wearing glasses doesn't make you smart

Basically, Richard Cohen Wants You To Know He Goes To Insidery Funerals

Do not invite this man to your party. Somebody probably made that mistake once.Like many professionals of a certain age, Richard Cohen goes to a lot of funerals. Very, very, very soon, he will attend his own, and everyone will be able to laugh in his face about how stupid he was. But for now, he must write Washington Post op-eds letting us know that he goes to, like, the most important memorial services ever. Case in point: He went to Richard Holbrooke’s last week! What a hott ticket, right? Whom did he have to blow to go to that? Everyone? Yes. So Richard Cohen had to get an article out of this, right? But what to say? How about, “Barack Obama hates Richard Holbrooke so much that he gave a better speech in Tucson”? Sure, that works.

This is a tale of two speeches. The first was the glorious oration Barack Obama delivered last Wednesday at a memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shootings. Obama did not merely rise to the occasion, he vaulted over high expectations, offering words that were balm to the ear – thoughtful, wise, moving. He was a president as father to his nation, comforting his people in their dizzying grief.

Two days later, the president spoke at yet another memorial service, this one for Richard C. Holbrooke, the celebrated diplomat who had died, unexpectedly and shockingly, just last month. This speech was flat, neither eloquent nor moving, nor the least bit personal. It was phoned in by a man who sat patiently on the stage as others praised a beloved figure, a leviathan of ideas and policies and vexing idiosyncrasies whom the president didn’t much care about. It was a dutifully flat performance.

Assuming this dumbfuck interpretation is true for a moment, is Cohen saying Obama should have put more effort into a speech at a gathering of elites (that wasn’t even the actual funeral) to remember an official of relatively minor prominence than a speech addressing the nation and a shocked region following a shooting rampage? Yes, yes he is.

Richard Cohen is a leviathan of people who use the word “leviathan” very poorly and is vexed by others’ idiosyncrasies because he has never had any himself. He has only one channel: dumb old hack. [WP]

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Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

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    1. SorosBot

      He'll have his own pre-written speech for someone to read at the service, "Hey kids, get off my grave!"

  1. OneDollarJuana

    What Richard Cohen fears most is that Barack Obama (or any other person of importance, for that matter) won't speak at his funeral.

    1. Sophist/Glock Palin

      That depends: has the Supreme Court ruled on whether pissing on someone's grave counts as speech?

  2. doxastic

    This is Richard Cohen's way of saying that when he dies, he expects the President of the United States himself to give a eulogy that makes "I Have a Dream" look like some bar mitzvah bullshit. Pericles' Funeral Oration or GTFO.

  3. EatsBabyDingos

    And the Golden Globe for "Best Use of the Word 'Leviathan' Since the Book 'Leviathan'" goes to…Dickie Cohen!

  4. BlueStateLibel

    Because there's absolutely no difference between the murders of innocent people, including a nine-year-old, and the death by natural causes of an older person, who lived a good and fairly long life. None whatsoever.

  5. donner_froh

    It was phoned in by a man who sat patiently on the stage as others praised a beloved figure, a leviathan of ideas and policies and vexing idiosyncrasies whom the president didn’t much care about.

    What an asshole. The President of the United States takes time to go to a memorial service, listen to a bunch of blowhards talk about how important they are (how well they knew Holbrooke) and then gives a speech himself for a guy he didn't think very highly of in the first place.

    Holbrooke was lucky (or his rotting corpse was lucky) that Obama had the time to stop in for even a moment.

    Cohen is such a putz.

  6. Allmighty_Manos

    Yeah, cause we all know that the president going to bust his ass writing a speech for a small private gathering. It's not like he doesn't have anything else to do. God, what a waste of space.

  7. Sheesko

    Once upon a time (snuggle in, children), Richard Cohen was an important liberal voice in Washington. We eagerly sought out his column to shore us up against the madmen and women who assailed us on every front, and several backs as well. And then…(turning the page slowly, dramatically)…he turned into a…MONSTER!

  8. elviouslyqueer

    "Vexing idiosyncrasies," eh Dickie? Sounds like somebody's become a little too fixated on Word's Thesaurus function.

  9. Hera Sent Me

    So the President's principal role should be to make grand speeches at the funerals of career political operatives?

    Sounds like it's time for a new office – Toastmaster General. Since George Jessel is dead, maybe the job should go to the president of the Friars Club.

