Send in the Obama Clowns

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


rodeo-clownOn Saturday night in Sedalia, a Missouri city with a population that would fit into Arrowhead Stadium four times over, the entire nation was shaken when a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask performed his usual routine. Toward the end of Obama’s first term a tornado had torn through Sedalia blowing off roofs and destroying a school bus barn, but that was nothing compared to this.

The governor of Missouri stated that the performance, which involved Obama being chased by a bull, did not “reflect the values of Missourians”. He did not clarify whether the other times that a rodeo clown was chased around by a bull did reflect those values.

The lieutenant governor “implored” the governor to “hold the people responsible for the other night accountable”. The best way to do that may be with a Un-Missourian Activities Committee. Senator McCarthy may have subpoenaed actors, but UMAC’s Obama clowns can subpoena rodeo clowns.

Senator McCaskill called it “shameful.” Congressman William Clay called it, “an ugly face of intolerance”. It was unclear whether he was referring to the clown, the man whose face he was wearing or a country where intolerant mockery of intolerable politicians was no longer tolerated.

The Missouri State Fair apologized and banned the unnamed rodeo clown for life and announced that they are reviewing their contract with the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association. Their next contract will hopefully have an ironclad “No Mocking Obama” clause in place to prevent another tragedy from taking place.

The announcer has resigned as president of the Cowboys Association, even though he had yet to be caught smuggling assault rifles to Mexican drug dealers or lying about a terrorist attack on an American diplomatic facility, and may also be forced to resign as Superintendent of the Boonville School District.

The vicious monster claimed that it wasn’t his voice on the tape saying “he’s gonna getcha, getcha!” but did concede that he said, “Watch out for that bull, Obama.” Several news organizations are currently analyzing the tape, as if it came from a gentleman named Zapruder, to determine the voice behind the rodeo thoughtcrime.

The Kansas City Star described the bull run as “borderline illegal”. “The U.S. Secret Service takes threats against the president seriously,” its editorial said. “While the president himself was in no danger here, it’s the kind of stupid activity that could give nuts ideas about harming the president.”

It’s comforting to learn that Obama experienced no personal danger from the rodeo clown. Even the most creative Hollywood villain would find his imagination stressed to the limit trying to recreate the Missouri State Fair as an assassination plot.

But the Star’s Yael T. Abouhalkah is right to remain vigilant against the threat of someone smuggling an angry bull on board Air Force One during its next jaunt to Martha’s Vineyard or hurling a furious Red Angus from a catapult into the White House.

In a world where Socialist is a racial slur, why can’t bull be an assassination plot?

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. And sometimes liberty is the price of eternal vigilance against subversive rodeo clowns.

A clown, perhaps the same one, or another of the Spartacean clowns crowding the arena, was heard to say, “I know I’m a clown, he just run around acting like one and doesn’t know he is one.”

The unknown rodeo clown, like so many court jesters throughout the ages, was expressing the very subversive sentiment that the only difference between the clown and the crown is that the former knows what he is and the latter doesn’t.

In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Olivia tells her steward, “Oh, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets. There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail.”

Like Malvolio, Obama and his supporters are anything but generous and guiltless. And so they take every bird-bolt as a cannonade. A rodeo clown quickly becomes a national crisis. The pettiest insult to a petty ego must be avenged, punished and transformed into a teachable moment.

There are no “all-licensed fools” allowed anymore, not even at a state fair, a place that no one could imagine Obama paying a visit to (barring an election or an exploitable school shooting) because fools like Obama and Malvolio who do not know that they are fools do not tolerate fools gladly.

A strong ruler kept all-licensed fools who would tell him what he did not wish to hear, but a weak ruler would only keep allowed fools who would mock his rivals and his enemies, but never him.

If you want to see allowed fools capering on stage, tune in to Saturday Night Live where grotesque depictions of Obama’s enemies are the norm, but where, until recently, Obama was played in uncomfortable blackface by Fred Armisen, a white liberal, as a man who is just too good to be mocked.

But what can’t be seen on the stage of Saturday Night Live must go underground to the Missouri State Fair. In every totalitarian country, the jokes that can’t be told are told anyway in secret places, between friends and to rural and working class audiences. The Soviet anecdote was born out of such restrictions.

“Premier Andropov,” one anecdote went, “I heard you collect political anecdotes. How many do you have so far?”

“A whole Gulag,” was the answer. An eagle-eyed Daily Kossack with a camera has added one rodeo clown and one cowboy president to the Obama gulag.

Unlike community organizers, cowboy presidents however are capable of bearing the stings and arrows of rodeo clowns.

