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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thou Shall Not Mock Obama's Mustard

My post the other day, MSNBC Hides Obama's Dijon Mustard (aka Dijongate), has hit a nerve unlike anything else I have written.

The post concerned the lunch trip of Obama and Biden to a burger shop to get a "Hell Burger." I accept that this should not have been news, but the White House image makers wanted to portray the two as just regular guys out at the local diner, so the event was hyped. MSNBC just happened to be in the burger place with cameras rolling when Obama and Biden came in and ordered. Again, not sure why MSNBC had to cover it, but they did, on live TV with Andrea Mitchell at the news desk and Kelly O'Donnell on scene. The dialogue between the two harped on how the trip had a "real guy kind of quality."

And that was the story line. Two regular guys out for a guy kind of meal. A script written in the White House and read by MSNBC.

But MSNBC edited out the audio when Obama ordered his Hell Burger just at the moment when Obama asked for Dijon mustard. Now I have nothing against Dijon mustard, but the image didn't fit with the image being spun by the White House and MSNBC. Dijon mustard on a Hell Burger had a very John Kerry-ish quality about it.

So I did the post, made note of the Dijon mustard, the MSNBC editing, and quipped how Obama must have sought Kerry's counsel. Instapundit (which dubbed the scenario "Dijongate") and Hot Air linked to the post, with the commentary that they thought the mustard thing was a non-scandal and non-issue.

Like most of my posts, Dijongate could have and probably should have fallen into the black hole of internet punditry, never to be seen or heard of again. But the reaction from the nutroots was widespread and swift, and they have kept the story alive.

Check out the links to the original post, and you will see that many of the high profile nutroots blogs have linked. If you check out the links and comments, you will see that the full foul-mouthed, abusive intellect of the nutroots has been brought to bear.

So I kept updating the story, with further links to Obama's choice of condiment, in part as a reaction to the reaction. Which has driven some people even crazier. Now the story has gone national, being picked up by the Washington Post blog.

What gives here? Why the out-sized reaction? If this is a non-story, why is the left obsessed with it?

There are several parts of the answer to this question. Certainly part of the answer is that the left is not content with control of the presidency and Congress; anything, no matter how trivial, which questions Obama must be controlled. Also, Dijongate was a metaphor for the larger issue of media bias which helped Obama get elected, particularly MSNBC's unprofessional and widely-criticized cheer leading.

But those two points cannot explain the nutroots reaction. Surely, Dijongate was a minor blip on the progressive radar screen, if it was a blip at all.

I think the answer to why the nutroots cannot let Dijongate rest is the inherent insecurity of the left with their hold on power. While the mainstream media and left-wing blogs constantly tell us that Republicans and conservatives are dead politically, I don't think they actually believe what they are saying.

The nutroots and mainstream media understand that Obama and the corresponding Democratic majorities in Congress were elected through a unique confluence of circumstances which may never be repeated. The historic election of the first black president; an unquestioning mainstream media which embarrassed itself with its biased coverage; an economic credit crunch just weeks before the election; a Bush administration which lost its will to fight for its policies soon after the 2004 election; a Republican candidate who refused to attack Obama's relationships with seedy characters even though Democrats showed no such restraint as to the Republicans; and a generalized discontent with the existing Republican power structure.

There is a lingering question, however, as to just who Barack Obama is, and whether we elected a blank slate who makes it up as he goes. This point is made not just by conservatives (who made this argument prior to the election), but also by Democrats and left-wing activists who openly wonder whether Obama's election promises on terrorist detention, gay rights, and a host of other issues were "just words." The nutroots doesn't know who Barack Obama is anymore than I do, and anything which fills in the void in a negative way is viewed as a threat.

This void in Obama's story leaves the Democratic hold on power vulnerable. One disastrous photo-op, open mike, or tape recorder left running, could puncture the Democratic bubble.

Which is why the mainstream media and nutroots need to protect Obama's image. As others have noted, the late night comics have stayed away from the usual mocking given to all prior presidents, even though Obama has provided plenty of potential material through his teleprompter dependence.

Insecurity breeds anger, and nowhere is that insecurity more evident than on left-wing blogs. Some seek to impose a new commandment, "thou shall not mock Obama." And if that means "thou shall not mock Obama's mustard," then so it is written, so it is done.

But not here. Updates to follow.

UPDATE: Here is how the Huffington Post described the trip:

As you know, President Obama and Vice President Biden made a historic trip to an Arlington, VA hamburger joint, to celebrate the "stress tests" or something, bringing the entire press corps in tow.
And I thought MSNBC was over-the-top with its "guy" thing spin. "Historic" trip to a burger joint? Is there anything about Obama which is not "historic"?

UPDATE No. 2: Some people have questioned why I allow the lunatic comments through, since this is a moderated blog and I could screen them out or remove them (as DailyKOS and some other left-wing blogs do, for example). I do so because the deranged rants of some of these commenters prove my point.

UPDATE No. 3: I wonder how much hate mail Jon Stewart got for mocking the lunch trip and MSNBC coverage. Probably none, because he's funnier than I am and generally loves Obama, so it was among family:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Where's the Chief?
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

(h/t Instapundit)

Related Post: The Reaction To Dijongate

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  1. This meta-analysis is boring as hell. We need more dirt and more incontrovertible evidence of Obama's Dijon habit. We need to get the FACTS out there: Obama loves Dijon just the elite French Socialist that he is!!! He Prolly loves Teresa "Heinz"-Kerry Ketchup too.

