President Obama's Many Shticks

American presidents, for the most part, are best remembered for what happened to the nation while they were at the helm, the important decisions they made, and the memorable addresses they gave. Certain American presidents are also remembered for their shticks.

Shtick is a Yiddish word that has joined the American lexicon. A shtick is the part of a comic's act designed to create a specific identity for the performer, an entertainment gimmick that provides the showman everlasting recognition.

Numerous American entertainers -- and sports figures -- have entered the halls of American pop culture brandishing their unique shticks. Just to name a few:

  • Boxing legend John L. Sullivan had his strut into a bar and say, "I can lick any man in the house" shtick
  • Gypsy Rose Lee had her one-of-a-kind striptease shtick
  • W. C. Fields had his "I never met a kid I liked" shtick
  • Soupy Sales had his pie in the face shtick
  • Don Rickles had his insult everyone shtick
  • Johnny Carson had his end-of-monologue pretend golf swing shtick
  • Elvis Presley had his pelvis gyrations shtick
  • Michael Jackson had his grab his crotch shtick
  • Simon of American Idol fame has his I love to be painfully honest and mean shtick

Some past American presidents had shticks too. There have been presidents with inspirational shticks:

  • Teddy Roosevelt had his bully pulpit shtick
  • Franklin Roosevelt had his fireside chat shtick
  • Harry Truman had his buck stops here shtick

There have been presidents with defensive shticks:

  • Richard Nixon had his I am not a crook  shtick
  • Bill Clinton had his I did not have sex with any of those women shtick

And there once was a president with a let's not take ourselves too seriously shtick:

  • Ronald Reagan's jelly bean jar in the Oval Office shtick

So what is President Obama's shtick? With less than one year in office by which to judge, it appears he is working on several.  So far, he has

  • the blame Bush shtick
  • the look at this mess I inherited shtick
  • the let's have a summit shtick
  • the apology tour shtick
  • the throw your best friends under the bus shtick
  • the I'm just a nice guy doing my best shtick

Sad to say, there is nothing inspirational, cute, or endearing about any of Obama's shticks. They are but intentional distractions designed to keep his opposition off-balance and his followers oblivious to the facts that our president is in over his head. If only the president's shticks came with a warning message from the Surgeon General. If only the Obama crowd realized that his shticks were just shticks.

American presidents are best remembered for what happened to the nation while they were at the helm and the important decisions they made. One can only shudder at how history will judge the Obama years.

Will these be the years when Iran and North Korea develop nuclear weapons and use them?  Will these be the years of record unemployment, government-run everything, and federal bankruptcy? What about individual liberty?

In my opinion, history will look back with disdain at the Obama presidency, and it will not stop there. Our children and our grandchildren will demand to know how this man came to power and why he was allowed to go so far. American conservatives will point the finger at a complicit Congress. Obama's former followers will lament, "Stupid me, I fell for his many shticks."