Sometimes an Umbrella Is Just an Umbrella

altpoppinsMost wingnuts go straight for the “uppity” angle when criticizing President Obama for asking two Marines to hold umbrellas over himself and the Turkish Prime Minister at an outdoor press conference during a downpour.

Noted boxed wine enthusiast Ann Althouse digs a bit deeper in a post entitled, “The word ‘umbrella’ appears exactly once in Obama’s ‘Dreams from My Father.'” Do think I’m kidding? No, I am not.

I’m astounded to see that the umbrella figures importantly in the book — and it is even an umbrella held over him by another man (his younger brother Bernard). This happens at the end of what is the most dramatic scene in the book, on the last page of the final chapter.


So — as he dramatizes it —it is at the moment when he finds out who he really is that another man suddenly appears and is sheltering him with an umbrella. He’s been crying, but now it all makes sense, and — with the prompting of the younger man — he sees that he is okay.


Flash forward, and he’s President. He is in the Rose Garden. It starts to rain. No man suddenly appears with an umbrella. He is getting wet and he is President — with plenty of airplanes and rifles and all of the world’s greatest military at hand — but he is still getting wet. He has to order the Marine to shelter him. It isn’t Bernard squatting with a bent-up old umbrella. It’s a Marine in full-dress uniform, with a fine unbent umbrella, which is nevertheless not correct under the official — male, rigid — Marine Corps regulations… And here he is, the center of the whole world’s attention, and he had to call for the umbrella. He is not okay.

Wingnuts have demonstrated amazing super powers in the past, including the ability to conduct a comprehensive neurological assessment via a snippet of grainy videotape and audit a family’s finances by peering through the kitchen window at their countertops.

In her analysis of the meaning of UmbrellaGate, Althouse has taken it a step further, investing that “famously Freudian symbol” with powers that far surpass Mary Poppins’ foul weather gear, including the ability to emasculate US Marines and transform the POTUS into an insecure child. It’s both insane and fascinating.

[X-posted at Rumproast]

122 replies
  1. 1

    Did the marine holding the umbrella, sing
    Under my umbrella..ella..ella..
    Now that would be a scandal.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    It always amazes me when I remember that that woman is a law professor. I truly feel sorry for her students.

    (ditto those poor souls unfortunate enough to have Glenn Reynolds as a “teacher”)

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    I have to say, I found this one hard to believe… even after all the nasty things I’ve written (and worse things I’ve thought) about wingers. What. Is. The. Matter. With. Them. Anyhow.

  4. 4

    @MattF: Wingnut gibberish has become its own language, and most of it makes no sense to me.

  5. 5
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Jesus Christ. Green Balloons already.

  6. 6
    IowaOldLady says:

    How does The Onion have any room to satirize?

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    So many scandals! So little sense!

  8. 8
    dmsilev says:

    In the “we all saw this coming” corner of this “scandal”, Our Lady of the Tundra had an aggrieved tweet about how horrible it was for Obama not to hold his own umbrella, and, well, oops.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    Male, rigid.


  10. 10
    Violet says:

    @dmsilev: Saw that yesterday. Hilarious. Pretty much everything she says to criticize others, there’s a photo or video of her doing the exact thing she’s criticizing. Teleprompters, umbrellas, whatever.

  11. 11
    pat says:

    Marie Burns at has pictures of other people not holding their own umbrellas.

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    He is not okay.

    Wingnut projection at its finest.

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dmsilev: and at a major public university, not Oral Roberts’ or Bob Jones’ University (yeah, I know they probably don’t use the possessive) or whatever strange institutions Robertson and Falwell cobbled together. It’s amazing and more than a little depressing.

    Did the Domino’s guy ever open Blessed Virgin U?

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    @PeakVT: So true. And this one, but I think she meant “she”:

    He is getting wet

    All these scandals really do get a girl excited.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @pat: Oh christ, that pic of Dubya at the end is the perfect capper.