  2. I think people are drawn to the ridiculous, and seeing that you're post is completely ridiculous, people are drawn to it. It's insane how incredibly stupid and petty discussions on American politics have become. Are you serious? Who gives a shit what he hell he puts on his burger? Wait till the right finds out he eats guacamole, then he'll be seen as a pro-immigrant nut job. God forbid he ever takes a bite of hummus!

  3. This is so inane, I'm having trouble believing someone wrote this.

  4. TL DR, but I think the point is that you were being petty and knee jerk. Those aren't compliments, BTW

  5. Kenneth. Your rant misses the entire premise of this post. It's a non-issue, but why is the left all over it like Matt Yglesias on a cake? That's the question he is answering in this post.

  6. Reminds me of this old commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmannAYiwh0

  7. My post the other day, MSNBC Hides Obama's Dijon Mustard (aka Dijongate), has hit a nerve unlike anything else I have written.You didn't hit a nerve. You struck a funny bone. We're all laughing at you.

    Personally, I'm not sure if you're trying to drive down the value of a Cornell JD or trying to drive down the already abysmal popularity of the Republican Party, but whichever one is your goal, great work.

    Keep hitting those nerves, brave truth teller.

  8. The negative and abusive comments continue to prove how deranged the nutroots are. And they don't even get why the whole thing is funny. Anything questioning the blue-collar bona fides of The One is sacrilege. Mon dieu! They need to get out of the house more and Step.Away.From.The.Computer. Keep up the good work. Whole thing is keeping me laughing...at them.

  9. Trust us bruce we're laughing at you more.

  10. This really requires a "Real Men of Genius" ad-theme

    "Here's to you Mr. Tenured Internet Nob ("Mr. Tenured Internet Nob"), you make Glenn Reynolds seem positively lucid. No, no high-falutin' use of your degree for you, ("I demand that birth certificate!") because you've got an insane right-wing psychodrama in your head that will not go until you put it on the internet and there's not a damn thing the University can do to you. Heh, indeed!" ("Mr. Tenured Internet Nob")

  11. I'm urging my daughter to take your class next year (really). She has trouble with my sense of humor and is convinced I'm a right-wing nutcase. Your blog is one of my favorites.

  12. Yeah, it's the left that's all over this story. That's why I heard Sean Hannity bring it up at least two times last night. And ya got punked, Sparky, because he credited Gateway Pundit for the scoop.

  13. "And I thought MSNBC was over-the-top with its "guy" thing spin. "Historic" trip to a burger joint? Is there anything about Obama which is not "historic"?"

    AhAhahaha. Don't get much sarcasm around your house?

  14. There's a lot that doesn't make sense to me here, but let's start with this - why the assumption that no "regular guy" would like dijon mustard? Please, tell us more about what "regular guys" do and don't (can and can't?) like.

  15. "Why is the left obsessed with it?"

    That is possibly the least self-aware question asked in the history of the internet.

  16. So it's not just Colin Powell and Arlen Spector you guys want out of the Republican party, but anyone who eats spicy mustard?

    I have to admit, I grew up put Goulden's on my hot-dog at Shea Stadium, and my Grandmother's deviled egg recipe calls for a bit of dijon.

    I guess I know where I'm not welcome.

  17. damage control??? over a spicy mustard?

  18. Mustard? Are you kidding me? You're going after Obama for MUSTARD?

    Just how out of goddamn ideas is your party anyway, Mr. Jacobson?

  19. You wrote: I think the answer to why the nutroots cannot let Dijongate rest is the inherent insecurity of the left with their hold on power.

    This is very true. Their hold on power is based on lies, fraud, and lawlessness, and this makes them insecure. The Democratic bubble is already puncturing. Americans know what's going on. I'd like to see you write more on the nationalization of Chrysler, on the flouting and circumventing of laws and the strong-arming creditors into silence. That's what is turning this nation into a banana republic. Nobody will invest here, knowing Obama can step in and take over a company at any time.

  20. You've not struck a nerve with the left, we're just incredulous. That this is getting air time is due to your own idiocy at thinking Obama ordering a different type of mustard is blog-worthy.
    What's so wrong with being a liberal!

    Also, if he wanted a really hot mustard he'd have gone with English. But I suppose that would mean he'd be hailing for the red coats back in..

  21. William A Jacobson, are you a Birther?

  22. The reason this has spread like wildfire and is getting the attention it is is not because of insecurity or anger, it is because this is so trite and silly. It is laughable and it reinforces the stereotype of the persistent right wing paranoia -- that you all are oppressed by the "liberal" media and never get a fair shake -- that you're the "real" Americans and the rest of us are just godless, elitist interlopers in your besieged nation.

    The problem for y'all is that when you have a legitimate complaint or a reasonable counterpoint you've already burned through your credibility. Why should I listen to someone obsessed with arugula and Dijon?

  23. The influx of Obamatrons here who are OUTRAGED that somebody is poking fun at Obama and the moron VP are making the professor's point quite nicely.

    Observe: Liberals get angry when people criticize ANYTHING Obama does, even if it is something small and amusing like his choice of food (which, after all, is as much a cultural signifier as clothing or what mansion you live in in Chicago). They also know - objectively - that there is a disconnect between somebody who claims to be a champion of the great unwashed and the proletariat and who then goes on to order arugula and dijon mustard on their "regular guy" foods. It's not a big deal, but they're determined to make it a big deal because...well...nobody is quite sure why. I mean, they engaged in the most petty, childish, crass, and at times revolting attacks on Bush for eight years - every day. Yet when the guns are turned in their direction, they freak out and can't handle it.

