A Texas redneck in President Obama's court

It’s odd how at various times throughout history an
otherwise nondescript and inconsequential person has found themselves in a
position to influence the world stage.  I’ll
spare you the timeless examples that immediately come to mind and dive right
into a remarkable turn of events in which your humble Baron was recently

About a month ago I was mindlessly clicking my way through
page after page of midget bondage porn when the phone rang.  Normally under those circumstances I’d ignore
the call and remain focused on the task at hand, IYKWIMAITYD, but from the
corner of my eye I noticed the caller ID showing a number from the 202 area
code.  The only thing I like better than
midget porn is screwing with political pollsters, so I picked up the phone.

“Son of a bitch,” I bellowed.  “It never ends, every single time I’m
dragging a strangled hooker down to the basement someone calls.  Hello, who the hell is this?”

“Um, excuse me, is this [redacted]?”

“Maybe, who is this is?”

“I’m calling from the White House.  We understand you post under the pseudonym ‘Baron
Von Ottomatic’ on the 65th ranked Conservative blog, Wizbang,” the
man at the other end of the line became audibly tense, “President Obama
instructed us to contact you because he would like to speak with you about your

“Seriously, who is this?”

“Please, would you mind holding for a few minutes,” he
asked, “the next voice you hear will be the President of the United States.”

As a sign of respect for the office of the presidency I
struggled to pull on a nearby pair of boxers while strains of Hail to the Chief
came across the phone.  My mind
raced.  Which one of my friends knew
enough about my political postings to tip off some local radio station to prank
me?  Is there actually a radio station
out there so devoid of programming content to undertake such an esoteric
stunt?  Has Ashton Kutcher sunk this low?

Suddenly a vaguely recognizable baritone voice snapped me
from my daydreams, “Is this [redacted]?”

“You got him.”

“[Retacted], President Barack Obama.  I’ve been following your sporadic work on
Wizbang for a while and we need to talk.”

“I’m flattered,” I stammered, “but a little surprised that
the most powerful man on Earth would be bothered to read the rantings of some
anonymous moron.  Listen, it’s all in
good fun. I certainly didn’t intend to inflame your ire in a personal,
about-to-be-audited-back-to-the-Stone-Ages-by-the-IRS kind of way.”

“No, no, it’s not like that at all,” he chuckled nervously.  “[Redacted], I’m calling you because…,” his
words became labored and he sighed heavily, “I need your help.”

“Mr. President, I say this with all due respect, but would
you mind referring to me as ‘Your Baroness’ rather than my Christian name?”

“Isn’t ‘Baroness’ a feminine title?”

“I see your Austrian has improved since 2008,
but do you want my help or don’t you?”

“Yes, Your Baroness,” he replied meekly, then said his staff would contact me to make
arrangements to fly to DC for a face-to-face meeting.  The call disconnected and I was left to puzzle over what just transpired.  What
could Barack Obama possibly have in mind for a man who regularly calls him a
senseless dunderpate and an improvident lackwit?  This had to be a goof.

Skepticism turned to paranoia the next morning when, sure
enough, a staffer called to coordinate the travel itinerary.  I couldn’t shake the vision of getting the
Ron Brown treatment.  Going on Air Force
One seemed like pretty good insurance against an unfortunate “accident” but I was told that was absolutely out
of the question.  After some heated
back-and-forth we compromised on a re-commissioned SR-71 Blackbird, a new pair
of Red Wing Pecos boots, 25,000 rounds of 5.56 ammo diverted from a secret
shipment to the Libyan rebels, and 30 minutes alone with a New York Times
crossword puzzle in the White House bathroom of my choice…]]>< ![CDATA[

Before I knew it, a sharp rap on the door let me know the 30
minutes were up.  This would have been
disheartening enough without the indignity of toilet paper made from recycled
materials.  It might as well have been
utility grade particle board.  Obama’s
prickly persona suddenly made a lot of sense. 
Adding insult to injury, the toilet’s feeble, low capacity flush was no
match for the half-plus roll of paper I’d used. 
Discretion, valor and all, I beat a hasty exit almost into the arms of
the Secret Service agent standing outside.

