No one will ever forget the White House wang-dang-doodle that took place during Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s visit to America last month. The glitz-and-glam White House state dinner honoring the man who runs the country that supplies America with the bulk of its illegals was a memorable evening of spinelessness, delectable cuisine and Latin rhythms.
It was about recognizing “bonds,” rejecting borders, bashing Arizona and giving the uninteresting George Lopez something to talk about on his painfully stagnant television program. It was a much-needed escape for an over-worked, distressed Messiah with only so much of himself to give who had spent his every waking moment – every molecule of energy and focus – trying to figure out how to stop the Gulf oil spill.
The highlight, of course, was Calderon’s harsh criticisms of the Arizona illegal immigration law, delivered on American soil – in front of a joint session of Congress, no less – culminating in a standing ovation from Democrats.
For those who may have thought that such a golden treasury of memories could never be duplicated, you thought wrong.
Enter Sir Paul McCartney – former Beatle, songwriter extraordinaire, uncouth moron.
On the soil of the country that solidified his legend – on the very ground of the nation that has embraced him and deified him for more than four decades – he took a page from the Ungrateful Rich Bastards handbook and decided to toss dignity onto the fecal pile of civility by insulting a former President of the United States. Without a shred of dignity – with the grace of a lanced boil – the author of such classic songs as “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Let It Be” decided it was appropriate to play panty-waste politics at an event that was to be decidedly non-political – his receiving the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song – and take a jab at an ex-American President.
After extending his thanks to the Library of Congress, the 67-year old Mother Nature’s Son said, “After the last eight years, it’s good to have a president that knows what a library is.”
Of course, Barack Obama has been President for 17% of the last eight years, but we know what Paulie meant.
And incidentally, George W. Bush – a voracious reader, by all accounts – reads books that would short-circuit the lovely Liverpool lad’s brain and cause his head to explode.
As a lifelong Beatles fanatic, collector of Beatle memorabilia, and one who has a genuine reverence for the genius of McCartney’s songwriting, I don’t give a damn how great “Hey Jude” is, or how much I adore “Can’t Buy Me Love,” or how impressed I am with “For No One.” This man – this foreigner – has some pair of iron apples to stand on American soil and insult a former Commander-In-Chief of the United States of America.
It isn’t only improper, it is a thoughtless, selfish jab at half of his audience.
Why would he go out of his way to alienate a sizable chunk of people who love his work by going political?
Where is his graciousness?
What did it accomplish?
Well, another White House party, of course.
From the Washington Post:
Arguably the most influential musician alive, the 67-year-old pop architect was in the East Room to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, celebrating an unparalleled career that spans his years with the Beatles, Wings and on his own.
“In a few short years, they changed the way we heard music,” Obama said of the Beatles before presenting McCartney with the prize. He added that he was “grateful that a young Englishman shared his dreams with us.”
The president also welcomed an array of artists to perform McCartney’s tunes and genuflect before the maestro. Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Faith Hill, the Jonas Brothers, Jack White, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Herbie Hancock, Corinne Bailey Rae and classical pianist Lang Lang each offered thoughtful reads on the McCartney songbook.
But McCartney was the first to perform, and despite feigning nerves at a Tuesday news conference, he waltzed into the East Room as if it were his living room. He dived into “Got to Get You Into My Life,” plunking away on the same Hofner bass he played on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 — his once-boyish yelp now an older, coarser shout.
Let’s pretend the “party all the time” White House machine was grinding along with a Republican at the helm while the Gulf oil spill continued to wreak havoc more than a month after it began. And let’s pretend that instead of Paul McCartney, the honored performer was someone a little less liberal – a country singer, perhaps. And let’s pretend it was the second White House bash inside of two weeks while unemployment continued to tickle 10%. And let’s pretend there was a scandal brewing about the White House’s involvement in promising jobs to people for dropping out of specific political races.
The outrage would be incalculable.
The fallout from a White House so “out of touch” would be downright toxic.
But to so many, Barack Obama is like a hot babe. He’s a Beatle. He’s just too cool for the rest of us to be harping on issues like ineffectiveness and weakness. He’s the Messiah we can touch and smell and gush over – unlike invisible men in the sky who pass judgments. He’s the one who can see the other side – unless that other side is conservatism. He’s the one who will bring the world together – except longtime allies of America. He’s what all of us – including Paul McCartney – have been waiting for.
Paul, do me a favor.
Get back to where you once belonged.