Barack Obama, Super Dork

Nestled deep in the third chapter of the seven piece story in Newsweek about the election, titled How He Did It, is this little nugget:

“That’s an interesting belt buckle,” he said to Michelle, mischievously. She feigned offense and said, “I am interesting, next to you. Surprise, surprise, a blue suit, a white shirt and a tie.” Obama grinned and bent down until he was almost at eye level with her waist. He jabbed a playful finger toward her belt buckle, and let loose his inner nerd. “The lithium crystals! Beam me up, Scotty!” Obama squeaked, laughing at his own lame joke as Michelle rolled her eyes.

In part one of the Newsweek piece, there was this:

“When you have to be cheerful all the time and try to perform and act like [the tape is unclear; Obama appears to be poking fun at his opponents], I’m sure that some of it has to do with nerves or anxiety and not having done this before, I’m sure. And in my own head, you know, there’s—I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. When you’re going into something thinking, ‘This is not my best …’ I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ Instead of being appropriately [the tape is garbled]. So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f–––ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

In the comments to the Beastie Boys thread the other night, someone noted the following:

The wife and I were just saying the other night that we’re pretty sure Obama listens to the Beastie Boys. We saw an interview with Jeff Tweedy that taught us that Barack likes Wilco, so that kind of narrows down preferred musical era. Then, we saw an election eve clip of Obama talking about feeling nervous enough to have a heart attack in which he screwed up the famous Sanford and Son “I’m coming Elizabeth” quote, substituting Weezie for Elizabeth, just as Mike D does on Shazam from To the Five Boroughs!

The evidence is starting to add up. Start Trek references, disdain for overt stupidity, possible Beastie Boys reference.

Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.






126 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Crusty Dem says:

    "The lithium crystals"?? Somebody needs some updates on teh Star Trek (and I suspect it’s not Obama, but the Newsweek writer).

  3. 3
    Dustin says:

    @ 2
    That could have just been a bad transcription from a clueless reporter, like you said. But really, how many political junkies outside of this site are even going to notice?

  4. 4
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    Michelle’s belt was the crystal-lined entity.

    (don’t hit me)

  5. 5
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Obama’s got a razor sharp, dry sense of humor.

    I think a large part of his "stammering" is him running through the list of possible snappy rejoinders and then stopping himself from saying the funniest, though least appropriate thing.

  6. 6
    Laura W says:

    His endearing snark factor was in evidence for anyone with half a brain to see in the infamous quip to Hillary: "You’re likeable enough." I don’t even know that it’s true snark, but in my perception, it was intended as a compliment to her. How you say? He made a supportive statement about her likability factor by pretending to minimize it. His intention was the opposite of the words, as conveyed in his tone and expression. I don’t think he’s the kind of person to belittle even an opponent with a personal slam, and he is certainly aware enough not to do it to Hillary on tee vee, for cripe’s sake.

    Point is, I thought that was one of his best quips in all the debates but unfortunately, the world of nuance-and-humor-challenged maroons in which we live heard it as a mean put-down.
    (I wish I had known that Tunch was away at sleepover critter camp. I would not have worried about him for all those days and nights. It put me off my Ketel One. Almost.)

  7. 7
    Octavian says:

    He’s human after all!

  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    Barack Obama, Secret Blogger:

    What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f–––ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

    What a relief it is to know that some of those trademark Obama pauses are caused by him thinking of the interviewer, "Jesus Christ, you’re a fucking idiot."

    .

  9. 9
    demkat620 says:

    Urkel in a better suit.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    What a relief it is to know that some of those trademark Obama pauses are caused by him thinking of the interviewer, “Jesus Christ, you’re a fucking idiot.”

    I know. I love it.

  11. 11
    Jay Andrew Allen says:

    If Mike D is named our next Poet Laureate, I guess we’ll know definitely.

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    Shouldn’t that be hyperlinked? Like this:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    .

  13. 13
    SpeedBumped says:

    I’m having trouble imagining the voice of Barack Obama dropping an f-bomb. I’m not offended, but I guess I am stupidly taken aback by the reminder that this voice, which produces such majestic oratory on a regular basis, belongs to a real person after all. I’d pay a dollar to hear that audio.

  14. 14
    Comrade Stuck says:

    President Elect Tuvok — It’s only logical.

  15. 15
    A la lanterne les aristos says:

    Nimoy agrees

  16. 16
    charlotte says:

    "the f***ing lightbulb" moment is truly great.

    I suspected he might be 1of Us when he uttered the immortal "You are likable enough, Hillary." He got slammed for it but it took guts to say what so many of us were thinking and it was funny as hell. And he looks damn good hopping in and out of trains, planes, and automobiles.

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    I get the feeling that the inauguration could turn into a summer music festival.

  18. 18
    dsc says:

    for me it was a bunch of things

    his "dance" on Ellen (I just so wish he had done more against prop 8)

    his worrying (months ago) about "who would walk the dog" they’d get the girls (and expecting his daughters to commit to taking responsibility)

    The darling "hi Daddy!" to the video face on the screen at the convention showed what kind of Dad he is–she had talked to him this way often and was comfortable enough to respoind (he doesn’t just "say" he speaks with this children often and that he makes it a priority–he actually DOES it!)

    and another Star Trek reference I heard him make that proved he watched DS9–can’t remember where or when

    And I love that at least some of his understanding (and some of what I feel is a sweet kind of sentimentality deep inside of him, the better part of Kansas that makes him so decent) of our country comes from the most popular of all mediums–TV–and boy, does he excel on TV!