  16. 16
    Calming Influence says:

    Don’t forget, Obama is also the first politician to ever use a teleprompter.

  17. 17
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Wonkette’s take on the scandal, guest blogged by an Marine is an excellent read!

  18. 18
    MomSense says:


    Exactly! They have destroyed satire. This is the real scandal of our time. I can no longer tell the difference anymore between just another wingnut WTF and an onion headline.

  19. 19
    Maude says:

    A few days ago Yahoo News had a headline that Obama’s agenda was derailed by scandals. Today it is Obama’s agenda marches on.
    I think Ann meant that Obama should have been the one holding the umbrella over the Marines.
    Racist git.

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Wingnut gibberish has become its own language, and most of it makes no sense to me.

    Yeah, that’s their problem. They’ve been living in their own bubble for so long that the things they say in public sound more and more like inside baseball (or just gobbledegook) not only to us but to the entire population. They’re not connecting anymore.

  21. 21
    nastybrutishntall says:

    The gall of that man. I bet he eats T-bone steaks, too!

  22. 22
    Richard says:

    These people are fucking insane.

  23. 23
    RSA says:

    Checking Amazon, I discover that the word ‘umbrella’ appears exactly once in Reagan’s Diaries. Clearly there’s a dissertation waiting to be written. By someone pretending to be an English major, I’m thinking. With lots of alcohol for inspiration.

  24. 24
    jayjaybear says:

    Wow…the commenters over there are scary. If they were tongue-flicking her clit any harder you’d be able to hear the buzz. At least over here, around 1/3 of the commentariat think Cole’s a wanker…

  25. 25
    MomSense says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Still cannot believe he was ever our President.

  26. 26
    The Dangerman says:

    I happened to channel surf on to Fox News this morning and they were all up in arms about how the IRS “scandal” means Obamacare should be repealed because of the mandate and the IRS’s involvement in it. I assume this means yet another vote for repeal in the House.

  27. 27
    Tokyokie says:

    This “scandal” may be making me crazier than the rest of them. I’ve seen several commentators say that Obama, by having Marines deploy umbrellas, violated the UCMJ. No, no, no, a thousand times no! The UCMJ covers the rights of service members charged with criminal violations. (Hey, fucktwits, the “Uniform” in the UCMJ means that it’s applicable to members of all service branches, not to the clothes they’re wearing.) What it may violate are the regulations laid out by Permanent Marine Corps Uniform Board. Except those are service regulations, not, as is the case with the UCMJ, an act of Congress, and the president, as commander in chief of the armed forces, has the ultimate authority as to how those regs are applied, or if they’re applied at all. And at the very beginning of those aforementions PMCUB regs is this:

    2. Commanders may interpret the provisions of this Manual to address specific concerns whenever necessary.

    Keeping a couple of heads of state from getting drenched in the rain I think just maybe would be an interpretation that would address a specific concern under a specific set of circumstances. So it’s not even a violation of the PMCUB.

    It never would have occurred to me that had George W. Bush had a Marine hold an umbrella over him during an outdoor news conference in inclement weather that he had threatened the very foundation of American civilization as these assholes seem to believe happened with Obama. I’m not sure whether the difference is that Bush is a Republican or Bush is white, although I suspect it’s both.

  28. 28
    WereBear says:

    @Tokyokie: I’m not sure whether the difference is that Bush is a Republican or Bush is white, although I suspect it’s both.

    Both. Because they made a huge fuss over the First Lady saying kids should eat more vegetables. How UNcontroversial can a statement be?

  29. 29
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: That marine is worthy of Wonkette, and that says a lot!

  30. 30
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Odd that Althouse’ preternatural analytic skills failed her completely both before and after we attacked Iraq.

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    It’s both insane and fascinating.