    Well played, sir.

    I have another theory - since the left no longer has their daily object of derision and focus of their daily Two-Minutes Hate (Bush), they have a huge reserve of daily anger and vitriol that they need to direct somewhere. They were, after all, addicted to their anger, and now they're getting confused because there is no big, bad, eeeevil Repubwican in the WH or in the Congress on whom they can affix that hatred without seeming like they're purposely ignoring anything negative about their boy in the WH in order to sustain their eternal hate of George Bush. Well, the GOP is a non-factor in Washington these days. It's all blue, as far as the eye can see. And while they are at the zenith of their political power, they're lust to hate others who disagree with them and their lust to attack George Bush has been dealt a setback - he's gone, and so are the eeeevil GOP. They are now trying to compensate for their loss with -to paraphrase Carlin - random, spittle-soaked, free-floating hostility towards ANYONE they perceive as somebody deviating from their daily praise and adulation for the Dear Leader.

    Go easy on them, Professor. They're still coping with the changes.

  24. Dear Prospective Republican:

    Congratulation! You're just one small step from joining God's Own Party!

    Please fill out the attached form in full. Also, please be sure to read in full the 3 pages long (front and back) document which contains the Republican Dietary Laws, which are summarized here:

    1) Whenever ordering a philly cheese steak, first make sure to enquire as to which cheese the locals like to put on theirs. Failure to do so may result in your being branded as an elitist.

    2) Diet soda is for fags.

    3) When selecting mustard as a condiment, please ensure that it is common yellow American mustard. No imported french mustards, not even Grey Poupon (even if it is made in America). "French's" mustard, though technically permissible, should probably be avoided for obvious reasons.

    4) No Heinz ketchup.

    5) No imported beer. Bud and Coors are acceptable, in that order of preference. Miller is not acceptable.

    6) Consumption of the following fresh vegetables is permitted: iceberg lettuce, 'regular' tomatoes, celery, corn, carrots and cucumbers. Any other variety of lettuce such as romaine lettuce or butter lettuce is prohibited. Arugula is for fags, as are organic vegetables. All other vegetables should be consumed cooked and topped with butter or as heavy of a cream sauce as possible.

    7) Eat as much red meat as possible. This really pisses off PETA, vegetarians, and Al Gore. As we all know, the ultimate goal of conservatism is to annoy liberals as much as possible.

    8) All grocery shopping should be done by your girlfriend or wife. Should you be required to go to the grocery store as well (perhaps to give her instruction in how to properly follow these dietary laws), do not push the cart as this is a sign of an emasculated boyfriend or husband. Do not shop at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or other pinko commie elitist grocery stores such as these. When asked 'paper or plastic', request that your purchases be bagged individually and triple-bagged with non-recyclable plastic bags. Discard the excess bags in the parking lot. This also annoys Al Gore.

    Finally, please be sure to read and sign the "I Am Not A Secret Fag" document. It's just a formality but we've had a real problem with this lately so it is necessary. Be sure to remember that it still counts as faggotry if you only pitch and never catch. If you don't know what this means, don't worry about it. We don't want you getting curious.

    Welcome to the Republican party! You betcha!

    Hippity-hoppity yours fo' shizzle,

    Michael Steele

  25. Wait... I assumed the original post was a satire of how idiotically trite conservative complaints about Obama and the media have gotten. Are you saying that it wasn't satire, but it was meant as an in earnest complaint about Obama and/or media bias? Wow. That is spectacular. You have in fact transcended the possibility of satire.

    The left is pissed at stuff like this because (1) this is the internet, everybody is pissed; and (2) the degree of hysteria produced by the right about nonsense like this has been ridiculous and annoying.

  26. Come on. The reason left-wing bloggers linked to it is because a) they understand you were joking and thought it was funny (that's obviously why Wonkette linked to it), or b) they thought it was yet another delicious example of how kooky the right-wing in this country has become. We on the left can't seem to get enough of that, and you guys never run low on crazy.

    And let me say this: I'll be happy to listen to you guys complain about MSNBC, but only after you've convinced me you spent the last ten years bitching and moaning about FOX News. MSNBC is only applying the FOX News model to a different target demographic.

    Anyway, this socialist/fascist/Obomaniac/monarchist/whatthehelleverelse thoroughly enjoyed your expose on Dijongate.

  27. rynato,

    As several here have noted in passing, you could have saved yourself a lot of keying by just putting in "D'oh? I don't get it."

    By the way, the technical term for your post is "bigoted stereotyping." Just so's you know.


  28. good lieutenant and miss ondrya: it seems you don't know what outrage is, or how one acts when outraged. the reactions here would best be described as either dismissive or derisive. moreover, people seem to be reacting more to the suggestion that dijon mustard is for aristrocrats of the anciene regime, rather than a desire to close ranks and defend obama from your jests. for example, i reject the notion that you are what you eat, wear and live in, as suggested by good lieutenant. true, a lot of people think the way gl does, but it's a warped way to develop your sense of self and an incredibly inefficient way to develop opinions about others. i couldn't give a tinker's cuss about someone poking fun at the president. though note that if your idea of a good joke is making fun of someone for what kind of mustard they like, you're not very funny.

    also, gl, your reference to "the unwashed"? geez. that's a little more elitist than eating dijon mustard, don't you think?

  29. Does Cornell pay you to write this junk?

  30. "Does Cornell pay you to write this junk?"

    Does Obama pay you to spew his talking points?

  31. Hi William! I am enjoying reading all the comments. Goodness! Many are written by very grouchy people without a sense of humor.