  19. 19
    Cassidy says:

    @dsc…we got 8 years to work on that prop 8 bs. Just be cool.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    dr. bloor says:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    Except for that part about using the Star Trek gambit to get to eye level with Michelle’s, um, belt buckle, yeah, sure.

  22. 22
    J. says:

    The pathetic thing here is the "shock and awe" about Barack Obama being one of us, that is an intelligent, hard-working family man, who grew up watching the same shows we did, listening to the same music we did, and going through a lot of the same stuff many of us did, and not being shy or scared to talk about or refer to the things and events that shaped him.

    We’ve been so numbed or brainwashed by the Bush Dynasty, we forgot that "one of us" could still make it to the White House. (Clinton, lest we forget, was also a lot like a lot of us when he was elected — and still has the ability to connect with everyman, and woman, though Hillary has tried to put a stop to the latter.)

    Yes, it is refreshing. It is also a bit like "The Cosby Show, the Second Generation: The Huxtables Move to the White House," which I hope will get equally high ratings as the original.

  23. 23
    Justin says:

    Well I’m sure he listens to the Beastie Boys as he likes rap music and they were quite influential when he was in his 20’s.

  24. 24
    jrosen says:

    Tuvok was Tim Russ, not Nimoy. And they are "dilithium crystals", aren’t they?

  25. 25
    demkat620 says:

    Hmm…does he have a pseudonym over at the DailyKos?

  26. 26
    Atanarjuat says:

    I think you meant Barack Obama, Super Jerk.

    You won’t catch me disagreeing. No, sir.

    – A Country on the Ropes

  27. 27
    Ash Can says:

    @demkat620: Does he have a pseudonym here?

  28. 28
    Jon H says:

    Laura W wrote: "Point is, I thought that was one of his best quips in all the debates but unfortunately, the world of nuance-and-humor-challenged maroons in which we live heard it as a mean put-down."

    Just like the nuance-and-humor-challenged maroons automatically assumed Obama’s economic conference seal was supposed to be the presidential seal, rather than being based on the seal on our money, to the extent of also being rendered in monochrome and in a way that resembled an engraving. Like the designs on our money.

  29. 29
    gnomedad (fmr. Nixon Hailfire Palin) says:

    @Atanarjuat:
    Weren’t you the kid who put gum in my hair on the school bus?

  30. 30
    cyntax says:

    Here’s another way to put the next presidency in perspective (stoopid embed working in preview but not in the post): link here.

  31. 31
    slag says:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    Ya think? I spent half of this election worried that I was getting sucked into Geek Identity Politics in my appreciation for the Obama campaign and the other half being excited to see a geek on the verge of getting elected President. I can’t tell you how many times I posted the video of Obama’s bubble sort joke just because I thought it was funny. The dude got Eric Schmidt’s endorsement, for crying out loud!

  32. 32
    Phil says:

    "Lithium crystals"? Is that what they used on "Star Trek" when the space-time continuum became bipolar?

  33. 33
    Vincent says:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    Just a stranger on a bus…

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    And I agree that the "lithium crystals" was probably just a transcription error. Or a mishearing. A reporter not familiar with Star Trek would only hear the syllables that sounded like a ‘real word’ and ‘dilithium crystals’ become ‘lithium crystals.’

    Either way, it’s still cool to see the more relaxed, goofy side of Obama.

  34. 34
    ploeg says:

    Barack might also like pork rinds and listen to the Nitty Gritty Great Big Bird Band.

    I might even enjoy having a beer with him. Or not. Doesn’t matter to me. Having a President with his head screwed on straight is good enough.

  35. 35
    gnomedad (fmr. Nixon Hailfire Palin) says:

    And I agree that the "lithium crystals" was probably just a transcription error.

    I’m pretty sure they were "lithium crystals" before they decided the term should be something more explicitly fictional.
    /dork

  36. 36
    rob! says:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    Jon Stewart said as much to Chris Wallace on TDS the other night. Not that he’s as average as us, but that he seems the like the first recognizable human to be President.

    Obama also read comic books as a kid, and dropped a Jor-El reference at the Al Smith dinner, so he’s definitely one of me.

    oh, and isn’t nice to see that, post-election, MyIq2xu has found work as Atanarjuat?

  37. 37
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @A la lanterne les aristos:

    Re your Nimoy reference, I don’t know what the You Tube clip says because the audio from it is hard for me to follow, but around a month or so ago Nimoy was on the NPR show Wait Wait, and he mentioned that he was somewhere and coming in the opposite direction is Obama, who sees Nimoy, smiles and flashes him the Vulcan V hand sign.

  38. 38
    tripletee says:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    I’m reserving judgment until I hear a behind-the-scenes account of him using the phrase "skull-fuck a kitten."

    That entire Newsweek series was fascinating. McCain actually ended up coming off pretty well (assuming it was an accurate account and not just a reporter jumping back on the tire swing). The piece paints him as a basically decent guy who let his ego and ambition get the better of him. There’s no excuse for the insanely reckless Palin pick or the ugliness of the latter weeks of his campaign, but I do feel like I wasn’t entirely crazy to have once respected the guy.

  39. 39
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Atanarjuat:

    I think you meant Barack Obama, Super Jerk.

    Highly lame. Come on man, tighten up. Your embarrassing yourself. Remember, it’s all about Image, Image, Image. Just ask Sarah Serendipity.

  40. 40

    That’s what Nimoy says in that YouTube clip. "Who did that? Was it John McCain? Was it Hillary? Nope, it was Barack."

  41. 41

    @gnomedad (fmr. Nixon Hailfire Palin):

    I’m pretty sure they were "lithium crystals" before they decided the term should be something more explicitly fictional.


    you are correct, sir.

