In case you didn’t hear, former President Barack Obama had a birthday bash over the weekend. His 60th was celebrated in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., alongside Hollywood elites, friends, confidants, and politicos. And yes, it is only the latest instance of Democrats operating on a “for thee, but not me” basis when it comes to the coronavirus.
Obama may have wooed legacy media by announcing his plan to “scale back” the event from the original attendance of 500 plus 200 staff because of the spread of the Delta variant, but make no mistake. The party still happened, and that is what actually matters. Hundreds of celebrities were there, packed in tight; perhaps it was really just the personal assistants who were the ones removed from the list.
At the 30-acre, $12 million oceanfront home in Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts police officer noted that the traffic situation was a “sh-it show,” according to the New York Post. Predictably, footage began circulating Sunday of Obama dancing with a guest, both of them maskless. The president “danced all night,” another source told People.
Among other guests, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Steven Spielberg, Bradley Cooper, Don Cheadle, and John Kerry were in attendance. John Legend came with his canceled spouse Chrissy Teigen. Two DJs reportedly smoked weed.
In hosting such an event, Obama affirmed something that has been continually echoed by elites who advertise COVID alarmism in the public square; his life, supposedly, ought not to be fundamentally constrained in a way he determines yours and mine should.
Why? You are not Obama, and herein lies our paradox.
The Delta variant, coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2021 after being detected a year prior in India, is being strategized as the latest tool for the left’s immoral sensibilities. It is spreading in the United States, and those who lack COVID immunity are more susceptible to it—even though people are not as likely to get sick or face hospitalization now as they were earlier in the outbreak.
The left, though, is once more absorbing all the wrong lessons—floating secondary lockdowns and vaccination mandates antithetical to a society backed by ordered liberty. For more than a year, Obama and his fellow Democrats have told Americans to “follow the science” and “stay home” in order to maximize the supposed societal benefits of “social distancing,” disregarding all the verifiably negative consequences of such diktats.
Nevertheless, these same lawmakers have been content to violate their own rules—all the while acting as if such contradictory actions are entirely meaningless in the grand scheme. Think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi getting a blow-dry at the salon while violating her own mask mandate, California Gov. Gavin Newsom enjoying a meal at the French Laundry with maskless guests while banning his citizens from doing the same, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo at a wine bar, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser hanging out with Dave Chapelle, and so on.
But such hypocrisy is rarely acknowledged by the corrupt political establishment, as allies work to fend off any criticism of each other. This was on full display when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki downplayed Obama’s party to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.
“Obama has been a huge advocate of individuals being vaccinated” and “this event is outdoors,” Psaki offered in a briefing.
Piers Morgan, someone who has not neatly aligned with the increasingly morally bankrupt left, pondered the contradiction in a column recently. He described the likely reality should Trump have thrown a party surrounded by hundreds. It’s worth considering.
“I think we all know what Trump’s liberal critics would say: that it’s shamefully selfish, incredibly reckless, and a former President of the United States should be setting a better example to the American people at such a perilous time for the country. And they would be right,” Morgan wrote.
He is spot-on. Since the beginning of the left’s wielding around of ostensible COVID altruism—since “public health” will always rely on political decisions—Obama has aligned with Democrats in encouraging a forever-lockdown sentiment: Calling out Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and others at every step of the way for trying to open the country or limit mask mandates.
Trump’s 2020 presidential election rallies were constantly described as “superspreaders,” with comedian and TV host Jimmy Kimmel charging, “The stupidity is breathtaking.” Insider, for instance, proclaimed last June that “The spike in infections, lack of mask-wearing, and the arrival of thousands of Trump supporters have Arizona physicians concerned the rally could become a superspreader event,” discussing a Phoenix rally.
But what about Obama’s party? Wouldn’t it also have technically been a “superspreader,” given COVID cases are rising and the Delta Variant more rampant?
Of course not—that is, in the eyes of the ruling class.
As Michael Anton outlined recently, today’s left endlessly gaslights the right’s legitimate concerns with how leaders act. In the applicable case of what Anton articulates as “The Law of Salutary Contradiction,” Psaki moved to deny Democrats’ obvious self-contradictions in this scenario, suggesting such concerns are conspiratorial.
It’s no wonder The Hill ran with the headline “Obama to host COVID-19-compliant birthday party” instead of “Obama to host huge birthday bash during COVID surge.” Or that CNN spun, “Obama to host Covid-compliant 60th birthday party amid rising virus concerns, source says.”
In our present game of tilted monopoly, the left and its evident allies understand the value of language manipulation. Obama is not unwarranted or evil for seeking to celebrate his 60th with others. But let’s be clear.
Americans are not evil, nor crazy, for identifying the party as one more piece of the jumbled, incoherent puzzle. There is one lenient standard for one side of the political aisle, and another for everyone else. The charade persists.