“Geez, what’d you skin a deer in there?”

“Perhaps, but we’ll let the next guy worry about that.  Which way to the Oval Office?”

“You won’t be meeting the President in the Oval Office,” he
explained as we walked down a luxurious hallway adorned with portraits of
former Democratic Presidents, “you will be meeting him in an adjacent
conference room where we’ll be monitoring your every move and recording the
conversation.  The President’s staff will
be listening in and taking notes, but you won’t be interrupted or distracted by
their concurrent discussions.”

“Pretty much like the Dalai Lama,” I quipped.  “I can live with that, I guess.”

“Eh, it’s better than what Cameron and Netanyahu got.”

After settling into
a pretty nice leather chair at the conference table I asked for and received a
chilled can of Coke and a glass of ice. 
The agent retired to the hallway and I was left alone to contemplate
what was about to happen.  Despite the
President’s reassurance over the phone I was gripped by a sword-of-Damocles
sense of doom.  Just to be safe, I decided to
never rest my wrists on the arms of the chair long enough for any hidden restraints
to snap shut and leave me helplessly trapped.

At that moment a second door
opened and the POTUS himself confidently strode into the room.  He approached the opposite side of the table
and extended his hand, “Good afternoon, [redacted], thanks for coming.  Please, don’t get up.”

“Do you see me
standing?” I asked as I reached out to shake his hand, “And please, call me
Your Baroness.”

“Really?  You’re
going to make me refer to you as ‘Your Baroness’?”

“Nah, I’m just
messing with you.  How about you just call
me Baron, is that cool?”

“Fair enough, Baron, although I’ve got to say this is
probably the first time a President has sat across a table in the White House
from a man dressed in dirty overalls. 
What is that?  Engine grease?”

“Pig shit, probably, and I’m pretty sure Junior Samples met
Richard Nixon here in 1973.”

“Oh, so you’re a NASCAR fan are you,” he asked while
flashing his trademark smile.

“Well, yeah, but…,” I responded as I leaned back in the
chair and finally took a good look at him. 
In person he looked so gaunt.  His
immaculately tailored suit just hung off his body like he was made of
matchsticks.  He looked a little like a
Seventies-era David Byrne.  I also
detected an unmistakable whiff of Grecian formula and nicotine.  I took that as my cue, “…say, can we smoke in

“Good God, no. 
Michelle would kill us both.  But
we can step outside anytime, in fact, let’s go have a smoke now.”

“I can wait.  You
can’t really smoke in a meth lab when things are cooking so I’m used to…well,
maybe we’ll just go later, okay?”

“Yeah, damn, that’s fine.” 
He shifted in his seat and looked me in the eyes, “Baron, I assume
you’re wondering why I brought you here today.”

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely baffled,” I
replied while quickly jerking my hands off the arms of the chair.  The agent outside the door burst in and asked
if everything was alright.  I told him my
wrist restraint concerns and was told not to worry, “Dick Cheney took the
restraint chairs with him to an ‘undisclosed location’ before Obama’s
inauguration.”  Now, at last, I could be
fully at ease.

“Anyway, Baron,” he continued, “I’ve got my reelection
campaign coming up sooner rather than later and I’m asking for your help.  We’re looking to recapture the magic of 2008,
and based on your Wizbang posts, I think you’re just the guy to help.”

“Okay, right off the bat, Barack, it’s only fair to tell you
that I don’t want you to be re-elected.  I
mean, I really REALLY don’t want it to happen. 
Beyond that, I don’t like you on any level whatsoever.  I find you dimwitted, condescending, and
almost certain to choose a course of action contrary to what I would want the
President to do.  Your only redeeming
quality is a lust for golf.  And that’s
only a plus because every golf game is five hours you aren’t ass-raping the
treasury or our allies abroad.”