  42. 42
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    PS, on the "he is one of us" aspect of Obama. The guy is 6 months younger then me and it is weird when they show pictures of him as a little kid, or in high school or college the style of cloths and hair of people is what I would see if I flipped open my scrap book or high school year book. Same with some of his cultural references, it sometimes is as if he was someone I grew up with (and people like Jon Stewart, Colbert and Olbermann are very close in age to me, and there is somewhat a similar thing with them sometimes).

  43. 43
    Tymannosourus says:

    @Atanarjuat:

    I think you meant Barack Obama, Super Jerk.

    Good one, dude.

  44. 44
    Liz says:

    This is what made me love the person as well as the candidate. Watching him in a normal setting, playing with his wife and kids. It made him seem not just a normal person, but a great husband and father as well.

  45. 45
    demkat620 says:

    Well, this would certainly explain all the pie references.

  46. 46
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I’m having trouble imagining the voice of Barack Obama dropping an f-bomb

    Get the audiobook of Dreams From My Father. He does the different voices.

    Now, the Nancy Reagan crack, which he ‘doh’d the moment he said it, was one of those Gen-X moments: he’s obviously thinking in a kind of MST3K ironic commentary mode ‘living presidents… well I didn’t speak to the dead ones’ and klutzed the payoff.

    As Polish@5 says, you get the sense that he’s got that bone-dry, back-at-you thing going, but that just makes him of his time: his cultural touchstones are 70s-80s, which is going to be interesting.

    (And here’s the WWDTM with Nimoy.)

  47. 47
    Vincent says:

    I thought Obama calling Nancy Reagan to apologize was unnecessary but still a gentlemanly gesture. From what I’ve heard about her, she probably wasn’t offended at all.

  48. 48
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @Liz: A day or 2 ago the NY Times or WaPo had a story about the family moving to Washington (focusing on the kids) and it had an unnamed friend or aid saying that you should expect Obama to be going to kids soccer games and ballet recitals.

    BTW, on a related note I have seen 2 stories speculate that Michelle’s mom would move into the White House as well (apparently the kids would spend quite a bit of time at her place in Chicago and Michelle somewhat depends on her, and thought the story didn’t say I imagine with Michelle’s brother not being in Chicago that they may want to bring mom with them so that she has family around). I willing to wager that some wingnut will try to make a big deal out of that if it happens.

  49. 49
    Mrs. Loquacious says:

    I am relieved that Obama is "one of us." I like that he is a geeky intellectual who can capably (and correctly) use multi-syllabic words to communicate. I like that he can also cuss like the rest of us. I like that he sometimes loses patience with stupid questions. I find his lame-o sense of humor appealing, and I am sure that secretly, Michelle loves his jokes.

    I just wonder what he must have been thinking about Sarah Palin when he heard her speak. God knows I thought she was the epitome of idiocy and ignorance glorified. I wonder how he felt about her?

  50. 50
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Liz: it’s so obvious that he considers being a good father the most important job in his life, and that it’s a job you have to work at.

    That entire Newsweek series was fascinating.

    The really fascinating thing for me was the stuff about Mark Salter, McCain’s ghostwriter and speechwriter, and how on the campaign McCain couldn’t fit comfortably into the lofty-hero persona that Salter had created for McCain in his books. Got me thinking how Obama wrote his own books, and basically writes his own speeches.

  51. 51
    gnomedad (fmr. Nixon Hailfire Palin) says:

    The piece paints him as a basically decent guy who let his ego and ambition get the better of him.

    When McCain admonished some woman who was carrying on with the "scary Arab" thing, I though of when Vader couldn’t let Luke be destroyed by the Emperor. Ditto McCain’s concession speech. Even though he didn’t wrap it with "Tell your sister you were right about me."

  52. 52
    Laura W says:

    @Vincent: Thank Allah he didn’t use "Hillary speaking with Eleanor Roosevelt" instead. Can you imagine the uproar?

  53. 53
    Joe Max says:

    The darling "hi Daddy!" to the video face on the screen at the convention showed what kind of Dad he is—she had talked to him this way often and was comfortable enough to respoind (he doesn’t just "say" he speaks with this children often and that he makes it a priority—he actually DOES it!)

    As a father of a girl myself, I talk to her all the time, always have. (Read to her every night until she informed me she could read for herself now.) It’s easy to spot which child takes after which parent. Malia is clearly her mother’s daughter. But Sasha is totally daddy’s little girl. Look how cool and natural she is with her father even in front of 30,000 live people and millions on TV. That relationship only happens when there is lots of love and attention.

    Those girls are going to grow up to be awesome women.

    Malia Obama in 2036!

  54. 54
    Comrade Jake says:

    I don’t know why, but I loved the bit he did about HRC acting like Annie Oakley.

    A lot of these pols are phonies. Obama comes across as pretty fucking genuine.

  55. 55
    AB says:

    Well, I read the whole article.
    It’s funny because it really is a different picture to what we saw in the blogosphere. IMHO, the democratic nomination seemed to have a big luck component to it, which I find funny.

    I also liked the part about the Clinton camp infighting.

    "F—k you!"
    "No, F–k you!"
    "F–k all of you!!!"
    "I’m f–king out!"
    "F–king leave then!"

    There are some good parts to that article. Yeah.

  56. 56
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Malia Obama in 2036!

    And she’ll still be cleaning up George W. Bush’s mess.

  57. 57
    Tony J says:

    I’m waiting for when he explains the need to move US troops out of Iraq with a reference to America’s fighting men and women not being expendable cardboard cut-outs in Red Shirts.

