Well, we aren’t positive you can actually shoot a clay pigeon for treason, but betraying Our Beloved Helmsman to the media as a serial fibber probably seemed like an act of treason to His Eminence, and he may therefore regard skeet as traitorous given the liberal appetence for indicting surrogate and preferably inanimate talismans for the follies of humans—kind of like the kid who bumps his knee on a chair and gets even by kicking the chair—and besides, let’s face it, it gives us yet another opportunity to revisit our favorite (though historically specious) quote about Thomas Jefferson. And as steadfast readers know, we really like that quote! (Quote viewable here)
But that’s not important now.
What matters is that the picture is here, folks, in fact it’s been out since Saturday, when you might typically release something you weren’t all that eager to subject to the scrutiny of the weekday news programs. And it arrived with more warnings and cautions than a pack of Chesterfield Kings! We are sternly admonished that:
“This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests [sic] approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”
Well we’re in the clear on that one, because nothing we are about to say in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. Well, okay, maybe the White House. After all, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge used to live there! Oh, and Thomas Jefferson once shot a man on its lawn for treason—oops, there we go again. Sorry.
There are two excellent reasons why WOOF would not dream of photoshopping or tampering with the above image. First, we can’t afford the gear—it’s expensive—the good stuff, and until our request for a bailout comes through and our stimulus money starts pouring in, we just won’t be able to Photoshop much of anything—or gear up to produce all those uselessly defective solar panels we want to manufacture, either! The second reason, of course, is that only a political ingrate would consider tarnishing so perfect a comic masterpiece with any additional flourishes—heck, it would be like adding a laugh track to a Three Stooges hunting farce. Why bother? The picture itself is a diamond—a multifaceted gem of tomfoolery capturing in one glorious, frozen moment of 12-gauge thunder, the cold, clammy angst of one man, desperate to appear real.
Wooing the “legitimate” hunter…?
In eyeing this as outreach intended to shore up support amongst gun owners, the NRA and most of the right-wing media are missing the point. This isn’t outreach, it’s first aid for Our Beloved Helmsman’s injured-ego. Something in his haphazard sense of machismo impelled the President to crazily insist, during his NewRepublic interview, that he shoots guns all the time. At skeet. This is, after all, a man whose clinical narcissism has been so exacerbated by a cooing and drooling media establishment that he has come to expect any lollapalooza that escapes his lips to pass immediate muster, whether he is assuring an audience that destroying the coal industry is perfectly okay because we’re going to build nuclear power plants all over the country, (even though he just shut down Yucca Mountain, so there’d be no place to store the spent fuel), or telling astonished students at a graduation ceremony that he met his wife in class at Harvard, which is blatant nonsense given that the Obamas met in Chicago in 1989 when the President was an associate at the Sydney Austin law firm…
…or that his dad served in WWII (nonsense) or that his Uncle liberated Auschwitz (which would have been the neatest trick of the week, because Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Army) or that he would walk the picket lines with Wisconsin Union members (he never quite got around to it), or that he was born in Kenya (which it satisfied him to tell folks before it made becoming President impossible, at which point he ceased to be born in Kenya) and all of this, and so much more, being total horsefeathers. Clearly the President is a man who has perfected what Charles Krauthammer sneeringly called “situational reality.” But the media just report this schlock; they never question it—why would they question the word of their cosseted, coddled creation?
When it transpired that the girl friend he described in his autobiography was not a real person, nobody on the left affected to notice. When he told George Stephanopoulos that his Muslim faith was important to him, Stephanopoulos simply corrected him, saying “You mean Christian.” And the whole show rolled on as if nothing, nothing at all, just happened. But something short-circuited this time—and if the Great Helmsman’s will-o-the-wisp sense of masculinity sought to reaffirm itself briefly by simply winging some noisome cow paddy about skeet shooting at a subservient interviewer, it must have felt doubly threatened when the reliably sycophantic scribbler from the New Republic challenged the plausibility of such a story, almost statim. This called for more and thicker manure, of course, and fast, too, so Dear Leader piled it on furiously, insisting that not only did he shoot Skeet, but that he did it “all the time.”