Twenty years and a whole other nation ago, a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair not only wore a George H.W. Bush mask, but even swapped out a dummy in the same mask that the bull tore apart on the spot.

The nation did not shudder, the politicians did not call for the clown’s head and there was no secret service investigation of a possible assassination-by-bull plot by a gang of rogue rodeo clowns.

But that was America; a strange and different country. It was not perfect, but rodeo clowns, comedians and your neighbor Bob felt free to mock the President of the United States without worrying that the heavy hand of manufactured outrage would descend on their necks.

It is hard to describe that America to a younger generation that has never lived in it and has never known anything other than the liberal morality mobs of the Obama age eager to pounce on some offense of heteronormative white privilege committed against liberal conformity.

Maybe the best way to describe life in the US, before the dawn of the OSSR, is with another Soviet anecdote.

A Moscow cop sees a man poking a hole in the tire of the American ambassador’s car. The vandal puts his mouth on the hole and begins sucking in the escaping air.

“What are you doing?” the cop demands.

Sheepishly the man tells him, “I wanted to breathe the air of freedom.”

Now that even those of us in Sedalia, Missouri are choking on foul Moscow smogs, I wonder whose tires we’ll have to poke through to breathe the air of freedom.

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  • Mike Turn

    While everyone is getting exercised about this clown, the Democrats continue to hush hush Democrat Mayor Bob Filner’s mounting cases of sexual crimes. Why is there no cry for him to resign from the left? Why is the left’s (and some on the right) outrage for this rodeo clown so much more greater than for Democrat Mayor Bob Filner? Is it because Filner has the magic D behind his name? I think so.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      It’s just naked politics for the left now.

    • m4253y

      ‘demon’crats are incapable of a war on women…they just rape them like the mussies do

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      It’s not a problem for them. It’s just a sex thing and the left doesn’t want to be bothered with sex issues. The left would stand behind this guy if he wanted to marry a goat.

    • frodo

      Who’s hush hushing? Even this website notes that many prominent Democratic politicians are asking Filner to resign. He should do the honorable thing and leave office (and not try to get the City of San Diego to pay for his defence–which Council’s not going to authorize).

      And, I think that the excitement about this rodeo clown business is fading away, as well it should.

      • Mike Turn

        Frodo: I’ve seen more stories and more time spent on this rodeo clown story than the Filner story by a wide mile. Democrats behind the scenes may be asking Filner to resign, but the media is not telling us this, certainly not to the extent of the rodeo clown story. That’s the point.

        • frodo

          Blame the media–absolutely, our press has a lot to be ashamed of, not least over-covering this pretty silly story that Obama’s right not to comment on.

          But that’s the press’s foolishness and pandering, not some effort by the Democrats to hush up a story that’s no secret.

          • Mike Turn

            Frodo: You may not have been paying attention for the past few decades, but the media is squarely in the lap of the Democrats. No better proof was Candy Crowley’s behavior at the Romney-Obama debate where she incorrectly corrected Romney regarding Benghazi. She saved Obama’s butt, which a moderator is not supposed to do. Do you think any media moderator would save Romney’s butt. No way. They went after Romney and his dog, but aren’t interested in Obama’s transcripts. Frodo, if you can’t see that the Dems get free pass after free pass and defense from the media, then you’re not paying attention.

          • frodo

            I do not think that this is the case, but it’s not something I want to argue. One point: NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, etc are all corporate entities and that alone argues against the “news” being in the pocket of one party or another except, perhaps, that of the plutocrats.

          • Mike Turn

            GE is a corporate entity, but if they want government largesse, they make electric cars, that no one will buy, but they will get the money. Similarly all of those bankrupt solar companies like Solyndra. They were corporate entities, but dependent on the Federal government for their existence. So being corporate does not mean that they aren’t government dependent or party friendly. Tell me when you’ve heard any story that is anti-abortion on any of those news stories. They sure tried to bury the Gosnell story. But, part of the bias, is that the reporters and producers of the news are liberal (up to 90% of some outlets), so they think liberal and do not put their bias at the door when they do stories. Again, Frodo, if you can’t see that these outlets are pro-Democrat, anti-Republican then you haven’t been paying attention. I see you glossed over the Candy Crowley example, hmmm. Wonder why? Could be that it is evidence for what I’m saying. And now the Obama clown story hits – and many in the media are giving much time to those who think this is racist (mostly liberal), while ignoring the fact that this fair (and other fairs, and movies ) have had characters with President’s masks on. But the media is trying to make it sound like this is a first, when it isn’t. Why are they doing that, Frodo? Why aren’t they putting this into the proper context, instead of trying to portray a situation that isn’t entirely accurate? Media bias, perhaps? Similarly with the George Zimmerman case – taking out parts of his conversation with 911 in order to portray him as a racist. Why did they do that? Media bias perhaps? Is this enough examples for you Frodo. I’ll wait for examples showing conservative bias by the media to balance out the ones I’ve given you.