    That will tickle me.

  58. 58
    cain says:

    Man, it’s nice to have someone in our generation in charge who gets all the jokes and probably watched Transformers and GI Joe like the rest of us unlike some of these guys who grew up in the Depression era who I totally can’t relate to.

    The star trek joke rocks and my wife rolls her eyes when I make Star Trek references as well. He should show more of that side especially in his press releases. More people would watch. :-)

    cain

  59. 59
  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    @tripletee:

    I’m reserving judgment until I hear a behind-the-scenes account of him using the phrase "skull-fuck a kitten."

    Just for the record, as of this date Balloon-Juice is still the top link at Google for the search term "skull fuck a kitten".

    TBogg is third.

    It’s good to be number one.

    .

  61. 61
    SurferGurl says:

    Barack’s the first post-modern president. Yay!!

  62. 62
    DMcK says:

    Stuff like this is a big reason why I supported him so enthusiastically — not so much the Star Trek geek factor, just that he’s only a few years older than me, therefore doesn’t see the world through the lens of the Cold War, the Summer of Love, or any other increasingly irrelevant cultural signposts. He has a much more immediate handle on RIGHT NOW; I’m sick of politicians so clueless about how ordinary folks perceive and experience the world around them they behave as if they came from another planet.

  63. 63
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @JGabriel:

    On a semi related note, did Caribou Barbie get started here? In the last 24 hours I suddenly saw it once on TV and in Newsweek.

  64. 64
    Llelldorin says:

    The piece paints him as a basically decent guy who let his ego and ambition get the better of him.

    That fits. Throughout the campaign, I kept flashing back to the Keanu Reeves character in The Devil’s Advocate, who is repeated presented with situations in which he can either do the decent, human thing at some cost to his career, or do something obviously evil to advance himself. At the first of these, he goes to a men’s room, splashes some water on his face, grins a tight, insane grin, and goes out to save a rapist in court by demolishing his victim on the stand. That grin was a near match for the "death rictus" that McCain kept using throughout the campaign.

    Of course, this theory implies that Keanu Reeves actually managed to act well in that one scene, which defies all logic and intuition.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    Comrade Napoleon:

    On a semi related note, did Caribou Barbie get started here?

    Don’t know where that got started. Maybe someone else can answer that.

    "Bible Spice" got spread from TBogg, though I’ve heard that there might be an even earlier cite in a DKos diary.

    "Skull fuck a kitten" is also know to be used by Dick Cheney, though sadly he does not use it ironically.

    .

  66. 66
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    I think you meant Barack Obama, Super Jerk.

    I’m detecting a little anger in your words, perhaps you should contact a therapist.

  67. 67
    Genine says:

    dr. bloor

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    Except for that part about using the Star Trek gambit to get to eye level with Michelle’s, um, belt buckle, yeah, sure.

    Nah, that especially would make Obama "one of us". I’ve known a few guys who’d make Star Trek and other references to get eye level with my… belt buckle or… pendant. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I didn’t, but I always admired the references.

  68. 68
  69. 69

    Man, I feel sorry for the next schlub who runs for president on the D ticket. The Ayatollah of Rocknrolla, Barack The Shock X Hussein is going to be a tough act to follow.

    We saw an interview with Jeff Tweedy that taught us that Barack likes Wilco, so that kind of narrows down preferred musical era.

    No, no, no. This is way too technical. He’s Barack Hussein Obama. Of course he likes the BB.

    And. Er. Actually it’s Dilithium crystals.

  70. 70
    JGabriel says:

    kommrade jakevich:

    Man, I feel sorry for the next schlub who runs for president on the D ticket. The Ayatollah of Rocknrolla, Barack The Shock X Hussein is going to be a tough act to follow.

    Really, it’s gonna have to be some sort of bull-dyke L7 and Bikini Kill fan… Holy Shit, Rachel Maddow’s gonna be the next president of the United States.

    .

  71. 71
    mannemalon says:

    I loved in the debates when the moderator asked how he’d bring change or something with all the Clinton advisers advising him and Hillary loudly laughs and says "I want to hear this". Barack says "I look forward to your advice too, Hillary".

    Or when Hillary said "I’m running, not him (Bill)" and Barack said "Sometimes I’m not sure who I’m running against".

    He kept those to a real minimum, only bringing them out when Hillary really pushed her luck. I think there’s a lot of that sarcastic quick wit that he hasn’t shown yet, because he’s the most disciplined candidate I’ve ever seen.

  72. 72
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Round up the Kiddies and head on over to the Funhouse And Roadhouse Cafe. It’s Saturday Night Special time and the main entree is;

    O"Pilloried Conservative Crow Pie. Filled with Okra, Olives, and Ostrich Heads (still in the hole).

    A second choice is provided – Half Baked Alaska Crap, Suitably back stabbed for tenderness.

    Dandelion Pie for dessert. And well chilled Red State Kool-Aid for drinks.

  73. 73
    smiley says:

    @Comrade Napoleon:

    TBogg coined Bible Spice and I’m thinking he might have come up with Caribou Barbie too.

  74. 74
    tavella says:

    Cassidy: @dsc…we got 8 years to work on that prop 8 bs. Just be cool.

    That’s really incredibly insulting. "Be cool"? Hundreds of thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, tens of thousands of marriages will be destroyed, and they should just ‘be cool’?

    Obama was perfectly happy to throw gays under the bus to show he wasn’t one of ‘those’ Democrats. His enthusiastic courting of homophobic preachers, vocal opposition to gay marriage and tepid opposition to Prop 8, even remaining silent as his face and words were used against it do not suggest that he will be doing anything in the next eight years either, even if the President had any power over state propositions in the first place.

