Thursday, 30 June 2016

BREAKING: in what seemed like a cheap Valedictory speech, Obama builds Canada’s ego…

The President also confirmed Canadian’s farts smell better than any other nation’s

This could have been the headline from after president Barack Obama addressed parliament yesterday. 

Like a single guy at last call, Obama was determined to make sure the person (or people) he was talking to, felt like the prettiest belle at the ball. He did this with the typical rhetoric about friendship and trade, following this up with Beavertail anecdotes, and plenty of jokes staggered carefully through the speech. 

Was Obama trying to pump Canadian MPs up before summer break by telling them what they want to hear? Yes. In my opinion because he's a lame duck, with limited desire to say anything more than generic positive pluralist values, this is what he's left with. That and inform Canadians we had the best smelling farts in the world. Thats the only explanation in my mind for how the PM was acting. With the amount of times during the stream of Mr. Obamas speech that Justin smiled and knowingly nodded while slightly lowering and tilting his head, and then putting on an expression most reserve for inhaling the odour of their own gaseous bowel releases. 

Obviously i’m being a bit stupid here, but the point i’m trying to make is, why the hype if this whole speech was going to be fluff? Presidents don’t address the house that often, it is a big deal. When they do, its usually to set up policy for future leaders, or for themselves if they are at the beginning of their terms. 

This was not the case, Obama is a lame duck, and his speech was more a stand up act that also happened to espouse liberal, pluralist values at the same time. 

In their last days in office, presidents have some power to make activist moves. They can pardon individuals, finalize executive orders, in Obamas case try and slip in one last liberal Supreme Court Justice. Obama has a plethora of issues he could dress in his remaining days. He could take a last stand for freedom and privacy issues for instance, and pardon Edward Snowden. He could have mentioned in his speech some regrets on his administrations toxic and contradictory stance on Marijuana, and compliment Canada’s clear move to bring some sense to international drug policy. 

Instead he made jokes about hockey, Beavertails, greying hair his brother in law, burning the White House in 1812, and basically anything else that would pander well. He also called PM Trudeau, "Justin Trudeau" once, and simply “Justin” four times. A move a former leader was criticized for during the last election cycle.

The core of Obama’s speech; some comments about  UN and NATO commitments, with the soon to be famous line “The world needs more Canada” was about as progressive as he was going to get. It was all obvious pandering though. For instance after compliments the Liberals for raising the pride flag, and Complimenting himself for making the White House a rainbow:
“The colours of the rainbow flag have flown on Parliament Hill. They have lit up the White House. That is a testament to our progress, but also the work that remains to ensure true equality for our fellow citizens who are Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.” - Macleans speech transcript  
He  then went on to say: 

“I have a bias on these issues, but — but our work won’t be finished until all women in our country are truly equal, paid equally, treated equally, given the same opportunities as men; when our girls have the same opportunities as our boys. That’s who we need to be.” - Macleans speech transcript

So you’ve just said you want to make progress on LGBTQ issues, but you only want our “girls, and boys” to have the same opportunities?

What i’m digging at is the obvious pander. Whether or not Obama cares about these issues is irrelevant. As even the Liberal minded CBC put it “Obama tells us what we want to hear, and Canadians love him for it” . He knew he had to give a shout out to Gay Lesbian Bi and Trans people, but in the very language of the next sentence we see the gap in how far you can pander to a Liberal democratic audience. 

To mix up trans rights issues and equal pay for women, dilutes the power of both issues because in making a giant even diagram of issues, you lose people opposed to the new addition. Trans people have said there is a wage gap for them as well, why isn’t this issue brought up when discussing equal pay? 

Because it doesn’t sell. Because this whole display, from the Trudeau twins nodding along and smelling their own farts (why was the PM’s wife on the floor anyway, is she gunning for an office?), to Obama giving obvious support to Hilary, and making some carefully ambiguous Trump disses. Watching the speech was a waste of time, and I guess that makes writing about it worse. However, I had to sit through the nonsensical fart sniffing pander that occurred, and now, if you’ve reached this part of the article, and you’re a Liberal staffer who had to check this because of a google alert (likely how I achieve readership) then i’ve paid you back. 

If you’re not affected by my obviously specific burn, then I only hope you’re as annoyed as I am over the pander filled waste of a speech, by a lame duck president. 

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