          • frodo

            The Candy Crowley “evidence” is an outlier–if anything, the problem with the debates is that the moderators are too accommodating to all the candidates. There’s a corporate bias in the media, a bias only intensified by consolidation.

            I think that the media covers things that are easy and that will drive ratings–like this ridiculous clown story–and that the bias is driven by profits more than politics.

            I note that you gloss over an entire network dedicated to one point of view that nonetheless pretends to “objectivity.”

          • Mike Turn

            If Crowley was an outlier, then I would have expected the rest of the media to outright condemn her. But, you and I know that didn’t happen. In fact, she was praised and lauded, certainly not condemned. She did the heavy lifting that others didn’t do or want to do. Yes, the moderators accommodate the Democrat candidate way more than they do, if it all, the Republican candidate. You recall that Romney’s dog was an issue, but Obama’s grades were not. Which is more relevant to the President job? You may say grades are not, but certainly one’s dog isn’t either, but which got more play in the media? The dog. Remember Mike Wallace coming up with dirt on George Bush before 2004 election (I believe) which was run quickly by the media, but later was found to be false. However, when ACORN was busted, the media ran nothing about it, other than stories of whether it was right to bust them the way they did. Kermit Gosnell story was called “a local story” and thus got scant media attention until well after the story had broken. I could go on and on about liberal media bias. But you haven’t shown me any evidence to balance this out by giving me conservative media bias in the mainstream media. If you can’t do that, then it’s obvious that the media is biased towards the left, and that is my position, until you can show me conservative bias (and not 1 or 2 stories, but many) that the mainstream media has shown. I’ll be waiting.

          • frodo

            You won’t like the material here, I’d bet, but there’s data that suggests reports of “liberal bias” are greatly exaggerated where they aren’t just made of whole cloth:

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Liberal_media

            Note too that even the numbers about party affiliation carry less weight than many of the lamenters want to think.

            And this: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Liberal_bias

            As I say, corporate bias, but that’s not necessary party-related (or even very effective as it seems awfully easy for you to recognize).

          • Mike Turn

            Frodo

            Wiki leans left. How do I know? Years ago, I tried posting something that was politically incorrect (was something leftists would not like to hear), but not inaccurate. They took it down pronto. The first line of the first source, already leans left.

            Frodo. There have been studies to see who the media votes for, what issues they believe in, etc. And it always leans left by huge margins. See this UCLA study:
            http://www.tldm.org/News8/MediaLeansLeft.htm
            And another one regarding voting preferences of the media:
            http://archive.mrc.org/biasbasics/biasbasics3.asp
            Again, I ask you to show me instances of Conservative bias, and so far, I have nothing to show for that request.

          • frodo

            Rationalwiki is not the same as wikipedia–and it’s not relevant anyway. The data doesn’t support any simple attribution of bias one way or another–the only bias I can see is (again) corporatist.

            I am not especially interested in proving that there’s liberal or conservative bias–that’s pointless game.

            As a side note: the UCLA study is flawed: http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002724.html

            And, it’s ironic to cite a frankly conservative site like the Media Research Council’s while at the same time alleging wiki is lefty.

          • Mike Turn

            I only note Wiki is lefty in that they weren’t willing to accept arguments that they didn’t like. Every organization leans one way or another..no one is truly unbiased. So I would say that both left and right wing organizations can find the truth, but it seems that the left likes to hide it more than the right (the left doesn’t like non-left opinions, whereas the right generally accepts non-right opinions, although not agreeing with them). So, to discredit an organization because it is “right wing” is biased on your part, as there are plenty of truths to be found there, whether you like them or not. UCLA study flawed? How? Because they come up with conclusions you don’t like?
            Calling the issue of proving that there’s liberal or conservative bias as pointless is pointless itself, as there IS a bias and you know it – and it leans left. I gave you a number of examples (which you ignored) of left wing bias in the media. You cannot give me any conservative bias from the mainstream media, can you?
            I’ve learned over the years that people want to stop arguing an issue (it is pointless) when they are losing the argument, because if they were winning it, they would continue to pound their side. You don’t see people winning a chess game resigning, it’s the guy who’s losing who will often resign rather than play it out. I’ll give you credit in not calling me names and being able to have a good discussion without that (as many who lose the arguments resort to the name-calling).

