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Stupider than tacky, or tackier than stupid?


Did you see this on Drudge this weekend? Remember the thing where Hillary gave the Russian foreign minister a toy button that was supposed to say “reset” and in fact said “overstress”? Apparently, some in Russia aren’t absolutely positive it was an accident.

See, this is why you don’t let amateurs fuck around with this diplomacy stuff: there are some paranoid nutjobs with serious power out there. I read somewhere the State Department was pissed about this one. They’ve got tons of proper Russian speakers on staff (duh), but Hillary’s people don’t take advice. I thought she was smarter than that. I really did.

The wrong word? Stupid. Not writing the word in Cyrillic? Tacky. Actually, scratch that — the very idea of giving a foreign minister a toy reset button is prima facie tackier and stupider than fucking up the execution.

Seriously, can you believe the low-rentiness of these people? I thought the smarty pantses were in charge now. College boys. No more Texas goobers embarrassing us on the world stage.

So, what do heads of state give each other? Well, whatever it is, you can bet your ass it would look good in a museum. Gordon Brown gave Obama an ornamental penholder carved from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Like that.

What did Obama give Brown? Twenty five DVD’s. Oh. So. Tacky.

DVD’s that won’t play in Britain? Stupid. Stupidstupidstupid. Deeeep stupid.

And her Maj? Giving the richest woman in the world an iPod? Stupid. Putting your own speeches on it next to the Great Moments in History? Tacky. Un-fucking-beLIEVABLY tacky. Britney Spears has a better feel for the tasteful and appropriate.

There’s more to sophistication than putting Dijonnaise on your arugula, sport.


Comment from Phineas
Time: May 11, 2009, 7:47 pm

hear hear

Comment from Allen
Time: May 11, 2009, 8:13 pm

Come on Weas they’re new to this. I’m sure they’ll get the hang of it and give out museum quality stuff. Why for the Queen’s birthday Obama will give her Werner von Brauns’ original designs for the buzz bomb and the V-2. Nicely framed I’m sure.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 11, 2009, 8:29 pm

On a cheerful note, I really *love* Dijonnaise. I haven’t found mayo I like, but I haven’t missed it since I discovered Dijonnaise. It’s tangylicious!

Comment from Roman Wolf
Time: May 11, 2009, 8:35 pm

It amazes even me. Even I could do a better job in foreign policy and I’m not even out of university.

Comment from Войска ПВО
Time: May 11, 2009, 9:46 pm

Visualize an uncovered cesspool on a very hot Summer day. You know, more than a hunnert degrees, flies just buzzing around it like crazy, and the pungent odor of excrement rising in a heavy vapor. Now picture the venerable Uncle Sam, up to his hips in that brown goo, desperately calling for help, slowly sinking, sinking, sinking..

..that’s what I think about every time these clowns pull off stunts like this.

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: May 11, 2009, 10:15 pm

I thought the iPod w/ BO’s speeches was something a tacky self-absorbed third world dictator would do. (Give him time, he’s working on that “third world” part. We’ll get there soon enough.)

Can’t you just imagine Ahmandinejad or Chavez doing something like that?

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: May 12, 2009, 12:10 am

Don’t you know that “experience” and “class” are obsolete values of the stuffy old white man’s world? It’s a new, hip, multicultural and diverse day! Our new cultural watchwords are “smart,” “articulate,” “rhythmic,” “green” (not as in “money” but as in “poisonous lightbulbs for Gaia”) and “toned arms.” The new sleeveless business suits for women will take the fashion world by storm — it will be this year’s suits-with-shorts or three-quarter-sleeved raincoats. Now make sure you sort your recycling — it makes Michelle’s kids happy.

Comment from apotheosis
Time: May 12, 2009, 3:59 am

Getting one’s arugula dijonnaised sounds like one of those specialized services we’ll all be spammed with in the near future.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: May 12, 2009, 8:01 am

I maintain that they have offended all our allies on purpose, and have (nearly) embraced all our enemies also on purpose. The list is much longer than your post even discusses. England, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Russia…. were systematically belittled and impugned. The “Axis of Evil” was given cover and small favors, allowing them time and encouragement to continue to arm for a confrontation our country’s current administration will certainly back down from. It will be a long 4 years of “torture” followed by 20 years of repairing the damage.

Comment from armybrat
Time: May 12, 2009, 9:50 am

I agree with dfbaskwill. The last time we had a president who never met a dictator he didn’t love, we witnessed the birth of islamic fundamentalism. We haven’t recovered from jimmah’s fuck-ups yet. Hopefully more of our countrymen will wake and it will only be 4 years.

Comment from Dawn
Time: May 12, 2009, 11:51 am

“I would like to present you with a little gift that represents what President Obama and Vice President Biden and I have been saying…”

I am wondering how Biden got the VP pick anyway. Do you think he found some missing documents?

In the meantime, I can’t believe Katie and Peter are breaking up!!!!

Comment from BrunoBraun
Time: May 12, 2009, 12:07 pm


Biden is life insurance. What are his chances at 4 years if Ms. Rodham Clinton is his VP?

