Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The truth without jokes.

Several have commented that it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish legitimate news headlines from the ones that appear in the Onion. It seemed to reach some sort of a zenith when Dick Cheney’s victim “apologized” to him.

But then we read in, that George W. Bush who often tries to boost his approval ratings by describing himself as a “war president” plans to lay a wreath at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial in New Delhi this week.

The Bushies have been described as the Mayberry Machiavellis, and never was it more obvious than during the week that Barney Fife left us, and the President learned (apparently along with the rest of us) that port operations on the eastern seaboard were being contracted out to a country that was criticized in the Report of the 9-11 Commission for its cozy relationship to terrorists. Is this some kind of a joke?

Since the time that W threatened to veto any legislation that would delay or scuttle the deal, his PR machine went into high gear. The deal was thoroughly investigated. There is no cause for concern. Nobody who was briefed on the deal objected. Or so we were told. Here’s the punch line: It’s not six ports, but rather 21, and at least one party had serious, unresolved concerns, to wit, the United States Coast Guard. In technical comedic terms, that’s called a topper. As I noted in I can’t make this stuff up, “If you laugh, it might help you keep from crying.”

They celebrated Mardi Gras in what’s left of New Orleans, and except for a tee-shirt that says, Mardi Gras 2006: Show Me Your Tits, and FEMA Will Send Your Beads in 10 Weeks, there’s nothing funny about the devastation occasioned by our government’s monumental failures. I mean, nothing ‘funny in a ha-ha way,’ but rich in ‘funny in an ironic way.’ Take the claim that the president works hard to prevent disasters, along with the claim that nobody could have foreseen the levies failing. Please. To get into the “is it a legit headline or an Onion headline” category, you have to go to the hearings in the Senate that made “Heck-of-a-job” Brownie look good in comparison to Chernoff.

But seriously folks, how ‘bout that State of the Union address? More money for education, get the joke? Good because we’re not getting more money for education. Reduce our dependence on foreign oil? The Secretary of Energy says it’s just a metaphor, one of my personal favorite comedic devices.

What is the result of all this strange humor in the legit news? It’s crowding out the comedians. When comedians can’t do comedy, what happens? It’s a sad day because they get all serious. And then what? They make more sense than the newsmakers.

All of which brings me to Exhibit 1, an article in today’s Salon, entitled Impeach Bush by Garrison Keillor. Please read the entire article because it is a cogent, sober analysis of what needs to be done. Here’s a taste of his argument:
The U.S. Constitution provides a simple ultimate way to hold him to account for war crimes and the failure to attend to the country's defense. Impeach him and let the Senate hear the evidence.

He’s not joking.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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