“Baron, that’s great stuff. 
None of the people I’ve surrounded myself with will give me that kind of
honest feedback.  It’s all ‘Great idea,
boss!’  What I need is a contrary
voice.  Someone not afraid to tell me
when I’m wrong…”

“Look, I told you, I don’t want to help you.”

“…Please, hear me out,” he pleaded.  “Don’t think of it as helping me.  Think of it as helping your country.”

“So you’re saying want me to ignore every single political
instinct in my body.  Disregard my
rudimentary knowledge of economics to help you steer the ship of state even faster
towards ruin.  That I should just lie
back and think of England?”

“Exactly, America
and England
had been chummy for far too long before I became President.  Now things are better.  So I’m asking you to step back from your
long-held prejudices to make America
a better place too.  I don’t like the
fact being President of the United States is harder than being Premier of
China, but I do what I can to make the best of the untenable situation I’ve
been dealt.”

“Wow, unfuckingbelievable.”

“Sounds like someone’s fallen victim to my vaunted
rhetorical skills.  Let’s go have that
smoke now.”

We stood outside on a balcony while Obama nervously
chain-smoked down three Kools in the space of about fifteen minutes.  He rapidly shifted the conversation from
topic to topic – the NCAA basketball tournament, the upcoming baseball season,
the Masters – all the while looking over one shoulder, then the other, almost
compulsively.  “If Michelle catches me
smoking out here I’m dead.”  Not being
re-elected clearly wasn’t his biggest fear.

Returning to the conference room he once again turned his
attention to the 2012 campaign.  “Baron,
I’m afraid we’re losing the independent voters who helped elect America’s
historic first black president.  We need
to find a way to reconnect with the common man. 
Based on your posts, you’re about as common as they come.  What can we do to win your vote?”

“Common?  Common is
blockquoted text, a link to another site, and a ‘read the rest.’  I take the good time to compose original
content, flogging a bit way past the time it’s no longer funny.  And is that the Royal ‘We?’  Because I’ve already told you twice…”

“Whatever.  Listen,
you help me with this and I’ll make sure the authorities never start snooping
around the crawlspace under your mobile home. 
You don’t and…”

“Mr. President, you drive a hard bargain.  Okay, here’s the deal – there’s nothing you
can do to win my vote.  It’s like Charles
Nelson Reilly asking me what he could do for us to live together in holy
matrimony.  It could never happen because
it involves a fundamental transformation into something he could never be –
female.  And a former Olympic
gymnast.  Or heir to the throne of Monaco.”

“I’m not following you, Baron.  Regardless of what you’ve heard, I’m not

“Okay, that’s awkward and completely not the point.  The point is that you are the furthest
left-wing president in America’s
history.  We are, at worst, a
center-right country.  Once you get
beyond your base – blacks and Latinos, white urban liberals, muddleheaded college
students, Unionistas – you have little appeal to the rest of America.  To win my vote you would have to be something you’re not – a
fiscal conservative.”

Obama’s brow furrowed as he tried to assimilate my
counsel.  What seemed like conventional
wisdom to me struck him like a ton of bricks.  Muffled shouts emanated from the two-way mirror
wall to my right.

Finally he spoke, “For the sake of argument, let’s agree
that what you’re saying about me is true. 
I’m still the same guy who captured the nation’s heart in 2008.  What is it about voters that changed since

“Ah, the old ‘It’s not me, it’s you’ excuse.  Well played.” 
His puzzled expression turned to annoyance but I cut him off before he
could speak, “Listen, Barack, in 2008 you were an unknown commodity to most
people.  I wasn’t fooled, but plenty of
people were.  You brought up notion of being
a blank slate upon which people could project their own vision of Barack Obama.  Today you are a known commodity.  The chameleon act from 2008 can’t work
again.  You know the old adage about
fooling all the people all the time?”

“Of course, TJ Barnum.”