          • frodo

            But it *is* pointless, or maybe better to say that it’s the wrong question. Media concentration diminishes the range and investigative zeal of the media–and what bias there is comes from that more than any particular party affiliation. That’s what’s troubling.

            The UCLA study has flaws because it makes assumptions that cannot be backed up with evidence–there’s an extensive commentary on this that’s easily found. It’s not the conclusions, but how they get there.

            And from my reading around at the Media Research Center, it appears that at least part of their criticism proceeds from some equally unexamined assumptions.

            I’m not arguing the same issue as you, I think.

          • Fritz

            So what? Do you think that a corporation can’t enjoy the fruits of socialism as well through promoting it? It’s called crony capitalism. Many of the high rollers on Wall Street are guilty of sucking off the public teat through bailouts, special licenses, and contracts.The big broadcast networks also have something else to be concerned with, the FCC oversees broadcast license applications and renewals, they don’t want to run too far afoul of the party in power.

          • frodo

            Corporate bias, absolutely. That’s something other than political.

      • ziggy zoggy

        And yet the clown is still banned from the MO fair for life, the announcer was fired, all involved must take “sensitivitey” courses (probably even the bulls,) and the fair will earn less revenue from now on because many people will quite rightly boycott it.

        Innocent people are being persecuted by racists. Just more bumps in the road, eh? Oh, well. Our new banana Republic don’ need no steenkin’ rodeos.

        • Mike Turn

          I’ll bet there are some that would like the government to investigate all of the people at that rodeo for racist attitudes. But of course, this is all a dodge to take our attention away from genuine Obama failures and Democrat efforts at controlling more and more of our lives.

  • camp7

    Greenfield extraordinaire!

    I think the mask was a notable improvement of the real McCoy …

  • objectivefactsmatter

    Phony scandals were promised. Some times the DP can deliver.

  • KHilde

    Yep … you (Mr. Greenfield) are right, right, right.

    1. NAACP calling for DoJ to investigate the implied “racist death threat” (i.e., “Hey folks, would you like to see a bull run Obama down?”).

    2. The mainstream (i.e., left-wing) media and all liberals aghast – - just aghast and shocked! – - at how “racist” it is for a clown to wear an Obama mask, and in editorial comment disguised as “just-the-facts” news articles – - declaring that a clown wearing an Obama mask at an “official state fair” is very different from the thousands of (private, non-state-sanctioned) protesters from the Nixon era on (i.e., from 1969 on), who marched around all over the T.V. news wearing masks and doused with fake blood to emphasize what “baby killers” Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 were – - and that any attempted comparison is … “racist”. Oh, and “stupid”, too.

    3. Obama, usually quick to proffer personal comments (see: Henry Louis Gates; Trayvonn), is up to now selectively silent (just as he is selectively silent with regard to … Benghazi, Fast & Furious, etc). Where are his comments, say, to the effect that …

    (a) what the rodeo clown did is a minor matter and he would prefer that the press – - and the NAACP – - continue assisting with Obama-care and the All-Amnesty Immigration Bill; or,

    (b) what the rodeo clown did, falls under the 1st Amendment’s freedom of expression; and in any case, he’s man enough to stand the heat of the kitchen and is not interested in someone getting fired for criticizing him.

    To put it another way, it looks like we’re going to have about 4 more years of “Oprah Obama” … racism! racism! all is racism!

    -I tried to go to Hermes Boutique in Paris but they wouldn’t let me in because I was black!

    -I tried to buy a $50,000 hand-bag at a boutique in Zurich, Switzerland, but they told me I couldn’t afford it and to go away, because I was black!

    -I tried to make America understand the truth of the phrase, “Better Living through Socialism”, but half the country rejected the truth I was offering … and on top of that, DuPont Chemical sued me, too, all because I was black!

  • Hank Rearden

    Suppose he had worn a Mitt Romney mask?

  • ReyR

    Mr. Greenfield, I may be repeating myself, but every day I read American non-MSM, I get this uncanny impression that I’m watching a replay of the events in the USSR when Gorbachev pretended to control our destinies.

  • roxanne_wodtli

    All these people who make their living in the rodeos should not be forced to partake in the shameful sensitivity training that the liberals want them too.