  10. Ruhe

    "Leviathan of ideas?" Of all the things that are large and have ideas, Holbrooke was the largest? Or did he mean that, despite the completely botched construction, Holbrooke had big ideas, ideas so big that only God and Holbrooke had the balls to take credit for them? Or did he mean that he swallowed ideas, even big ones, the way the whale swallowed Jonah? Or that Holbrooke's ideas were so profound they made everyone else feel as insignificant as a filth besmeared Job? And if that's the case what piety would there have been in Obama giving a grand speech to note the passing of this demi-god. Perhaps Obama's low tone was perfectly appropriate, a genius gesture of memorial Kabuki when Cohen was hoping for Bukake.

    1. SorosBot

      Or it's that the brutal and invasive Bush security and torture policies Cohen supports are very Hobbesian.

  11. Kidneys4Sale

    OK, so mebbe it wasn't Barry's best effort. Still beats the hell out of what little Dicky would have written for the occasion. Roughly :"Hyayaya….mmmm…nomnomnomnom…paste yummy."

  12. Come here a minute

    This is a tale of two speeches.

    More like War and Peace, baby — 'it was the worse of columns, it was the worst of columns.'

  13. PublicLuxury

    Obama didn't have his teleprompter. Everybody knows the teleprompter is really HAL from that weird space movie and HAL controls all the air and what Obama says. But, the joooz still control the weather.

  14. An_Outhouse

    To be honest, Dickie was blowing them anyway. They just didn't make up a reasonable lie quick enough when Dick was all like "hey, where you guys goin'"?

  15. LionelHutzEsq

    You have to understand, Richard C. Holbrooke used to get Richard Coen great coke and got him laid at big parties in the early 90s, so Coen feels a bit indebted to him.

  16. gurukalehuru

    My Eulogy:

    Holbrooke was a diplomat
    some say he was good at that
    at any rate, he wasn't the worst
    he won't be the last
    and he wasn't the first
    that's the way the world's arranged
    He may be dead, but nothing's changed

  17. DashboardBuddha

    OT – I never played with Transformers…never watched the show. I'm not even entirely sure what a Transformer is. However, that NetFlix ad sure makes me want to rent the movie.

  18. jim89048

    Dickie is sad because the Westboro church goons didn't show up. That's the bellweather, that's how you know you were important in life and death. I only hope to have enough presence of mind to invite them to my own, they really put the "fun" in "funeral".

  19. OneYieldRegular

    If they want to compete with FOX, then it's about time the Washington Post hired a writer of funeral reviews.

  20. bumfug

    The good news is, if Cohen's body ever has to be exhumed, all the pissing on his grave will keep the ground soft for easy digging.

  21. Not_So_Much

    So, is he saying that Richard Holbrooke was an elephant or a dinosaur? What type of leviathan are we talking about here? Sharktopus?!

  22. Mindblank

    My God! It's Afred E. Neuman in a state of advanced age! Was Barry's speach likewise Weary, Stale, and Unprofitable?

  23. GlowneyHouse

    From Cohen's earlier career as a sportswriter…

    "In last years World Series, Gehrig's leviathan five for five performance with three homers and 12 RBI was truly commendable . But in todays exhibition against the St. Christina's Home for Unwed Mothers All-Stars. his paltry three-for-four with no homers and only 6 RBI show his true lackadaisical nature…"

  24. Gleem_McShineys

    This is a tale of two speeches.

    No, it is a tale of two dicks.

    One was Richard Holbrooke. Richard is short for dick.
    The other is Richard Cohen. Richard Cohen is a short dick.

  25. HempDogbane

    There were a number of comments from the higher functioning 'tards after Gateway Pundit's "Applause" masterpiece that copy/pasted together would be the equivalent of this column. Wait a minute …

  26. randcoolcatdaddy

    Are you sure that Richard Cohen is still alive or is the Post testing some kind of new auto-generating columnist software?

  27. GodShammgod

    I saw this Cohen guy on one of those stupid Sunday talk shows a few days ago. Unlike the displayed picture with the trimmed beard and the kindly shoemaker glasses, nowadays he looks like a mountain man.

    Still butthurt about the Pulitzer (or lack thereof), no doubt.

  28. MinAgain

    Gee, Richard. Think your standards are a little high? I'd be impressed if Bo showed up at my funeral.

  29. Rotundo_

    When Dickie shuffles off this mortal coil, I'm betting a crowd in single digits, unless they have free beer or something. Maybe he'll have the good sense to hire mourners in advance.

  30. JackObin

    Cohen looks like Steve McQueen after seven years in solitary in the film "Papillon", minus the masculinity.

  31. mrblifil

    It certainly demonstrates the utmost respect for the dead to bitch and moan in print that the eulogy for someone Cohen barely knew didn't involve "jazz hands."

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