the aarp interview

Obama Tells Rolling Stone Why Republicans Are So Lame

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Hey wait where's the 'Hundred best albums of the 1970s' feature that usually runs this time of year?The military journal Rolling Stone has taken a break from its usual “all war all the time” Afghanistan/Iraq reporting to visit with the military’s president, Barack Obama, in Washington. Last time Obama had to deal with the army magazine was back in June, when Rolling Stone ‘tween cover boy Stanley McChrystal got in trouble for saying how much he hates America’s president and vice president. And then Obama had to fire him. So what does this anti-Rolling Stone president have to say to the magazine? He basically explains how Republicans made a tactical gamble that the economic devastation was going to be around for a long time — at least until 2010, although many experts say “forever” — so blocking whatever Obama Administration programs to pump money into the moribund economy and get Americans back to work would, maybe, make it look like the Republicans weren’t to blame for letting the Great Recession happen during their control of the White House for the previous eight years and Congress until 2006.

Here are a few Obama quotes from this very long interview, which we will post as a way to say to Jann Wenner, “Look we know it is super cool for you to go to the White House and interview Obama all by yourself, but this could’ve been edited down to maybe 2,000 words, and it still would’ve been a good story that gets lots of blog links and Politico mentions!”

Speak, Nobama:

But the delays, the cloture votes, the unprecedented obstruction that has taken place in the Senate took its toll. Even if you eventually got something done, it would take so long and it would be so contentious, that it sent a message to the public that “Gosh, Obama said he was going to come in and change Washington, and it’s exactly the same, it’s more contentious than ever.” Everything just seems to drag on — even what should be routine activities, like appointments, aren’t happening. So it created an atmosphere in which a public that is already very skeptical of government, but was maybe feeling hopeful right after my election, felt deflated and sort of felt, “We’re just seeing more of the same.”

Yes that is what we summarized in our lede. Speak, Nobama:

There are some strong and sincere libertarians who are in the Tea Party who generally don’t believe in government intervention in the market or socially. There are some social conservatives in the Tea Party who are rejecting me the same way they rejected Bill Clinton, the same way they would reject any Democratic president as being too liberal or too progressive. There are strains in the Tea Party that are troubled by what they saw as a series of instances in which the middle-class and working-class people have been abused or hurt by special interests and Washington, but their anger is misdirected.

And then there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the president. So I think it’s hard to characterize the Tea Party as a whole, and I think it’s still defining itself.

Well that’s a long-ass way to say “they’re ignorant white racists,” but how else can The Professor answer a question? Speak, Nobama:

Sponsored Intermission

My iPod now has about 2,000 songs, and it is a source of great pleasure to me. I am probably still more heavily weighted toward the music of my childhood than I am the new stuff. There’s still a lot of Stevie Wonder, a lot of Bob Dylan, a lot of Rolling Stones, a lot of R&B, a lot of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Those are the old standards.

So except for the jazz, it’s the same stuff Rolling Stone has been writing about for half a century! Awesome. (We like Bob Dylan, too, but we don’t put him on the fucking cover of Wonkette once a year like clockwork. That honor is reserved for Mitt Romney.)

Finally, we should let RS editor Jann Wenner have some of his words excerpted, because they’re so great. Who says RS needs “a new Hunter Thompson,” eh? Maybe Rolling Stone just needs MORE Jann Wenner!

The conversation stretched on for nearly an hour and a quarter. The president began by complimenting my multi-colored striped socks. “If I wasn’t president,” he laughed, “I could wear socks like that.”

Great, so now the Tea Party will know that Obama likes gay socks. Thanks for electing Sarah Palin-Christine O’Donnell in 2012, Rolling Stone! [The Barack Obama Interview]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • RunnyRose

    2,000 words from Jann Wenner? Must be a think piece about a mid-level President struggling with his own limitations in the harsh face of stardom.

    • badseeds

      Jann still sounds like Bella Abzug on speed.

  • SayItWithWookies

    “If I wasn’t president,” he laughed, “I could wear socks like that.”

    Oh please wear socks like that. And put them up on the Oval Office desk. I want to see Andy Card finally have the aneurysm he deserves.

  • JMPEsq

    Need moar Lea Michelle panty shots?

    • badseeds

      What (or who) doesn't?

  • BaldarTFlagass

    I just hope that one of the songs on Obama's iPod is that old song by Dr Hook and The Medicine Show.

  • prommie

    Nobody could have predicted that the GOP redneck racist know-nothings would fly their obstructionism into the White House.

  • FearofaBlackReagan

    The president listens to 'Trane? My opinion of him just went back up a little.

    • Radiotherapy

      that's one of My Favorite Things too.

