Groucho Marx Saves America
America is roaring back -- with laughter. A fed-up nation with itchy Twitter fingers is bringing down what's left of an insufferably pompous presidency. How? By unleashing the most American weapon of all: the wisecrack.
A hilarious barrage of catcalls and insults has greeted Obama's latest debacle, a Soviet-style website called Attack Watch. With its terrifying design of red and black cellblocks, and scary photos of Obama's critics looking like Mafia hoodlums, Attack Watch openly solicits Americans to turn in their friends and neighbors for thoughtcrimes against the president.
Before we revel in our countrymen's deliciously rude response, let me show you the section of Attack Watch that truly creeps me out. Do the Stasi wannabes that write Obama's copy really think this invitation will win us over? "Join Attack Wire - and help stop the attacks on the President before they start."
Before they start! Hey, comrades, is your wife muttering Rick Perry's name in her sleep? Does Grandma secretly watch Glenn Beck? Report your loved ones' pre-crimes to federal authorities now! A few friendly adjustments with a fist, and we guarantee we'll stop those deviant, anti-Obama attacks, "before they start." Help us, comrades!
Within nanoseconds of Attack Watch's debut, a parody video by Ezra Dulis and Misfit Politics had blasted through the web. Then came the howls of Hurricane Twitter, a Category 5 of one-liners, as Americans competed to turn themselves in and report anti-Obama crimes.
"Hey, #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATMs in an alley killing a job. It looked like a hate crime!" "#Attackwatch, there's a new Twitter account making President Obama look like a creepy, authoritarian nutjob." "I'd like to report my neighbor - Bob, for surreptitiously scraping the Obama sticker off the bumper of his Prius." "My neighbor won't give me all her money even though she makes more than me. Look into this please."
"I just found out that Janet Napolitano is my baby's father. Can you let him know? Thanks." "Obama's ego is blocking my view of the sky." "If I tell you my boss said something bad about Obama, can I get his job?" "Hey #attackwatch, I found a website lying about Obama, it's called whitehouse.gov." "My neighbor seems to be a bit of a freethinker. Should I take him out quietly tonight or wait for backup?"
"I just parked my private jet in a handicap space, left it running & bought lemonade from little girls in yard w/o a permit!" "Dear #attackwatch, I was told in my Econ class that supply & demand drives the economy, not government. True or false?"
"#Attackwatch, when should I go to my hidden attic room, and start writing my diary?" "Can you follow the #attackwatch timeline in the original German...?"
"I'm reporting my mom. She said Obama needs a good spanking and a grounding with no ice cream." "Dear attackwatch -- the federal family showed up a week ago --- and they won't leave." "If I report ten times do I get a real watch? With secret decoder features? Please advise."
Now that's the America we know and love! We came to this country to get away from the imperial blowhards that ruined every other patch of earth. We roast and skewer potentates here; we don't tremble and bow down before them.
America gave the world the raspberry, the Bronx cheer, and the full frontal, knock 'em, sock 'em wisecrack. And just to amuse ourselves, our popular entertainments have always put those putdowns in the mouths of the lowliest street tramps and shop girls, so they can belittle the bigshots.
It's democracy; get it? Groucho Marx is honored on an American stamp, not Karl. The Marx Brothers grew up on the hardscrabble streets of New York, the sons of Jewish immigrants, and their vaudevillian antics lampooned the self-important, mirthless high hats of high society. They'd know what to do with Barack Obama!
For, increasingly, Obama has come to resemble one of those haughty buffoons in the classic Marx Brothers movies, who's just begging for a pie in the face or banana peel under the shoe. He's the nasty impresario in Night at the Opera or preening admiral in Duck Soup, who demands meek submission, while Harpo secretly cuts off his coattails and Chico steals his wallet. Meanwhile, Groucho gleefully insults him to his face, with a line like "Why don't you bore a hole in yourself and let the sap run out?" or "I never forget a face, but in your case, I'd be glad to make an exception." Cigar rakishly askew, Groucho then turns to the audience and confides, "He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."
Obama's imperial pretensions are not just idiotic; they're also noxiously un-American. At the turn of the twentieth century, a new Jewish immigrant penned a letter that was published in a Yiddish newspaper. "In America, the president is mister, and I am also mister," he wrote with awestruck amazement. That uniquely American earthiness derives from George Washington, who rejected the proposed title of "His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and the Protector of their Liberties" for the simple "Mr. President." Why do I think Obama would like that title back?
The more America laughs at Obama, the more we recover our natural spirit. So go ahead. Release your inner Groucho. Add your comic creations to the Twitter-ectomy of Obama's remaining shreds of dignity. It's not that hard. As Will Rogers, another great American comic, once said, "There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."
Write Stella Paul at Stellapundit@aol.com.