    Not really sure about the fascinating but you nailed the insane part. It could be fascinating if you were writing a dissertation of some sort, or if you studied group psychosis for a living.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    “Motherf*****” appears two or three times in Dreams From My Father. Isn’t there a better scandal to be had out of that?

  33. 33
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    If Conservatism was found to be a mental disorder you could bet the ranch that they’d all apply for disability money.

  34. 34
    different-church-lady says:

    I am starting to suspect the only people who have actually read “Dreams From My Father” are hard-core wingnuts. And it appears they studied every line for secret messages.

  35. 35
    Keith says:

    Imagine lying on your deathbed, thinking to yourself, “I actually spent several hours of my life researching and writing a blog post about how a president has a Freudian attachment to umbrellas…umbrellas! My life, what has become of my life?”

  36. 36
    southend says:

    To a lot of wingnuts, it’s pretty simple: the uppity negro with the “D” after his name had the temerity to get elected. Twice.

  37. 37
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    Only a feelthy hippy would accuse Ann Winebox of thinking.

  38. 38
    The Dangerman says:


    I’m not sure whether the difference is that Bush is a Republican or Bush is white, although I suspect it’s both.

    It’s both, but mostly the former; recall, Hillary killed Vince Foster and Bill was running drugs out of Arkansas.

  39. 39
    Ash Can says:

    Dear Ann Althouse et al.,

    The President is black. Deal with it. The end.


    The USA

  40. 40
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Chris: Except that they still seem to “connect” with most of the media, because many political journalists who aren’t ideologues have simply become entertainment reporters, looking for whatever titillating headline will win the 60-minute news cycle. Even if most of the country doesn’t understand what these people are saying any more, their nonsense continues to dominate the political “discourse” and stops the government from being able to function. And I’m not sure how we get back to a functioning democracy, given how far we’ve gone in the opposite direction.

  41. 41
    PurpleGirl says:

    Maybe the lush (Althouse) thinks it should have been a Secret Service agent or one of the White Houses staffers who held the umbrellas. I think it became the closest person to the President and the Turkish official. That made it a Marine’s task, being the closest. It’s possible we still would have been treated to a rant about any one holding umbrellas.

    No wonder I spend so much playing games and watching kitten cams lately. The real world drives up my blood pressure and makes me sick.

  42. 42
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @The Dangerman: also Bill and Hillary and their dirty hippie staffers did all kinds of things to disrespect teh White House, and treated the Secret Service like servants, etc etc

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I’ve been trying to remember, I know Althouse used to call herself a disappointed, the-party-left-me Democrat, but it was about Iraq?

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    I just tried to explain Umbrellagate to G, who had not yet run across it. His response was basically, “What the fuck is the motherfucking problem?”

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:


    G listened to the audiobook, as read by the author. It was particularly funny to hear POTUS say “motherfucker” in that level, calm voice of his.

  45. 45
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Ash Can: That pretty much sums it up. You might want to add “and a Democrat” for extra precision. Or not.

  46. 46
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    The absolutely only argument against a country having proper health care. And not a very good one at that.
    Imagine what the country would be like if we could cure the majority of the affected of the insanity. Or even a substantial minority. That would make it a substantial absolute positive good to have actual health care for everyone.

  47. 47
    pat says:

    So because Marines (only the males, natch) are not supposed to use an umbrella when they are in uniform (must have some awesome drycleaning bills for those wet uniforms) they are prevented from holding an umbrella over the POTUS and his distinguished guest?

    As has already been stated, What. Is. Wrong. With. These. Jackasses.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @West of the Cascades:
    And I’m not sure how we get back to a functioning democracy, given how far we’ve gone in the opposite direction.

    This. A million times this.

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    Insanity. Around the bend. Nuts. Or to boil it down to the basics, racist.

  50. 50
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: That is a thing of beauty.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    I don’t know either. Last time it took near revolutionary conditions backed by near universal public outrage. Neither is likely in the immediate future.

