Early in Barack Obama’s presidency, I remember seeing a creepy picture someone had photo-shopped to make him look like the Joker from The Dark Knight, portending sinister things to come. Fast-forward five years. I’m afraid they were giving the president way too much credit.
Rather than appearing as some conniving genius mad for power, Obama looks like a fool frantically trying to keep his whole façade of power from crumbling.
Between Barack and a Hard Place
Our POTUS still doesn’t seem to grasp how image shapes perception, especially in the media. For example, he recently appeared on Zach Galifianakis’ Web comedy show, “Between Two Ferns.” Galifianakis’ purpose in this show is to get laughs by asking extremely awkward questions and putting his guests in the worst light possible. That’s the joke: everyone gets to look either rude or foolish.
Obama managed to look both.
But for some reason the President of the United States decided this was an appropriate forum to discuss his failed healthcare law, which forces young people to pay higher premiums–which many can’t afford–in order to subsidize older and sicker people’s health insurance. The satiric possibilities for a comedian like Galifianakis to explore in this contradiction? Endless.
Obamacare is indefensible when you look at it in practice. But Obama seemed to think that if he could get young people to relax and have a little fun at his expense, they would then change their minds about buying an inferior product they may neither want nor need. Even if a gecko can sell insurance…doesn’t mean the president needs to try it, too.
Despair to Spare
By appearing on “Between Two Ferns” and other frivolous talk shows in the past few weeks, Obama has made himself the joke. He doesn’t look hip and cool, like Bill Clinton did when he played the saxophone on “The Tonight Show” in 1992.
Obama looks desperate.
March 31, 2014 is the (alleged) deadline for people to sign up for a healthcare plan on the Obamacare exchanges–some of which still don’t work. It’s looking more and more likely every day that the so-called death spiral is coming. Not enough young, healthy people have signed up for this scheme, so insurance companies will be forced to raise premium rates for 2015. They may even be forced to increase their benefits and expand their network of covered providers to help Obama save face for his “If you like your doctor, you can keep them” lie.
Obama is not the Joker…he’s just a joke. And, sadly, the punch line of Obamacare keeps getting worse, just like the economic prospects for young people, minorities, and others who voted Obama into office twice on the promise of hope and change.
Unless and until we get serious about electing good people to high offices…
the joke will continue to be on us.
Robert lives in Utah with his wife and three children. He enjoys running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.