    Lars Lars (famous talk show host) says rodeo people should just not even

    go to states that make people partake of this until it is withdrawn. It is wrong when Obama wants people to skip even make their living. Mr. Obama better not
    forget that he is HALF WHITE too.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      He left that half behind LONG ago. It’s just an old dream (of his father). He knows that race politics is buttering his bread and padding his wallet.

    • Howard

      As far as I can tell, his dad was just an opportunist in the way many men are or would like to be, but it was his mom’s side that raised him to have the personality and principles we see today. In other words, it’s his white side that I blame.

      • ziggy zoggy

        True but you missed the part where he learned to love islam. That didn’t come from his mother’s side.

        • Howard

          Again, I’m not so sure. It’s pretty clear his ideas about religion are of the cafeteria variety. Some of his religious thinking clearly comes from Islam, a bit from Christianity, some from New Age-type thinking, etc. He’s clearly not “orthodox”, or for that matter serious, by anyone’s standard; he’s more of an Oprah-style “spiritual but not religious” guy. Sorry, I don’t see him accepting any restrictions on what he eats or drinks, let alone praying 6 times a day. This context for his Islamic ideas seems to trace back again to his white, liberal family.

          • ziggy zoggy

            I don’t know. I read that idiotic book he dedicated to his possible father. I think he does all he can to strengthen Islam because he has daddy issues. But yes, he obviously has no religious conviction. He’s as narcissistic as a prom queen.

    • ziggy zoggy

      Sensitive bull riders and rodeo clowns? WTF? Next they’ll be forced to become vegans and listen to Beyonce. First the military and now cowboys. Who’s next? MMA fighters?

  • sarah leah

    I agree. Hold the perps accountable. GIVE THEM A MEDAL! (for meaningful guerilla theater – bringin’ it home – power to the people). It is most likely the most appropriate image for Obama – a clown. But it does great disservice to serious, accomplished rodeo clowns. Obama doesn’t have the heart or the spine for such a career.

    • Howard

      Would that he were a clown. Certainly the cartoon version of Clinton was more likable than the real thing.

  • panola60

    What??? We’ve seen Nixon masks, Carter masks, Reagan masks, Bush masks, Clinton masks but for some reason these folks feel Obama should be special because he’s superior. Clearly those that object are the real racists.

    • Demetrius Minneapolis

      I agree fully. I can’t remember how many times I saw effigies of GW Bush and Rumsfeld being torched during their tenure and the media didn’t say a peep.

    • Mike Turn

      I don’t remember seeing so many Carter and Clinton masks as Bush and Regan masks. It’s a leftist thing to degrade the Republican President with masks and non-legitimate character attacks, while the right typically criticizes the policies of the Democrat president.

      • ziggy zoggy

        True but Clinton’s policies tended to focus on chasing any skank in a skirt.

    • Princeton67atCoxdotnet

      I believe those who find malevolence in the theatrics of the clown are not opposed because of racism but instead view the actions as blasphemy against their god.

      • WhiteHunter

        Absolutely correct, Princeton. See, e.g., the role of The Fool in “King Lear,” and Lear’s reaction to The Fool’s comments, which no one else in the Court would have dared to make, even slyly, as The Fool did.
        In medieval and Elizabethan times, monarchs often kept a Fool at court not just for entertainment, but also to speak the truth to them, sarcastically, with impunity. Just as victorious Roman generals returning home in a Triumph with prisoners, slaves, and gold had slaves whispering into their ears on the chariot, “Remember, You are mortal!” as a reminder not to be too proud, and not to over-reach in all the glory of victory.
        It was a pagan tradition, of course; and perhaps it did little good. I don’t think anything like that would fly today, as a new President is inaugurated and sworn in on the steps of The Capitol as the most powerful man on earth.
        But what an interesting question for some daring reporter to ask our next President-elect, before he takes office: “What do you think about the way the Romans did things?”

    • nightspore

      And does anyone remember the play “MacBird”? There was some criticism, but given the content of the play, the response was amazingly muted. I certainly don’t remember scads of people falling all over themselves to apologize.

  • Servo1969

    “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – Voltaire

    • Jack Wisdom

      Great quote. Thanks.

    • Howard

      Since you are quoting Voltaire, it is not inappropriate to point out he would have said, “whom you are not allowed to criticize.”

      • Gill O’Teen

        Voltaire would have said neither ‘who’ nor ‘whom’, he was French.

        • ziggy zoggy

          I doubt anybody on this thread is French. That’s why the quote was translated into English.

          • hiernonymous

            What was it translated from, though? Not what language, but from what work?

