Over the last couple of weeks, my Facebook feed has been getting barraged with links to a Pro-Obama site called What The Fuck Has Obama Done So Far. Go there and you will find a bunch of antagonistic and loaded questions, portraying Obama as a worthless do-nothing president. But each of these questions is met with one of the president's accomplishments. The cumulative effect is designed to simultaneously engage Obama's detractors while arming his supporters with factoids to be spewed across Facebook walls, water coolers and my heart-shaped bed. (Yes, I like to argue politics with sexy tied-up liberals. What of it?)
But for me, the website succeeds in accomplishing only one thing: proving, without dispute, that Barack Obama is a failed politician. That such a website even needs to exist is proof of that failure. And those democrats hoping to bolster his presidency with a sassy url have fundamentally misunderstood the American people.
Now saying someone is a failed politician is not the same thing as saying they're a terrible person or even, necessarily, a poor president. It means they're bad at the game of politics -- an unfortunate, but necessary, skill for any leader. A true presidential politician articulates a vision for America, wins over the public support and then gets the Congress to follow him because everyone wants to be on the winning team. And by that standard, Barack Obama has not met his objectives. How do you know? Because after two years in office, he needs the liberal devout to engage in an Internet campaign to explain what he's even done.
It's true, I'd much rather hang out with Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan -- and not just because there are only so many fun activities you can do with a desiccated corpse -- but because two years into Reagan's term no one had to be told what he did. It didn't even matter if it were true. Americans would tell you Reagan cut inflation, made us stronger abroad and restored our national pride. Furious, the liberal intellectuals would then take to the media to explain why Reagan's seeming accomplishments were a smoke screen. Why he had taken credit where none was due. And point out all the unforgivable things he hadn't done or did in secret. Meanwhile, the right would merely smirk at those brainiac, detail-orientated liberals, while mumbling things like, "There you go, again," because they knew they'd already won. And confronted with this WTF website now, these detractors snort up the same strangely sufficient retorts because they know this list of accomplishments will merely buzz like an irritant over the masses who are working harder for less if they're working at all.
I may be only a simple Internet writer, but I know how not to argue online. It's like trying to prove to a troll why your stuff is funny. People laugh or they don't. They might not laugh because the words you use are too big, or because they don't understand the concept of satire or, possibly, because they're intimidated by the obvious girth of your manhood which even your comedic eloquence cannot hide. But the point is, if someone's not laughing, you can't convince them you're funny. And stay at home moms forced back into the workplace, or office professionals working at 50 percent their prior salary or soldiers still waiting to come home don't care about What The Fuck Has Obama Done So Far.Com's list of accomplishments. If you're not giving them a voter erection (or "voterection" tm) you can't explain one into their pants.
More importantly, what the people aggressively linking the WTF site don't understand is that the voterections that need stimulating are not connected to devoted liberals or conservatives. It's the people in the middle, presently hanging soft and confused, who will decide the next election. After all, the hardcore 30 percent on either political side will always support their Republican or Democratic candidate. But Glenn Beck and Michael Moore will never be welcomed into moderate homes (or my home for that matter after that disastrous strip poker game I hosted for tubby egomaniacs). Nevertheless, the WTF site rallies the extremes, making the left feel good about itself while catalyzing the right to spew insults. Go to the Facebook walls of any of your friends (or many of my soon to be former friends) where the link is posted, and see the blind hatred and meaningless cheerleading that bubbles up underneath, canceling each other out in a mess of comment vomit. A strange site for Barack Obama. The man who got America hard in the first place by telling us there is no Red and Blue America, but only the United States of America.
And maybe that's the problem. The WTFers are hoping the site will make the case for Obama that too many feel he has not made for himself. And it just can't. Because for all its statistics, the site reveals strangely little about Obama. Nearly half of the accomplishments seem to be for bills he signed that were drafted by a Democratic congress. Bills that any sitting Democrat president would sign. But America already knows why they voted for a Democrat: because the Republicans gave us George W. Bush. Voters are now asking why they should reelect Obama.
Even the statistics on Obama's healthcare reform -- arguably Obama's biggest accomplishment -- won't answer that question for many. Although the site lists aspects of Obamacare that most reasonable people could probably agree on -- like extending the age to cover children on parents' policies and not allowing insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions -- the fear persists, and not just because of Fox News. The unconvinced needed Obama to lead them personally through a new idea. But by his own admission, Obama left the details of the plan to Congress for the pragmatic reason of simply getting it done. And "something" did get done. So good or bad, Obama scored some points. He got more factoids, but not the country's faith. Or to keep with the sexual symbolism, it's like we awoke from a wet dream we don't recall, and having someone point out the mess in our shorts isn't enough to earn a real date.
And speaking of ejaculate-stained clothing, it's a little disheartening that in my entire life, no president has ever sold me anything half as hard as Bill Clinton tried to convey that he didn't jump Monica Lewinsky. But the fact that so many people are asking, "What the fuck has Obama done so far?" is proof that the time for such a sell is now. Because somewhere in the noise of the merely angry or rhetorical WTFs, there are real Americans asking real questions. And a real president speaking directly could change minds. At the very least, it would force the Ann Coulters and Bill O'Reillys to spew rhetoric in response to such ideas, rather than allowing them to create political monsters out of whole cloth the way they're doing now. Because when those distortions and scare tactics come, I don't want the inquisitive moderates with frightened, wilted erections scrambling for their computers in search of some factoid-porn they'll never remember. I want them to take a breath, calmly feel their blood begin to pulse and flow, and say, "No, that doesn't sound right. That's not what my president told me."
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.
It's easy to work the system and win these awards even if you don't deserve them.