On the Way to the Forum

Funny things happen. A decorated Vietnam vet tried to tell a joke, something he is not well qualified to do. Perhaps I should say something he is well qualified not to do. The lesson, I suppose, is that those with stone faces do not belong on Comedy Central, unless they make deadpan part of their shtick. There are lots of things wrong with humor, not the least of which is that it frequently contains a kernel, or a full portion, of truth. Another problem, in John Kerry's case, is that the deliberate misinterpretation of a remark by the feather merchants on the right may be too close to the truth. It's not that our troops are dumb, just that at eighteen or nineteen years of age most of them have not had the opportunity for higher education. Windbags like Rush Limbaugh, for whom mention of Vietnam caused sphincter control problems, left their medical practice serving Michael J. Fox long enough to express outrage that anyone in public life would put someone down, particularly members of the armed forces.

I saw a newscast that indicated about one fourth of the 18 to 25-year-olds serving in Iraq has at least a bachelors degree. I would like to know what number or percentage of those are officers. I would like to know what number or percentage of the killed and wounded in that fiasco had such a degree. I would like to know how many or what percentage are National Guardsmen. John Kerry might have been better off forgetting his attempt at humor and, instead, openly questioning the motives and abilities of the man who got us into this mess in the first place.

Middle-aged men who passed on the opportunity to serve in the war of their youth are not qualified to make judgments on those who did serve. Sanctimony and hypocrisy are requirements of right wing politicians, so it comes naturally to them. However, when a man like John McCain jumps into the fray, it simply shows how far he is willing to go to further his hopes for the presidency. He has tried to establish a picture of himself as an independent thinker, but his remarks this week did nothing to paint such a picture, quite the contrary.

John Kerry still has ambitions for the White House, even though his chances of getting there are not much greater than my own. One consequence of his gaffe this week may have been to convince him to give up that idea. He could have quickly apologized, finished telling the joke correctly and turned the tables on his critics. Unfortunately for him, but perhaps fortunately for the Democratic party, he has pretty well nailed the lid on the coffin of his presidential hopes. It showed me that he would still not be able to handle the swift boat liars from Texas. There are no purple hearts for shooting yourself in the foot.

I've been assured that a soft answer turneth away wrath, and I think that humor can do much the same thing, but you have to make sure that you leave them laughing. That's Show Biz.


Anonymous Anonymous  said...

Oh, Rush. We knew there was a problem.




11/03/2006 8:13 PM  

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