        • WhiteHunter

          If you insist, the original was probably something like: “…qu’on ne doit jamais ridiculiser.” I don’t know when, or in which work, he said or wrote it.
          But let’s not quibble! The great, wise Frenchman’s tart wisdom (in this quip as in so many others of his) stands the test of time and should inform us today, no matter in the original or in translation!

          • hiernonymous

            “I don’t know when, or in which work, he said or wrote it.”

            The more interesting question to me is “if.” I don’t know this to not be Voltaire, but I’ve seen no attribution more specific than his name. All too often, internet surgeons attempt to improve their patients’ health by means of a name transplant. “The graveyards are full of indispensable men” is a worthy thought, but what’s even more interesting is the array of notables to whom it is attributed.

      • ziggy zoggy

        That was a bit pedantic but correct. “Who” refers to the subject clause and “whom” refers to the object.

        • Waiting

          There is an easy test for this: Insert him or he in the place of the second, such as: “find out ‘he’ you are not allowed” or “find out ‘him’ you are not allowed. The words she and her could also be used.

          • ziggy zoggy

            Yes. That’s how I used to explain it to students. “Him” is better than “her” because it ends in an “M” the same as “whom”does. That makes it easier to remember.

          • Waiting

            True. Was just adding the fem gender for those who might care.

          • WhiteHunter

            My good friend, Waiting, there’s another site where we beat one another up, or more often just politely disagree and give advice about grammar, syntax, and usage: Grammar Geeks. It’s through LinkedIn, and posts require real names. I’m a member there, too, and always enjoy entering the lists against honorable adversaries.
            Here, we talk only about opinions concerning the article we’ve read on this page, arguments, and counterarguaments about it.
            Sign up for that other site, too, and enjoy the very different type of learned but always polite combat!

          • Waiting

            As you might read, my first comment was not the original about the use of language on this thread. Although I did comment on the clown’s job/occupation and the respect he deserves, I commented on this language/grammar topic because it was already being discussed. It was not meant as an argument.
            Thank you for the invitation, nevertheless.

        • Howard

          I was being intentionally pedantic. It fits my opinion of Voltaire.

          • ziggy zoggy

            Yeah, he had some good one liners but not much else.

          • hiernonymous

            As long as we’re being pedantic, 1) he’d have likely written neither “who” nor “whom,” as the majority of his work was in French [edited to add that I see I'm not the first to make this observation], and 2) where did Voltaire say this? I see hundreds of versions of this quote on the internet, invariably attributed to “Voltaire” without being more specific. I’ve never run across it, but I don’t pretend to have read even a significant fraction of his stuff. Anyone have any idea where he is supposed to have made this comment?

          • Howard

            That is a common misconception. In fact, Voltaire wrote exclusively in mid-20th century American English. In fact, he appears to have had access to the Chicago Manual of Style, 12th edition, but both how he obtained a copy and why he chose to follow it have long been disputed by experts.

            The line comes from his 1750 review of THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. In its original context, it referred to the person or persons who supplied him with a copy of the book. His main criticism, by the way, was that the book needed more sex. More than 200 years later, Tom Clancy would take this criticism to heart in his later books.

          • WhiteHunter

            Oh dear, my good friend, Jerome (the English equivalent of your Latin screen name, as in that saint’s translation of The Bible into Latin known to us in English today as The Vulgate). I think our friend Howard made a very good point, don’t you?

          • hiernonymous

            Wouldn’t that be “Jernome?” Though the translation ruins the joke.

  • Elizabeth Cape Cod

    Obama is bull sh!t. It’s was high time he met his maker !!

    • Howard

      … on the road to Damascus. And I’m not talking about the Syrian civil war.

  • davarino

    All hail Obama

  • Deerknocker

    “While the president himself was in no danger here, it’s the kind of stupid activity that could give nuts ideas about harming the president.”

    Give me a flicking break. Just how incredibly nuts would you have to be to conjure up the idea of harming the president from watching a rodeo clown in an Obama mask dodging a bull? Besides, everyone knows Obama would be in no danger whatsoever. He is quite adept in tossing the bull. Remind me never to waste the purchase price of the Kansas City Star.

    • Veracious_one

      “While the president himself was in no danger here, it’s the kind of
      stupid activity that could give nuts ideas about harming the president.”

      Obama should pay attention to what Muslim clerics are saying about him and quit worrying about harmless roedo clowns trying to make people laugh…Obama is the real clown…

  • tickletik

    Let’s take the concept of racism and throw it out the window. Just like with false rape claims. Once the concerned group has misused the privilege of our compassion and respect, then there is no need to show them respect on this issue. Since both the black community in general, and the female community in general has allowed the maniacs to use these terms to bludgeon the innocent into the ground, they are showing no respect for the claims of racism or rape, and as a result they don’t deserve to shown respect when making those claims.