  32. When you mock others gods this is the result. Obama to many represents the dawn of a new age of enlightenment. He is the Change monger. He lowers the waters , brings tranquility into every Islamic heart. In Obama's mind he has super awesome Community organizer powers.
    Even the lovers of children owe him a new status of protection. While the military is scorned. How many Obama's can dance on the head of the MSM? He can run corporations, buzz NYC, dis. all our allies.
    Indeed to the Liberal mind this is the closest thing they have to deity.
    So mustard is important if you believe your god has a thing for it.

  33. >a desire to close ranks and defend obama from your jests.

    Are you denying that this is in fact what has has happened on this thread (unintentionally, of course, but definitively nonetheless).

    And if you're just deflecting it and letting it roll off, why are you commenting at all? I thought if you dismiss something, you don't pay it any mind and you ignore it.

    The O-bots here certainly can't let it go and ignore it, lest there be an unanswered criticism of Obama's mustard choices somewhere in cyperspace, and the whole exercise demonstrated in this thread fits within the context within the carefully choreographed and cultivated image his followers have erected around him needing to be defended because it's just that - an image and a show.

    But nevermind that. this isn't important enough to comment on. Right, O-bots? It's just rightwingnuttia in action again - nothing more. Time to MoveOn.org, right?

    Practice what you preach, then, and let it go.

  34. >You have in fact transcended the possibility of satire.

    I suggest you review the comments by your comrades on the thread and reassess, because you missed it.


  35. This has to stop. We cannot have a President of the United States exercising freedom of choice when it comes to burger condiments. There is no place for freedom of expression between the buns. If he can't conform then he has no business eating an American food (that was named after a German city).

  36. Don't you realize, "professor", that every time you hit that "post" button you are single-handedly eroding the honorable reputation that Cornell University once enjoyed?

    Such a shame.

  37. There are wingnuts cheerleading this post about dijon mustard and in the next breath saying the left is unhinged. The right wing is truly unspoofable. I actually thought this was a joke but no, to my dismay, this is a serious investigation in to mustard by the professor of a prominent law school. Wow, just.....Wow.

  38. good lieutenant, i'm glad to see that you're not made of stone. turns when someone baits you, it's easy to get a little riled. that's why it's called baiting. happens to the best of us.

    and i just want to reiterate that my desire is not to defend obama from your mustard jokes, but rather speak to your "cultural signifier" comment which suggests that how we feed, clothe and shelter ourselves demonstrates who we are. i'm interested in this because it's a proposition that effects me and everybody else and, okay, i guess overweighting superficial details is just a pet peeve of mine. i like bananas. does that tell you something about me? does that tell you more about me than the words that i write? are the things that i say and do less significant than the fact that i prefer not to wear pleated pants? like i said before, i realize that lots of people do get wrapped up in superficiality but i think that's horsecrap and i wanted to say as much, because it's fun to have discussions like this.

    i'd like to add that the two-minute hate point you made in your first post was a good one. that's a apt comparison for how a whole set of people responded to bush for eight years, and it was annoying and unproductive. and now a whole other set of people are responding to obama in the same way. we ought not let the powerful divide and conquer us in this way. i'm an o-bot zombie cult follower whatever because i don't like to see my fellow citizens lacing into each other over whether a particular mustard is too fancy? c'mon, gl.

  39. BWHAHAHA........hit a nerve? Helloooooo? We're laughing at you, "professor". LAUGHING!!

  40. You know I'm thinking that maybe the use of the word "historic" was like what we call "hyperbole" for comic effect. It was sort of like a "joke." You remember those? That's the main reason I'm no longer a Republican after 40 years--you people have turned into a bunch of busybody scolds with no sense of humor.

  41. yep, that's a nerve and not a funny bone. you can tell because they say otherwise....

  42. >BWHAHAHA........hit a nerve? Helloooooo? We're laughing at you, "professor". LAUGHING!!

    Easy there, tiger. We know no nerve was struck.

    By the way, one exclamation point is plenty.

    QED ;-)

  43. Obama is a foodie. That doesn't play well in some places, but you know what, it's probably a big part of why he is healthy and athletic.

  44. Obama is a foodie. I know Republican foodies. I think his being picky about what he eats has more to do with him being a skinny guy than a liberal.

    I mean, consider Michael Moore.

  45. Yeah, MSNBC has never used any regular-guy narrative before, like brush-cutting on a ranch. It's a totally unique feature to the Obama-zombie era.

  46. Isn't it Gray Poupon that's the real elitist mustard--as in "pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?"

  47. So are you saying that this is a story, or that it is not a story, or that it is not a story, but that people who say it is not a story-- THEY are a story? And if anyone disagrees with you, they are proving your point?

  48. >That's the main reason I'm no longer a Republican after 40 years--you people have turned into a bunch of busybody scolds with no sense of humor.

    What are you talking about? We laugh at Barry's comic stylings every day. No sense of humor indeed.

  49. "Some people have questioned why I allow the lunatic comments through...because the deranged rants of some of these commenters prove my point."

    It has been enlightening to read some of these comments. Regardless of how else Obama will be viewed in the years to come, he has been an utter failure at uniting the nation. And this very nearly from day one of his presidency.

    Keep up the good work Mr. Jacobson. Perhaps we'll get through to America yet.

  50. Oh come on now - Liberals have always been like this - don't you remember President Clinton could do no wrong and even when he was wrong, he really wasn't doing anything wrong because it was his business. Libers are what they are and they think they're right all of the time and Republicans are always wrong. They don't compromise! And too - one of their favorite phrases of life is "never say your sorry" and a few other choice things! Plus, they are rude and never shut up long enough for you to get your point of view into the conversation. Man, do they know how to talk fast!!

