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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Obama For Sale

Summer is traditionally a weak shopping season, but lately the bargains just keep on coming. First there was an offer to have dinner with Obama and now a chance to have him there in your family photo. You can bid on an opportunity to wish Obama a happy birthday in person with the present that he likes best... money.

The prices are reasonable, and there are so many ways to buy Obama. You can play the dinner lottery or ask your wedding guests to gift to Obama. The Barack Obama website accepts all payments, Visa, Discover, Master Card, foreign donations and stolen credit cards.

The opportunities are endless. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, major disasters; everything is just another reminder to give till it hurts. All you have to do is click one of the many buttons beneath the color-tuned hues of  Instagram photos of Obama or his worse half smiling while the country slides deeper into poverty and debt.

There's a reason that they call America, "The Land of Opportunity". Sure it's gotten a lot harder to come here and make a fortune with your own business, but buying time with the man at the top has just gotten a lot more affordable. You may not have the big wallet of a Warren Buffett or a George Soros and you won't cash in to the tune of a few billion dollars like they did; but for 25 bucks you might end up briefly exchanging pleasantries with the man who is slowly sending you to the poorhouse.

The designers are working overtime digging up retro fonts that summon up the image of a more prosperous America. There are so many Obama portrait shirts that they will be filling up landfills for generations. More likely, they'll be shipped over to the Third World, along with all the other surplus clothes that people donate once the trend has passed or they no longer fit, and, somewhere in an African village, children in the year 2021 will run around playing in "Obama 2012" t-shirts and Islamic terrorists in the Sahara will execute rebellious women while wearing "Forward" shirts.

You can get a "This is Change" shirt that lists all the things that Obama has done on the back, but the text is too small to read on the website, so, like ObamaCare and Obama 2012, you will have to buy it to find out what's in it and on it.

There's a collar for cats that says, "I Meow for Michelle" and an 85-dollar Vera Wang tote bag with Obama inside a scrawled heart. There's an Obama-themed dog collar, to express the relationship between the administration and its lapdogs, and a t-shirt with an all-red American flag that has a distinctly Soviet feel to it. There's a 65-dollar polo shirt designed by rapper and Farrakhan supporter Russell Simmons; which is just a generic polo shirt with a small Obama logo.

A Joe Biden cup holder sits next to a knit Obama dog sweater, a silver Obama brooch, an Obama basketball jersey, an Obama University hoodie, which has a seal but no motto,  along with beanies, keychains, more dog collars, water bottles, tumblers, lanyards, cuff links, duffel bags, tube socks and a dog bowl with the Obama logo inside for your dog to drink out of.

Obama isn't just a politician; he is a Walmart of useless crap. A one-man Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Fitch and Ed Hardy with enough t-shirts, polo shirts and bandanas to outfit a small army of young men and women with more credit card limits than taste. And upstairs on the third floor of his cyberspace Target, you can find a plethora of 90-dollar reusable canvas bags from major designers that have become the stamp of consciously responsible consumption.

You can buy Obama and wear Obama all over your body. You can read Obama at the beach, stick him on your toddler, your dog and your cat. You can cover your car, your house and your barn with his stickers. And, if you are truly lucky, you may even win a chance to spend 72 seconds in his presence before you are firmly ushered out to go back to your Obama 2012 car and drive back to your Obama 2012 yard sign where your dog is barking for food in his "Obama Best Friend" collar and then sit down to read through the Help Wanted ads in the paper while wearing an Obama Hope Lapel Pin.

The price of meat has risen sharply, going up by a dollar to a dollar fifty a pound since last summer, and beef consumption has fallen to an all-time low. But that's okay, because you can still grill your burger in an Obama 2012 apron while using an Obama grill spatula to embed the Obama 2012 logo into the meat that your family eats. At 40 bucks, the grill spatula isn't exactly cheap, but it's a bargain compared to what another four years of Obama will cost you. And the burgers with Obama 2012 on them are a date stamped in time, reminding you that, if Obama wins in 2012, pretty soon you won't be able to afford meat at all.

There's an old joke about an honest politician being a man who stays bought. And while you can buy hundreds of dollars worth of ObamaCrap 2012, you don't have the money it takes to buy Obama. That's reserved for the bundlers and the billionaires, who get their payoff in the form of bailouts and stimulus packages. Al Gore gets a 500-million dollar loan to build cars in Finland, Solyndra executives get another 500-million for their 100 thou worth of donations and Warren Buffett gets billions in bailout profits. But you get to take home a 15-dollar dog collar with your master's name on it.

But don't worry, it's only money, your money, and they have to give it away to somebody. Paul Holland, a venture capitalist who sucked up some of that sweet money, described a DOE official walking into the room and announcing, "I’m Matt Rogers I am the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Energy, and I have $134 billion that I have to disperse between now and the end of December.”

