Thursday, May 22, 2008

Political humor still possible

In this wearing political season it has become, it seems, increasingly difficult to find the light side. The Daily Show gives its best shot, but even there the campaign has taken its toll. With that said, it was interesting to find a speech by P.J. O'Rourke to a Cato Institute event. Whether one agrees with his Republican Libertarian views or not, read these excerpts:

---"I love gridlock. Gridlock means government can't do things. The most frightening words in Washington are 'bipartisan consensus'. 'Bipartisan consensus' is when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help."

---"It took a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives 40 years, from 1954 to 1994, to get that corrupt and arrogant, and the Republicans then did it in just 12. And people say we Republicans don't have a lot on the ball."

---But there is sort of a Disney factor in American politics. Think of them all as the Seven Dwarves. They're all short. They're short on ethics. They're short on common sense. They're short on experience. They're short on something. But we keep thinking one of these dwarves is going to save our Snow White butts. We've got Dopey right now. We had Sleazy before him. Grumpy lost in 2004. Sleepy was great in the '80's but he's dead.

---"Under the Democrats, the government will negotiate with drug companies for Medicare drug prices. If the government shows the same hard-headed, tight-fisted bargaining savvy negotiating drug prices that it shows negotiating defense contracts, Preparation H will cost $400."

---"Two substantive political issues are the federal budget deficit and the war in Iraq. Now, if you're electing a Democrat to control government spending, then you're marrying Angelina Jolie for her brains. This leaves the Democrats with one real issue: Iraq. And so far the best that any Democratic presidential candidate has been able to manage with Iraq is to make what I think of as the high school sex promise: I will pull out in time. Meanwhile the Republicans have got John McCain . Everybody respects John McCain: He's tough. He's consistent. He's wrong. John thinks the war in Iraq is a good idea; the electorate doesn't. It's like McCain's slogan is 'wrong and strong'."

---There is only one number that matters in politics. And you may think that that's the number of votes, but that's not the number. The number that matters in politics is the lowest common denominator. It is the awowed purpose of politics to bring the policies of our nation down to a level where they are good for everyone. No matter how foolish, irresponsible, selfish, grasping, or vile everyone may be, politics seeks fairness for them all. I do not. I am here to speak in favor of unfairness. I have a 10 year old at home and she is always saying, 'That's not fair'. When she says that, I say, 'Honey, you're cute, that's not fair. Your family is pretty well off, that's not fair. You were born in America, that's not fair. Honey, you had better pray to God that things don't start getting fair for you."

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