    I recall at least when former President Clinton went for his routine jogs in the morning with his secret service agents then they stopped at McDonalds, he really was going to Micky D's for a hamburger. When Barack Obama and Joe Biden do something like go to a local hamburger joint, there has to be some evil devious plot behind it all. And we found the culprit - Dijon Mustard. Maybe he can't get it at home? Oh yeah, Dijon Mustard is better on a Chicago hot dog - maybe that's his next trip out with the common folk - to a hot dog stand with Joe. And we can't forget about the Pizza Episode!! You remember, the special pizza from St. Louis that was delivered to the White House on Good Friday! Our president certainly has multi-regional and locally haute cuisine cravings.

    Ahh, Dijon Mustard a gourmet's delight! I'll bet all this talk about Barracks choice in mustard has contributed to the up tick in stock prices for Mustard.

  51. The Canadian Press *Completely* misses the point. I am sure it is a frustrating for you as it it is for me. Pathetic, really.


    Of course, because it is the media and they are talking about conservatives, they obligingly focus on the mustard while completely sweeping the glaringly obvious story about media bias under the rug. Surprise!

    Hey, at least they snuck in your explanation of that in a small paragraph towards the end....right before quoting Bill Maher, of course.

  52. "It has been enlightening to read some of these comments. Regardless of how else Obama will be viewed in the years to come, he has been an utter failure at uniting the nation. And this very nearly from day one of his presidency."

    Perfectly said Kristen!

    At this point in his Presidency the hated Bush had enough Senate Backing to start his crazy war in Iraq!

    Right now Obama has so divided American and the Congress that even "Obama Supporters" in the Senate are telling him "NO" on his budget for fear of re-election.

    And I am an Independant who has never listened to Rush in my life!! This is just reality!!

  53. I don't give a 2nd thought to tripe on liberal blogs. Why don't they extend the same courtesy? Conservatives are unhappy a with a walking contradiction president. Dijongate is welcome humor. Keep up the good work.

  54. Remind me again how many CURRENT cabinet members were behind in payment of their Income Taxes until they were offered a plum job in Washington DC? It seems that they should be sitting in jail, not a plush Wash DC government office.

  55. I've heard of "going to hell in a bucket" but not never a "hell burger"! Must be a s-l-o-o-w media day. Gotta write something negative to sell the soap!

  56. It was a good story! Since we're nitpicking so much about the media supressing facts, where was your outrage when the media wasn't reporting on duties relevant to our national security? Where was your outrage when the media disputed wether or not this country, the United States, was torturing people?

  57. All this reminds of the Left's ginned up controversy regarding a "fake" turkey held by President Bush during his Iraq visit on Thanksgiving 2003. Does the Left really want to discuss ridiculous obsessions (especially considering that the turkey was real)? Or is the Left's goal merely to take every opportune situation and distort it beyond all recognition aka lie all the time?

  58. Ross: "i reject the notion that you are what you eat, wear and live in, as suggested by good lieutenant. true, a lot of people think the way gl does, but it's a warped way to develop your sense of self and an incredibly inefficient way to develop opinions about others."

    Then who are you, Ross? What you feel and value leads to actions and behavior. What you say, write, read, eat, where you live, the car you choose to drive, etc., are choices you make. Do you have another self inside? And IMO your way of thinking leads to excuses for criminals. Your behavior defines you.

  59. It's interesting that all of the lefty commentors missed your opening comments. "I accept that this should not have been news, but the White House image makers wanted to portray the two as just regular guys out at the local diner, so the event was hyped."

    The entire event was a staged, stupid thing. And then MSNBC had to cut the fact that he ordered Dijon mustard. Why? I agree, it is a non-issue. But if it is SUCH a non-issue, why cover up the fact that he ordered a different mustard? What is MSNBC afraid of?

    By making it such a non-issue it has become the issue of the day.

  60. dont you stupid liberals realize that we're not making fun of obambi's choice of mustard so much as we are the fact the msdnc i mean msnbc EDITED OUT THE AUDIO of him asking for it. why?? are they that afraid of what that would do to his "Regular guy" image? why else edit it out?

  61. Ironically, while Obama was having a televised burger, one of his supporters, the actress and activist Mia Farrow, was on a fast for Darfur that Obama seems reluctant to recognize in any way. Farrow, like other Obama supporters, has been expecting something like a new African policy from Obama and counting on him to follow through on his campaign commitment to address Darfur.

  62. ho my god OB can't say anything about there god they might say you are racist what a joke.I say piss on them he is no god and if they don't like it they can go to hell where they belong ha ha ha

  63. ROFL!! This has to be the funniest thing yet. Not Obama using mustard but how up in arms the lefties are over mocking it. Jees, I can't stop laughing.

    Frankly, I'm disappointed he ordered a cheeseburger. Ruining a good piece of meat by covering it with cheese. Yuck.

  64. There is a story here. Obama's camp manipulating and shaping the news. MSNBC just happened to be there? ROFLMAO If you believe that I have some land in the swamps to sell you.

  65. nutroots?...Mustard?...This political science major is trying to resist being disheartened by both ends of the political spectrum and petty quibbles...I thought this would at least be light-hearted commentary...even if it must be negative...it is only mustard afterall...does it really have to go back to an Obama conspiracy or whatever you would like to call it. The far left and far right are becoming more obviously(not increasingly) rediculous, hateful, and petty. People are so entangled in political alliances that they refuse to see each other as simply human not "stupid liberals" or "closed minded conservatives", we are all just people and we have depth...Mustard?...the siren call of disillusionment beckons me...again...

