Puns may have been the lowest form of humour to Dr Johnson, but in this instance the one on Obama’s name is hard to resist.
Yesterday it was lovely Michelle, rather than her hubby-wubby, who found herself with egg Benedict on her face, thus inspiring puerile jokes.
As a general observation, Michelle’s thoughts tend not to be as well-shaped as her body. She is driven mostly by burning passion, be that political, racial or feminist. Nothing unusual about that but, when such passion is the driver, embarrassment is often the destination.
Yesterday, as I saw fit to remind you, was International Women’s Day. Michelle doesn’t need such reminders: 8 March is eternally etched in her mind, next to Mayday and other ideological festivals.
For all their chromatic and biographical differences, my new friend John Kerry is Michelle’s natural soul mate. John even believes the soul exists – he’s a practising Catholic, which however doesn’t prevent him from also believing that women have a God-given right to abortion.
Such seeming contradictions don’t bother chaps who devote their lives to enunciating pieties of more recent provenance than religion. Being pro-abortion is modern and therefore Good. Being religious is antiquated and therefore Irrelevant. Except of course when the religion is Islam, which is neither Modern nor Relevant in fact, but is all those things subtextually. The subtext evokes muted echoes of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, racial and social equality.
Therefore, Islam is Good and Relevant, even though some of its adherents sometimes blow up things they shouldn’t. Hence the likes of Michelle and John will allow themselves the odd mildly disparaging remark about Islamism, while making sure the world knows that Islamism has nothing – not even a teensy-weensy bit! – to do with Islam. Michelle is particularly careful about that because she doesn’t want to upset some of her in-laws.
To commemorate yesterday's big socialist occasion, our soul mates co-presented the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award to 10 winners, five of them Muslim. Or rather nine winners, for the tenth one had to be hastily denied the prize at the last moment.
The 26-year old Egyptian Samira Ibrahim won her prize for having been abused by the military in 2011. Among other indignities she was given a virginity test. Reports say nothing about the test methodology or indeed finding, but clearly Samira was a prime candidate for the prestigious accolade.
Suddenly, when Michelle and John were practically on their way to the podium, it turns out that Samira regularly tweets texts that clash with the Good subtext. Specifically, she screams hatred for both Americans and Jews, not to mention American Jews, to whom she refers as ‘the Zionist lobby’.
Last summer, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed by a suicide bomber, Samira was jubilant: ‘An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.’
As a mob was attacking the US embassy in Cairo, Samira responded with characteristic restraint: ‘Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.’
The Saudi ruling family are to Samira ‘dirtier than the Jews’. The beauty of such phrases is that they work the other way around just as well. She could have said ‘the Jews are even dirtier than the Al Sauds’ to the same effect.
The depth of Samira’s erudition matches the purity of her feelings and, unlike some pundits, she generously attributes her sources: ‘I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society takes place except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.’
You’d think that such prose would be a disqualifying factor in being singled out for an American award animated by Good passions. You’d think wrong for, in common with the heretics of yesteryear, Samira was given a chance to recant.
Thankfully she spared Michelle and John further embarrassment by turning the opportunity down: ‘I refused to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America on the previous statements hostile to Zionism under pressure from the American government, so the prize was withdrawn,’ Samira proudly declared.
Clearly the girl is hell-bent on sticking to her guns (and bombs). Her style needs a bit of work though, but then English isn’t her first language.
Will the likes of Michelle and John ever learn? The lesson is fairly simple: their touchy-feely affection for Third World countries, especially of the Muslim variety, is misplaced – this regardless of who their rulers are.
Arab Spring or no Arab Spring, Samira is a child of her country, her religion and her culture. According to a recent Pew poll, 82 percent of Egyptians regard stoning adulterous women as just, 77 percent approve of chopping off thieves’ hands, 84 percent favour the death penalty for apostasy from Islam.
Samira may take exception to some of these practices, but not to the spirit behind them. She reflects the ethos of her world – as, unfortunately, Michelle and John reflect the ethos of theirs.
One last word to John, now we’re friends: crack the whip and kick a few butts back at the ranch, mate. Whoever researches such things at the State Department should be drawing unemployment benefits.