Barack Obama’s weekend lecture to the Congressional Black Caucus still is in the news.
The AP quoted Obama as saying to the members of the CBC: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”
Some believe that in journalism you always should fix others’ grammar, but I take issue with that stance. (Possessing a bachelor’s degree in journalism, I’m not talking out of my ass here.) When you put quotation marks around something, that’s supposed to be an exact rendering of what that person actually uttered. I might argue that to fix someone’s grammar in order to paint him or her in a better light actually is to show a bias.
And context is everything. As a journalist or writer you might choose not to clean up someone’s grammar in order to paint a more accurate and complete picture of that person’s personality and background. For instance, it would be, in my book, a gross distortion to write that someone uttered, “I am preparing to run for the presidency of the United States of America” when what that person actually uttered was, “I’m a-fixin’ to run for president of these here United States.”
Speaking of the president of the United States, it’s OK to quote the U.S. president verbatim, I think. There is a difference, I think, between cleaning up a rather unknown individual’s grammar for a news story and cleaning up the president’s.
What I took the AP to mean by quoting Obama that way (“Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin'”) when I read that AP news story is that Obama was trying to be all folksy with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus. If my impression is correct — and the video of Obama speaking those words to the CBC in a folksy accent that he never otherwise uses certainly seems to confirm my impression — then that is indicative that Obama has a sickening way of talking to people the way he thinks that they want him to talk to them. And because he very apparently actually thinks that that transparent bullshit actually works, that indicates to me that he’s a condescending prick.
When Billary Clinton was talking like the common folk in order to try to get their votes in the waaay-too-drawn-out 2008 Democratic Party primary race, I found it nauseating. I mean, it’s not like no one is going to notice when Billary suddenly gets a drawl or Obama suddenly starts a-talkin’ like this.
But fuck how Obama said the words or how the AP wrote that he said the words. The words themselves are sickeningly condescending: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying.”
Obama, just like his brain-dead supporters do, always tries to find a way to try to blame his critics for his shortcomings. It’s not his fault. It’s your fault. Somehow. So stop grumblin’ and stop cryin’. And put on your marching shoes.
Oh, except that Obama the hypocrite won’t slip out of his bedroom slippers himself.
“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”
Nice words, but when Wisconsinites’ right to organize and collectively bargain was under serious attack earlier this year by Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker & Co., Barack Obama didn’t show his face in the state once. Not once. I guess that he couldn’t find his marching shoes that he’d promised to don.
Yet now Obama is lecturing the members of the Congressional Black Caucus — who surely don’t need a lecture by the man who in 2008 only rode all the way to the White House on the wave that Howard Dean, not he, created– to “put on [their] marching shoes.”
Barack Obama doesn’t lead by example.
And the only thing that he does well is break his campaign promises.
He’s all talk and no action.
But it’s all our fault.
We should stop complainin’, stop grumblin’ and stop cryin’.
Yes, we do have work to do. A lot of work to do. Unfortunately, Barack Obama is working against us, not with us or for us.
Only when it’s election time is he suddenly one of us.
The rest of the time, it’s pretty fucking clear whom he’s working for.