I flipped through the channels and discovered that the 2016 White House correspondents’ dinner was on CNN. I’ve never actually watched these festivities, but in this election year, I hung on to watch it, looking for a little levity.
The dinner is an awards dinner for the Washington D.C. press corps; it also raises lots of money for charity. It has been around since 1920 and it has always been a star-studded event. It’s notable because the President’s remarks are usually pretty funny and it’s also his chance to roast the press and politicians. He also receives some roasting himself. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
So, am I the only one unsettled by what took place at this iconic event Saturday night in Washington? At first, I laughed along with a few of the President’s one-liners. Who can resist his joke about the Republican attendees having a tough time when it comes to choosing their dinner selection?
President Obama said, “Asked if you wanted steak or fish, a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan, that’s not an option folks — steak or fish. You may not like steak or fish, but that’s your choice.” That’s pretty funny, right?
Listen, I like jokes as much as anyone, but as the evening wore on, the jokes became thinner and the reaction of the audience was less enthusiastic. There were mixed reactions to remarks made by the host, comedian Larry Wilmore, like this: “The president’s hair is so white it keeps saying ‘All Lives Matter.’’’
He also reinforced the stereotype that conservatives are racist, in his welcoming remarks saying that it was good to see everyone at such a glamorous event, and then Wilmore said: “Or as Fox News will report, two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.” Referring to the fact that he and the President are both black and the stars of the event.
As I sat there watching the Hollywood-like event, it finally hit me that all of these folks, the politicians of both parties, the so-called objective press and all of Washington are in bed together. While they are laughing and winking at each other, they are laughing at us. We’re not really in on the joke, are we?
And then I started to get mad and understood why the American people are clamoring for an outsider and an end to the status quo. They may be choosing the wrong people to embody this feeling in my view, but they do get to choose — they have that right.
The video skit featuring former Speaker of the House, John Boehner sums up what I’m talking about. The premise of the piece is that Obama is looking for things to do once he leaves office next January, so he brings in Boehner to the White House for a consultation. In the end, they strut down a White House hallway in sunglasses on the way out to their next challenge.
This is interesting because according to most sources, these guys had a very strained relationship when Boehner was Speaker, or did they? Or was that just for the consumption of the masses?
Here’s what happened. During the first two years of the Obama Administration, both the President and the Democrat leaders of the House and Senate, behaved in a very high-handed way, ramming through legislation like The Affordable Care Act. This was especially true of the President, who lectured Republicans to get in line, and rarely consulted them at all.
Republican voters responded by sending Republicans to the House and then the Senate in numbers unparalleled in a century. Republican politicians swore they would repeal and then replace Obamacare. They also promised to reign in spending and cut the Federal bureaucracy and generally thwart the Obama agenda to remake America. How did that work out?
One of the chief reasons for the Republican’s failures was the leadership of the House under… wait for it… John Boehner. He was forced to resign as Speaker because of his alleged weak opposition to the President.
So what’s up with Boehner and the President yucking it up on a video? They’re not laughing with us; they’re laughing AT us. It’s all an act, a game. The entrenched Washington elite know they’re not going anywhere. That’s why the American people are mad, and it’s not limited to Republicans. Bernie Sanders supporters are just as fed up with the Democrat leadership and the Clinton coronation.
You know what? The Trump and Sanders folks just might be right. Maybe we can do better.
P.S. In case you missed President Obama’s remarks, our own Monte Chase conveniently posted a You Tube video of them in “Into the Storm.” Check it out!
And by the way, what are you waiting for? This is the only place where all views are expressed and debated. Get out of your usual social media “safe place” and come into the Political Storm!