Unfortunately, the gun climate in America at the moment is intemperate, both Left and Right, and the President’s new skeet shooting hobby was therefore irresistible news. Obama could have said, “Oh, I used to work in a nuclear power plant,” or “Well, when I was a kid, I was a Boy Scout and I played on the troop hockey team,” or “You know, I’ve always dug deep to give to charities that support autistic kids,” and everyone in the media would have made a note of it, remarked on the wonderfulness of it all, and moved right along, like always—but guns? Oops! Guns are hypnotically transfixing to Americans, and especially so nowadays; a fact that seems, fascinatingly enough, to have completely eluded the New Lincoln. A lie about skeet shooting should have been digested by the masses no less alacritously than a lie about anything else—but such was not the case. Americans take their shooting irons seriously, and the aftermath of this Executive Whopper was felt even in the sinistral sancta of MSNBC and the New York Times.
That members of the Washington Press Corpse should so thoughtlessly and indecorously violate protocol as to ask a hard question is almost unthinkable nowadays, but at the press briefing for Monday, January 27th, Jay Carney was asked the ugly question: How often does the President shoot skeet at Camp David? The boy propagandist replied that he didn’t know. Were there pictures? Carney replied that he didn’t know, adding that he had never seen one. Go figure. He was then actually pressed on the strange absence of any photographs of the Kenyan Nimrod at sport and explained that “When he goes to Camp David, he goes there to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.” But in fact, at least one photographer accompanies the First Marxist everywhere except the lavatory, so as LBJ would say, that hound won’t hunt.
The second 2nd Amendment
The President might have supposed his expatiation, fed on the spot to the New Republic, more than amply disingenuous to put him out of harm’s way. He had, in fact, attempted to make a silk purse out of the misstatement by turning to a favorite Left-wing fantasy point. You see, he explained, “I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake. Part of being able to move this [gun control] forward is understanding the realities of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that.” And blah, blah, blah. So okay, why is he saying this stuff? As outreach to the hunting community? No, he is saying this stuff because the Left is determined to rewrite the 2nd amendment, that’s why! It is a main goal of the gun grabbers to deconstruct the right to keep and bear arms and rehabilitate it as some bizarre statement to the effect that, “A well provisioned larder and dinner table being necessary to the family togetherness of certain bitter clingers in fly-over country, the right of these yawps and crackers to go hunting with their dads and uncles shall not be infringed—at least not immediately.” This is why we have all the shrill liberal pandering to “legitimate hunters” as though they could be split from the NRA like peeling off a minority voting faction—and why we have shatterpated hysterics like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sobbing that nobody needs ten rounds to kill a deer. It currently suits the Left to pretend that the rights of hunters were first and foremost in the minds of the Founders, whereas in fact, the rights of gun-owning citizens to blow the heads off anybody who threatened the freedoms they were vouchsafed by the Constitution was more to the point—or as Roger Sherman succinctly put it in 1790, the 2nd amendment exists to guarantee “…the privilege of every citizen, of one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made.” If Sherman had deer in mind, it certainly wasn’t apparent in the moment.
In search of evidence!
The White House next scrambled to assemble folks who would be willing to reminisce about the President’s skeet shooting—to finesse the problem with a few satisfying narratives from those who had ostensibly been present for the festivities, as it were—so out came the usual gang of idiots. But the idiots were not keen to wax assistful, and many of them seemed to break down half way through their dubious testimonies. Men and women who might have been comfortable swearing that the President read Montesquieu or played tournament-level chess, or maybe had a black belt in Judo, seemed to shy at the excessive hurdle of describing him as Sergeant York.
One source close to the president offered that “This has only happened…at most, a couple of times.” Another informed source was equally leery of commitment, declaring that, “The only time he shot skeet was at the President’s Cup [actually a shooting competition involving the Marines in the White House guard]. He stayed about five minutes and couldn’t leave fast enough.” But this, the well-intentioned lackey explained, was perfectly understandable, because “Skeet shooting is very hard, especially for someone not used to guns…He couldn’t have been more uncomfortable.” Well, obviously, that wasn’t working, and to further trounce the Presidential ego, along came that hot mamma from the irrepressible rural South, Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) and darned if that blonde bombshell didn’t up and challenge Our Beloved Helmsman to a skeet shooting match! Things were coming apart fast, and steps had to be taken—and that brings us to the riotous high point of the entire burlesque: The now infamous photograph. A White House so bent out of shape over the simple, obvious nonsense that the First Fantasizer had spewed on the cusp of a silly whim, thinking only to sound a trifle less sissified and unmanly, decided finally to produce a photograph. And now we have it, America—the most outlandish signal to date that the Obama administration inhabits some parallel universe in which realities are a dime a dozen, and the only deity apart from Marx, Mao and Alinsky seems to be P.T. Barnum.
