Ingraham's new book: A satire that skirts dangerously close to the truth

"The Obama Diaries." by  Laura Ingraham. Threshhold Books. 2010.

One of the few genuinely funny jokes about Reagan from Al Franken dealt with what the president's energy level was really like behind closed doors. Aired during the Iran Contra hearings, this skit showed a hyper Reagan working his staff to death and then reverting to doddering type when appearing before the cameras.

For this joke to work with our current president, a writer would have to reverse it. Obama's public image-energetic, idealistic, even knee jerk-would have to be a façade for the private one, where the president is lazy, pragmatic, unattached to unions and other special interests, uncontrolled by Pelosi.

But by all accounts, Obama is what he appears to be before cameras. Witness his ferocious lobbying and buy-offs during the Health care bill debate and you get that rarity: a politician who is what he says he is--maybe even more so; unlike the poll-driven Clintons, he is a true believer of kamikaze proportions.

Laura Ingram takes what many of us have concluded about this president and makes it almost satirical; I say almost because it is a bit too uncomfortably close to what he may be thinking. If there is a thesis to these oft-times hilarious "entries" from her fortuitous discovery of the Obama diaries, it is in the adage "so much country to socialize, so little time."

George Bernard Shaw once famously told a colleague of how much sugar (humor) he had to put on the socialist pill of his plays to get his audience to swallow it. The colleague replied, "Yes. A pity they lick the sugar off and discard the pill."

Not so with Ingram's book; readers can laugh and then shudder-sometimes at the same time. All our fears are encoded in the jokes. The cynicism of the community organizer is present when she has Obama "write" on the eve of a visit to the Vatican: "If I can ingratiate myself with a few more of these red-hats, the pope thing might not be a bad follow-up to the presidency."

The more one thinks about the old joke about FDR and those that only voted for him twice ("We didn't know he was going to hang onto the job like the Pope," Archie Bunker once quipped), the more uncomfortable this entry becomes for conservative readers. Obama has evinced even more so than the usual folks in power a thin skin for criticism and Ingram catches both that and the Beltway view of conservatives when she quotes the following "diary" entry: "Hell, doesn't Palin have anything better to do than criticize me? Shouldn't she be back home shooting some endangered wolf species from a helicopter?"

The riposte from the Left will no doubt be how conservatives are having to resort to fictional entries to activate their base. But considering the real comments from Obama and company will reveal how unnecessary this is and how close she has gotten to the real sentiments. Indeed, if there is a failure to this book, it is how Ingraham's satire doesn't approach the true horror of such comments as "I think someone can make enough money," or "The police acted stupidly," and such gestures as the handshake with Hugo Chavez.
"The Obama Diaries." by  Laura Ingraham. Threshhold Books. 2010.

One of the few genuinely funny jokes about Reagan from Al Franken dealt with what the president's energy level was really like behind closed doors. Aired during the Iran Contra hearings, this skit showed a hyper Reagan working his staff to death and then reverting to doddering type when appearing before the cameras.

For this joke to work with our current president, a writer would have to reverse it. Obama's public image-energetic, idealistic, even knee jerk-would have to be a façade for the private one, where the president is lazy, pragmatic, unattached to unions and other special interests, uncontrolled by Pelosi.

But by all accounts, Obama is what he appears to be before cameras. Witness his ferocious lobbying and buy-offs during the Health care bill debate and you get that rarity: a politician who is what he says he is--maybe even more so; unlike the poll-driven Clintons, he is a true believer of kamikaze proportions.

Laura Ingram takes what many of us have concluded about this president and makes it almost satirical; I say almost because it is a bit too uncomfortably close to what he may be thinking. If there is a thesis to these oft-times hilarious "entries" from her fortuitous discovery of the Obama diaries, it is in the adage "so much country to socialize, so little time."

George Bernard Shaw once famously told a colleague of how much sugar (humor) he had to put on the socialist pill of his plays to get his audience to swallow it. The colleague replied, "Yes. A pity they lick the sugar off and discard the pill."

Not so with Ingram's book; readers can laugh and then shudder-sometimes at the same time. All our fears are encoded in the jokes. The cynicism of the community organizer is present when she has Obama "write" on the eve of a visit to the Vatican: "If I can ingratiate myself with a few more of these red-hats, the pope thing might not be a bad follow-up to the presidency."

The more one thinks about the old joke about FDR and those that only voted for him twice ("We didn't know he was going to hang onto the job like the Pope," Archie Bunker once quipped), the more uncomfortable this entry becomes for conservative readers. Obama has evinced even more so than the usual folks in power a thin skin for criticism and Ingram catches both that and the Beltway view of conservatives when she quotes the following "diary" entry: "Hell, doesn't Palin have anything better to do than criticize me? Shouldn't she be back home shooting some endangered wolf species from a helicopter?"

The riposte from the Left will no doubt be how conservatives are having to resort to fictional entries to activate their base. But considering the real comments from Obama and company will reveal how unnecessary this is and how close she has gotten to the real sentiments. Indeed, if there is a failure to this book, it is how Ingraham's satire doesn't approach the true horror of such comments as "I think someone can make enough money," or "The police acted stupidly," and such gestures as the handshake with Hugo Chavez.

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