  66. A lot of people seem to miss the main point of this. It's not so much "funny" that Obama wanted Dijon mustard, guys and gals. The "funny" thing is that MSNBC edited it out to protect Obama's "guy" image. The people who created this entire tempest-in-a-teapot were the leftists. And they did it for the most dubious of reasons.

    There's a serious side to this as well. This little bit of media favoritism was DETECTED.

    What remains that hasn't been detected?

  67. I can understand the left's discomfiture. America's two most prominent not-real guys make a big deal of going out and having a real guy moment. Then the POTUS is seen wearing a "KICK ME, I'M AN EFFETE METROSEXUAL YUPPIE!" sign on his back.

    Barack Obama is America's first Gelding-American President, and Joe Biden is our first Special Needs Vice President. Celebrate diversity!

  68. Um..folks, this isn't about mustard or food choices. Open your eyes.

  69. > an unquestioning mainstream media which
    > embarrassed itself with its biased coverage;

    I have, as yet, seen little evidence that the mainstream media is embarrassed about anything.

    In fact, what I do see suggests that they would rather be bankrupt than admit they were wrong.

    Daniel in Brookline

  70. Oh come on now - Conservatives have always been like this - don't you remember President Reagan, Bush, and Bush could do no wrong and even when they were wrong, they really wasn't doing anything wrong because it was their business. Conservatwits are what they are and they think they're right all of the time and Democrats are always wrong. They don't compromise! And too - one of their favorite phrases of life is "never say your sorry" and a few other choice things! Plus, they are rude and never shut up long enough for you to get your point of view into the conversation. Man, do they know how to talk fast!!

    You know even when the Conservative messiah, W was dividing this country and breaking the laws, liberals never stooped so low as to poke fun at his eating habits. I find it endlessly amusing at how conservatwits cry treason over anything bad said about dumb-ass duyba (especially if it was true).

    For a party that preaches personal responsibility and accountability, you sure seem to be avoiding those things and blaming others for your mistakes whenever possible.

  71. Let me add, by the way -- isn't it nice that the President and Vice-President can be seen in public together again?

    It must be because the War on Terror is over, or something. Judging from what I read, this must be because, in spite of eight years of Bush warmongering that birthed new legions of terrorists, President Obama has solved the problem -- and in his first 100 days, at that -- by talking all the terrorists to death.

    If the War on Terror is over (and they're acting as though it is), and it's not to Bush's credit (which would surely be in the newspapers if it were true, right?)... then that MUST be the explanation: President Obama has won the War on Terror by talking the terrorists to death. (After all, what else has he done to terrorists other than talk to them?)

    In all seriousness, I do hope that the President and Vice-President are not taking security as lightly as it seems to me. The terrorists are still out there, regardless of what we call them. They will not hate us less for electing a black President. (They may even hate us more; Islamic terrorists are not known for celebrating diversity.) And they will not leave us alone just because we present them with so many tempting targets.

    If anything were to happen to the President, God forbid, we'd be left with Acting President Biden. And if someone had tried to assassinate them both at the hamburger stand ("hell burger" indeed!), then we'd have Acting President Pelosi. (It just keeps going from bad to worse, doesn't it?)

    Daniel in Brookline

  72. Griff, above, is right. The Canadian story is particuarly funny, sniffing at those other . . . ugh . . . vile conservatives who dare to try and poke a little fun at the busy little media courtiers scurrying about trying to "protect" Obama's image, then righteously proclaiming that those vile conservatives . . . ugh . . . have all been thoroughly and quite properly subjected "to ridicule" by . . . ta da . . . Bill Maher!

    Ooooohh, no . . . it's Mr. Bill! He's buzzing us!

    As for your final observation and question:

    >Historic" trip to a burger joint? Is there anything about Obama which is not "historic"?<

    I suppose it depends on what the meaning of "historic" is. I always thought "historic" suggested a view of something or someone after a respectable passage of time. But the historic proclaimers like Andrea say otherwise.

    So . . . maybe all of the photos (save one), that were snapped while AF-1 and its accompanying F-16 were busy buzzing the folks of NJ and NY, and which will not see the light of day any time soon, are therefore NOT "historic."

    Andrea and the other "historic" proclaimers-in-chief cannot officially say that they are "historic" because they can't hold them up for us to get a gander of them.

    At least, that is, no one can justifiably claim they are historic yet. The no-see-'em pics are officially a-historical.

    And, I seriously doubt whether Andrea would say that the flight itself was "historic."

    But on that please correct me if I'm wrong . . . it was the first time in recorded history that an American President's plane precipitated an incident that ended up needlessly and inexcusably scared the wits out of thousands of New York and New Jersey residents and office workers, no?

  73. wuzzagrunt - ROFL!!! Your comment is one of the few that made me chortle out loud! Well done!

  74. The whole DijonGate affair is a botched spin control effort over the KobeBeefGate. It almost worked, too, except that without teleprompter, there was no way to stop the Dijon comment before it was too late.

    Mark my words - I predict we'll be seeing HappyMealGate in non too distant future.

  75. I think the Djion-Gate is hilarious. Now that Obama is president, he should be up to as much scrutiny as any other president. Unfortunately, because of his cultural background, some of the criticism is even less intelligent than Djion-Gate. So, please, continue writing. Reading the rants (from left and right) about mustard is much more pleasurable than reading the hate on other blogs.