“Riiigghhtt.  Either
way, after two years in the most visible of all jobs on Earth the moderate,
post-partisan façade of 2008 has been peeled away to reveal the true,
thin-skinned, inflexible liberal you’ve always been.”

Obama snapped upright in his chair, “So, Baron, what you’re
saying is that we need to come up with a new façade!”

“No, what I’m saying is that it will be impossible to paper
over your record again.”

He slumped back into the chair and sighed loudly.  I declined to take another smoke break and he
started pacing about the room.  After a
few laps around the table, he looked back towards me.

“Well then what can I do?”

“Frankly, Barack, there’s no way you can run from who you
are and what you’ve done.  Remember back
in 2008 when you blamed every problem under the sun on George Bush?”

“Baron, don’t get me started on Bush and the
Republicans!  It’s their failed policies
that got us into this mess to begin with. 
They drove the car into a ditch and now they want the keys back?  Why would the voters give them back the keys?”

“Two reasons.  First,
now you and the Democrats in Congress are the ones in charge.  You’ve tripled
the annual deficit, gas and food prices are rising, unemployment is at a thirty year high, and you’re passively reacting to a rapidly
deteriorating situation in the Middle East.  It’s your policies that will be blamed.  If voters believe Republicans drove the car
into a ditch, they’ve now had two years to watch you sit there matting the gas pedal until the
engine blew.”

“People just don’t understand how hard it is being
President.  There’s so much you can’t

“True enough, but that’s a very different song than you were
singing back in 2008.  Which brings us to
the second point – the bills you and the Democrats have passed are making what
was a bad situation worse.  You abdicated
leadership on spending and health care to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  They crammed through the most liberal
possible solutions to what Americans perceived as non-problems.  Obamacare is an albatross you can’t chase

I almost felt sorry for him. 
He was slumped forward, rubbing his temples and staring down at the
table.  Sure he’s a schmuck.  But he is still the President.  Seeing the most powerful man on the planet so
thoroughly demoralized was actually a little painful.

After a couple of minutes Obama broke what had been an
uncomfortable silence, “So you’re telling me it’s hopeless.  I’m doomed to be a one-term President.”

“Barack, once again, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope
that was the case.  But never
underestimate the capacity for Republicans to nominate a Bozo of their own.  Does the name Bob Dole ring a bell?  John McCain? 
Christine O’Donnell?  F@%&ing
Mike Huckabee is leading some polls.  The
mind reels.”

“So it’s not completely hopeless.  What would you do if you were me, Baron?”

“It seems to me your popularity is highest when you’re the
least visible.  You can’t go back to
being a blank slate, but you could try being the invisible man.  Just play a supporting role in campaign
commercials, only a cameo if possible. 
Keep campaign rallies to a minimum. 
Don’t participate in any debates. 
Ten, fifteen minutes tops for the convention speech.  Just pretend Michelle’s on the warpath
and go into hiding.  Head for the links.”

At that his mood
improved noticeably, “You know, Baron, I actually did intend to see you suffer
an unfortunate “accident” on the way home. 
Not now, though.  We may actually
be able to make this work.  Thanks for

“I hope you’re wrong about the re-election thing working out.  And before you thank me you better have the
maintenance staff check the Imperial Bathroom down the hall, the water was
rising like the mighty Mississippi when I…”

Suddenly an otherworldly scream rose to a crescendo and
wafted down the hall into the conference room. 
Too late.  Lady O had slipped and
fallen in that horrible mess I’d left in the bathroom.  The President hurriedly pressed his
half-smoked pack of Kools into my hand and hustled me out the side
entrance.  Less than an hour later the
Blackbird touched down in Dallas
and soon enough I was back home stirring the sour mash in my radiator still.

Was it a dream?  Will Republicans make it easy for Obama by
nominating a buffoon?  Did I really waste
this much time flogging a lame gag?

The answers to those questions are 1) Who can say what’s real and what’s not  2) Probably and 3) Obviously.

Obama's answer to the government's budget woes...