The presidency as a private joke between the Obamas

Just a few minutes ago, I wondered in print if President and Mrs. Obama are, at heart, ironists of the first order, the Andy Kaufmans of the world stage. The presidency as put-on is a breathtaking bit of audacity, at first inconceivable to anyone who takes seriously the gravity of the responsibilities inherent in the office.

But it is not truly inconceivable that the former leader of the Choom Gang could have carried with him a fundamentally ironic (and solipsistic) view of the world. Stoners often retreat into irony and denial of the seriousness of matters when events conspire against them.

After I posted the earlier piece asking the question, Lucianne Goldberg sent me a picture of the First Lady’s outfit worn at the hyper-ironic commemoration of 911 she chose to attend. I consider it, with its evocation of Robin Hood robbing-from-rich-to-give-to-the-poor and its in-your-face defiance of those who criticize her efforts to regulate what schoolchildren eat in the name of combatting obesity, strong evidence that the First Couple are having a lot of laughs at our expense. Nobody has taste this bad.

Just a few minutes ago, I wondered in print if President and Mrs. Obama are, at heart, ironists of the first order, the Andy Kaufmans of the world stage. The presidency as put-on is a breathtaking bit of audacity, at first inconceivable to anyone who takes seriously the gravity of the responsibilities inherent in the office.

But it is not truly inconceivable that the former leader of the Choom Gang could have carried with him a fundamentally ironic (and solipsistic) view of the world. Stoners often retreat into irony and denial of the seriousness of matters when events conspire against them.

After I posted the earlier piece asking the question, Lucianne Goldberg sent me a picture of the First Lady’s outfit worn at the hyper-ironic commemoration of 911 she chose to attend. I consider it, with its evocation of Robin Hood robbing-from-rich-to-give-to-the-poor and its in-your-face defiance of those who criticize her efforts to regulate what schoolchildren eat in the name of combatting obesity, strong evidence that the First Couple are having a lot of laughs at our expense. Nobody has taste this bad.