Paul Reiser: Hollywood's Barack Obama?
Barack Obama is quickly becoming the Paul Reiser of presidents. To a reader of the Huffington Post (where Reiser contributes) that might sound like a good thing. However, to those who are unfamiliar with the liberalism of Reiser and only know him by the 90's sitcom Mad About You—it’s not.
Sure, Reiser is a B-list celebrity. And while I would not normally consider his rants worth the little time needed to analyze them, the latestst promotional spot for the upcoming “Paul Reiser Show” demanded that a response be written.
But let us start with a Reiser installment from just about two years ago, "How I Know Things Are Different: Way 247":
For the last eight years, every morning, I'd sit down to breakfast, crack open the newspaper, roll my eyes for my kids' amusement and say, "Okay, let's see what our president's doing to us today!"
And it was never good.
He's declaring war. On the wrong people. He's not telling us the truth. He's daring people who already hate us to "bring it on. He's thinks we should put more arsenic in our drinking water. He's actually stopping people from trying to clean up the planet.
Now, I open the newspaper, and I'm smiling. Not at the news necessarily, but I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing what our new president is at least trying to do...
Let's hold aside for the moment the issue of whether his plans will work, or if he'll get to even attempt them all. I know better than to expect a magician.But man oh man -- it sure feels good to believe again.
Doesn't that sum up Barack Obama idolatry in a nutshell: "Let's put aside for a moment the issue of whether his plans will work...it sure feels good to believe again."
To liberals, it's all about feelings. It's all about intentions. Those things called "results" are secondary to being able to feel good about yourself when you open the paper. According to Reiser, George Bush wants you to die of arsenic poisoning while the planet withers around you---but Barack Obama is a swell guy (Big Government overreach? Eh.)
Since merely being liberal isn’t enough to really tie the two together, I’m glad that Paul gave an interview for his new show.It's about his life:
"[The show] is really even more about my relationship with these four buddies...and I noticed in the last few years that I've gotten more friendly with my guy friends; some of them are really good solid friends---some of them I don't even really know how I got them...I never chose them, but all right...I realize I'm spending my life with people I didn't select."
I wonder if Paul Reiser remembers this gem from President Obama:
"I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism," (President Barack Obama).
You see, Barack didn't choose his country, just as Paul didn't choose his friends. Paul feels the same way about his "friends" (e.g., that's just the guy who I hang out with because our kid is on the same sports team), as Barack Obama feels about the his country (i.e., I guess I believe the country's great because it's my home, but I won't say that it is intrinsically). In both cases, the man speaking exudes an indifference to his fate, but seems willing to play around with its meaning like a cat batting around a toy. Paul attempts to make a witty but ultimately inconsequential sitcom out of his life, and the President is willing to have a professorial chat about the American Experiment on 60 Minutes if you catch him in the right mood with the right poll numbers.
Let me put it more succinctly:
There is FDR, JFK...and Barack Obama.
There is Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David...and Paul Reiser.
Listen to the theme to Seinfeld, and then Mad About You. One generally makes people smile (and the show still airs regularly), and the other makes large numbers of people cringe. They think, "Why did I like that? What was I thinking?"
Likewise, the November elections proved a lot of people thinking the same thing in regards to their actions in the voting booth only two years earlier.
With that said, it should be noted that while it was only yesterday I thought Paul Reiser was an actor who had drifted peacefully into obscurity, I today find myself surprised that he's getting another television show. I think we would all be wise to acknowledge that while it looks like the President is not going to get a second season...stranger things have happened. My Two Dads, anyone?