    He had one opportunity to do something; he opted to do nothing, even when he was being used to promote Prop 8. Fair enough, his choice; but it vastly decreased my respect for him, especially since as a constitutional scholar and the product of a biracial marriage he knew perfectly well that the exact same justifications and words were used against marriages like his parents.

  75. 75
    Llelldorin says:

    "Skull fuck a kitten" is also know to be used by Dick Cheney, though sadly he does not use it ironically.

    Really? Was it on his bucket list, between, "bring a major power to its knees" and "feed the world to Acathla"?

  76. 76
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    @smiley:

    Well now its jumped to the MSM.

  77. 77
    Sammy says:

    At one point in his life John Cole voted for George Bush. I’m sorry sir, but by that act you made it clear, no matter how many times you apologise, that you never have been and never will be "one of us".

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    @ tavella…Oh grow the fuck up and read your history books.

    1) Someone is always getting shit on…that’s human nature. 2) No civil rights movement has progressed w/out setbacks. It takes time and patience to make things right. So, be cool, keep slogging forward and one day success will be achieved. San Francisco wasn’t built in a day.

  79. 79
    Tymannosourus says:

    @tavella:

    You make a good point, and I tend to agree with you actually, but I’m just trying to figure out a way in which he could have made gay marriage a significant part of his campaign message and still carried a lot of the states that he did.

  80. 80
    Napoleon says:

    but I’m just trying to figure out a way in which he could have made gay marriage a significant part of his campaign message and still carried a lot of the states that he did.

    He wouldn’t, thats why he would have had to have been a moron to do anything. Clinton weighing in on the gays in the military thing when he did was a major reason the Dems got destroyed in 94.

  81. 81
    SadieSue says:

    I’m pretty sure that Caribou Barbie was the winner in a nick-naming contest at Democratic Underground but it’s been such a wild 2 months that I could be remembering it all wrong.

    Oh, & I absolutely love it that a Star Trek fan & major geek is our new President (being one myself & all).

  82. 82
  83. 83
    cyntax says:

    @tavella:

    If we all really believe that we’re the change we’ve been wating for, then we have to dig in and deal with this ourselves. I certainly agree that Barack could have done more, but what I think what has to come first is the organizational structure to make the most of any help he’d provide. And the no on 8 campaign just flat out wasn’t cutting it:

    But "No on 8" was also a reactive campaign that did not anticipate the opposition’s arguments to sway swing voters. Bloggers were effective at pushing memes to define the opposition, but it failed to define much of the race. And "No on 8" did not push a simple and compelling message – "Obama Opposes Prop 8" – to the African-American community until the other side beat them to it, forcing them to play catch-up. This is no time for making excuses, or inspiring words that we’re part of a greater struggle. Our right to marry just got taken away from us, and we’ve got to be smart if we’re going to get it back.

    The Calitics piece above has some very smart, very constructive criticism, and other pieces on their site point out how in California this election was a pretty serious failure on the part of progressive politics: down ticket support didn’t materialize; Prop 8 passed; and many of us here in California were distracted by the national race. We weren’t able to walk and chew gum.

    But that’s not the end, and as both Calitics and Markos point out, we gotta start by overhauling our state party. So stay involved and stay motivated.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    JGabriel says:

    @Llelldorin:

    Was [“skull fuck a kitten”] on [Cheney’s] bucket list, between, "bring a major power to its knees" and "feed the world to Acathla"?

    No, I’m afraid Cheney’s usage is a bit more casual. For instance:

    Liz Cheney: Hi, dad, what’d you last night?

    Dick Cheney: Oh, you know, the usual. Watched Dancing with the Stars, skull fucked a kitten while your mom watched, took my heart meds, and went to bed early. You?

    .

  86. 86
    slightly_peeved says:

    Did anyone see Barack’s "Dr. Strangelove" reference in the Daily Show interview a few days before the election? Jon Stewart asked him if, being half-white, the bradley effect might affect him, and Barack started having one hand move to vote McCain and the other hand hold it back, Dr Strangelove style. Very cool.

  87. 87
    Emma Anne says:

    Sigh. I came to say the reporter misheard dilithium crystals and 27 people already said it.

    It is nice having a guy about my age as president. The call us baby boomers, but we really aren’t. Not that I hate baby boomers or blame them for everything, because I don’t. It’s just a pleasure to have someone I relate to (two someones – Michelle too). And kids in the white house. And a puppy. What fun.

  88. 88
    redbeardjim says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Either that or it’s an "Evil Dead 2" reference, which is at least as cool.

  89. 89
    Tymannosourus says:

    @Napoleon:

    That was kind of, like, my point.

  90. 90
    Vincent says:

    tavella:

    I too disagree with Obama’s position on gay marriage but as he constantly says, he’s not a perfect man. At least he’s not for shit like a federal marriage amendment or taking away benefits for same-sex couples.

    But the solution to this setback is to keep fighting and advocating for the change you want. I certainly don’t expect or want Obama to save us from all our woes. Because any step forward ultimately comes down to the people working for it. All I ask is that if he won’t actively help on this matter is that he doesn’t get in our way.

    And sammy:

    At one point in his life John Cole voted for George Bush. I’m sorry sir, but by that act you made it clear, no matter how many times you apologise, that you never have been and never will be "one of us".

    First of all, get that stick out of your ass. Second, Cole was clearing talking about ‘us’ in terms of geekdom which extends across all ages, races, and ideologies.

