President Obama Longs To "Go Bulworth." Here's What That Means & Why It Would Be Amazing

by
Owen Poindexter
President Obama wants to go Bulworth. That's a reference to the excellent 1998 Warren Beatty movie Bulworth about a centrist Democratic candidate for Senate in California with a depressingly boring campaign slogan ("You don't change horses midstream") who pits alcohol against his sadness. Then, one day, Bulworth snaps.

President Obama wants to go Bulworth. What does that mean? For starters, it's a reference to the excellent 1998 Warren Beatty movie Bulworth about a centrist Democratic candidate for Senate in California with a depressingly boring campaign slogan ("You don't change horses midstream") who pits alcohol against his sadness.

Then, one day, Bulworth snaps. And it's amazing. But first, let's talk about Obama.
 
President Obama is a freak of nature in how composed he is. He is always measured, almost delicate in his speech, preferring to pause mid-sentence than let a stray word get away. He shows a little testiness with Republicans' endless political games, but even that is usually calculated testiness, meted out carefully.

It turns out that there is another side to President Obama, the side he has suppressed, at least publicly, for almost all of his 5+ years in office. He hinted at it in his hilarious impression of Daniel Day Lewis playing Obama at the Press Club dinner when he said (about himself), "how does that guy never get angry? If I were him I would be angry all the time."

Now we know what he would really like to do. This:

But Bulworth doesn't just drink and tell the truth, he raps! Kind of.

Obama understands as well as anyone what's wrong with this country. We have a campaign finance system that forces legilslators to beg lobbyists to hold them fundraisers, and in return those lobbyists get to write our laws, often literally. We also have a Republican party that would rather be united against the Democrats than right about climate change and the effects of austierty on the economy. And yet, every day, Obama tamps down the anger, suppresses his inner Bulworth, and does his job.

It's too bad he has to hold it together for the next Democratic candidate. Seeing Obama go Bulworth would be aMAZing. And, it might actually be exactly what this country needs. Because we badly need to revamp our campaign finance system, and that's going to take a major public movement. Obama still has America's respect, but much of the country has stopped listening to him on the specifics. To get America's full attention, he needs to go big, bold, unexpected.

Obama needs to go Bulworth.

 

Cover photo credit: Alan Light, CC License

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