"So upon hearing that," Holland said, "I sent an email to my partners that said Matt Rogers is about to get treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard. And I had the lack of judgment to go up and share that with him and the other people who were all standing around him…Fortunately for me they all laughed and thought it was funny.”

Of course Rogers thought it was funny, because Matt Rogers wasn't the one getting treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard. The American taxpayer was the one being treated like a hooker in that crony capitalism exercise yard. Rogers, a longtime employee of energy consulting firm McKinsey & Company, who went back there after his brief term dispensing hundreds of billions of dollars, was just the assistant to the pimp-in-chief.

In Hollywood there's a big difference between the movie producer and the guy who buys a ticket. Holland, like Buffett and Soros, is a producer, and, like producers, he shares in the profit of the trillion-dollar production of Obama 2008 and is hoping to share in the boffo box office of Obama 2012. That's a world away from the chumps buying Obama spatulas and dog dishes who can bask in the historicity of a national debt that is so big it might as well come with a dog collar around their necks.

Obama's supporters can buy tickets to the inauguration, buy lottery tickets to win a dinner with Obama or a chance to feel Obama's sweaty arm on their necks for 3.5 seconds in an Instagram photo. They can buy Obama merchandise, share Obama on social media and do all the other free promotional grunt work that fans are tasked with in the social media age, but all they are ever going to be are spectators.

No matter how many shirts reading, "We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For" get lugged around an impoverished country by tired UPS men in brown; there has never been a "We" here. Obama is an "I" guy and whatever "We" there is, is strictly limited to the kind of people who don't buy t-shirts, but who buy energy companies and banks.

Obama is for sale, but like the 100-dollar reusable tote bags, you really can't afford him. And unlike the bags, you won't be able to afford him even if you skip a lot of meals this summer. The "Win a Dinner with Obama" and "Win a Family Photo with Obama" and "Win a Lock of Obama's Hair" entries are meant to create the illusion that Obama is affordable. That you can buy access to him the way that you can buy his t-shirt.

While his website pitches branded bangles, running shorts, baby bibs, golf divots, blankets and a "Michelle 2012" gold pin, the real action is happening where the big men and women are being pitched more tangible benefits of another four years from a guy who spent 5 billion dollars a day. An administration which in its first term compelled every American to buy health insurance as a penalty for breathing has a lot to offer its crony capitalist billionaires. And the benefits don't have anything to do with "history"; only with "profitability."

The best con artist makes you pay for the privilege of being robbed. He doesn't just take your money, he convinces you to buy his t-shirt too.





17 comments:

Me said...

He makes a very nice tuna salad sandwich, so I will take him.
OH! sorry my mistake I thought he was literally for sale . ;)

Anonymous said...

I dunno, I found this column not up to your usual standards. Lots of politicians market this stuff, and themselves. Romney is all about profits for the few, not about productivity. I wish there were better choices.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

For some reason Romney doesn't seem to be selling dog collars or gold pins with his wife's name on it.

Obama is about profits for the few. What Romney is for we'll find out when he's elected, but it can hardly be any worse than the last few years have been,

lemon said...

Romney is all about profits for the few?
He employs people. He creates businesses that employ people. That makes profits for everyone.
Among Bain Capital’s investments under Romney, the large job creators are clearly Staples and Sports Authority. Both of these were small, young companies when Bain Capital invested in them. Bain invested in Staples when it had only one store, so there were likely fewer than 200 employees at the time. Bain appears to have invested in the Sports Authority when it had fewer than ten stores. Unfortunately, there are no public data to say how many people were employed at that time. At the end of 1998, Staples had more than 42,000 employees, Sports Authority had almost 14,000, Gartner Group had almost 3,000, and Steel Dynamics had over 500. So at the beginning of 1999, when Romney left Bain Capital, these four companies alone employed almost 60,000 total employees. While some of the job growth at Sports Authority came from acquisitions, there is no doubt that these four companies created tens of thousands of jobs over the period.

Anonymous said...

Masterful. Daniel Greenfiled hits the subject with the subtelty of an asteroid.
4 more years of obama will mean 14 more years, 40 more years... the end of America as we knew it. There has never been such an important election in American history, one that separates Americans who think like individuals from the bunch of sticks who act like zombies.

"We are the ones we have been waiting for" could perhaps in a saner time be a logo for those who believe in American exceptionalism... but now it's just the non-argument of the pampered generation of post-americans that have reached a part-time maturity to vote but will continue to prolong a mental adolescence throughout the most would-be productive years of their lives.

Perhaps they really are the ones we've been waiting for... the ones who represent what's at stake here, the ones we don't want to be, the ones who upon hitting the bottom reach out for the dynamite and keep on drilling. Yes, America has been waiting for people like that, a real threat to wake conservatives out of their slumber.


RUI

Edward Cline said...