Comment from Oldcat
Time: May 12, 2009, 2:16 pm

To give a good gift, you need to be able to put yourself in the other’s shoes. To liberals and Obama in particular, there is nothing else in the world but himself and his desires.

and dfbask, sure they have no use for our allies, the bit players in the big movie of Obama’s life, but its mostly just the normal stupidity and ivory tower cluelessness of the modern liberal rather than a real plan. See, they will be able to make the dictators do right by the power of their empathy with his plight, so no need for icky bombs and troops. Of course, if something bad happens they will toss troops and bombs about like a two year old having a tantrum. So that’s something to look forward to.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: May 12, 2009, 3:41 pm

Oldcat, Maybe so. But I maintain its a plan, written well in advance by people other than Obama himself. The repetition is the key. Stupidity usually comes in spurts and stops. With these (guys), its continuous and unrelenting. The goal may not be anything we would consider rational, but there is a goal. And they are getting there.

Comment from Track-A-\’Crat
Time: May 12, 2009, 4:48 pm


What made the Queen’s iPod gift even more hilarious is that President Obama stuffed it full of his own speeches/photos/assorted shite.

Here, have a present from me about me!


Comment from Oldcat
Time: May 12, 2009, 8:48 pm

dfbask –

But these are the true elites! They can be tacky and clueless and stupid all the time!

Oh sure they have a goal – they want us to admit that they are our betters. But lacking a sense of humor, looking foolish can’t be any part of a grand plan – they have to high a sense of self importance, divorced of course from any real reason for it.

As for other things, sure they want to bust the economy the way a two year old wants to twist the dogs ear. But they lack the work ethic to have a sinister long term plan about it, they will just bash at things with a stick until they get bored.

Comment from Formerly known as Skeptic
Time: May 13, 2009, 11:58 am

As my co-worker likes to say, “Now we know what they meant when they talked about a ‘classless society’.”

Comment from porknbean
Time: May 13, 2009, 12:25 pm

I thought she was smarter than that. I really did.

That there is your mistake. If’n you remember back during the Clinton reign, most of the stupid shit – travelgate, cattle futures, Whitewater, private investigators on Bill’s broads – were all her doing. Not to mention lying about dodging bullets, etc…

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: May 13, 2009, 8:26 pm

Did you miss the visit to Mexico? Clinton visited Mexico’s national shrine, Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe, which houses a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. She asked “Who painted it?” (The answer, of course, is “God”.) That Clinton (like her husband) is a clever-dick incompetent has been obvious for many years.

In a 2003 blog entry, liberal economist Brad DeLong explained why he thought so (ellipsis in original):

My two cents’ worth–and I think it is the two cents’ worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994–is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn’t smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly.

So when senior members of the economic team said that key senators like Daniel Patrick Moynihan would have this-and-that objection, she told them they were disloyal. When junior members of the economic team told her that the Congressional Budget Office would say such-and-such, she told them (wrongly) that her conversations with CBO head Robert Reischauer had already fixed that. When long-time senior hill staffers told her that she was making a dreadful mistake by fighting with rather than reaching out to [Sen.] John Breaux and [Rep.] Jim Cooper, she told them that they did not understand the wave of popular political support the bill would generate. And when substantive objections were raised to the plan by analysts calculating the moral hazard and adverse selection pressures it would put on the nation’s health-care system…

Hillary Rodham Clinton has already flopped as a senior administrative official in the executive branch–the equivalent of an Undersecretary. Perhaps she will make a good senator. But there is no reason to think that she would be anything but an abysmal president.

Obama strikes me as another of the breed. It’s hard to comeprehend why he would gratuitously offend French President Sarkozy by sending a letter to ex-President Chirac pledging to work with him – unless, like Clinton, he’s really clueless and arrogant.

Gary Aldrich, in Unlimited Access, quoted a veteran White House secretary on why Clinton staffers casually refused to cooperate with routine personnel security procedures:

“Gary, just tell [the FBI] that it is very hard to make and keep appointments, or do other normal things, when you are so —-ing smart!

“You see, Gary, when you are brilliant like [the Clinton staffer she worked for] and the rest of these Clinton people are, you don’t have to follow the rules that all the rest of us mere idiots follow!”

I bet Obama thinks he is brilliant. People have been telling him so for years. I bet his staff and his cronies think they are brilliant. And I bet they have even less regard for “the rules” than the Clintonistas did. (Of course many of them are Clintonistas…)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 13, 2009, 8:34 pm

Heh. I enjoyed reading that, Rich. There’s something entertaining about incompetence so vast it believes it is more-competent-than-thou.

Oh, wasn’t that a study I read some time ago? A number of people were given a quiz or test or something and asked about it afterwards. The least competent believed they had done well and the most competent believed they had done poorly.

That tracks my experience of corporate life pretty accurately…

Pingback from The view from across the pond | Cold Fury
Time: May 14, 2009, 5:51 pm

[…] Stoaty reestablishes her expat politics-thing bona fides, in reference to the fallout from a recent blunder (Obama’s, not hers) — and how: Seriously, can you believe the low-rentiness of these people? I thought the smarty pantses were in charge now. College boys. No more Texas goobers embarrassing us on the world stage. […]

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