Sunday, May 2, 2010
By Alan Caruba
I watched the White House Correspondents Association annual dinner Saturday evening. The ballroom in which it was held was huge and still could not fit in the many who wished to attend. There was a smattering of celebrities including Kim Kardashian. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this vapid event.
The two main speakers were President Barack Obama and Jay Leno. Both were intended to entertain, providing lighthearted jibes at public figures and issues. Neither evoked much laughter from the crowd, but its sycophantic response gave evidence that they still enjoy basking in the glow of power that emanates from the Oval Office.
Obama has a career after the White House as a comedian or as a motivational speaker. He knows how to deliver a joke and he can still get a crowd energized enough to believe in things that have no basis in reality.
In a previous appearance at the annual dinner, the President had teased them saying that all of them knew him and then added that “all of you voted for me.” That joke lightly touched on the fact that, during the 2008 campaign virtually the entire mainstream media had abdicated its responsibility to seriously investigate the candidate. A brief embarrassment, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was swiftly disowned and then ceased to be a factor.
The President took note of his falling popularity numbers in the polls and what struck me most about this was his apparent indifference. Public opinion does not appear to play much of a role as he pursues his socialist agenda.
All presidents, however, claim they do not pay attention to the polls and all presidents do so obsessively.
Obamacare was so unpopular that hundreds of thousands of people took part in a September 12, 2009 Washington, D.C. rally opposing it. The bill, nonetheless, was forced through Congress by the majority party. Waiting in the wings are amnesty and cap-and-trade. I strongly doubt that the President’s popularity or lack of it will play any role in the effort to force both of these bills to a vote before November.
The only people in Washington less popular than the President are the members of Congress. Observers predict that Democrat members will not sacrifice their own political careers for the President, but this ignores the significant number of Democrats who are members of the Progressive Caucus as well as others who are liberal enough to follow his lead.
While the Washington press corps fill their social schedule with these self-congratulatory events, elsewhere in the nation individual States are increasingly in rebellion against the federal government. Arizona is the latest example and there are some twenty States that have joined together to pose a court challenge to Obamacare on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.
It is surely worth noting that newspaper circulation figures continue to plummet and that liberal cable news outlets such as CNN and MSNBC have fewer viewers than the Comedy Channel or Animal Planet.
Just how obtuse are the White House correspondents? The answer is that they live inside the “inside the Beltway” bubble and are spoon-fed by White House communications staff and various government agencies.
There is a reason the vast bulk of viewers seeking “fair and balanced” coverage tune to Fox News Channel. It continues to dominate along with the one and only Rush Limbaugh.
There is a reason for the spontaneous explosion of Tea Party organizations from coast to coast.
There is a reason why more and more voters identify themselves as independents.
There is a reason the President’s approval rating continues to plummet.
It says a lot about the White House press corps that a tabloid, the National Enquirer, broke the story about former Sen. John Edward’s infidelity and lies. It is now pursuing a story involving an alleged infidelity by the President during the 2008 campaign.
Time, fortunately, is not on the Comedian-in-Chief’s side.
© Alan Caruba