Daniel: This is one of the most revealing columns about Obama that I've read – a veritable sales campaign to sell a suit empty of everything but his Marxist commitment, chock full of all the junkie "freebees" one could imagine. It surpasses the T-shirts and coffee mugs and bumper stickers offered by candidates of more modest means. Obama offers so many themed goods I'm surprised his staff hasn’t funded his own department store chain. Perhaps he has, and I'm missing it. Or perhaps he's signed a contract with McDonald's or Burger King to sell Obama and Michelle Action Figures. Perhaps he's signed a contract with a sports equipment outfit to sell special basketball back-boards emblazoned with the Obama campaign logo, or golf balls stamped with the same logo (the balls wouldn’t be true; they'd be weighted to hove to the left). Or official Obama pooper-scoopers (that would go over well with the greenies in his flock) with Bo's mug below the logo.

In the meantime, I recommend a YouTube link to the "Rainbow High" number from "Evita." The lyrics are clever and so apropos. I otherwise have no use for Madonna, and in fact this is the only movie in which I can tolerate her. She's graduated from understandable lyrics to just showing her butt and mammaries at concerts. The number could have been about his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, but she's letting herself go to pot as she cruises the world on our dime with her girlfriend, Huma Abedin, forging alliances with tyrants and Islamic supremacists.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh1YDQRHbpE&NR=1

libertyandlead said...

Well written and thought provoking, thanks Daniel. We live in interesting times, I hope we survive them. -55six
reblogged @
libertyandlead.wordpress.com

Edward Cline said...

Re your Obama-Mart article: I wonder how much of this junk is made by virtual slave labor in China, that is, by serfs employed by companies largely owned and operated by the Communist cadre there? That would be fitting, and very telling. If true, Obama couldn't very well claim that Romney has sent jobs overseas and that he's responsible for the growth of jobs in America. But then, if it is true, no one is going to raise the subject, especially not the fawning MSM.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

that is a very good question, would nail him on the outsourcing thing

unfortunately it would probably require buying this stuff to find out and I wouldn't put it past the campaign to remove any telling labels from it

Keliata said...

Excellent political profile.

Keliata said...

Edward--I agree with you re Rainbow High. Little suggestion--If you don't like the Madonna version go back to the original by Patti LuPone:)

Dan Kurt said...

re: "4 more years of obama will mean 14 more years, 40 more years... the end of America as we knew it." ANON

We need 4 or less years of Obama. The USA, Europe, China and the whole train of economies that are linked together are about to CRASH and I do mean CRASH.

If the REPUBLICANS hold the presidency it will be Hoover REDUX. Then you, Mr. Anonymous, will get your forty or more, much more, years of DEMOCRAT HELL on earth. The Liberals have brought us here so let them take the rap.

From what I have seen of Romney, he is just another RINO, a Democrat light. Do not expect anything other than COMPROMISES and BIPARTISANSHIP from Mittens.

Dan Kurt

Anonymous said...

"Obama isn't just a politician; he is a Walmart of useless crap."

Love it. Just caught up with the whole of last weeks output. Impressive.

I'm still waiting for a "Hubris and Nemesis" riff from you. Of course, you'd have to believe Obama was going to fail if you indulged that template, and maybe you don't. Whilst the insight is startling in your work, I've yet to detect an intimation that he will crash and burn. Or perhaps you don't do prognostication?

If star-gazing isn't your gig, I'll be disappointed but I'll understand. Your output is prodigious and I'm still love-sick at it. I'll settle for that if I have to.

Anonymous said...

Churchill

Franklyn said...

FYI Edward Cline Daniel Greenfield
While I am for a new POTUS, had you checked the Web site
https://store.barackobama.com/?limit=9999&source=primary-nav
you would have read "Made in the USA." for the clothing and bags, in fact almost everything has a "Made in the USA" claim.
That, of course, does not mean it IS "Made in the USA," but if you believe POTUS & Pals, then . . .

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes the site does claim the items are Made in the USA. Whether they are or aren't, would require knowing who the manufacturer was and where that manufacturer has plants.

If the manufacturer was American Apparel, which is plausible in the case of the t-shirts, then the work was probably done in America, but by mostly illegal aliens.

Tatersalad said...

First the President, Barack Obama makes a statement at a forum that "You didn't build that" and then receives negative press and attack adds and rightfully so. A couple days later he then tells us "WE" took it out of context...........again! How condescending is this President. "We heard you loud and clear Mr. President and you will hear all of us loud and clear in November."

1. "You didn't build that"! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjOzSOK3yRI

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=192oEC5TX_Q&feature=related

3. http://weaselzippers.us/2012/07/24/new-obama-ad-i-did-not-say-you-didnt-build-that-even-though-i-really-did/

4. http://weaselzippers.us/2012/07/25/obama-says-he-has-no-patience-for-attacks-on-his-you-didnt-build-that-comment/

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