  76. HAHAHA- All these left-wing nut job posters are just proving the point of this Blog posting! The whole point was not that Obama ordered a certain type of mustard, it's the fact that his image is so carefully crafted and controlled (just like the sesorship that goes on in Socialist and Communist countries) that the media blocked out that which they thought went against Obama's branding campaign. But of course, leave it to the left-wing nutjobs to interperate an observation such as this as an attack on Obama! Look at the predictable knee-jerk reactions from all of you!! You'll proudly burn the American Flag and insult the military (the very people who defend your rights to be stupid) under the blanket of free speech, but I guess freedom of speech doesn't apply when someone actually disagrees with you. UNDER OBABMA, WE ARE TURNING INTO A FACIST COUNTRY!!!

  77. "why is the left all over it like Matt Yglesias on a cake? "

    Because its the "The repubs are crazy" story of the week. Quite a lot of rightwing pundits in the tea-movement doesnt understand it, but you have become the lunatic fringe, a traveling circus.

    "Then the POTUS is seen wearing a "KICK ME, I'M AN EFFETE METROSEXUAL YUPPIE!" sign on his back."

    lol. So eating Dijon mustard signals that? Damn, and I love the stuff. Freedomfries, anyone? Seriously, the republican party seems to be stocked with angry evil 10 year olds these days.

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  79. How desperate is the Right?

    "A confluence of events that will never be repeated?" Ummmm... self-identified Democrats have increased by several percentage points in the last 8 years -- and outnumber self-identified Republicans now. Furthermore, more than 50% of independents now identify as "leaning" Democratic... I don't see that as a sign that Democratic reign is "insecure."

    I would also point out that self-identified liberals have increased by nearly 10% in the last decade, and self-identified conservatives have declined.

    There is a confluence of events, but it is not what the author (he really bothered to write this drivel?) thinks

    1. Liberals and Democrats are on the increase in general, partially because of the disaster that was the Bush presidency. The same factor is affecting Republicans in reverse.

    2. Worse for long term Republican prospects however is the aging of their base. Contrary to the old saw, psychological research shows that people do not move right as they age, instead, they solidify their views and become more rigid in general. So those who had some conservative tendencies become more conservative, those who had some liberal tendencies become more liberal. (again, in general, that is not in every case -- some people change outright -- or appear to. I grew up Republican, voted Republican the first several elections, and then said to myself -- "why? I don't agree with anything they believe" and became a Democrat. We are both Demcorats, but both from Republican families. We not only vote Democratic , we give money and raise money. So we went a long ways from our roots.

    So, which of the Republican views strongly resonate with a majority of young voters -- which conservative outlooks snag more than 50% of them... the answer, sadly for my parent's party -- is none.

    Gay rights? Overwhelming majorities of the young support them -- even gay marriage (a shibboleth of the Right) gains 57% support among those under 30. Under 20 that goes up by another nearly 20%, with 81% of young people supporting some form of equal legal recognition (under some name). The topic is done, it is only a matter of time -- and beating it just reminds the young that the GOP doesn't see the same world they do -- and reinforces to them that they are and should be liberals. Every young person knows and is friends with someone who is gay. You don't hurt your friends. The topic really is over, and the GOP needs to abandon it - but they won't -- because their aging base (averages over 55 I read recently) might turn on them.

    Small government? Nope, large majorities of young people understand why government is needed and support government intervention, a strong military (which has increasingly become a pro-Democratic issue because of the treatment Bush gave our troops (no new body armor) veterans (cut services) and our honored dead (no publicity) during his presidency), a decent social safety net (jobs are no longer as secure, knowing that help is there if you need it is important) and regulation (banks, food companies, you name it -- anything deregulated has turned to sh*t in the last few years, proving that the Democrats are right on regulation.)

    Economics? Every young person I know (and I know quite a few) with the exception of 2, believe that the Democrats consistently do a better job with the economy. This, despite efforts on the Right, is known to be Bush's recession/quasi-depression -- and there are already signs of an Obama recovery. That adds on top of past examples -- and is not helped by the utter hypocrisy of the Republicans on the issue now "look, how can you spend to repair the economy when its a deficit?" -- ummm, guys, you spent on a deficit to give tax breaks to the richest Americans, who happened to be your supporters -- stuff it.

    I could go on with this, but the confluence of events, regardless of any branch of the media -- stands a good chance of bringing about a shift to the Left for at least 2 generations, more if a good job is done. The one Republican road back to power (moderating - for real, not running a moderate with an actual chance of winning and then saddling him with an extremist who no one on the Left or the Middle could ever vote for) seems to be blocked to them.

    Check back with me in 8 years, but I predict (regardless of fluctuations between now and then) even larger majorities in the house for the Dems and a barely diminished hold on the Senate. The next President (Biden will be too old to run, so I have no idea) will, whether a Rep or a Dem have to work with a solidly Democratic and modestly populist legislative branch -- and burgers won't enter into it.

    AS for Dijon Mustard -- seriously -- who cares??? We are mostly a middle class nation that USES things like Dijon mustard, not an enclave of (with pardon to the former USSR) Soviet workers who wouldn't know what it is.