  91. 91
    Victor Von Doom says:

    In addition, during his white tie Al Smith dinner speech, when joking about being sent to Earth from the planet Krypton, he correctly name checks his true father, Jor-El. Of course the jokes were written by others, but still, he chose to deliver it.

    I think he has had to keep all sorts of things buttoned up during the campaign, for good reason. Look how they took a phrase: "spread the wealth" completely out of context and ran it into the ground for weeks.
    Hell, I’d never be able to say anything if i had to worry, not only if a given sentence could be misconstrued, but if phrases within sentences could be cherry picked and turned.

    Now that the campaign is over, I hope we see a looser Obama who lets his Geek Flag fly at times.

  92. 92
    Comrade Darkness says:

    San Francisco wasn’t built in a day.

    It was burned down in one, though. Something about insurers covering fire damage, but not earthquake, if I recall.

  93. 93
    tripletee says:

    @Sammy:

    At one point in his life John Cole voted for George Bush. I’m sorry sir, but by that act you made it clear, no matter how many times you apologise, that you never have been and never will be "one of us".

    Well, will you look at that: an honest-to-goodness purity troll. Generally they’re smart enough to stay away from here, but I guess this one’s a little slow.

  94. 94
    Frank Sobotka says:

    @Victor Von Doom:

    The one thing that came through in the Newsweek piece on the campaign was how Obama was almost excessively buttoned up around the press. He viewed chatting with the press as a chore. Even if he went back there to joke around or talk about a football game or something, the second the tape recorder went on he switched to the talking points. He knows he has such a wicked wit that, among an electorate and press corps that hates individuality, would get him into hot water.

    It is admirable, on the other hand, that he has the self-discipline to control himself. I’ve heard a million times from a million people that a campaign does not demonstrate what kind of President a person will be. I think Obama has demonstrated enough excellent character traits over the past two years that we know exactly what kind of President we’re going to get: the one we need.

  95. 95
    Sasha says:

    Courtesy of the Guardian:

    Grandpa bought me all the DC Comic books, and I was the only one who had them, so Barry [Barack] and Yanto would borrow the books and copy pictures of Batman and Spider-Man out and ask me to judge which was better. Barry was always better than Yanto. Even Yanto always agreed with that. Barry had a great eye.

    Also:

    8-14-2006 – Following his 50th town hall meeting in Massac County. U.S. Senator Obama poses in front of the Superman Statue in downtown Metropolis, IL. known as the home of the DC Comics super hero.

  96. 96
    Lex says:

    He’s not witty, by any stretch, and is quite crude, and he’s not super anything, that’s for sure. America still doesn’t even know who he is and he somehow got all those votes to……. become President!!??!! Someday we’re going to regret ever letting this happen.

  97. 97
    Victor Von Doom says:

    Lex, or if you prefer, Mr. Luthor – you can’t hold your baldness against Obama forever. It was an accident – using your vast scientific knowledge and business empire to destroy him only hurts you.

    Unless, you know, you have some Kryptonite. Green, Red, Gold – anything but White.

    [No – its not a racial thing! White Kryptonite only is harmful to Kryptonian plants, and if there’s one thing Barack is not – it’s a potted plant.]

    Frank Sobatka – good points. And yes, I think we as a nation got crazy stupid lucky this Tuesday, that a person with Obama’s skill set was willing to put up with that shit for over 20 months to clean up the mess that much much lesser men created.

  98. 98
    slag says:

    America still doesn’t even know who he is and he somehow got all those votes to……. become President! Someday we’re going to regret ever letting this happen.

    OMG!! The whole world’s going to end because we don’t know whether Obama preferred Superman or Spiderman Underroos! How could we let this happen?!?

  99. 99
    tavella says:

    @cyntax:

    I do not disagree that the primary responsibility has to lie with the poorly run No on 8 campaign (and of course the vile Yes on 8 campaign and their funders in the Mormon church and elsewhere.) Diagnosis of those problems is where it has to start.

    It doesn’t change the fact that Obama was essentially silent on the subject, even when he was being used to encourage votes for Prop 8. And Cassidy’s smug dismissal of the consequences of Prop 8 and Obama’s lack of support was disgusting.

  100. 100
    cyntax says:

    @tavella:

    Well, I’m not sure where you’re assigning the primary blame then. Personally, I find it more constructive to concentrate on the things I can affect as opposed to the things I can’t, but I don’t begrudge you your disappointment.

  101. 101
    jcricket says:

    America still doesn’t even know who he is and he somehow got all those votes

    This is the 2008 version of Kerry being a "flip flopper". It’s a meaningless charge. This time it didn’t stick (for a variety of reasons).

    Let’s encourage the wingers to keep spouting bullshit, rather than think about what went wrong and trying to fix it. I want 2010 to be another landslide.

    Looks like we’re picking up at least 7 Senate seats (Begich I give a 50/50% chance, Franken 90% and Martin 25%), 25 house seats (few races still to be decided) and the presidency by the largest margin in a couple of decades.

    Let them think we’re all going to regret it, when the opposite will be true.

  102. 102

    @tavella:

    That’s really incredibly insulting. "Be cool"? Hundreds of thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, tens of thousands of marriages will be destroyed, and they should just ‘be cool’?

    Yes. It took 100 years from the Second Emancipation proclamation until miscegenation laws were finally overturned, and then another 50 years until the product of just such a mixed marriage was elected President of the United States. We have been fighting properly for gay and lesbian rights since 1969. As Cassidy says, there will be setbacks, and there will be fights that we lose. It’s not going to happen overnight, or just because we want it to… Regroup, get ready for the next fight, and someday it will happen.