Michael Hampton of the U.S. Skeet Shooting Association is either a Democrat, or the kindest fellow around, for his assessment of the photo is, perhaps, the most charitable one to date. Hampton studied the picture and declared, “It isn’t something he does very often because of how he’s standing and how he has the gun mounted.” Really, Michael—ya think? Let’s face it, the photo is so ridiculous it must be concluded that the Administration declined to employ any technical directors for fear of a leak. Nobody shoots a shotgun like that—nobody except Barack Hussein Obama!
The Administration obliged loyal flak (okay, strategist) David Plouffe to tweet the “proof” with the dead-pan message: POTUS shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David on Aug. 4, 2012,” and the now infamous picture. Obviously aware that nobody in his right mind was going to accept the validity of the picture, Plouffe made a transparent effort to steal the march on the army of critics sure to assemble in the wake of his tweet, adding, “Attn skeet birthers: Make our day—let the photoshop conspiracies begin!” But nobody, not even Richard Nixon, ever hated ridicule as savagely as the man currently in the Oval Office—and no President has ever been so thin skinned. The notion that this photo was fed to the lunatic fringe so that the president and his sophisticated entourage could enjoy the ensuing hysteria is at least as implausible as Obama’s secret life as a shot-gunning nimrod.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Okay, comes now the fun part. What on earth are we looking at here? Let’s begin with what we cannot be looking at. The President cannot possibly be shooting skeet in the photograph. Skeet are released by a mechanical sling that sends them soaring through the air, and they are customarily targeted in mid flight. Yes, some are slung lower than others, but the President has his shotgun leveled at a flat trajectory, as though he is shooting the clay pigeons off fence posts. For treason. Seriously, what on earth could he be firing at? Did he study under Dick Cheney? Is he such a mensch that he orders the skeet be fired directly at him, so that he can, with blazing accuracy, pulverize the hostile discs as they launch, like our Strategic Defense Initiative does enemy missiles—or would have, had the President not suspended its development?
And the gun is not placed against the President’s shoulder. A careful inspection of the photo shows that Obama has the stock only half to his shoulder, half sticking up over it.
A 12-gauge shotgun simply cannot be discharged like that without inflicting serious injury on the shoulder of the maladroit shooter. Nobody would fire a shotgun that way twice! And who shoots skeet in a polo shirt? Skeet shooters wear vests as a matter of routine with extra shells snugged in them for reload, or carried in a shoulder bag. The vest offers padding to absorb the not unprepossessing buck of the recoiling weapon. Is somebody handing the President his shells as he shoots? Is he so contemptuous of the sting of the mighty 12-gauge that he disdains to employ padding?
What on earth is he discharging from that shotgun? Black powder? Talcum powder? No shotgun in recent memory discharged so much smoke, not even in the movies. Was a special smoke-producing load manufactured for the President’s big moment, or is the smoke merely photo shopped in, thus accounting for the apparent lack of any recoil from the blast? Experienced shooters will tell you, if you doubt us on this one: There is no modern round for a modern gun that squirts quite that much smoke out the barrel.
Much has also been made of the ported barrel, because shotguns don’t typically have ported barrels, but some extremely expensive Italian shotguns do, and so does the Browning Citori 625 in the hands of the President. And you can get one of your own for 4,799 dollars, so shop early, while it’s still legal to own one!