  52. 52
    Ash Can says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Maybe not, at least in this case. This topic was covered on LGF, and the reactions on the right wing blogs made it abundantly clear that it was the sight of a white Marine holding the umbrella for a black man that set them off. Seriously.

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @dmsilev: CBS News showed Sarah’s tweet and the picture last night. I guess they really didn’t like getting burned with phony emails about Benghazi.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think some of the ex-servicemembers in other threads were saying that there is a dress raincoat that goes with your dress uniform, so you’re supposed to wear that rather than use an umbrella.

    They further went on to say that if you were marching in formation in the rain and some of the guys forgot their raincoats, everyone had to take theirs off so they were, well, uniform in appearance. I’m guessing the forgetful guys only did that once after their fellow squad members got hold of them.

  55. 55
    pat says:


    Hmm, I wonder if it would be OK for a Marine to offer the president his raincoat.

    I love the picture, that big Marine standing with his arm outstretched holding the umrella. I wonder if he was thinking, Wow I bet this goes viral.


  56. 56

    @JPL: Small correction there. It was ABC’s Jonathan Karl that got burned; CBS was the network that actually called out the Republicans for lying.

    Still waiting for Mr. Karl to at least say “Oops.”

  57. 57
    Calouste says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: A major public university? I’m surprised Harvard hasn’t made her an offer yet. She’ll fit right in along Niall Ferguson.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m wondering what role Karl actually played in this. A long time ago, CNN tried to start a “Gen-X” political talk show; if memory serves, they actually kinda copied the set of “Friends” for is, but I may be projecting my contempt for CNN and the whole idea back on reality. Jake Tapper was the host, and Jonathan Karl was a panelist– he was (again IIRC) a snotty, Paul Ryan-esque Glibertarian. And the fact that he said “ABC has obtained emails”, when he never saw them: that strikes me as some serious shit for someone at his level in the media food chain. Hard to believe it was just an oversight.

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    Live wet or die!

  60. 60
    Peter says:

    I’m sure they won’t, but I would love to see the wingers go all-in on this one. There is no clearer distillation of how far afield the republicans have gone than trying to gin up outrage over a fucking umbrella.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    In the navy(a long, long time ago) we didn’t even have rain coats. An umbrella? NFW. Once had to man the rail in a snowstorm in dress blues and white hat. Still, better than humping 50 lbs of gear in a monsoon in Vietnam while getting shot at.

  62. 62
    TAPX486 says:

    @Ruckus: Racism it is. When you read the comments and Obama is referred to as a monkey or a child or on and on. One commenter went after Michelle’s mother. These folks are beyond sick.

    The really sad part is they could have taken that photo and created a series of truly funny comments like the ones with Hillary and her cell phone. Of course you would have to be over the age of 6 and have a sense of humor to do that.

  63. 63
    Calming Influence says:


    “At least over here, around 1/3 of the commentariat think Cole’s a wanker…”

    I’d like to see those poll numbers – 1/3 seems a little low.

  64. 64
    Snarla says:

    @pat: Well, they’ve never served in the military, for one…

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    Alex, I’ll take racism for 500 million.

    If you’re going to bet, always bet on the sure thing. Of course it is not impossible to believe there is a rather large level of insanity involved at the same time.

  66. 66
    El Cid says:

    She’s discovered him–Barack Obama is the Penguin

  67. 67
    Suffern ACE says:

    The next time it rains, the president should order tge marine to help him into his yellow raincoat with the red boots and cry when they only have orange boots. “You’ve disappointed me just like my mother!” He should sob and run back into the White House. That should tie them up in knots for months.

  68. 68
    El Cid says:

    He needs to have a set of Black Panthers carry him around in a litter and emerge wearing a kente cloth robe.

  69. 69
    Liberty60 says:

    @Calming Influence: I think its closer to 27%.

  70. 70

    @El Cid: Barack Obama is really Oswald Cobblepot?