    Obama was perfectly happy to throw gays under the bus to show he wasn’t one of ‘those’ Democrats. His enthusiastic courting of homophobic preachers, vocal opposition to gay marriage and tepid opposition to Prop 8, even remaining silent as his face and words were used against it do not suggest that he will be doing anything in the next eight years either, even if the President had any power over state propositions in the first place.

    This is so much crap. Obama didn’t throw anyone gay under the bus. He has always said that he does not support gay marriage, but supports full and equal civil unions. So he opposes gay marriage – so do I – because I think it’s stupid to fight about a word, when we could be fighting to have our relationships actually be substantively equal… and I suspect that Obama had a lot of other things to worry about, like winning an election, so that John McCain and Bible Spice, who actively, wholeheartedly hate us as gay and lesbian people would not get to run the country for another four years… How much do you think President John McCain would have done for gay rights?

    especially since as a constitutional scholar and the product of a biracial marriage he knew perfectly well that the exact same justifications and words were used against marriages like his parents.

    I’ll say it again – he supports civil unions…

    Maybe you should stop complaining about the battle that has been lost, and look at the fact that you now have a President who believes that you are a valuable human being who should have the same civil rights as anyone else, and not a President who thinks you are a sinful pervert who is going to hell…. and then work out how we spend the next four (8?) years working to win this battle…

  103. 103
    A la lanterne les aristos says:

    There’s going to be plenty of fight to be had without turning on our allies.

  104. 104
    tavella says:

    @Tattoosydney:

    Maybe you should stop complaining about the battle that has been lost, and look at the fact that you now have a President who believes that you are a valuable human being who should have the same civil rights as anyone else, and not a President who thinks you are a sinful pervert who is going to hell…. and then work out how we spend the next four (8?) years working to win this battle…

    I’m straight. You can find someone else to go condescend to.

  105. 105

    @tavella:

    Well that’s nice for you…

    I still don’t get how you get to Obama "throwing gays under the bus" and not caring about gay issues, when almost everything he has done shows that he takes a rational, inclusive view of gay and lesbian issues, tempered only (perhaps) by the reality of needing to win an election (and not get derailed by relatively minor issues like whether gay men and lesbians get to call their relationship a "marriage")…

    Yes, it’s important, but in the great scheme of things, compared to the economy, and Iraq, and Afghanistan (just for starters), it’s small beer…

  106. 106
    Cassidy says:

    @ tavella

    Seriously? I didn’t dismiss anything. I understand what got passed and how quickly it is allready being challenged. I also understand the practical realities of our modern republic. To get where we want, we have to control the apparatus first. Secondly, Prop 8 was Cali state buisness and the opposition group failed. They need to own this.

  107. 107
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    tavella: from what I heard, after the fact, the No-on-8 campaign was run like… the McCain-Palin campaign. No ground strategy, too much in-fighting, and reactive. From the Calitics piece:

    they seemed more interested in having us do visibility in San Francisco, going to strongly liberal (even gay) parts of town to make sure our base knew they had to vote "no."

    That backs up what I heard: while the LDS Borg was out buttonholing people (and getting told to fuck off by plenty of them) in the South Bay, the No campaign couldn’t get people out to Sunnyvale and Mountain View, let alone the Central Valley. That might have been because volunteers were heading off to Nevada for Obama (a common complaint) but waving signs in the middle of SF was not a counterstrategy.

  108. 108
    Nemoudeis says:

    Barack Obama might be… ONE. OF. US.

    "Gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble!

    Does this mean we can turn Sarah Palin into a chicken-woman, too?

  109. 109

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    The gay "community" running a badly organised, insular campaign that only reaches out to the people who support us anyway and makes no real effort to convince people of the actual merits of our argument beyond "it’s the right thing to do"?

    What a surprise!

  110. 110
    mclaren says:

    With respect, the Proposition 8 battle might not be lost. Proposition 8 could be unconstitutional. Depends on some fine legal points regarding whether Prop 8 is properly construed as a revision, or an amendment. Regardless what it was advertised as, it could well legally fit the definition of a revision, in which case the CA supreme court would be obliged to strike it down.

    More here. (Scroll down to "Is Proposition 8 a Revision or An Amendment?") Notwithstanding that Eugene Volokh remains a loathsome little far-right toad who would argue that impalement is not only constitutional but merciful, it’s a substantive legal issue.

    Legal brief arguing that it’s a revision here.

  111. 111
    gwangung says:

    With respect, the Proposition 8 battle might not be lost. Proposition 8 could be unconstitutional. Depends on some fine legal points regarding whether Prop 8 is properly construed as a revision, or an amendment. Regardless what it was advertised as, it could well legally fit the definition of a revision, in which case the CA supreme court would be obliged to strike it down.
    More here. (Scroll down to "Is Proposition 8 a Revision or An Amendment?") Notwithstanding that Eugene Volokh remains a loathsome little far-right toad who would argue that impalement is not only constitutional but merciful, it’s a substantive legal issue.
    Legal brief arguing that it’s a revision here.

    Meh. I think that’s sort of irrelevant.

    In real-politik, winning that way will energize the homophobes against judicial activism again, and get them out in the same numbers and energy as they try to pass something that passes muster.

    Whereas, if you work on the ground game now and come up with a counter proposal, you have more time to generate energy on our side, while sapping the other side’s energy through complacency.

  112. 112

    […] Barack Obama, Super Dork – The evidence is starting to add up. Start Trek references, disdain for overt stupidity, possible Beastie Boys reference. […]

  113. 113
    rollSound says:

    I first heard Caribou Barbie on the Stephanie Miller show. It was everywhere within about 24 hours.

