It’s going to be very very difficult for the purveyors of knowing sarcasm in the hipster-industrial complex to resist this provocation, even though openly mocking Barack Obama will feel uneasy and unnatural at first. And that’s what could make this a genuine misstep for the Obama campaign: Obama’s 2008 campaign was very careful to keep itself on the side of the culture of cool, so that the agents of that culture would turn their guns against John McCain but mostly lay off Obama, even as he offered up embarrassingly vapid nonsense about turning back the oceans. If they begin to make the culture of cool uneasy about Obama, and increasingly comfortable treating him (as it is inclined to treat everyone) as a self-important windbag, they could do serious damage to his standing with precisely the intended audience of the Life of Julia: young liberals, who must turn out in uncharacteristically large numbers if Obama is to have a decent chance of re-election. If those young liberals come to see the president not as a cool modern idealist in on the joke but as a bloviating panderer who buys his own shtick, he’s in big trouble. If you puncture Obama’s balloon, there is not much left of him, and he seems to be running the risk of puncturing that balloon himself.