  71. 71
    Anya says:

    Isn’t Cole a Jarhead? What’s his take?

  72. 72
    TAPX486 says:

    @El Cid: Maybe they could turn that into a musical!

  73. 73
    JPL says:

    @Mustang Bobby: The had reported on the story on Face The Nation. Jonathan Karl said that ABC news had the emails. hmmm!

  74. 74
    JPL says:

    @Mustang Bobby: The had reported on the story on Face The Nation. Jonathan Karl said that ABC news had the emails. hmmm!

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Anya says:

    @JPL: Jonathan Karl is a right wing hack. I was shocked to learn about his background (A Right-Wing Mole at ABC News). It all makes sense now.

  77. 77
    Anya says:

    why is my comment in moderation?

  78. 78
    JPL says:

    @Anya: I have three comments in a row so I must be special.

  79. 79
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Anya: nope, US Army.

  80. 80
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Anya: nope, US Army.

  81. 81
    Anya says:

    Little bit of an info from FAIR about the very serious impartial reporter, Jon Karl

    …..And one of the most famous alums of a conservative media training program is now a major star at a network news outlet: ABC’s senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl.

    Karl came to mainstream journalism via the Collegiate Network, an organization primarily devoted to promoting and supporting right-leaning newspapers on college campuses (Extra!, 9-10/91)—such as the Rutgers paper launched by the infamous James O’Keefe (Political Correction, 1/27/10). The network, founded in 1979, is one of several projects of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which seeks to strengthen conservative ideology on college campuses. William F. Buckley was the ISI’s first president, and the current board chair is American Spectator publisher Alfred Regnery. Several leading right-wing pundits came out of Collegiate-affiliated papers, including Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry and Laura Ingraham (Washington Times, 11/28/04).

    The Collegiate Network also provides paid internships and fellowships to place its members at corporate media outlets or influential Beltway publications; 2010-11 placements include the Hill, Roll Call, Dallas Morning News and USA Today. The program’s highest-profile alum is Karl, who was a Collegiate fellow at the neoliberal New Republic magazine.

  82. 82
    Anya says:

    @Scamp Dog: Thanks! We must have some Jarheads among us who can tell us if this is an impeachable offense.

  83. 83
    Anya says:

    @JPL: Maybe there’s something wrong with the link. I was just sending a link about Jonathan Karl’s rightwing history.

  84. 84
    trollhattan says:

    Has anybody asked Malthaus how many onion rings fit on an umbrella?

    Her continued ability to remain employed is a thing of wonder. [hic]

  85. 85

    @pat: Thank you. I cannot tell you how upset this made me when it started popping up on my FB page. I mean it’s one thing for my friends and family to be Republicans, but this was downright ugly. The “how dare he” bullshit really bothered me. I just posted that photo of the two Bushs on my page. That should shut them up.

  86. 86
    kbsuttle says:

    kos nails it over at the Great Orange Satan:
    “is there anything more stupid than this?”

  87. 87
    Keith says:

    So the main takeaway is that Obama talks about umbrellas less than Ann Althouse talks about boxed wine.

  88. 88
    Heliopause says:

    Seems kind of stupid to take the best week that conservatives have had in a very long time and end it with this. If any conservatives are reading this let me concern troll you some advice; if you take the three scandals that are being taken semi-seriously and top them off with another one your idiotic invented scandals it’s going to make people start to suspect that the other three aren’t serious either.

  89. 89

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Ah, the icing on my cake. Thank you.

  90. 90
    Suzanne says:

    This is my favorite scandal. I love this so much. It’s so transparently ludicrous.

  91. 91
    Jennifer says:

    Thank heavens Obama didn’t use Jessica Valenti’s breasts to shield himself from the rain, or Althouse would have a real meltdown.

  92. 92
    cckids says:

    @TaMara (BHF):

    That should shut them up.

    If facts would shut up Republicans, they’d never talk. But we can all wish.

