Two Views of Obama vs. Fly

HOWARD MEGDAL: Look, I don’t think anyone expected President Obama to disappoint his voters, myself included, this much. After all, his frequently-derided inability to take on enough of the country’s problems is bad enough.

And what does he have to show for his nearly 160 days in office, other than landmark economic stimulus legislation, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, landmark anti-smoking legislation, significant progress on energy and health care, a history-making speech in Cairo that appears to have changed the face of America’s relationship with the Middle East, concessions from Benjamin Netanyahu over Palestine, extending benefits to gay federal workers, raising fuel efficiency standards and repealing Bush-era policies on abortion and stem cell research? Can you hear the crickets, people?

But his decision last week to use force against a fly during an interview with CNBC was the final straw for me. After all, the reason so many of us got behind Barack Obama was simple: we didn’t want a president who would engage in swat first, ask questions later treatment of anyone, whether they be Iraqi, frequently innocent detainees, or those from the insect world.

The action stands in sharp contrast to President Obama’s words. He criticized the United States for “going it alone” in our invasion of Iraq, but a close look at the video shows Obama with nothing in the way of a multilateral invading force. He did not reach out to his interviewer for support; he didn’t even use a multihand attack, choosing instead a single open palm that you know will be ostricized from the world community.

While the Obama foreign policy apparatus has czars in charge of Iran, Pakistan/Afghanistan, even the Middle East peace process, not a single czar was named to handle either the threat of flies nor the aftermath with the fly community. As Obama himself has said, images of our treatment of detainees at Abu Gharib, if released, would fan the flames of anti-American sentiment throughout the world. Well, just imagine the price all of us are going to pay, this summer, during the height of barbecue season, as flies all over the world see and react to the President’s impolitic swat when they log into their Facebook accounts.

As we know, President Obama opposed the Iraq war in large measure because the aimless taking of life would merely create more enemies for America throughout the world. Now, as he puts our lives in danger by bringing terrorists to supermax prison facilities so easy to escape from that nearly one inmate has done so, he has set the world of flies upon us, and they will be so fierce, so ever-present as we try to sit by the pool and eat burgers, we will yearn for the time that the world loved us as they did when George W. Bush was president-at least from an insect point of view.

As Emily Dickinson wrote, “I heard a fly buzz when I died.” How prophetic she was.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I, Barney McFly, the Co-Committee Chair of the National Organization of Insects, would like to publicly address an issue which is of vital importance to the winged community.  Namely, I would like to make it clear that our organization does not now and never will have any kind of association with PETA.  We do not seek PETA’s support nor do we champion their causes.  Our ancient and widespread organization would in fact like to express our continued support for Barack Obama—a President whom, we might add, is a damn good shot.  Well played, Barack.  Well played.  You are a worthy adversary.

In the wake of the President’s now infamous televised attack on an unarmed insect, several organizations moved quickly to condemn his actions.  Most notable among them was PETA, which issued a statement which the association should itself take to heart.  “Human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act,” declared PETA, an increasingly fringe group whose petty and self-righteous diatribes against a ridiculous spectrum of perceived animal cruelties have grown gradually more insufferable to even the most die-hard animal rights activists.  To put it bluntly, I may be a fly, but even I don’t want anything to do with their shit.

I know PETA is interested in cheap and easy publicity, but this time they’ve gone too far.  Have they never heard of the insect Code of honor, Semper Fly?  (Roughly translated: Those who can, flee, those who can’t, squish).  That blessed fly died an honest death at the capable hands of one of the world’s most respected leaders.  His millions of children will be honored by his passing.  PETA, your half-baked philosophies bring shame to the Code.  The NOI doesn’t need your pity, just as you do not deserve our respect.

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