Let us begin by noting that any argument against a president's doing something that is based on disappointment that what the president may be doing is "beneath the dignity of the office" must at least account for the fact that, in the not altogether distant past, "the office" has been the place wherein has been discussed the criminal cover-up of a burglary, the criminal sale of missiles to a nation guilty of the contemporaneous slaughter of 241 American servicemen, the commitment of the United States to join those other nations of the world that torture their prisoners, and, yes, blowjobs. Any argument about "the dignity of the office" that doesn't use these episodes as points of comparison and metrics of how we judge the relative "dignity" of things is not worthy of discussion. And, anyway, the president works for us, and the Oval Office is not the Temple of Dendur or the grotto at Lourdes. Please, people, get over yourselves.
Nonetheless, and for reasons mostly foul, we are hearing this bafflegab again when it comes to the president's appearance on Jimmy Fallon's teevee show on which the president "slow-jammed" the news. We also have heard it about the president's now-annual NCAA tournament selections on ESPN — where he's been a lot better at it than, say, me, damnit — and about his brief turn as the lead singer in an Al Green a capella tribute. There was a little huffing, too, about his singing along on "Sweet Home Chicago" when it was blues night at the White House, probably because those same people were worried that the old tune was code for him to release the Windy City thugs who are going the Kenyan-steal the election or something. Also, there's been some ongoing snarkery about how much golf he plays. And, from the Beyond, Ike gets testy and tells people to shut the hell up about that.
(It has also engaged the attention of morons, who suddenly find virtue in the principles underlying the old Fairness Doctrine, which St. Reagan did away with so that you can drive from Cape Cod to Mendocino and never not hear Rush Limbaugh. Also, FREEEEEEEDDOOOOOOMMMM!)
Lawrence O'Donnell last night provided the service of pointing out how just about every president we've had since World War II has gone out of his way to demonstrate a familiarity with at least the most polite fringes of pop culture. (This really accelerated when John Kennedy was hanging with the Rat Pack in Vegas.) O'Donnell was good enough to share with us the most spectacularly bizarre example of this that we have....
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