    • hooray4anything

      Yep. One of the myriad of reasons to be a Democrat/lliberal is that the chances Romney/Palin/McConnell would even know who John Coltrane is is pretty close to nil.

  • paxromanaclef

    "Speak, Nobama" is today's "I'm with you in Rockland."

  • Oblios_Cap

    The conversation stretched on for nearly an hour and a quarter. The president began by complimenting my multi-colored striped socks. “If I wasn’t president,” he laughed, “I could wear socks like that.”

    You're the President of the nation with the world's strongest military. Why are certain sock colors proscribed for you? Are we electing our leaders by their wardrobe these days?

    North Korea doesn't!

  • notreelyhelping

    Barack paints in oils…while the country paints by numbers.

  • fuflans

    it's always the wonkette cover that gets me to buy.

  • Bonzos_Bed_Time

    Would it kill them to have a single page option for the damn story. F'in page view monitization…

  • WhatTheHeck

    There was a time when Rolling Stone was all about sex n’ drugs n’ rock n’ roll.
    Then they morphed into the same corporate greed they once railed against.
    Now they represent no one. Next time, Mr. President, don't bother.

  • I_Kill_Zombies

    What's this "accidentally" bullshit? Tom "I hate Messkins" Tancredo would put that shit in his weekly radio address.

  • kenlayisalive

    “Gosh, Obama said he was going to come in and change Washington, and it’s exactly the same, it’s more contentious than ever.”

    See – here is my problem. By CHANGE, I never thought he meant he was going to make the repukes get along with the Dems in happy-mclick-dicks-lala-land.

    By CHANGE, I thought he meant "We are going to stop being gigantic democratic leadership pussies, and beat the Republicans over the head with a baseball bat, seeing as how we have the congress and the presidency and a 10,000,000 vote mandate."

    But now I see how I was wrong.

  • dr_giraud

    Yes! It IS the chance of seeing the picture of fudge-packin' Mitt that brings me back to Wonkett day after day.

  • mrblifil

    Bob Dylan did a few good things but that FUCKING HARMONICA…

  • Katydid

    Seems the troll is back trying to lower our pee scores. Oh noes!

  • LionelHutzEsq

    Pot Smoking Hippies!

  • seppdecker

    "Janni Wenner, Janni Wenner/ gave the boys what they deserve,/ but with the girls he lost his nerve."

  • gurukalehuru

    Yes, Obama is calm, rational, intelligent…that's what pisses me off about him.

  • HistoriCat

    And get some Lee Greenwood on that ipod!

    • ttommyunger

      And don't you 'ferget Toby “Dumbfuck” Keith, pardner!

  • OneDollarJuana

    I have yet to meet one single libertarian who really believes what he says. Every single one would instantly call 911 if he got a bad paper cut from his first edition Atlas Shrugged and would scream the loudest if his neighbor tried to violate zoning laws by building a gas station next to his house.

    The libertarians are just like the "communists" who live in the West and complain about capitalism as they wolf down another caviar-dripping cracker.

  • DoctorAwesomus

    The whole point of being libertarian is to hold an "intellectually superior" worldview in your head that can never be disproved, as no one would be stupid enough to ever implement it. At least Marxists and Communists have real-world examples of theory put into action.

  • weejee

    There have been some, but it's been a long time since Bob LaFollette was doing his stchick in Wisconsin but he usually gets cast as a Republican/Progressive. Otherwise strong agree.

  • prommie

    Libertarians are sociopaths.

  • JMPEsq

    Typical libertarian response: type simply "fuck you", hit submit, repeat about 30 or 40 times.

  • JMPEsq

    But in the US, truth is an absolute defense to slander allegations.

  • Hipple, Rev. Paul T.

    A racist would advocate racist things like mexican-only water fountains and bathrooms. But nobody in our movement is saying that. We just want to ship all the burn mexicans out of here so that we can preserve our way of life. What is racist about wanting to preserve our Culture?

  • kenlayisalive

    There is nothing about the tea party that is "a little darker". Skin color-wise.

  • vulpes82

    I know! As a gay, I'm now sworn to hate him or something, but I just can't do it. This poor, poor man! I mean, yeah, he asked for it and ran for it and probably doesn't want us to feel sorry for him, but still!

  • JimmyCarlBlack

    And he did. With crocs, of course:

  • harobedyelsnit

    Bush wore Crocs. It's true. I saw the picture.

  • PsycWench

    I thought sockless deck shoes were de rigueur on yachts.

  • deanbooth

    And wouldn't care how many sheep had to die for them.

  • Terry

    Slight correction: "I got mine, doesn't involve me, so f#$k you."

  • BaldarTFlagass

    I thought the definition of a Libertarian was "Republican that likes to smoke dope." Maybe they've changed.

