In Malibu’s Most Wanted, the clinically awful movie that will only make you dumber if you watch it, Jamie Kennedy plays a spoiled rich kid senator’s son who fancies himself a gangster rapper. His real name is Brad Gluckman, but he goes by B-Rad (“My name is B-rad. Not Robbie van Winkle. I like my lattes non-fat and don’t fo-get the sprinkle.”). B-Rad may be from Mailbu but he’s not of Malibu.
For some reason the latest spin from the White House brought the movie to mind. White House spokesman Jay Carney insists that the president is unpopular right now because the voters misguidedly think Obama’s part of “Washington.” And “Washington” is apparently synonymous with the House GOP. From The Hill:
Carney focused the daily briefing almost entirely on jobs and congressional inaction, the two early hallmarks of the Obama 2012 campaign.
Obama’s high-30s approval ratings, Carney said, are a reflection of “a high reservoir of skepticism toward Washington in general.”
“I think that everybody associated with Washington is being viewed quite dimly right now,” Carney said.
To that end, Carney continued the White House assault on House Republicans, whom Obama and his allies are blaming for gridlock that “wasn’t just frustrating; it was harmful.”
“For no other reason than ideological purity, Washington almost brought the global economy to its knees this summer,” Carney said. [Emphasis added.]
The upshot here is that the addlepated American voter has unfairly lumped President Obama in with “Washington.” What sad commentary on the intelligence of the American people: They associate the president of the United States with Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, where Obama has lived since 2005. Moreover, they actually seem to think that simply because he and his party had complete control over the federal government for two years, that he has some responsibility for what Washington does and has done. Maybe they got that idea from a fawning press corps—which Carney used to belong to—that took Obama at his word when he said he was “changing the way Washington works.” Maybe they saw the Time and Newsweek covers comparing him to Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and, in their regrettable confusion, said “Hey, maybe this guy is going to run the country?”
Obama is truly at sea here. He desperately wants to defend the role of government while at the same time denouncing the seat of government. He wants to cast himself as a problem solver while complaining that he’s incapable of solving any problems. He wants to cast himself as centrist while letting Jimmy Hoffa be his surrogate. He wants to run “Washington” but he doesn’t want people to think he’s part of “Washington.” He wants to rise above politics while at the same time suggesting that anyone who disagrees with his policies doesn’t care about the country. He wants to foment disgust with the “Washington” he helped to create while at the same time insisting that he be allowed to keep his job for another four years.