The PJ Tatler

Buzz Ballad: The Lame Duck of Barack Obama

The Lame Duck of Barack Obama
—apologies to TS Eliot, and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

L’État comprime et la loi triche, l’impôt saigne le malheureux
Nul devoir ne s’impose au riche, le droit du pauvre est un mot creux
C’est assez, languir en tutelle, l’égalité veut d’autres lois
Pas de droits sans devoirs dit-elle, Egaux, pas de devoirs sans droits
C’est la lutte finale, groupons-nous, et demain
L’Internationale sera le genre humain

Let us go, without remorse
And leisurely golf one round more across the course
Where we can hide from newsmen and interviewers;
Let us go, traversing roughs and greens
And, from a distance seen,
With woods and irons and putters I can flail
And scorecards fudged will wipe out any fail:
Escaping mundane tasks, for crafting policy
Just does not interest me
(Aides know better than to make the suggestion)…
Oh, do not say I’m lazing
Later on, I’ll be fundraising.

In the room the donors mutter low
Of change towards which their cash should go.

The yellow dog Democrats always vote the straight ticket.
The yellow press that builds the narrative to pick it
Has played the race card with a loud voice unceasing,
Trumpeted the bogus “war on women,”
Demanded “comprehensive immigration reform,
While of my scandals they say not a peep,
And since they rely upon mainstream news sources,
The populace, safely lulled, fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow press that magnifies my feats,
Rubbing its back like a cat on my legs,
There will be time, there will be time
For press events where they will worship at my feet;
There will be time to dodge, prevaricate,
And time for all the old Washington hands
That never think to question what I state;
Time for them to flatter me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred history revisions,
Before the morning when it’s time to tee.

In the room the donors mutter low
Of change towards which their cash should go.

And indeed there will be time
To project “I don’t care” and “I don’t care”;
Time to inflict what I think is fair,
With artfully spread spray-gray upon my hair—
(They will say: “How ‘fairness’ has gotten thin!”)
My trouser crease, my easy insouciant trademark grin
My insistence opposition’s due to color of my skin—
(They will say: “But how his rhetoric is thin!”)
Do I care
That things have gotten worse?
In a minute there is time
For historical upheavals press releases will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the volunteers, interns, union goons,
Have known the cronies to whom I’ve granted boons,
I know the voices of staged hecklers when they call
When I address a preselected room
In planned pause-and-resume…

And I have known the ayes already, known them all—
The ayes that baste you with an unmerited praise,
And when I am adulated, drawling about “folks,”
When I am questioned and asked to recall,
Then should I bandy jokes
To deflect any scrutiny of a hostile gaze?
And how should I resume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms smuggled clandestinely to cartels
(Or distributed to Islamist cells!)
Can I then achieve my goal
To close gun show loopholes?
Arms that are in private hands, I’d like to take them all.
And should I then resume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, “I understand folks are frustrated,”
And once more try to put over the tripe
Of job creation, building roads and rails and bridges?

I’ve tried to be the welfare Santa Claus
Distributing scores more of EBTs.

.  .  .  .  .  .

And I swear to you that my decrees are not amnesty!
These folks are Dreamers,
A multitude whose dream concurs
With mine, of what America should be.
Should I make a strong statement on ISIS?
It would really be a shame to waste this crisis.

But though I have golfed and postured, golfed and brayed,
Though I have seen myself (sprayed e’er more gray) continue to be flattered,
I am no leader—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen acceptance of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen Vladimir Putin eat my lunch, and snicker,
And, in short, I was afraid.

And will it have been worth it, after all,
After the clandestine diplomacy,
After the hissy fit retaliation at Bibi,
Will it have been worth while,
Having indulged my antisemitic bile,
Having aided Iran’s building its fireball
With which it dreams of solving the Jewish question,
To say: “I am Barack, leading from behind,
Come here to give you all, I’ll agree to all”—
If one, shaking the turban on his head,
Should say, “That is not what we meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

And will it have been worth it, after all,
Will it have been worth while,
After the riots and the looting in the urban streets,
After the charges and the rhetoric, picking the scabs off of the racial sore—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impolitic to say just what I mean!
But as if light from a prairie fire projected patterns on a screen:
Will it have been worth while
If one, joshing earnestly with the press one and all,
And playing to the gallery, should say,
“That is not it at all,
That is not what he meant, at all.”

.  .  .  .  .  .

No! I am not Roosevelt, nor was meant to be;
Am an Alinsky organizer, who
Was catapulted into office to
Pass policies enabling Leftist rule,
Credentialed, uneducated,
Doctrinaire, utterly incurious;
Few achievements, and those overrated;
Unmoved when actions prove injurious—
In short, the perfect Tool.

It grows old…It grows old…
My approval rating’s now the lowest polled.

Shall I still lead from behind? Is single-payer in reach?
Please send me a contribution, lest Republicans impeach.
I have heard “transgenders” singing, each to each,
Each time that I bring forth a new decree.

I have seen them riding on floats in parades;
Middle America feels it’s attacked—
Still I roil hatreds between white and black.

I’ve malingered over the economy
As Cloward-Piven drowns us in red ink
‘Til the Chinese call our debt, and we sink.