    I’m not going to go around insulting black folks, but I no longer care if anyone else does. Similarly, I have not and never will rape, but I no longer take a rape accusation seriously. The burden of proof is now on the accuser.

    • WhiteHunter

      The civil rights movement was a noble crusade (and participation could be very dangerous, even fatal) into about the mid-Sixties. But like so many others (the EPA comes to mind, and even NATO), it has been unable to take a bow and accept a grateful “Mission accomplished. Well done” once its original important purpose had been achieved. Instead, it continues to seek (or rather concoct) new and more far-reaching excuses to continue to exist and to expand.
      It has become merely another extortion racket, and a sure road to power and riches accumulated parasitically in complete safety. One of its most effective weapons is its control of our vocabulary, and there’s no better example than the prohibition even against speaking the full names of two well-known, once-legitimate organizations that now go only by their acronyms: the NAACP and the UNCF (most often now referred to simply as “The Fund). Does anybody still remember what their full names were?
      Even Martin Luther King referred to his own race as “Negro” (yes, as in “United Negro College Fund); now, it’s an offensive, “racist” term. And “colored people” (as in “National Organization for the Advancement of Colored People”) is, of course, absolutely verboten (although “people of color” is okay). “White” is fine; but “black” (instead of “African American”) is becoming borderline.
      A few years ago I saw a news story about some protest or other in South Africa in which the protestors were absurdly referred to “African American South Africans”!
      Go figure….

      • Howard

        The pastor of a church I attended in Japan used to refer to himself as an African American because he was born in Africa but had become a US citizen. Yes, he was white.

        • WhiteHunter

          Thank you, Howard. You make an excellent point. In his case, that was completely accurate and made perfect sense. But why didn’t he just refer to himself as a Christian? I’m sure that was his most important characteristic.
          I’m a 4th generation U.S.-born citizen of entirely European ancestry (Polish, German, Irish, Danish); but my AKC-Registered dachshund has a far “purer” pedigree, bloodline, and traceable ancestry, over many generations, than I do, as I like to point out. Compared to her, I’m a mongrel!
          Finally tiring of being asked, “Hmmnn, what nationality is your name?” I asked a young colleague who very obviously looked “Asian” but had a very “white bread” English surname (he might have been adopted as an infant, but I had the good taste not to ask; it didn’t matter) how he dealt with such annoying questions.
          He laughed and said, “I get asked that all the time: ‘Hmnn. You don’t LOOK British. What ARE you?’ You know what I tell them? I tell them, ‘I’m an American.’”
          I wish we could all focus on what we are, what we believe, and how we behave, rather than on who came over when, on what boat, and from where and how.

          • hiernonymous

            To be fair, those interested in cultural diffusion, languages, or any number of related fields, may take a genuine interest in the origin of names without intending any left-handed editorializing thereby. I’d say that as long as the enquirer doesn’t make it any more personal than “from what language is your surname derived,” I wouldn’t look for an opportunity to be offended.

  • CGleason

    If they think the rodeo clown was bad, they should hear what the real people really say about “Obummer.”

  • aposematic

    The D Party flexing their want to be Dictator muscle to see how far the coward people will let them go. Apparently in MO the sky isn’t even the limit to the D’s evil.

  • Infidel4Ever

    All who mock Lord Emperor 0bama must be crushed. Welcome to 0bama’s America.

  • WhiteHunter

    If we had a President, he would look and act just like the rodeo clown. Oops…we do, and he does!

  • Fred Hayek

    These are the same people who tattled as kids. It says alot about what they think of the President if they think he can’t stand up for himself or that he needs that kind of defense.

  • iluvisrael

    Instead of wearing an obama mask, this guy should have made a film where George Bush is assassinated – oh wait, some guy did do that!

  • RLJR1

    communism next we’ll be jailed for speaking about him watch out its coming and soon

    • ziggy zoggy

      The clown didn’t speak about him at all!

  • Mileaway
  • Yancey Ward

    You can’t mock liberals. So much of their identity is tied up in their belief of their intellectual and moral superiority that any mockery is the equivalent of a physical assault.

    • BS77

      Clown wear mask. Oh Boooo Hoooooooo

  • JimB

    Our nation has lost its sense of humor. I blame political correctness, but the Democrats may really be the cause. When you no longer have the right to poke fun at the President, you have crossed some line that will be hard to recross in the other direction…unless we elect a Republican, then all bets are off!

