June 28, 2012

Class Dismissed

Hatched by Korso

Back in 1960, when John F. Kennedy ran for president against Richard Nixon, legend has it that JFK summed up his opponent thusly: "No class." Of course, this came from the guy who played pass-the-intern with his buddies around the White House swimming pool -- but even if the fantasy of Camelot didn’t quite square with the truth, you had to hand it to the president’s handlers for getting the right kind of image out. That kind of branding would give Apple a run for its money.

Ah, for the days of yore. Nowadays, Barry-O’s people can’t even handle a simple Gay Pride Day at the White House without causing a national flap -- or flip, as the case turned out to be. No doubt you’ve gotten wind of the Bird Seen Round The World, a tawdry but amusing episode in which LGBT activists from Philly (great cheese steaks, questionable neighborhood) started feeling their druthers and decided to show a portrait of Ronald Reagan how they really felt about the Gipper’s tenure as president. Then, to make absolutely certain that they weren’t misunderstood, a few of them took to Facebook to post pictures of the event--along with some commentary the likes of which you might find on the bathroom walls of your better truckstops.

Is it just me, or has it been nothing but downhill for Facebook ever since the IPO?

Anyway, all of this would have been bad enough, what with all of us right-wing fuddy duddies caterwauling on Fox News about the total loss of decorum at the White House; but to top it all off, even the guests were riffing on the dreariness of the affair. Sayeth Philidelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal:

We come up to the main foyer, and what do they play? Barbra Streisand. 'The Way We Were.' And I thought, Are they going to play nothing but Barbra, Bette and Lady Gaga? I was waiting for ‘Over the Rainbow.’ I mean, this is the Marine band!

One could only image the chaos if the Marines had struck up a chorus of Gloria Gaynor.

Once the dust settled, a White House spokesman popped off a rather limp rejoinder to its boys and girls gone wild, but by then the damage had been done. Much like the biker gang did to Wyatt’s house near the end of Weird Science, the Gay Pride crowd took a sledgehammer to Barack Obama’s already teetering reputation and then left.

This still, however, begs the question as to why the revelers felt the freedom to cut loose like they did at the home of the President of the United States. Perhaps it was just a kindship they felt with the administration -- but I also can’t help but think maybe they were simply following Obama’s example.

In spite of all the ink spilled on the president’s worldiness and sophsitication, he sure hasn’t shown a lot of it over the last three and a half years. We are, after all, talking about the same man who gave the Queen of England an iPod, slipped the Dalai Lama out the back door, and attempted to hijack wedding registries all over the country.

Suddenly Nixon doesn’t look so déclassé, does he?

Hatched by Korso on this day, June 28, 2012, at the time of 6:13 AM


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