Sunday, February 1, 2009

Consolation Prize

A while back I attended a luncheon honoring a friend of my wife. To begin the proceedings, the first speaker, apropos of nothing - this wasn't a political event - told a George Bush joke. I don't exactly remember the set up lines but the punch line involved Bush thinking that the word 'Brazilian' was a very large number. Yuk, yuk. Of course it got a big laugh from the Aint That Bush Stupid crowd.
This was an example of what are basically 'dumb blonde' or 'moron' jokes, substituting Bush for those mentally challenged individuals. What makes these jokes less than funny for me is first, the sheer numbing repetitiveness of the theme, and second, the fact that Bush isn't stupid. (Though listening to him speak extemporaneously, one could see how people might think he is).
Liberals, I believe, liked to laugh at Bush's supposed lack of intellect, in part, to ease their frustration of not having one of their own as President. If we can't have our guy in power, at least let's enjoy deriding the undeserving one that is.
Now that their guy is in power, it's conservatives turn to try to find consolation. I can think of no better way to do this than to point out and deride real sources of hilarity - Democratic leaders in Congress and His Righteousness himself, the current President.
At this, the author, essayist, columnist Mark Steyn has no peer. For a prime example, read his column appearing in National Review Online this weekend. He skewers the Dems 'stimulus' package with phrases like "the federalization of condom distribution". It's a funny piece, but Steyn, as he often does, finishes it with a sober, pessimistic assessment.
Hopefully, we can look forward to some high comedy from the vaudevillians infesting the halls of power in Washington. (Barack, Nancy, Harry as Moe, Larry, Curly?) Is the entertainment value of having the Dems in charge worth the accompanying diminishment of our country? Certainly not. But it does make it more palatable.

This from the current print version of National Review :

Some employees are simply irreplaceable. Take Michelle Obama, for example. The University of Chicago Medical Center hired her in 2002 to run “programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity, and minority contracting.” In 2005 the hospital raised her salary from $120,000 to $317,000 — nearly twice what her husband made as a U.S. senator. Oh, did we mention that he had just become a U.S. senator? He sure had. Requested a $1 million earmark for the UC Medical Center, in fact. Way to network, Michelle! But now that Mrs. Obama has resigned, the hospital says her position will remain unfilled. How can that be, if the work she did was vital enough to be worth $317,000? We can think of only one explanation: Roland Burris’s wife wasn’t interested.

One of Obama’s current talking points is the unfairness of corporate officers continuing to receive large compensation packages while their companies are laying off workers by the thousands. His moral outrage would carry more weight if he hadn’t also gamed the system. The above instance isn’t his only one either. (See, e.g. Rezko, Tony). BTW, I bet those CEOs don’t have any trouble feeling proud of their country, Mrs. Obama.

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