Ed Driscoll

Evening At The Improv

There’s a twinge of biased anger in this Knight Ridder piece titled, “ Bush, Republicans reduce John Kerry to a punch line“, but let’s face it, the success of the convention may have been the ultimate rope-a-dope by President Bush.

Since January, Bush endured a year where he was beaten up over 30 year old phony AWOL charges. (And before the Swift Boat Vets raised the stakes, you can’t help but think they surfaced partially with the hopes of making Kerry look better in comparison, and shut down debate about his service record.) The first lady had disingenuously headlined articles written about her thoughts on gay marriage. That the gay marriage issue was brought up so forcefully in both Massachusetts and in San Francisco simultaneously (where it’s illegal, but that didn’t stop a newly elected mayor) in this election year was probably not a coincidence.

Then the partisan 9/11 Commission. Then Fahrenheit 9/11, and the endless anti-Bush tomes at bookstores, and endless attacks first by Howard Dean, then Al Gore, and then Senator Kerry.

The silence from the White House was brutal to endure for those of us who wanted to see the president fight back. But it paid off this week.

The left can’t expect to have it both ways–but it does: it threw so much mud this year, and now acts surprise when a little humor is directed at its presidential candidate.

And the funny thing is, one of the guys who was the most vilified by the press this year for his speech was the most praised in 1992 for a speech with an almost identical tone.

Back then, ABC even referred to “the time-honored tradition of attacking the opposition.”

How come they’re not honoring that tradition this year? It’s like ABC is biased or something!

Update: I meant to track this down myself, but Orrin Judd, also linking to the above article, mentions his post from March, when the strategy to make sport of Kerry was first discussed. It took incredible patience and discipline to not put it into serious play until the convention, however.

And it highlights, perhaps unintentionally, one of the side effects of political correctness that we’ve been writing about almost since we started this blog: PC has both killed comedy in general, and made the left much, much more rigid and unwilling to laugh about themselves. And Kerry in particular, very much unlike the first–and by far the best–JFK, seems waaaay too stiff and square to take a joke without exploding.

Update: Mark Steyn has more–much, much more.