  • KellyJ

    True “Isms” from the Left:
    Last election the Left ran old white guys against a woman (Bachman), a black man (Alan West), and a gay man (Carl DeMaio; for mayor of San Diego…and we see how well Democrat Bob Filner has turned out; War on Women indeed).
    Only proving that the Left is a bunch of old white guys who are Sexist, Racist, and Homophobic.

  • Veracious_one

    Obama doesn’t seem to mind those Islamic “Death to America’ rants…..The Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to destroy America from within and Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood…I think a rodeo clown having a little fun has bruised Obamas messiac ego, Obama would have laughed if the clown had worn a George Bush mask…

  • Grouchy Old Man

    Where is the ACLU when you really need them? This is tailor made for what they profess to believe in.
    I just finished a letter to the Governor of Missouri claiming I will avoid their state as much as possible. Since I live in Oklahoma, it’s not an empty threat.

  • http://shugartpoliticalaction.shugartmedia.com/uncommonsense/ Chris Shugart

    Obama is not the Pope. He’s not the Queen of England. However, I dare say that he and his supporters believe he should be treated like both. Welcome to the new American Aristocracy.

  • mdhawthorne

    My, my, my. You can have a crucifix submerged in urine win an award in a contest partially sponsored by the U.S. Government – because it’s “art”. You can not have a rodeo clown give an artful performance wearing an Obama mask. That just speaks volumes showing how pathetic our society has become. The cowboy has my vote.

  • Digl

    You know…..I understand the outrage.
    The clown shouldn’t have worn that mask.
    The bull should have worn it……….on his Ass!

    • steve b

      THAT’S NOT VERY RESPECTFUL OF THE BULL’S ASS, IS IT? AS IN, OBAMA WALKS INTO A DOCTOR’S OFFICE WITH A PARROT ON HIS HEAD. THE DOCTOR ASKS WHAT THE PROBLEM IS AND THE PARROT SAYS, “HOW CAN I GET THIS WART OFF MY ASS?”

  • Howard

    Clearly the Secret Service needs to investigate Columbia Pictures. The movie 2012 might give nuts ideas about using a big wave to drop an aircraft carrier on a black president.

  • oldironsides

    Mocking the messiah is outright blasphemy. The clown should be burned at the stake. In someone else’s famous words: “Behead those who insult the Prophet.”

    • JDinSTL

      The future will not belong to those who mock the prophet of Islam. So, the rodeo clown will follow the producer of that video to jail. And, Egypt is still burning. Same stuff, different day. Golf anyone?

  • steve b

    THE SECRET SERVICE FROWNS ON THREATS TO AN OBAMA MASK? WHERE THE HELL WERE THEY WHEN A MOVIE WAS MADE ABOUR THE ASSINATION OF GEORGE W. BUSH – WHILE HE WAS STILL PRESIDENT.

  • Waiting

    The clown who gets in the arena with the angry bull, risking his life while the bull rider climbs the fence or runs for the gate, deserves much more respect than a president who thinks more of himself than it is necessary to think. Whether that clown has on a fabricated mask or clown paint, is not what is important. He is making light of his very risky job, making the crowd forget the danger.

  • The Westerner

    Great article by Greenfield. One error though: the Bush/mask/bull encounter was in Cowtown, NJ, not Missouri.

  • Bamaguje

    I don’t understand… it was alright for the lamestream media to regularly mock and disparage former president Bush, but rodeo cowboys aren’t supposed to do the same to demigod Obama.

  • schmenz

    Awww…did the pwesdent get his wittle feelings hurt???

  • Tina Trenner

    This has a bigger message…Just like Zimmerman the Progressives are organized and on the alert to find a nothing story that they can transform into “outrage”. This is telling those in middle America to “watch it…be very careful what you say and do”. To think that the Gov. and the announcer backed down tells you who is winning the fight for communism in America….Advice to Missouri…Put on your clown masks and rally around the clown…before these idiots win the whole country. Get a back bone!!!!

  • quousque

    All uproar on the left is just because the skit in the rink was too close (way too close) to the world reality (Syria, Egypt, Putin etc. each playing role of a bull). And no one noticed about the clown being ankle deep in bull/horse/cow manure. Good grief, Uncle Joe, Kims, Mao and Adolph are smiling from their respective graves.

  • Mike Ray

    I figured the politicians would like the clown. They’ve had nothing but a circus going on in D.C. for several years now!

  • Debbie G

    No jokes about Obama being full of bull-you-know-what? I’m so disappointed in the commenters!