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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yo, dog

Yesterday in Wisconsin, post-partisan President Obama said, "Some powerful interests who have been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time -- and they're not always happy with me -- they talk about me like a dog. That's not in my prepared remarks, but it's true."

A Yahoo News article by Holly Bailey said, "Though Obama didn't acknowledge it, the line was a verbatim quote from "Stone Free," the first song [Jimi] Hendrix wrote after moving to England in 1966....It's unclear whether Obama consciously or unconsciously cited the lyric. A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment."

(Complete stanza:
Every day in the week I'm in a different city
If I stay too long people try to pull me down
They talk about me like a dog
Talkin' about the clothes I wear
But they don't realize they're the ones who's square)

Bravo to Holly Bailey for having picked up on this. At first blush it might appear not to be a direct quote; after all, it's only seven words. But the context and grammar are both so off-kilter that one has to assume it's a direct lift.

Obama's opponents don't talk about him as if he's a dog: in all the criticism which has been leveled at him, I can't recall a single canine reference. Okay, maybe that's being too literal. But most of the resentment against him is for the way he has so cavalierly ridden roughshod over the will of the American people. That is generally not an emotion one hears directed at dogs.

The phrasing is also singular: "They talk about me like a dog." Did he mean, "They talk about me as if I were a dog"? Or could he have possibly meant it in the sense of, "They talk about me like a pack of snarling dogs"? If this was not a direct lift from Jimi, then Obama's grammar can only lead one to conclude that the million dollars he has spent keeping his academic record sealed has been money well spent.

Stick to the Teleprompter, Barack.

But if you do decide to stray from your prepared remarks again and feel like channeling 60's rock stars, you ought to quote a much more appropriate song, the Beatles' Taxman. Lyrics as follows:

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.


Anonymous said...

BO and Bo.

John Craig said...


I'm just not sure which would make a better President. (There -- now somebody IS talking about him "like a dog.")

dgh said...

Excellent post John!!! The lyrics to "tax man" really finished it off!!

John Craig said...

Thank you Donna!

I was thinking about putting some other Hendrix lyrics in there, and there were some that were even more appropriate for him, at least in terms of his self image, like these from "if 6 was 9":

White collared conservative flashing down the street,
Pointing their plastic finger at me.
They're hoping soon my kind will drop and die,
But I'm gonna wave my freak flag high, high.

(You KNOW that's the way he sees himself.)

But then I thought of Taxman, and thought, that's simpler and more directly political, so stuck that in.

dgh said...

You got him pegged!! No question! I still can't believe how awful he has turned out to be! It gets worse by the day!

John Craig said...

Donna -- His sensitivity to criticism is very telling, a sure sign of a narcissistic personality. And his constant talk of the need for "bipartisanship" is also telling since he himself takes such a left wing stance. His definition of bipartisanship seems to be for the other side to completely agree with his proposals.

Anonymous said...


John Craig said...

Guy -- He only wants to have one side of that trade done.

Remember that summit he held with Fox News during the campaign? I have no doubt that had he his druthers, he'd just shut down any journalistic opposition, the same way that his soulmates Fidel and Hugo have.

Anonymous said...

John, I'm not convinced by the picture of BO as a power hungry fasco-socialist a la Chavez/Castro. But I am fascinated to hear more about what's going on in the White House right now. I have heard suggestions that BO is frustrated/angry/befuddled by what has gone so horribly wrong with "change you can believe in". I wonder if he just can't figure out why he hasn't become a post-racial Josiah Bartlett, loved by a grateful nation. The "" comment was truly bizarre.

John Craig said...

It all boils down to a narcissistic personality. He simply can't take criticism, and also can't understand why everybody wouldn't love him.

And I do think he feels much more kinship with Fidel/Hugo than with Western leaders. Remember how he sent the bust of Winston Churchill which had been in the White House for forty years back to Britain? And how he kowtowed to Hugo when he met him, greeting him as a brother in arms, then listening mutely while Chavez excoriated the US? The reason he listened mutely is that he agrees with him. And he criticizes Fox News for having the temerity to criticize him, meanwhile he says nothing about Chavez shutting down opposition journalists in Venezuela. Obama would never suggest such a thing here because he knows he would never get away with it, but I think in his heart of hearts he'd like to do it.