    Kind thoughts,


  80. This is awesome! By trying to shape the image of His Obamaness by bleeping out something as trivial as "dijon mustard" on a "regular guy" burger because it thinks "regular guys" don't eat dijon mustard, MSNBC has actually convinced its followers that conservatives have something against dijon mustard eaters! Had it not blipped it out, the story, however ridiculous, would have been nothing more than that The One and The One, Jr., were a couple of "regular guys" eating a "regular guy" burger in a "regular guy" burger joint, because none of us "regular guys" would have really cared that he ordered dijon mustard. Heck, I like dijon mustard. I also don't mind pushing the shopping cart while shopping with my wife (not that I particularly like shopping), because I respect my wife. It's the same reason that I open doors for her and let her have the first taste of my BBQ ribs. But I guess being a gentleman for the one I love makes me a homophobic, dijon-mustard-eater-fearing racist.


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  83. Let them continue to sweat the small stuff, it will make them less prepared when the rest of us decide to turn this idiocy around. Let him eat mustard, heck he could put motor oil on his burger it wouldn't change how those that are and were willing to look past the hype see him. Now I'll be the first one to give accolades if he manages to rise above the hype, but I'm not holding my breath.

  84. Well considering that the National Bolshevik Corporation adores this slick talking con artist its no wonder they kiss the ground he walks on. But a few weeks ago this clown asks for ways to cut $100 million and then he turns around and pulls stunts like this.

  85. As an independent, the whole buzz around this so so freaking funny! I thought I would have to call and have oxygen delivered I was laughing so hard.

    If these articles were not tongue in cheek and making fun of "regular guy" Obama ordering Dijon mustard, then I have cause for concern about the author's mental well being.

    But everything I see seems to indicate tongue in cheek writing.

    NOW ... the reaction that it is getting is what has me laughing! I simply can not believe that the left is actually responding like they are!

    To get THIS UPSET over someone poking fun over Obama's choice in mustard?! OMG!

    If you get this upset over this small rib poking, then Lord help us when something big comes along and he is seriously criticized!

    Hell, I love spicy mustard (preferably of the HOT type of spicy and not flavorful type). I wouldn't consider dijon "hot" but then again, I like some really hot sauces (dave's insanity, da bomb, etc) :)

    YES! Obama ordering Spicy mustard/Dijon is a non issue.

    The reaction to this *IS AN ISSUE*

    It shows that the left is now "humor impaired" where Obama is concerned.

    What next? Outcry over political cartoons giving him Dumbo sized ears??

  86. Look at the post, MSNBC edited out the Dijon in the audio and that was just being noted. They made it something to be commented on...why did they edit that? Jacobsen wasn't making fun of the dijon because he thought it didn't fit the image. MSNBC thought it didn't I suppose!

  87. I love that Patton434 called him a Socialist, a communist, and a facist in one paragraph. If that doesn't sum up the angry vote, I don't know what does.

    I wonder if he even knows that facism and socialism are vastly different. I doubt it.

  88. "What next? Outcry over political cartoons giving him Dumbo sized ears??"

    You mean like the outcry over the Dumbya cartoons??

  89. You sir, have hit the nail right on the head! By ordering Dijon mustard, this newly elected sinister President ordered an AMERICAN-MADE product, the processed cheese of mustards, the epitome of faux-continental foods manufactured and sold by KRAFT foods, who are obviously in league with the White House! By God, if the White House continues to support this heinous plot to actually consume products made in America, by Americans who knows what dastardly thing may come next. Hmmm?

  90. The Repulicans are bunch of idiots, who retracts from a full story, and make a great deal of it. For example:
    1. Joe the Blumber was cast as a tax hero when the fact of the matter is, he lied to his base when he impersonated as a blumber and an owner of a blumbing business. Instead of condenming his lies, the Repulican went after Obama, calling him a communist. Even if Obama is a communist willing to spread the country's wealth, including his own millions of dollars, would such plan not benefit most republicans that are now left in the cold by the corrupt practises of the Bush administration? Afterall, the current economic crunch is not only demoralizing to Democrats, Republicans are no doubt feeling the pains as well except such republican is living in a state of denial.
    2. Some Republicans have compared Obama's policies to communism the way is being practice in Europe. I've lived in Europe for most part of my life, and I state here without equivocal that European free market system is the same as practised in the US. The only difference is, while the US spends trillion of dollars waging wars overseas, the Europeans are busy ensuring all their citizens enjoy free health care and free education. Only an insane person will call that communism. Far from that, the Banks and all essential industries in Europe are in private hands, even key parts of the health sector is in private hand. So where did the socialism thing comes from? Those making such claims could be unintelligent like George Bush, or because they are unaware that communism no longer exist in Europe. I want to think some Republicans are influenced by the greedy few in their midst, that amassed wealth illegally and refusing to pay their due. The only slogan they know is small government and tax cut as if the last eight years has been nothing but tax cut and unregulated market system. If you are still thinking about massive tax cuts, I have a bad news for you. The coal industry has suffered massive decline in Europe for years, resulting in the closures of many coal mine. As these communities suffered from the consequence of such closures they were offered assistance by European governments ranging from zero tax to companies willing to open their businesses there for 10 to 20 years, to development capital. Isn't this what the Republicans wants, even better than what the Republicans have proposed. After enjoying zero tax for years, these companies unpatriotically left the area where they've enjoyed zero tax for a cheaper destination. So, if you think businesses care, think twice, even in the US, where taxes are high, firms doing business here are dubiously siphoning their capital overseas. Whether taxes are increased or not, companies will always cheat.

  91. You, sir, clearly have a LOT of time on your hands. As apparently all right-wingers do these days. Perhaps you can go and find someone to waterboard and make yourself feel better.

  92. I'm all for righties scrutinizing BO's food choices or teleprompter overreliance. Now that Sarah Palin's gone they need new shiny things to distract them while the rest of us try to fix the mess they got us in.

    Stay classy professor!

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