  93. 93

    @cckids: I should have phrased it, as it will either send them back under their rock lest their racism be exposed or they’ll just come right out and prove they are racist. Know them as well as I do, rock it is.

  94. 94
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Anya: ah, thank you! I was trying to remember that but I couldn’t think of any terms precise enough for a search, and the roster of Karl’s fellow alums is even worse than I thought.

  95. 95
    najablah says:

    Obama’s response to Umbrella-gate

  96. 96
    SIA says:

    Gotta love the photoshop. A+.

    Every time I visit Althouse, my mind says, “Oh Ann. You never disappoint.”

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    George W. Bush is not a ni*CLANG*. There you have it.

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    As others have noted, John served (as have a number of commenters, to include myself) in the US Army. He’s posted pictures of himself showing off his GIANT pen1s substituted on treads (it’s called an Abrams tank).

    I do not recall him ever posting a picture of himself in uniform holding an umbrella.

  99. 99
    cckids says:

    @TaMara (BHF): You’re lucky. Mine just find some other version of reality to deny. Racist, non-thinking, just infuriating on so many levels. It reminds me of arguing with a toddler, it is impossible to win.

  100. 100
    Dee Loralei says:

    I think the real “scandal” in all this is that the President of the United Fucking States had to ask for an umbrella in a downpour!

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anya: No, he was a tanker in the US Army, which might make him dumb enough to be a jarhead.

  102. 102
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Dee Loralei: I agree. My very first thought, the minute this “story” broke, was “Why in the world did no one come forward to hold umbrellas over the POTUS and Turkish PM the minute the first drops of rain fell?” I was embarrassed that the President actually had to make the request.

  103. 103
    JWL says:

    She’s both a law professor AND the eventual answer to the question:

    “Why does the hearse horse snicker,
    Hauling the lawyer away”?

  104. 104
    Ruckus says:

    I’m sure we will find out soon.

  105. 105
    Patrick says:

    In her analysis of the meaning of UmbrellaGate, Althouse has taken it a step further, investing that “famously Freudian symbol” with powers that far surpass Mary Poppins’ foul weather gear, including the ability to emasculate US Marines and transform the POTUS into an insecure child. It’s both insane and fascinating.

    This reminds me of the fake outrage shortly after Obama took office. There was a picture of Obama in the Oval office without his suit jacket on. FoxNews and the idiots on the far right went nuts about such disrespect from the black guy. That lasted about 5 seconds when there was picture of Bush without a suit jacket in the Oval office.

    These people can’t help themselves. They have such hatred for an African-American in the White House. The problem is that there have now been so many fake outrages that they simply have no credibility. The boy who cried wolf…

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Patrick: hat lasted about 5 seconds when there was picture of Bush without a suit jacket in the Oval office.

    Part of the Reagan cult was that he wouldn’t enter or allow anyone in the Oval Office without a jacket and tie. Tweety liked to scream about it during the Time Of The Clenis . The fact that he ignored the whole separation of powers thing and actually broke the law in order to arm our enemies to fund thuggish “freedom fighters”…. well, didn’t he have a nice smile?

  107. 107
    grandpa john says:

    @Ruckus: well, since I am almost 76, I certainly don’t expect to see it in my lifetime, but I do hope for my grandchildren to experience it someday.

  108. 108
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Dee Loralei: yes. The staff kind of dropped the ball on that.

  109. 109
    JWL says:

    @Ruckus: Hmmm. For the record, I wish that nut a long and healthy life. It’s a karma thing with me. By no means was the “hearse horse” doggerel anything other than a innocuous (albeit snide) remark.

    After all, every profession has its share of losers that somehow earn a living.

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    @grandpa john:
    I’m a few years behind you and I don’t expect to see it either. Hope your kids see it and your grandkids get to actually enjoy it.

