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Thursday, April 15, 2004

WHY POLITICAL HUMOR ISN'T ALWAYS FUNNY ... OR FUN 

I have to admit it. I used to really love the Bush Administration!

Oh, sure, they were always really vile and corrupt, but it was always so obvious. Making fun of them was always easy and enjoyable. George W. Bush, looking like an inbred barn cat, would stutter and say "strategery" or something like that. Dick Cheney could always be counted on to be in "an undisclosed location," and you knew he had that perpetual smirk that said, "Wow, you Americans are stupid!" no matter where he was. John Ashcroft, Donny Rumsfeld, Antonin Scalia, whoever — you could always count on somebody to be saying or doing something outrageous, lying or organizing a really blatant photo-op or working through their malicious drones in the media — Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity — to shout "Treason!" at anybody who called them on their lies or dared to offer an alternative viewpoint.

But it's not always fun to do this. No matter how arrogant or transparent its antics are, the Bush Administration's disastrous policies have caused the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers and killed thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The net effect on terrorism will probably be negligible when all is said and done. America has lost the respect of the international community that had been carefully crafted by the Clinton Administration.

It's not funny. No matter how ridiculous they look with their self-righteousness and their hostility and their rationalizations, it's sometimes difficult to find the stomach to make fun of their greed and their hypocrisy and the demoralizing effect on the nation.

Worst of all is the betrayal of the regular American, the guys who put Bush in office.

These people in the Bush Administration aren't very clever. And they really think Americans are stupid. But Americans aren't stupid. They are trusting. They have been reluctant to believe that trusted leaders, even a political lightweight like George W. Bush, could indulge in the cynical, profit-mongering, environment-hating machinations that have characterized the Bush Administration.

But it's becoming more and more clear that there is no other explanation for the mess in Iraq. And people are realizing that the most inflammatory and incriminating statements of the "liberals" are probably true. More tragic, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

The latest news has John Ashcroft blaming the Sept. 11 terror attacks on ... Clinton.

And that's not very funny. Or honorable.

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