  114. 114
    Lex says:

    Given that this was the most corrupted and illegal election in American history, when his campaign actions of the past year hits the fan I wonder how eloquent he’ll be to the real American prosecutors. Will the threat of riots and attacks on Americans be carried out? Will his blog troll teams work around the clock once more? If you think America is going to sit back and let this guy just take over then you have no idea what America is about. And he sure doesn’t know American comic culture, that’s for certain, so he’s no Superman, Spiderman or Batman. That’s another of his historical lies.

  115. 115
    btchakir says:

    What the f$#k? After 8 years of Republican shit (and at least one "engineered" election), and the attempts fo screw voting machines AGAIN by Republican officials in several states… you think this was a "corrupted and illegal" election?

    Why is it so hard for wingnuts to recognize a mandate when it stomps on their fingers?

  116. 116
    Comrade grumpy realist says:

    Because it hasn’t stomped hard enough?

    Heck, I think even a 500-whatever vote wouldn’t be enough to convince these idiots. They’re the ones who are convinced the world was created 6000 years ago, after all. We’re talking about seriously reality-challenged.

  117. 117
    jeffro says:

    Holy snappers! My geeky comment from a geeky music thread just got quoted in a piece on one of my favorite DFH blogs about the president elect’s inner geek. It’s like a nerdball rolling down a geek hill, growing, growing, faster. Good stuff.

  118. 118
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    I’ll believe Obama is truly a dork if his first State of the Union address contains the phrase "one whole joojooflop situation".

  119. 119

    The No on 8 folks did such a crappy job that they couldn’t get better than 53% turnout in San Francisco. SAN FRANCISCO!

    But despite the half-assed, too-little-too-late nature of the opposition, and despite spending five months and forty million dollars blanketing the state with scare ads, the Mormons backing Prop Hate would up barely passing the thing, 52% to 48%. Remember, eight years ago, when Prop Hate passed the first time around, when it was the Knight Initiative (Prop Hate’s a word-for-word copy thereof), it passed by a MUCH bigger margin, 62% to 38%. They lost ten points and the pro-love forces gained ten, in the space of eight years!

    Now, if the gay and black and Latino communities can work on some genuine outreach, a ballot initiative overturning Prop Hate can succeed. It just takes some work and dedication and a willingness to forego drama in favor of discipline and strategy.

  120. 120
    Darkrose says:

    Obama’s wishy-washy stance on marriage equality sucked. But that’s not why Prop 8 passed. Prop 8 passed because those of us who opposed it were out-organized by the other side.

    That’s not blaming the victims. It’s trying to figure out what went wrong so we can avoid making the same mistakes next time.

  121. 121
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @gwangung:

    Well, the interesting thing is that if this argument is accepted by the court, that is, that Prop 8 is a revision of and not an amendment to the state constitution, there are procedural barriers that make it unlikely to be put back on the ballot any time soon.

    Under the state constitution, either the Legislature or the voters can place a constitutional amendment on the ballot. However, only the Legislature can propose a revision to the constitution, and must do so by a 2/3 vote of each house.

    Art. XVIII, Cal. Const.

    Meaning heck would freeze over before a Democratic Legislature let another Prop. 8 go on the ballot.

    The legal arguments put forth in the brief are actually pretty interesting, though I’m not sure how persuasive the court will find them.

  122. 122
    mclaren says:

    I think Zuzu’s Petals and Phoenix Woman have it right. What happened was that Prop 8 caught the majority of the population, including the GLBT community, sleeping. Every sane person thought Prop 8 was just so heinous and so grotesque and California was such an obviously liberal state that it didn’t have a chance of passing.

    But if Prop 8 gets nuked by the CA Supreme Court, this time the entire GLBT community and the entire liberal voting bloc will be fired up to white heat. If the Mormons or any other creepy special interest bigots try to fund a new Prop 8 ballot initiative, the combined wrath and intensity of the sane 2/3 of the CA population will put enough heat on the pro-Prop 8 kooks to turn ’em into charcoal briquettes.

    That’s the real value of a CA Supremes overturn. It gives the sane part of the CA electorate chance to organize, and they will organize. They’ll organize to defeat another Prop 8 like nothing you’ve ever seen.

  123. 123

    I actually like that Obama is a bit dorky. I say everyone should embrace their inner dorkiness. It’s less work than trying to "pretend cool"

  124. 124

    Yeah, I know, it’s a two-day-old post that’s moved off the front page, but this really belongs here… Evidently, our President-Elect collects comic books – specifically, Spider Man and Conan the Barbarian.

    How’s that for mega-dorkitude – with a extra-large side of awesome?

    (via Politico)

  125. 125
    Harry Mudd says:

    Far as I can tell, nobody’s covered this yet — sorry if I’m repeating, but the lithium crystals were in the first Harry Mudd episode. Dilithium came up separately in the series.

  126. 126
    AxeMan808 says:

    #64 – Llelldorin:
    No, No , NO! The whole POINT of Devil’s Advocate is that Keanu had to make these choices between being "self-serving" and "helping others" (or being empathic, I guess?). The *choices* were not actually a matter of good v evil. But continuously choosing to be self-serving at the expense of the others around you leads you to lose those around you, and live your life alone (as far as people who count, because all the people around you afterwards are self-serving as well!), in Hell.
    Watch the movie again.

    For instance, I don’t think of GWB as "evil". Just completely, 100%, self-serving. Which led him to do things which led to evil, and he surrounded himself with other self-serving people, who gave him self-serving advice. (although Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove *are* evil. I think the end of Time Bandits ("Don’t touch it! It’s pure, concentrated evil!") is actually a Rove history.)

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