  111. 111
    Ruckus says:

    It would be nice to want a better life for my political enemies as well as friends but as they only want me and mine(and theirs too by the way) to suffer and die I’m not so sure that’s appropriate. I know myself pretty well, and I’m just not that nice a person.

  112. 112
    JWL says:

    @Ruckus: It’s that word, “enemies”. In the aggregate, I acknowledge the term (as in “the GOP is the American Fascist Party, and they are surely my political enemies”).

    But as individuals? I did take The Sermon on the Mount to heart long ago, and life’s lessons have done nothing to diminish its essential wisdom.

    Then again, I wouldn’t piss on G.W. or Dick Cheney if they were on fire. I do keep a mean spirited score, of sorts.

    After all, I’m only human, too.

  113. 113
    Ken_L says:

    Amazing that the real issue only emerged at comment #101. If my faculty head was making a speech outdoors and it started to rain, there would be instant spontaneous steps taken to stop her getting wet. And if it was an important occasion, part of the preparation would automatically have included ‘what we do if it rains’ contingency planning. What kind of systemic incompetence is required to allow two fucking HEADS OF STATE to stand there in the rain and nothing happens until one of them asks for an umbrella please?

    I’m starting to think American Exceptionalism means exceptional administrative incompetence, which is what you see in the IRS and what seems to have occurred at Benghazi and appears to be emerging in the implementation of national health care. Maybe everyone is so obsessed with scoring political points they forgot how to actually make institutions work effectively.

  114. 114
    Ruckus says:

    So we are discussing a matter of degrees then?

  115. 115
    Ruckus says:


    It’s a dog eat dog world and the dogs are winning right now. It might be better if they didn’t and they weren’t but that really hasn’t come to pass yet. So I’m willing to protect my pack with a little more vigor and less civility. Not sure if it is the right way but that sermon on the mount thing hasn’t gotten us very far has it?

  116. 116
    JWL says:

    @Ruckus: Farther than had it not been enunciated, I think.

  117. 117
    Original Lee says:

    Interestingly (to me, anyway), my retired Air Force neighbor is not bothered by Umbrellagate. He thinks there should have been a couple of interns holding the umbrellas instead of Marines, but he really is not fussed about it. Neither is he fussed about the IRS thing. He told me today that “that kind of thing has been going on for decades”.

    No, what has him upset is that he has heard that John Kerry is actually a puppet frontman for a white supremacist group, who got Kerry to groom Obama for the Presidency. Obama is perfect because he’s a secret Muslim non-citizen, so they can get rid of him any time they want with no blowback. The white supremacists want eight years of Obama so that the n-CLANG will be brought so low that they will beg to return to slavery.

    Oh, and he’s totally not upset with the concept of Hillary running for President in 2016. He doesn’t think she’ll get the nomination because her old commercials will be recycled to be used against her. He’s more worried about that dirty traitor, John Kerry, who is actually the guy behind Benghazi.

    I wish I knew what recreational pharmaceuticals he has been enjoying lately.

  118. 118
    TS says:


    I’m not sure whether the difference is that Bush is a Republican or Bush is white, although I suspect it’s both.

    It’s not both. Definitely not both.

  119. 119
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I’m sure there are many forms of Obama Derangement Syndrome, and varying levels of severity.

    But I think we have the perfect litmus test; if you thought for even one second that this was in any way controversial, you are ODS-positive.

  120. 120
    JR in WV says:

    When there is an outdoor function planned, and it is in an area where it commonly rains, one should plan to cope with the rain. If that entails a Marine to hold an umbrella, then that’s the plan.

    So glad it only took seconds to find a pic of GW Bush standing under an umbrella while the Marine holding it is getting soaked!

    End of story.

  121. 121

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  122. 122
    xian says:

    @Tokyokie: it is pretty revealing how these folks respond to any evidence of this uppity black guy getting a perk or being treated as a special person. They also seem to keep forgetting that he is the commander in chief of our military.

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