Nerds of the world recoiled in horror today after Nerd Emeritus Barack Obama committed a gaffe so egregious that it remains doubtful whether he'll ever be able to repair relations with his core Nerd Base. When asked at a press conference why he couldn't reach a deal with Republicans to avoid $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, he responded, "I'm presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don't take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right."
Oh, the horror, the horror. A "mind meld" is a reference to Star Trek, a Vulcan technique that involves sharing one's thoughts with another. A "Jedi mind trick" is from Star Wars. And never shall the twain meet — or at least in such ham-fisted fashion.
The Nerds of the Internet arose to protest this sacrilege and demand that Obama hand in his Nerd Card.
Obama's 'Jedi mind meld' shatters his nerd credibility theatln.tc/Z6RPQ2— The Atlantic Wire (@TheAtlanticWire) March 1, 2013
Obama just lost the nerd vote with his terrible Star Wars Star Trek mashup. THERE IS NO "JEDI MIND-MELD" BARACK HUSEIN OBAMA— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) March 1, 2013
Obama refers to "Jedi mind *meld*." The Force is not strong with this one.— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) March 1, 2013
It was not so long ago that Obama had the Nerd Vote tightly in his grip. The purported Trekkie (will Nerds ever be able to take him at his word again?) captured the hearts of geeks everywhere when Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock, revealed in 2009 that Obama sought him out very early on in his ascent to Nerd Supremacy:
I’ve met him twice. The first time was a couple years ago, very early on when he had just announced his candidacy. He was in Los Angeles, speaking at a luncheon we were invited to. There was a very small crowd — minuscule compared to the crowd that he gathered later — at a private home in Los Angeles. And we were standing on the back patio, waiting for him. And he came through the house, saw me and immediately put his hand up in the Vulcan gesture. He said, "They told me you were here." We had a wonderful brief conversation and I said, "It would be logical if you would become president." [The New York Times]
There is one contingent that argues Obama is so nerdy, that he may have out-nerded much of the Nerd Universe. According to Tech Crunch, there is a "Jedi mind-meld," though it appears in the "later books of the Star Wars universe," not the movies.
We find it hard to believe that Obama knew of the existence of the Jedi mind-meld — though if he did, it would without a doubt establish him as the One Nerd to Rule Them All, to throw another Nerd Tome into the mix. Indeed, if he really wants to heal the wound, he may have to quote Gandalf every time he vetoes a bill ("You shall not pass!").
Update: The White House responds:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
Subscribe to the Week