Recently, the Angry Czeck was accused of having his brilliant faculties clouded by a seething hatred for George Bush. Naturally, the Angry Czeck’s first impulse was to cackle like a troll and belittle the accuser to shameful silence. The Angry Czeck, after all, harbors no hatred for the President. You read that correctly. The Angry Czeck mouth-breathes hatred for a potpourri of things, none of which is George W. Bush.
But the assertion did raise a question: Is it too damn easy to make fun of the Republican Party?
Have you ever heard a second-rate comedian making a commentary about bottled water? Or describing how white people dance? Or claiming to be afraid of clowns? The joke is not funny because the joke is too easy. Paying for a product we get for free from the tap? Crazy! Watching Uncle Lester dance the funky chicken? Dreadful! Fleeing from circus clowns? Too rich!
Critiquing the weaknesses of the Republican Party suffers the same dilemma of “obviousness.” You think Al Franken, Bill Mahr or Jon Stewart wouldn’t be serving us French fries right this instant if it were not for the limitless mine of material supplied by the Republicans in office? Do you honestly believe Whoopie Goldburg would have had the Hollywood clout to green light Made in America were it not for her all-too-easy jabs at Republican mandates? Shit, The Angry Czeck itself would be just another rambling, online pseudo-journal about some dickhead’s unremarkable childhood rather than just another attacker of Republican policies.
middle-aged man in biker shorts.
It doesn’t help that so much Republican legislation and tenets are just so obviously backwards, non-progressive, hypocritical and blatantly pro-crony. This is a party who fights for the Ten Commandments to be featured in courtrooms, yet declares a nation “evil” because its government is so closely tied to religion. This is a party so opposed to Big Government, yet sees no problem in stuffing legislation with pork or intervening into private matters like marriage and abortion. This is a party that styles itself as moral and just, yet sees no problem with cheating on elections and ratting out sensitive CIA operatives. Oh, and two words: Harriet. Miers.
See how easy that was?
Sure, busting on Bill Clinton two terms ago was pretty easy too. But what were the jokes we told? Try to remember. For a while, Jay Leno got fatter on allusions to French fries and Astro® turf. Later, many quips featured a cigar. The word “intern” was used a lot. We got a nice chuckle out of Mr. Clinton’s grand jury testimony on the subject of “what is sex?” Really, it all seemed kind of silly, didn’t it? Our President got caught banging an overweight intern, and crazy Republicans demanded that he resign over the fact. Resign! For having a crummy marriage. Funny, no?
Yet nothing seems very funny about the current administration. At least not lately. At first, too many eggheads made a big deal about the President’s mispronunciation of the word “nuclear.” I wouldn’t expect the Angry Czeck’s perfect readers to admit it, but I for one have pronounced it “nuke-clear-er” about a bazillion times, and never paid a price until Al Franken started making us all English snobs. But we Democrats latched onto Bush’s struggle with phonetics as if this were reason enough not to vote for the guy.
As if there were not more legitimate Bush comedy to mine. Really, how did he come up with Harriet Miers? For CHIEF JUSTICE?! I’m not sure if I’d rely on her to get me out of a parking ticket let alone weigh in on abortion, same-sex marriages, the separation of church and state, euthanasia and other critical issues she might have mentioned once or twice in Bible study. I can’t believe that the most powerful man in the world can’t find a person with more Supreme Court credentials than a woman who once tidied up his embarrassing military record. At least John Roberts had an accomplished and distinguished career as, among other things, a judge. Miers, meanwhile, once served as a councilwoman for the City of Dallas. (Have you ever seen a City Council Meeting? It’s a bunch of part-time real estate agents and Mary Kay sales people screaming at the mayor.) That, and she plays a mean game of tennis. What next? Maybe his chambermaid for Secretary of Defense? Bush probably knows a few opinionated bartenders who’d like to be diplomats. Bono would make a better Justice. Not even the “U2” Bono. I’m talking the “Cher” version of Bono, and he’s dead. Yet better qualified. It’s like Bush sifted through last year’s stack of Christmas cards and thought, “Whoever sent me the nicest card gets the nomination.”
don’t interfere with my Scrapbooking Club, he can count me in!”
The other day, I argued that surely Bush knows from Day One that there is no way in hell Miers is going to survive the 50-page Congressional questionnaire, let alone a public hearing. Bush hit an unprecedented home run with Roberts. Maybe, just for a chuckle with his frat cabinet, he decided to bat the equipment manager next, just to if anyone notices. Or maybe Bush is much smarter than we give him credit for. Perhaps, as we all begin to realize what a forced-anal-dildo-fuck it would be to make Harriet Meirs a Supreme Court Judge, Karl Rove will appear from behind the curtain to announce the REAL nominee. Only this time, it will be a really sharp, educated, religious hardliner who not only plans to repeal Rowe vs. Wade, but reestablish the slave trade, too. True to form, Democrats will be so relieved to see Miers back on a Dallas tennis court that the new nomination will sail through without a committee hearing.
See? Even the funny things about Bush’s administration aren’t really funny. Scary is a better word. Ten years ago, our clownish President presided over a prosperous economy that generated the first federal government surplus in decades. Sure, we had Somalia hanging over our heads, and as a result of our embarrassment, allowed a million people get machete-ed to death in Rwanda, but we still had Seinfeld on TV and nobody was cowering beneath a culture of fear and paranoia like we all enjoy today. Our robot vice president may have run on Duracell batteries, but at least he wasn’t so obviously tied to profiteering conglomerates like our current version. Yes, the Clinton Administration featured a cast of goofballs, ranging from the manly Janet Reno to the attractively hairy George Stepalopslopperous. But you’d never expect them to rat out CIA operatives or brazenly lie to the public with a fictitious sales pitch for war.
Okay. Perhaps what we need is a checklist of things that “Are” and “Are Not” funny about the current administration, just so we can remember when to laugh and when to break out the picket signs and torches.
FUNNY: Nearly choking to death on a Super Bowl pretzel
NOT FUNNY: Sending 2000 soldiers to die in Iraq
FUNNY: Nominating Harriet Miers
NOT FUNNY: Nominating Harriet Miers
FUNNY: The look on Colin Powell’s face when “interpreting” satellite photos of a nuclear weapons program to dubious UN officials.
NOT FUNNY: Going to war anyway.
FUNNY: Nicknaming your powerful, elderly assistant “Scooter”
NOT FUNNY: Seeing your powerful, elderly assistant’s name on a subpoena.
FUNNY: Bush on a mountain bicycle.
NOT FUNNY: Bush on a mountain bicycle during global crises.
FUNNY: Tom DeLay’s cheery mug shot.
NOT FUNNY: Realizing Tom DeLay is so fucking cheery because he knows he’ll be back in charge by January.
FUNNY: Imagining Cheney and Scooter deep in the bowels of the CIA, browbeating low-ranking operatives and pouring over raw intelligence like the Hardy Boys to make their flimsy case for war.
NOT FUNNY: Remembering that these guys are in charge.
FUNNY: Imagining Dick Cheney wearing a rabbit suit while buggering a drunken George Bush.
NOT FUNNY: Writing a blog that often features Dick Cheney buggering George Bush.
You may want to make a Xerox copy of this checklist to put into your wallet next time you’re tuning in to Politically Incorrect. You don’t want to be caught chuckling over the wrong things. That would only invite a sharp Republican to bring up Whitewater or Lewinski-Gate, two incidents for which there is no defense other than to chuckle and say, “Those were the good old days.”