Why is the President wearing a watch he has never previously been photographed wearing? WOOF has no clue. Is he in fact wearing a wedding ring? (WOOF believes he is, others think not.) Why is the photo said to have been taken on August 4th, the President’s birthday? Does he enjoy busting the caps on a few rounds of birdshot so much that he spent his birthday doing it, and if so, why does he look like, on the whole, he’d rather be in Nairobi? Look, let’s face it, whatever this ridiculous picture is intended to demonstrate, it demonstrates nothing but the fact that Obama is an ego driven flim-flam artist who would still be voting present in the House of Representatives if the American Media weren’t wholly dedicated to backing his every enormity as though it were the latest exemplification of his supernal genius. And here it comes again. Everyone who notices the obvious—that this silly photograph is at best a picture of a little man holding a big gun because he is terrified the truth may leak out about a silly boast that nobody believed in the first place–will be hooted to derision in the lap-dog press until all protest ceases.
Run! Run! Here come the Skeeters!
Already, the left-wing media machine has gone into high gear vilifying any critic of the skeet pic who might otherwise be given a fair hearing in the public arena. Picking up Plouffe’s cue, they are calling critics of the photo “Skeeters.” In other words, the message from the Obama Media Establishment is that only a right wing nut-case racist paranoid could be so crazy as to suggest that rappin’ preezy doesn’t really enjoy blasting a few clays out there at Camp David! And therefore, all thinking, sophisticated, non-racist Americans must accept the genuineness of the photo as a matter of course, or at the very worst, dismiss its manifest inauthenticity as a matter of no consequence. Got that? And perhaps the most amusing aspect of this kabuki dance is the level of dorky, unquestioning obeisance it ignites among the usefully-idiotic media sicophants. Consider the doggedly imperceptive Erik Wemple, blogging on behalf of the Washington Post to the effect that, “patience pays off”—insisting that the President enjoyed a “gotcha” moment with his photo surprise that “stung the growing number of skeptics.” Believe it or not, this faction of the Left is also insistent that withholding the birth certificate for as long as it was withheld was also a brilliant “strategery” designed to make fools of the president’s critics. Among some wide-eyed populations on the faithful Left, the Kool-Aid flows like a mighty river, brethren.
Meanwhile, those with eyes to see are left gawking at this embarrassing photo-op (rhymes with photo shop) wondering whether we have before us the image of President Obama holding a gun that was later “arted” to look like it was discharging (our best guess), or Obama actually firing the gun, taken a nanosecond before he smashed his shoulder and began yelping with pain (and its hard to believe the Secret Service would allow him to discharge the weapon from such an addle-pated position), or whether, perhaps, it isn’t our Beloved Helmsman at all, for there is also the “that’s-not-his-watch” school, which insists the man holding the gun is a body double. WOOF rejects this argument. If, after all, you were going to send in a body double for the President, would you pick someone in a silly polo shirt and “mom jeans” who couldn’t hold a shotgun? But whatever the truth about the falsity may be, and however one wishes to interpret this frantic effort at validation, it perfectly exemplifies an Administration so numb to actuality that it has long since departed reality for the warmer climes of la-la land.
What difference does it make?
The larger portion of the American Left, which lacks the naiveté requisite to swallowing the absurd idea that the photo’s appearance marks a brilliantly-timed rebuke to the Presidents’ critics, has adopted the more sophisticated and time-honored defense of studied nonchalance. Have you noticed how Hillary Clinton’s most horrendously detached avowal, screeched at the apex (or nadir) of her recent hearings, has become an overnight crie de coeur on the Left? Possibly because it so consistently fits their need to dismiss real events? Yes, the loudest, most consistently shouted message from the bastions of Liberalism on this subject, is, “What difference does it make?” In other words, yes the picture is a flagrant hoax, but so what? So the President never shot skeet in his life, does it really matter? And a sensible rejoinder to this might be: No, not really. It might matter in a saner era, in which our leaders were held to their word, and expected to maintain an image consubstantial with their actual personalities, but today? Not so much. The stark obviousness of the President of the United States lying casually, as a matter of convenience, about shooting as a hobby and then issuing a faked photo of himself holding a one-percenter’s shotgun in a hopelessly lubberly stance, with a preternaturally massive blast of smoke photo-shopped (or otherwise confected) at the gun’s muzzle, doesn’t amount to a high crime or a misdemeanor—it is simply petty, pathetic, and in the final analysis dumb. That’s all. “What difference, at this point, does it make?” None, really. We’ll all be moving along to the next thing that doesn’t make any difference by the end of the week, right? Until then, keep your heads down out there! (Barry’s got a gun!)