Today marks the anniversary of that infamous White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner where then-President Obama roasted the shit out of the T-Rump, and most-likely put such a scar on the weasel he caused great harm to befall the US five years later. And that horror sustains itself to this very day.
No, wrong! All Obama did really was tell the truth, stretching the comic buffoonery across the-then social media that was the T-Rump a decade ago — a TV shithead-hoaxer; a lying, grifting, narcissistic douchebag:
Obama roasting Trump is fascinating to watch 10 years later https://t.co/Ki8g7kemDO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 30, 2021
Obama was blistering, yet right on (via Time):
Donald Trump is here tonight. Now I know that he’s taken some flak lately. But no one is happier—no one is prouder — to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald.
And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter: Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?
All kidding aside, obviously we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example … no seriously, just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around, but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership, and so ultimately you didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meat Loaf, you fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night.
Well handled, sir. Well handled. Say what you will about Mr. Trump, he certainly would bring some change to the White House. Let’s see what we’ve got up there.
Change? F*cking change? F*ck!!
In retrospect, one of the best views of that fateful WHCA Dinner came from Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker in September 2015 — apparently Gopnik’s first and only attendence, but it was a doozy:
Trump was then at the height of his unimaginably ugly marketing of birther fantasies, and, just days before, the state of Hawaii had, at the President’s request, released Obama’s long-form birth certificate in order to end, or try to end, the nonsense.
What was really memorable about the event, though, was Trump’s response. Seated a few tables away from us magazine scribes, Trump’s humiliation was as absolute, and as visible, as any I have ever seen: his head set in place, like a man in a pillory, he barely moved or altered his expression as wave after wave of laughter struck him.
There was not a trace of feigning good humor about him, not an ounce of the normal politician’s, or American regular guy’s “Hey, good one on me!” attitude — that thick-skinned cheerfulness that almost all American public people learn, however painfully, to cultivate.
No head bobbing or hand-clapping or chin-shaking or sheepish grinning — he sat perfectly still, chin tight, in locked, unmovable rage.
If he had not just embarked on so ugly an exercise in pure racism, one might almost have felt sorry for him.
Unknowingly, though, the future nearly six years ago was worse going ahead:
Some day someone may well write a kind of micro-history of that night, as historians now are wont to do, as a pivot in American life, both a triumph of Obama’s own particular and enveloping form of cool and as harbinger of — well, of what exactly?
A lot depends on what happens next with the Donald and his followers. Certainly, the notion that Trump’s rise, however long it lasts, is a product of a special skill, or circumstance, or a new national “mood,” is absurd.
Trumpism is a permanent part of American life — in one form or another, with one voice or another blaring it out.
No one in their right mind in the fall of 2015 could have seen the T-Rump as president, and the horror the country would feel in the next four years. However, history can be a shit-pie-in-the-face sometimes, and come back around to kick you in the ass.
A longer version of the night, via C-SPAN:
Those days of innocence — yet Obama was cool.
Just three days later, May 2, 2011, he announced the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, an ongoing operation that had been in action the night he roasted the T-Rump.
In memory — per The Washington Post this morning:
Ten years have passed since a team of Navy SEALs and Army helicopter pilots flew 162 harrowing miles into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden, a daring mission that represented perhaps the U.S. military’s only pure victory in 20 years of mostly unsatisfying war.
Earlier this week, the two men at the center of ordering and overseeing the raid — former president Barack Obama and Ret. Adm. William H. McRaven — gathered at Obama’s Washington, D.C., office to reflect on the operation ahead of its 10th anniversary, which falls on Sunday.
For both men, the meeting was an opportunity to recognize those who had made the mission successful.
“The number of people who operated at the very highest levels for a sustained period of time; that’s something I appreciate even more a decade later,” Obama said.
A toast of a time…
(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Harlequin Head,’ found here),