Friday, March 20, 2009

Nix Those Presidential Gaffes And Customs

There was less tsk tsking than I suspected after President Obama's comparison of himself to that of a Special Olympics participant when it comes to his bowling prowess.

Obama uttered the remark mocking himself on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" Thursday. Even so, he apologized today to the head of the Special Olympics program.

We still live in a politically correct world and sometimes it approaches the absurd. No one likes being the butt of a joke but it is clear the president's words were not mocking nor mean spirited nor disrespectful.

Obama's bowling "skills" are pathetic. During the presidential campaign television played over and over his gutter ball in a game in which he rolled a 96 score. He told Leno his game has improved, scoring a 129 at the White House alley. At that rate, he'll be in his 16th term as president before he bowls a perfect 300.

Obama is a jock. A gym rat. A damn good basketball player even at his age in his mid-40's. A bowler, he is not.

When an amateur jock -- whether he's President of the United States or your friendly UPS driver from the neighborhood -- says he played like a "spaz," as we used to say, or physically handicapped, he implies no harm nor foul. It's jock talk. Live with it. What happens in a locker room, stays there.

In our age of instant communication through live television, radio, Internet, Face Book, YouTube, text messaging and Twitter, the politically correct police are on duty 24/7.

So the president mentions Special Olympics and immediately the PC cops track down any shrink, yahoo, special interest group spokesperson or Republican for a response. Come on guys, get a life.

I happen to believe Obama has a marvelous, dry wit and endearing sense of humor. Let him be. It makes him human. We need to encourage that in our presidents, not shackle them to timidity scared to death of saying something a few people believe is offensive to others.

As long as we're on this subject, in the spirit of Obama's "change" message, perhaps he can fore go some of the so-called traditions expected from presidents.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a few.

One, don't wear native apparel that makes one look like an idiot just to please a few constituents. Obama dressed in African garb once and probably never again after the snickers it created from Republican opponents. Remember Calvin Coolidge wearing an Indian headdress?

Stop the stupid "pardons" of turkeys the day before Thanksgiving. Think Sarah Palin.

Meanwhile, if Obama wants to convert the White House bowling lanes into a basketball court, so be it. Gosh only knows what a woman president would do. Convert it into a sewing room?

Just kidding, ladies.


stothers said...

Jerry - Permit me to take a contrary view. Here's what I wrote on my blog today, and I recommded reading the two other blog posts that I cite. I'm more than willing to cut Obama some slack and I don't this is the end of the world. But this episode is another reminder of how we think about disabilty and people with disabilities.

pre-obama dem now staunch GOP said...
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