  • Terry

    The argument against things like public projects and environmental standards make me crazy. "If we need them, then the market or community will demand them."

    Uh, what they heck do you think took place in the past? Just because YOU don't remember rivers catching fire, people getting lead poisoning or dying from contaminated food, or driving cross country on country roads, doesn't mean that stuff didn't occur.

    We have OSHA because coal miners and factory workers were dying on their jobs and unionized to demand basic safety. We have food standards like pasturized milk because milk used to regularly make people very very sick and society thought that shouldn't happen. We have public schools because people thought it was a good thing if all the kids could have a chance to learn to read, write, and do basic math. It makes them better employees and helps them get a better quality of life than growing up suited mainly for manual labor. As a society, we decided that.

    The frickin process the libertarians whine about HAPPENED and they're to out of touch or just plain ignorant to know it.

  • JMPEsq

    I've noticed they often have some pseudo-intellectual excuse for why some particular government service is still allowed, but it always boils down to "cause I use it."

  • FearofaBlackReagan

    Commies at least do cool stuff like take bad-paying jobs as inner-city schoolteachers and union organizers. Whereas if libertarians were consistent they would all be rich as f@ck, where most of them are just office-drone slobs like the rest of us.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    Heh. I considered myself a Libertarian until I bought my first house, in a decent neighborhood. (Part of it was though, I had somehow conflated the words "Libertarian" and "libertine.")

  • FearofaBlackReagan

    Whole point of being libertarian is you can be racist as s*** but everyone thinks you're intelligent and nobody calls you on it.

  • JMPEsq

    Now, there is Somalia, and Iraq immediately after the US invasion.

  • hooray4anything

    One could say many African and Central/South American countries are Liberterian in nature as they involve no real government, lots of guns, open drug trade, and blatant ransacking of natural resources by overseas corporate conglomerates. And look how well that's working

  • lumpenprole

    If you carry a big gun and stay on your toes (freedom ain't free), you can do almost anything you want in Juarez right now.

  • Terry

    I think he also went to school on a short bus, but I don't have an actual photo of it, unfortunately.

  • MarieDeGournay

    People hate Obama cause he makes them look bad.

  • Mindblank

    It's the old 'darker than thou' argument.

  • AccordionORama

    Fox headline: Obama admits Tea Party has darkies

  • MarieDeGournay


  • elviouslyqueer

    He can start with Boehner and McConnell and work his way down. Hell, I'll even lend him my set of Henckels Eversharps.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    I hope he's saving up the bitch-cutting for after the 2012 general election. I mean, c'mon, there's gotta be some bitch-cutting somewhere along the way. Republican bitches is just beggin' for it.

  • DoctorAwesomus

    Doesn't hurt that my main experience with Libertarians occurred with some white dudes from New Hampshire.

  • V572625694

    Sometimes I just can't help myself:

    From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks,
    And the hoof beats pound in his brain.
    And he's taught how to walk in a pack
    Shoot in the back
    With his fist in a clinch
    To hang and to lynch
    To hide 'neath the hood
    To kill with no pain
    Like a dog on a chain
    He ain't got no name
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game.

  • Serolf_Divad

    I think you misspelled Kultur.

  • glamourdammerung

    I thought the definition of a Libertarian (I sometimes forget to capitalize the name of that religion) is "An anarchist that wants to be able to sic the police on the serfs".

    Though in fairness, a lot of the current crop of them are simply Republicans wanting to go by a different name after the many, many failures of recent Republican administrations.

  • thx11380

    He is a politician. His skin is much thicker than you think.

    I would not be surprised if he told the country to go fuck itself after one term because the country is too backasswards to deserve his help. He knows he can do more after being prez than during it anyways

    And if you somehow feel you need to be angry at him because you are gay then you are truly screwed if you think you are going to get anywhere that way. Repukes would have you all rounded up and executed Nazi style if they had their way and by hating on Obama you are only helping them.

  • GOPCrusher

    A lot of people are feeling misplaced anger at the man, since they thought by voting for him the world would suddenly become all rainbows and unicorns.
    I usually just shake my head and inform them that it could be McCain and Palin running the country.

  • GOPCrusher

    Why did we build all those FEMA concentration camps, if we weren't going to use them?

  • hooray4anything

    Less talk, more rock

  • Trinket

    No, they wouldn't. They THINK they'd be rich, but they'd be at the bottom of the slag heap in a place like Somalia.

  • piker62

    Damn Fox Nation and their links! The headline: President of the United States Loves Gangsta Rap

  • slappypaddy

    too bad the readin', writin', and basic math thing didn't work out. the rest of it sounds pretty good.

  • realmurkin

    Those crocs were worse than 9-11. Nevar forget.