I’ve always resisted the standing ovation. Oh, I’ve given my fair share, but my notion of when they are deserved seems to be different from most people’s. I’ll be sitting at a baseball game, and the hometown pitcher will get pulled with one out in the 7th inning and his team up, 5-4, and the crowd will stand and applaud. My question is, if you give a standing ovation to a mediocre performance just because you’re still ahead, what do you do when you win the game? The pennant? The World Series? The only possible reaction to a championship would be to leap off the top of the park in suicidal joy.
This works for negative stuff, too. If you say fuck you to every person who stands in your way for a couple of seconds at the game, what are you going to do when he says he’s going to kick your ass? You have to kick or be kicked, because the escalation started the minute you said fuck you.
There has been some dissent from some people who are happier with the job President Obama is doing than I am. One friend, a scholar on presidential history who is a proud Democrat, thinks I’m too hard on Obama and far too premature in my complaints. He offers up a reasonable argument, and I trust his judgment, on this and many other matters. Another person has suggested, perhaps in line with what I started this post discussing, that when you have our first African-American president, one who had many struggles on his way to the White House, one who follows arguably the worst president in American history … when you’ve got a president like that, you don’t haul out the big ammunition. You disagree with him, sure, but the fucking dickheads are Bush, Cheney and the rest, not President Obama. To extend the lame baseball metaphor, and run it in the opposite direction from what I think I was talking about in the first place, Obama is pitching in the top of the second … his team has lost its last eight games … he retired the side in order in the first, but he’s allowed a couple of baserunners in the second. Now isn’t the time to pull him out of the game and tell him he sucks … now is the time to visit the mound, see how it’s going. He didn’t lose those previous eight games … he’s just trying to finally win one.
I am bothered by the worshipful behavior of the Obama zealots, who think he can do no wrong. I have my areas of disagreement with him. He also has a good chance of being the best president I’ve had in my lifetime, and I’ve been through eleven of them, now. He’s in the top of the second. He has plenty of time to become a fucking dickhead, but that possibility is many innings away from today. And I daresay it is impossible for him to be as fucked up as his predecessor. So I need to find a better way to register my occasional complaints. Therefore, with this posting, I retire the phrase “fucking dickhead,” allowing it to rot in peace alongside Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.