Dean Clough

August 17, 2022

Portico Darwin: My Man, Barack Hussein Obama


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I think for many, the real heartbreak over Trump being President and all that's come with that is not just what a complete slimeball of a person he is.  Or that it may take us decades to recover from the damage he's wreaked.

No, the heartbreak is because I thought we had really turned a corner as a nation in 2008, when we elected a half Black man with a terrorist middle name as President.  And he won by a lot!  I know I was not the only one with tears streaming down my cheeks, beaming with pride that the USA could rise above its racist and genocidal past and produce an image like this on Election Night, 11/4/2008.  I remember specifically thinking "What an absolutely beautiful family, and what an extraordinary President this man will be!"

Obama had a great Presidency, at least in hindsight now considering what followed, and the steadfast refusal by Republicans to work with him or his administration, at all.

Don't agree?  Well, please give this a read - I found it on Twitter, so of course it's accurate and perfect.

Barack Hussein Obama doesn't steal.  He's not a known liar.  His wife and daughters adore and respect him.  He has actual friends.  He believes in racial justice, versus committing acts of racial injustice.  He is favored by small children and babies.  Dogs like him.  He is attractive. 

He reads actual books.  He doesn't eat paper.  He surfs.  He wind sails.  He plays basketball well.  He can jump up into the air without breaking into a flop sweat.  He does work from home, but only when he is still employed in that position.  His personal lawyer isn't a caricature. 

He throws basketballs into hoops.  He does not lob paper towels at hurricane victims.  He eats fruits and vegetables.  His wife encourages that because she is not trying to hurry along his demise.  He offers umbrella coverage to women. 

He doesn't watch TV on days where the Capitol is being attacked.  He doesn't blame attacks on the Capitol on Mike Pence then retire for the night. 

He enjoys a good laugh at his own expense.  He doesn't slouch.  He cared about democracy.  He didn't try to hurt it.  LeVar Burton likes him.  Betty White liked him. 

His wife's father had MS, he cares about people who live with disability.  He doesn't cruelly mock them like a bully.  He respects Muslim Americans and did not try to ban them from citizenry.  He pauses to enjoy a nice sunset.  He does not stare directly at a solar eclipse. 

He has a nice smile.  He irons his pants.  He occasionally will wear a tan suit to work.  It always looks nice.  He has 0 bone spur deferments.  He doesn't say he doesn't want wounded veterans in parades.  He doesn't mock former POWs.  He worked hard.  He was over-qualified.  I miss him. 

He doesn't say there are good people on BOTH sides.  He sometimes sneaks processed foods but usually eats healthily.  John Lewis loved him.  He would never call Haiti a shithole country.  He brakes for possums, as well as turtles.  He has great playlists.  He doesn't hurt people. 

He was with us in spirit, he modeled excellence.  He embodied grace and sincerity.  He held too much on his shoulders.  He didn't capitalize random words in his tweets.  He told us we could form a more perfect union.  He didn't try to harm his VP.  He held the country as best he could.

And I miss him. 

What is described above, to me, is what a "real man" is.  Not a bully.  Not one that stiffs suppliers.  Not a stager of coups, not a thief of highly classified documents, and most certainly not a traitor to our glorious country.

I'll add that I remember when Bruce Springsteen was considered the absolute pinnacle of American manhood.  When I see he and Obama together now, it reminds me of what real American masculinity is, at its best.

But now Trump is the hero?  Republicans are twisting themselves (and our country) in knots over this . . . person?  I'm done apologizing for what I am and what I believe.  There is no rational or reasonable "other side"; we know that now.   

So if Springsteen and Obama now represent some kind of radical liberal elite, please please please sign me up.  Put me down on the side that doesn't support sending in fake electors, selling nuclear secrets, and ruining/ending women's lives. 

The alternative is disgusting and a complete national embarrassment.


Thank you to those that wrote and wished us a happy trip to Italy.  Is there any other kind? 

The trip is a kind of an Adler showdown between us and Hunter and Fi Deuce:  we're returning to our all-time fave Adler Mountain Lodge, while they will be among the first guests at the brand-spanking new Adler Spa Resort Sicilia.  The fun thing is they're going on their trip at almost the same exact time as us - I foresee a very enjoyable evening comparing notes!

Now, something a bit different for this section. 

As a thank you to my thousands and thousands of loyal and dedicated readers, I share with you what may be the Internet's single greatest rabbit hole, at least for aspirational white men of a certain age.

I give you the complete archive to Esquire magazine, with complete issues from the 1930's on.  Yes, it's true.  And from what I can tell, also free.

If you're like me, you'll find yourself losing hours, simply geeking out on old advertisements - let alone the absolutely amazing prose you'll find.  Issues like this - which includes an absolutely amazing profile of Frank Sinatra by Gay Talese, in 1966.   

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


When we talk about the best, it's Stevie Wonder.  OK, it's Miles Davis, and then Stevie, but still.  Here is the timeless and Diamond Certified "Innervisions", available today as a high resolution download.   The blurb below uses the word "astonishing" and that's about right.

Does this make the Mount Rushmore of rock albums?  How can it not?

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.