see how that movie can be enjoyed in any manner but ironically. Which means our President is a hipster.

    Holy fuck. Obama being a hipster explains SO DAMN MUCH.

  36. So Klein thinks we’re not allowed to care about dead Americans unless we know them and where they’re assigned?

    Pure wonky genius!

  37. “But the reality is that while you want to be truthful, you want to be straightforward, you also want to be practical about whatever you’re saying continue lying like a sumbitch because people would be horrified if they know what you and your ilk are up to.”

    FTFY, Mr. Axelrod.

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